Bolting at Cragmont, Berkeley

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clustiere

Trad climber
berkeley ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 11, 2012 - 12:37pm PT
Someone bolted farewell to arms, it looks to have been recently equipped with (4) titanium bolts with RE-500 resin. I wasn't really sure how mindful the placements were as it looked like a dangerous fall could be made between the third and fourth both. My guess is that it was placed there due to rock quality. A further interesting part of using these kind of bolts is that it requires making an additional slot adding to rock damage. Do people plan to bolt the rest of the climbs making it a sport climbing area, or was that just for the interest of one person? Honestly if the other routes were bolted it would make for an interesting little sport crag, but who's making these decisions? I also noticed a bolt placed at the top of the lower Remillard rock up the street. Things are changing in the Berkeley Hills. More than anything I'm curious how these decisions are being made?
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Aug 11, 2012 - 02:49pm PT
Let the bolt wars begin.

I don't have the guide in front of me, wonder if the FA is on supertopo.

Which rock at Remillard?

There have been bolts on top of that lower side rock for years (the one with the plaque)... Is it a new bolt in addition to the old ones?
Matt Sarad

climber
Aug 11, 2012 - 03:11pm PT
I wouldn't call it a war. Chuck Ostin top roped me on Farewell To Arms 25 years ago at the beginning of my climbing.It is one of my fondest memories. Bolting it is an abomination.
clustiere

Trad climber
berkeley ca
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2012 - 03:20pm PT
I do hope nobody goes out to damage the bolts, at this point it would damage the rock as well. The best you could do given the glue in and surrounding chiseling is to bend the bolts over and that is always a sad shame. It's be nice to have a discussion rather than one group busting the rock for this reason and another busting it for that.
tarek

climber
berkeley
Aug 11, 2012 - 05:12pm PT
I'd also like to know who is doing the bolting, which I regard as undesirable. Just toprope those short faces.

Was sorely tempted to chop the bolts at the top of the 5.9 face 15-18 years ago, as topropes around there were all being set up using long slings back from the cliff edge. Trees were also used, The slings may have contributed to the trees' demise, but I don't think so. I've seen similar age bays dying in other Berkeley parks.

Anyhow, I didn't do anything with those bolts years ago (extra large metolius hangers and all) because I figured they were used to teach classes and it just seemed like too much of an ego move to chop.

But I wish people would consult with a few others who've been around before drilling on main faces.

As for Remillard, there have been 2 sets of bolts there for many years, they are for topropes and seem fine. If someone places bolts at the top of the main face for convenience--instead of using the pole further back--I'd be in favor of removing those.
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Aug 11, 2012 - 05:36pm PT
The best you could do given the glue in and surrounding chiseling is to bend the bolts over and that is always a sad shame. It's be nice to have a discussion rather than one group busting the rock for this reason and another busting it for that.

There must be some solvent that will soften the glue. No?

Not that I'm pushing for yanking them, just wondering -- if someone were so-inclined -- whether there's an innocuous removal method.
crasic

climber
Aug 11, 2012 - 06:19pm PT
Cragmont and Remillard is used extensively by local groups and camps to teach rock climbing.

I wouldn't be surprised if one of them put up the bolts to facilitate their business by teaching sport climbing or what have you.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Aug 11, 2012 - 07:12pm PT
There is absolutely no reason for those faces to be bolted.

My two cents.
bergbryce

Mountain climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aug 11, 2012 - 07:20pm PT
That's a bummer.

I wonder what possesses someone to bolt something like that? Is it cluelessness or just plain disregard?
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Aug 11, 2012 - 07:23pm PT
What is shocking to me is that anyone would go to cragmont more than once.
bergbryce

Mountain climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Aug 11, 2012 - 07:32pm PT
I went twice.
Okay, three times.
Remillard twice.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Aug 11, 2012 - 07:37pm PT
I think many will agree that bolting short TRs is lame.

BITD we would Tr such problems with a careful belayer laying out 3 ft of slack keeping the low end of the loop just above the climbers ankles if you want to do a spicy ascent.
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Aug 11, 2012 - 08:36pm PT
I don't have a problem with the bolting of a TR -- even something short I'd rather lead than set up a TR.

I do dislike bolting w/o regard to the FA or local community...
crasic

climber
Aug 12, 2012 - 02:42am PT
I do dislike bolting w/o regard to the FA or local community...

The reality is that this is an old rock park in the middle of a built up suburban neighborhood. It is and always has been a practice crag, I have record books from UCHC (UC Hiking Club) going back to the 50's that show it was regularly used to practice everything from hammering in pitons and placing bolts to leading and rope technique, these same people went on to put up classic FA's all over California. However, this makes the place rather historic, since many early west coast climbers (going back to the beginning of the century) cut their teeth and learned rope techniques at these oversized boulders.

IMO, Bolting this short TR to set up a sport/lead practice area is well within the spirit and history of the rock park. Of course, this should be done reasonably and in moderation.
slobmonster

Trad climber
OAK (nee NH)
Aug 12, 2012 - 03:01am PT
Seriously?

Damn.

Those bolts will be chopped, justifiably, and hopefully super duper clean. That's just lame.

Curious as to the condition of the anchor bolts on TOP of Cragmont... I replaced several of these a few years ago. Same holes as the bolts previously placed, if anyone's asking, as I would too.

T H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Aug 12, 2012 - 03:05am PT
IMO, Bolting this short TR to set up a sport/lead practice area is well within the spirit and history of the rock park.
I disagree with you. It's more like applying the modern f'ed up conglomerate of sport and gym etc to initiate the 'gen-next' noob, and lighten his wallet a little in the process.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Aug 12, 2012 - 11:56am PT
crasic is correct about cragmont's history.

cragmont is one of the places that american "dirty" climbing began.

pitons were rare in north america until the rock climbing section and the cragmont climbing club began importing and using them. that chosspile was one of the places suburban, white-collar kids learned to whale on metal.

indian rock is an easier place to find the old practice bolt holes. i've always wondered if at least one or two of those relics weren't drilled by salathe, back when expansion bolts were mostly unknown in climbing.

later, in the seventies, after the clean climbing deal took off in california (sort of), folks quit the metal work on berkeley practice crags. so it's probably been a good forty or fifty years since locals were heading off to cragmont to try out new pins. i dont know when folks bolted that other choss pile left of farewll. seventies? so traditionally speaking, cragmont was a whale on metal chosspile. then it was a clean climbing chosspile. now, at least part of it is a sport chosspile.

so far as the new bolts go, i guess i can't work up strong feelings one way or the other. i'd probably be pretty unhappy if someone did it at i-rock. if the bolts are spaced in ways that make deckers likely, then we're more likely to see unhappy events down the road, if the bfd has to respond to climber accidents.

although the last time i was at cragmont, several years ago, one of the local fire station contingents had set up a rappel off the top-- off the trees. and the team leader was coaching folks into rapping in big jumps. i had only been there maybe ninety seconds when i got to see the first sprained ankle.


crasic

climber
Aug 12, 2012 - 12:19pm PT
It's more like applying the modern f'ed up conglomerate of sport and gym etc to initiate the 'gen-next' noob, and lighten his wallet a little in the process.

Which is exactly what this tired old rock has been used for since the beginning of the last century, except the "next-gen noob" in the 50's that used it to nail his first piton in and drill bolt holed are considered old stonemasters today.


Basically if the bolting was competent, I don't think its a problem, if its put up in away that we get a groundfall from every "ye first sport fall" then its stupid.
tarek

climber
berkeley
Aug 12, 2012 - 02:00pm PT
Well, if we use history as our guide here, we should put in some aid ladders and wail on some pins. Both are still used on the big stone and elsewhere all over the world and cragmont is a practice area, as stated.

The cracks at cragmont are a fine place to learn to lead. An instructor can place gear, and students can clip it as they examine how it was placed. I never had to be taught how to clip bolts once I'd clipped gear...

I'm with others here who are concerned about silly accidents this might bring from flegling leaders. It's a choss pile, really. Crumbly rock, ledges, etc. But this is a fun place to go alone for the moderates, and it's actually a major bummer to see those toprope bolts as you climb past. I'd be more in favor of putting in some permanent anchors away from the cliff edge, as is the local tradition for top rope anchors (IR, Mortar, Remillard).

But yeah, if someone thought to bolt I-12 or 13, That's when a whole bunch of people would be out for blood.
crasic

climber
Aug 12, 2012 - 02:54pm PT
Well, if we use history as our guide here, we should put in some aid ladders and wail on some pins. Both are still used on the big stone and elsewhere all over the world and cragmont is a practice area, as stated.

And my point is that I wouldn't be surprised if someone does. I don't see a problem with a practice area evolving with the sport. If I wanted to learn to pound in pins on lead, I would do it at cragmont. Its history is that it its a fricking beater pile for practicing everything from pounding pins to setting up belays before you hit the big rocks.

As stated by others its a chosspile, its value is in that its a great "first outdoor climbing" area for bringing beginners and practice pile for the rest of us.

I mean, for christ's sake, there is a basketball court at the top of it.
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