Loc: Ulster County, NY
I think the point of ther thread initially was to raise the question of what the local ethic in regards to fixing a route with your gear and leaving it for a later send. Whether it actually inconvenienced anyone is irrelevant. I think that fixing gear on a route that is by no means a test piece or an unfinished project is not acceptable here in the Gunks. It may be acceptable in other places, and that's fine, I would respect that. But don't come to my crag and fix a line of gear and then leave. It's not acceptable here. It will be removed!
The question becomes more vague when we are talking about unfinished projects, or something hard enough that it may only have a couple of ascents. Is it right that Spinal Traction be fixed with free gear so that someone can work it for a free ascent? Maybe, but the fact still remains that if someone wanted to go aid it, (and they surely do..it is not an abscure route by any means), then the presence of that gear is fucking up their ascent.
I have no problems with fixing a route to pinkpoint it at all. But don't leave the cliff. Hang out at the base and relax...then send. At the Gunks,once you leave, that gear is free for the taking.
It has nothing to do with eastern climbers being used to living in the ghetto. There's plenty of hoods out west. That's a piece of crap argument. It's about local ethics, pure and simple. Take 10 minutes and ask what the local ethic is before you do something like that.