Hey all,

So here's the deal: That was my gear on KC. Personally, I do not think that there is any ethical debate whatsoever, because there was fixed gear the entire way out the roof (four stoppers and one pin). Because of their presence, I opted not to go for a true, traditional ascent, but for a pinkpoint. It would have made absolutely no sense for me to remove the draws off the fixed gear with each ascent, either; we all know that fixed stoppers, with or without draws, still constitute a pinkpoint. Since I was part of a larger group that did not want to congregate at the base of KC all day, I saw no problem with leaving the gear for later burns that I would take.

As for the gear left on the lower 5.4 slab (or what some of you are calling the first pitch), I simply left that out of laziness, I suppose. I lowered off of KC, and was well over 15 feet away from my lower fixed gear, knew I would take later runs, so I left it. Being from Utah, I suppose I have not yet become paranoid about people stealing my gear. In the town where I grew up, it was common practice for everyone to leave keys in their ignitions for months at a time; doors unlocked; and if a climber wanted to leave gear on a route, he or she could be reasonably sure it would not be stolen. Thank-you to everyone who walked under KC, saw the fixed gear, and left it! Fine, upstanding paragons of moral virtue, you are, and I know how tough it must be as New Yorkers and Easterners for you not to steal something.

Here's my personal take: I think that it is funny that so many people on this board are jumping to the soapbox without even knowing that KC has that much fixed gear on it! In the entire climb, I placed ONE cam, a .4 for my first piece. All the rest was fixed. It was a sport climb; I treated it as such. Personally, I enjoy and love many styles of climbing, from siege-projecting overhung sport routes at the Red River Gorge, to ground-up, onsight, chalkless and shoeless crack ascents in the Utah desert. Kansas City fell somewhere in between as far as this goes.

I am totally serious about this, if I ruined ANYONE'S plans on Sunday for a traditional free ascent of Kansas City with my pre-hung draws, I really apologize. Somehow, I doubt that I did, though. Through the entire memorial day weekend, we stuck mostly to climbs that were 5.10 and up, and did not have to wait in line for a single climb. I was not exactly siege projecting High E with a group of 4, or even practice aiding Nosedive, which I understand is not an uncommon practice.

So that's it. Sorry for the lengthy diatribe, but I really do think it is funny that I prompted such strong feelings. To end, I did NOT send Kansas City, even with my compromised sport tactics. So I'll be back with my brand-new annual pass, working it again, with or without the fixed draws, whatever. Feel free to stop by and lecture me on my spiritual crimes, chastize my belayer, cut my rope, or tell me that I am weak.

Paul Nelson
Columbus, Ohio