Rebolting update

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k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jul 18, 2007 - 11:41am PT
Karl, you say "I've done the climbs and I think they are something of a waste."

I guess this freshens up the retrobolting debate.


Rodger, Clint, EXCELLENT Work! Especially considering the heat wave we were having.

I've come across some old tat before, but that Friday the 13th belay is Classic!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 18, 2007 - 02:58pm PT
Jerry,

The 1/4" taperbolts (at the belays for Friday the 13th) were in pretty good shape. I unscrewed each one with Roger's 6" Crescent wrench, using a fair amount of torque to get them started. The taperbolts at that belay with the living/mossy slings were rustier than the others, but still solid. They all had the thicker SMC hangers which held up fine to the wetness. It might have been scary to belay off of them with a partner doing a "factor 2" runout directly above, though!

Karl's point that most of the long routes in the area are rather runout is probably valid, but I wouldn't go so far as to say they are a waste or out of reach of 5.10 climbers.

To start with, I am not really a very good slab climber - not really even solid on 5.10 slabs. I have a mostly numb and weak left foot due to a spinal cord injury - I can't run across the street or do offwidths, and high steps onto my left foot are pretty scary. I've been totally stopped by some slick 5.10 slab moves like on Hogwash (5.10c), and I used Roger's cheater stick several times on pitches 2 and 3 of Midlife Crisis. The relatively abundant small positive flakes for crimping are what makes it possible for me to get up the harder moves on the 5.10s at the Arches Terrace.

Most of the 5.10 slab routes I've done (back in the 80s) were "Morris routes" - first ascents by Bruce Morris and crew, who took the time to place more than just minimal bolts. A few examples are Cryin' Time Again, Needle Spoon, Great Circle, and Sailin' Shoes (I've done the first 3 of these 4). Bruce did plenty of these routes, so they are an option for people who want more protection. Midlife Crisis is a Morris route. I am comfortable with my mediocre slab skills, which prevents me from attempting certain slab pitches, but I can still pull off a long 5.8 or 5.9 runout if I think it has enough features.

Also, the longer runouts on slabs are (in theory) reducible by pulling in lots of rope while the leader is sliding downwards (witness Steve Grossman's story on Greasy But Groovy, for example).

Will Roger's rebolting at Arches Terrace make routes instantly popular? Well, no, because there are relatively few slab climbers due to Apron rockfalls which have scared people away from the best moderate slab training routes. Also, few gyms have slabs, so the footwork and body position are unfamiliar for many people. However, the rebolting will enable a few more people (who like slabs) to do the routes there, especially those people who were scared of 1/4" bolts (I am not one of those people, perhaps because I am used to them from the 70s/80s and I'm very lightweight). We know of one person in particular who did not want to lead the second pitch of Midlife Crisis because it had 1/4" bolts, even though they are relatively abundant. Roger is also fixing the missing bolt on p1 of The Rambler and the p5 crux of Shakey Flakes - those routes were previously mostly rebolted and are fairly well protected by slab standards, but the missing bolts were hardly encouraging to potential climbers.

Routes like Greasy But Groovy and Friday the 13th will never be popular. They are testpieces, put up in the minimal bolting style their creators enjoyed. Accessible to few climbers, but probably enjoyed by those who can succeed on them (slab versions of the Bachar-Yerian, if you will). I've climbed on each of them, and gotten to stances where I've said "I would have placed a bolt here, and without a bolt here, I'm not leading any higher", but I'm OK with that. Not every route needs to be accessible to me. And I am always free to create my own routes if I want to protect something in a particular way (like we did to create a variation to join p2 of Midlife Crisis from Hershey Highway).

There is scope to add more routes to the Arches Terrace area. As I mentioned in my mini report, there is a relatively new route (probably done in the 90s - 1/4" bolts but less rusty than others and one 3/8" belay bolt) which goes straight up from the p5 belay of Reefer Madness (where p6 of Reefer Madness is the "5.8" rising traverse). It goes up 2 pitches to the big pine tree (3x on p1, 2x on p2), and then continues directly above the pine tree (2x visible, and probably many more above that).
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 18, 2007 - 03:16pm PT
weschrist,

Thanks for your interest and support. You can donate directly to ASCA to buy more SS bolts, hangers, double ring hangers and drills:

http://www.safeclimbing.org/
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Jul 18, 2007 - 03:42pm PT
Nice work guys!
I have an EASY bolting job for you next!
Steve Schneider and I put up a little route on Fairview quite a few years back that needs a little work.
Burning Down the House. the best part is you only have to replace 7 lead bolts and 5 belay bolts....
Bring a long rope for the route/rappel!
ks
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jul 18, 2007 - 04:07pm PT
Clint, thanks for clarifying the nature of the routes you two worked on.

I've done a few routes over there and found them to be lots of fun and within reach. GBG & Friday, perhaps some day I'll be able to look at those, but not before I repeat some of the better protected slabs over there.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 18, 2007 - 04:10pm PT
Kurt, I'll check out Burning Down the House. Hey, I have always wanted to toprope it anyway! I see the lack of bolted belay anchors on some pitches may make it an interesting adventure for rappelling (all the better). I know you're too far away back east to get to it yourself.

But I think we will get over to the Middle Cathedral North Face Apron before that, as we can get to more bolts there in less time, assuming we can cheat our way up them somehow.... (We could probably use your help, Kelly, if you are around and free).

Sunday July 22, Middle Cathedral North Face Apron, anyone? I have plenty of ropes to fix if Roger's are still in use at Arches Terrace.
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Jul 18, 2007 - 04:21pm PT
Couple of years ago there were some "thought provoking" bolts and anchors on Cat Dancing.... good route.... can link two pitches together.... moderate. Good candidate for some fixin.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 18, 2007 - 04:23pm PT
Russ,

It looks like Cat Dancing was fixed fairly recently:

http://www.safeclimbing.org/areas/california/yosemitefree.htm

"Cat Dancing Replaced all 7 anchor and protection bolts 2002 James Selvidge, Bernie Rivadeneyra"
Russ Walling

Social climber
Out on the sand.... man.....
Jul 18, 2007 - 04:26pm PT
Holy cow... that was fast work Clint!

(maybe it wasn't cat dancing? Black Primo? hmmm.... I'll ask the brains of the operation later)
Ken Zemach

Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
Jul 18, 2007 - 05:24pm PT
Ya'll just inspired me to finally get off my butt and donate to ASCA, which was well overdue (thanks to there being new bolts on Inverted Staircase which would have been a horror show otherwise).

If you're looking for an easy route to knock off on a "rest" day, Wise Crack needs two anchor bolts replaced for Pitch 2. It's a great climb for a couple of reasons: a) I think it's a great climb, irregardless of the crappy "approach" pitch. b) it's an interesting alternate approach to get to the start of Pitch 6 of Royal Arches (or The Cobra, which rumor has it Clint enjoys) c) it'll make for a safer exit from Royal Arches if one has to rap earlier.

If you're looking to an excursion from hell to replace bolts, the two hangerless bolts on Steck-Salathe really need to be replaced. The lower one is bent downwards from someone's fall, and thus a nut slipped over it may not stay on during a subsequent fall. That makes for a death/serious injury fall in a place where you can least afford it. If ultra-purists are against replacing them with "real" bolts, they could always be replaced with new 1/2" hangerless bolts. I'd be fine with that, but the way it is now, it's totally unsafe.

PS- you guys totally rock
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jul 18, 2007 - 06:10pm PT
Yeah, the Steck-Salathe.

I cannot believe that someone went up there and 1) added several bolts to the face pitch and 2) added a two-bolt anchor to the pitch before the Narrows, but didn't replace the death-bolts in between. I've been wanting to replace them for years.

Clint, there's a chance I can make it up this weekend. I'll be in touch.
the kid

Trad climber
fayetteville, wv
Jul 18, 2007 - 06:51pm PT
Well you guys keep up the good work and next time i'm in the valley i can sample your work on some old classics!!!!
KS
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 18, 2007 - 06:53pm PT
Bruce Bindner rebolted the Steck-Salathe' in 1995 after consulting with Steck:

http://www.supertopo.com/rockclimbing/route.html?r=yosestec

Perhaps he will respond about the old bolts on p11, and the bolts added on the face pitch. I haven't been on it since the rebolting to observe it directly.
Spencer Adkisson

Mountain climber
Reno, NV
Jul 18, 2007 - 07:00pm PT
Wow! You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for doing that. It is a great service, and by the smile on your face, it looks like you even had some fun doing it. Great job!
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jul 18, 2007 - 07:12pm PT
Karl...b/c of all of your cries about how aspring 5.10 slab climbers have nothing to climb and b/c I am one of those climbers, Clint and I replaced the rightmost two routes on the piller to the left of the Rambler last winter. (Barney Rubble and The Violent Bear it Away IIRC?) They're still probably too stiff for me (which doesn't say much) and by no means are they sport climbs, but there is no 150 foot fall to be had unless you unclip at the anchor and dive off.

I guess I don't see all 5.10's as presenting the same level of challenge (and don't feel entitled to having them be so). I'm OK with the fact that 5.10 slabs (w/ OK protection even) are often testpeices for people who tick 5.12 or 5.13 at Rifle or Indian Creek (or even Yosemite). It's apples and oranges...One taxes at the limits of physical abilities and the other the mind.

There is still room for new routes in these areas. If people wanted to sport climb on 5.10 slabs, I suspect more such routes would have been created whether the stance-bolting crowd wanted it or not. I just don't think the interest in spending the time that it takes to hand drill slabby sport climbs in granite is there. I'm not even sure that if you bolted it they would come.

Good work, Clint, Roger, and your other rebolting associates!
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 18, 2007 - 07:45pm PT
Thanks Melissa

I love those routes on that pillar. I do em a few times each year, particularly in the winter. Including those, there are a few one pitch climbs over there that are fairly reasonable to lead.

Peace

Karl
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jul 18, 2007 - 09:57pm PT
If you bolt it, they will come.



ask Clint, he knows.


davehikes

Mountain climber
Los Osos,Ca
Jul 20, 2007 - 12:41am PT
Hey Roger - Looking good - had hoped to catch up with you this summer in Yosemite - but several trips to back country areas and a busy summer schedule - Call when youre home - Miss working with ya - Are you into an end of Aug backcountry trip? maybe bag a peak or two.
--CLOGGER --
MAD BOLTER

Trad climber
CARLSBAD,NM
Jul 20, 2007 - 09:22pm PT
I thought I was the MAD-BOLTER !!! why do people set those double anchor bolts on side-by-side orientation without a connection? A vertical alignment with SS chain connection can be done using only one chain and with essentially no "impact" loading. Those taper bolts I see in the articles are apparently 3/8" dia.. I have used a number of them and not seen any problems with rusting - and they are easy to reset new bolts in the same hole. A long time ago I stopped using silicone or epoxy to seal the holes since the 1978 bolt failure on El Cap where I removed and replaced the remaining anchor. There was loads of rust in the hole!! Apparently the moisture gets inside and can't escape to dry out. The fatality was the result of improperly using the hardware, which had a mfg. flaw, and was overloaded with 3 climbers and haul bag on essentially one bolt.

you can reach me to comment at 505-981-2451 leave msg after frogs
MAD BOLTER

Trad climber
CARLSBAD,NM
Jul 20, 2007 - 09:25pm PT
thanks for the re-bolting work-you all !!
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