bolted belay on beggars buttress?


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Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 18, 2007 - 09:32pm PT
I recently climbed beggars buttress and really enjoyed the route. Although, I think the belay between the 11b pitch and the 10b pitch could really use a bolt anchor on the left side of the dihedral just as the crack widens from hands to offwidth. The Don Reid topo shows that their is a sling belay there. Im not sure if their used to be one or not but as of june 2007 nothing was in place. The anchor I built consisted of 2 #3 camalots and 1 #2 camalot. It was by all means bomber but the problem is those pieces are needed to protect the back of the offwidth on the next pitch especially if you dont bring a big piece. Another bad thing about the belay was that it was very uncomfortable because their is absolutely no stance and having your gear in the crack really crams you into the vertical 90 degree dihedral.

On the other hand if you skip the belay and tried to link the pictches you would have to make very solid 5.10 moves way out on the end of the rope and your belayer wouldnt be able to see you and maybe not hear you either.

As i understand not too many years ago Peter Croft and a partner added a few bolt belays to the crucifix on higher cathedral in order to minimize the number of fist size pieces need to climb the route. I havent done the crucifix but before the bolt belays were established i think you need a couple fist pieces for the route and a couple more for the belay on top of the fist crack pitch. A total of four.

I think that if this is found acceptable by valley locals than hopefully belay bolts on beggars will be as well.

Because i dont live in the valley i wanted to post this just to get some other opinions of locals and others who have climbed the route. If the feedback is dont put them in, i wont put them in but if people are psyched i'd love to do the community a favor and install them.


right here, right now
Sep 18, 2007 - 09:37pm PT
I have done the Crucifix twice, and Beggars Buttress twice.
(Leading most all of the pitches each time & I remember the cramped belay you are referring to).
I like building my own anchors on natural lines.
I vote no bolt anchors.

Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Sep 18, 2007 - 10:50pm PT
Just say no to no brainer anchors.

Sep 18, 2007 - 11:21pm PT

I think you're dreaming. Peter adding bolts to Crucifix, in order to minimize the number of fist size pieces need to climb the route, is like believing George Bush is God Almighty himself.

Hell Croft probably only needed 3 pieces on the whole pitch anyways. That pitch is bomber anyways and you can easily do huge run outs on it.

Go add some bolts to these things and you'll end up just killing yourself.

You'll kill your soul, and become the machine that eats nuts and bolts and has no emotion or spirit.

By ......

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Sep 18, 2007 - 11:31pm PT
IIRC, the pitch in question didn't use those size peices anyway. Also, IIRC, the Reid guide suggests belaying up higher in the chimney (so maybe you can wedge yourself or somesuch if you need to take a load off), although above the crux did handiest.

New retrobolts next to hand cracks on established routes in the Valley end up getting removed about as fast I can spell troll anwyay.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 19, 2007 - 01:54am PT

You are referring to the end of p7 in the Meyers/Reid topo. When it says "sb", it does not mean there are "fixed slings" (which is apparently what you expected, since you said "nothing was in place"). It means it is a hanging belay, i.e. no stance. I checked my notes and when I did it in '02 with Erik Strom, he belayed where it widened into squeeze as indicated on the topo. But when I followed I stopped lower down and belayed when it was still hand size. So that is a solution if you want to use larger cams on the next lead.

Please do not add a bolt belay.

Thanks for asking, too.

Regarding the added belay bolts on the Crucifix, one of my friends was very disappointed when they appeared. They reduce the level of commitment for doing the route (and the weight of the rack), even though for years people did the route without them. So I would suggest that just because they were not removed, they are not exactly "accepted" either. I also doubt Croft placed them, but I would like to know who did it.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Sep 19, 2007 - 02:02am PT
"bolted belay on beggars buttress?"

I can't comment on the question, but it is a nice alliteration. Perhaps a FaceLift fireside feat could be to say it six sequential times.

Though I do feel that convenience bolting is a concern in general, certainly at Squamish.

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Sep 19, 2007 - 02:09am PT
By your logic, every crack climb in The Needles (Ca) should have bolted belays installed, so one does not have to carry that extra gear for those darned anchors.

Weak sauce, dude.

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Sep 19, 2007 - 02:09am PT
never did crucifix -- "hi, my name's bob and i'm a wimp" -- but i DID do beggar's one time, with the 'natrix, led evar-ree pitch with 1988 gear, and cannot imagine why anyone could not set up a bomber belay station anywhere on the route.

leave it be.

Sep 19, 2007 - 12:28pm PT
When you sincerely asked for input you did the right thing. There has not been a lot of asking for opinion going on for several decades now and as a result many people are wound up tightly. You are getting a lot of good thoughtful comments but expect there to be a bit of an edge in places also. Bear with it.

You personally have just moved out onto the front edge of climbing so you should expect it to be exciting. Breaking new trail always is. My compliments.

If by chance you are going to be at Facelift look me up.

John Stannard

Trad climber
Somewhere, CA
Sep 19, 2007 - 12:35pm PT
Me thinks that most folks are too lazy to haul up a bolt kit to retro-bolt anyway. The issue is probably moot. There's still some open space on lower for new routes/non-squeeze-job-variations. If you really want to bolt a belay, why not put in the effort on your own new line?

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Sep 19, 2007 - 12:46pm PT
Do you guys really think 'who' who has never posted before is for real?

I suspect that someone who posted about having too much rain to do this route a few weeks ago finally got on it and wanted to see how much we'd twist at the idea of a bolted hand crack...with a little Peter Croft slander thrown in to make sure everyone got worked up. I could be wrong, but it does seem like a bit of a lunker... ;-)

I just wanted to spray b/c I had one of my best days every climbing up there. :-)


Sep 19, 2007 - 01:06pm PT
Could be Melissa but I tend to doubt it. Strangely enough every time I have expected ill of people, that is what I got. Worst case you get fooled, which is no big deal. Who among us is still proud?
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Sep 19, 2007 - 01:13pm PT
Troll or not, insert real event into scenario:

Should I put bolted anchors next to , because the anchor is hard to set up with __.

At least some actual do-gooder might think about it for a minute or two before drilling.

Trad climber
Sep 19, 2007 - 01:29pm PT
Climbed BB a few years ago and belayed in the awk slot. When my 2nd came up we relocated the belay on a sloping ledge maybe 10 feet below. He got two trucker cams (#1 and #2 camalots) and I started the 10d pitch from the slot with plenty of gear for rest of the pitch. NO BOLTS PLEASE, but a new topo showing the better belay would be good. IMO venturing up a wall in the valley without at least a #4 and #5 camalot is asking for it.

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