Cleaning up Camp Sick and a possible solution


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 27 of total 27 in this topic

Social climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 26, 2008 - 02:40pm PT

Ok will start again since now how to download photos.

Ok, Should have some fun with this one.

Yes “I like the smell of napalm in the morning”. But for this area now that is another matter: in the morning, late afternoon and in the evening for sleepy time.

Simple: look at the picture. Ok! Now we know where it is. What do we do about it?

[A] Cleansing first by some method or source bagged and hauled out.
When this is satisfactorily accomplished we then go to the next solution.

Plug it [shallow]

Materials are not an issue; it is just getting them to the top and then transferred by rapping them to the site.
Now here is the problem.

Really what does 7-8 years pee in that container become if it was opened and released into the air?

So let’s see if we try to find out and ask advice from NPS, of course they will not know and will pass it on. Now HAZMAT, Dept. of Homeland Security, DoD, USCNS/21, DIA, Departments of the Army, Air Force and Navy, the State Dept. the FBI, FEMA and all the other appropriate Federal Departments and bureaucratic bodies in our Government that think they know on how to protect us from Threats and in this case CB [chemical and biological] category would need to be involved. Notice I put FEMA last.

Ok! So now reports and charts need to be done, it would have to be analyzed and whose pee and bottle was it. Then additional reports on the reports of these reports that are in questioned would have to be addressed. Then more reports. And this would just be for the pee.

Good God. It shows that our government still has the intelligence to handle these problems.

Actually it might be a good idea for a test for the National Biosurveillance Integration System (NBIS) and their new BioWatch program that operates systems used to test the air for biological agents vents, including natural disease outbreaks, accidental or intentional use of biological agents.

Let’s see timing of course and if everyone knows who has been to this area “What time and when does the wind arrive and in what direction does it travel”

So first find some people to clean the area.

Rumor has it that there were three packages dropped in the cavity many years ago. I was also told that these people packed them so well that the packing material they used would last 50-75 years. They were looking for the perfect place to hide this cache till things cooled down. I can’t recall but I think they said it had something to do with some plane crashing. They wouldn’t reveal the contents but said that one of the packages could be burned and make you happy but as for the other two it wouldn’t be a good idea. They just said both were the colour of green. Also understand that it was never recovered.

Ok now we have the area/cavity cleaned.

Concrete Matrix: 60# of cement/cementitious material and broken down to two 30# containers or three 20#, need two gal. of water, 20# crushed granite aggregate for the topping, flexible geo-textile matting, elastic/resilient preformed isolation joint material, One oz. of each from 2 super juices to add as an admixture for the cement/cementitious material: one to fast set, the other to make the mix flow better. Mix by hand or battery drill with small paddle. Ok! No drill. We are still just a tad under 100#. Add the drill still under #.

All of these can be divided into three or four haul bags to be lowered.

As for the PLUG [thin and 6" down from the top of cavity it would a prescriptive design concrete and incorporate isolation joints used to relieve flexural stresses due to vertical movement. This allows for thermal expansion and contraction without inducing stress into the system. It would also be designed for freeze/thaw.

Also recessed just a tad so gear and beer can have an area to stay in place.

Size: 8”? X 48”+ X 4” in depth. 80% of the mix would be embodied in the matting. The matting is a flexible thin layered polymer stringed together and would be jammed 8” down into the cavity held in place and filled with the SCC, two pieces of rigid insulation board on the sides sprayed with oil to hold matrix in place, then a thin layer of cemented crushed granite placed on top to match the colour with surrounding area. 15 min. max to set, remove boards on the sides. Actually could remove boards sooner. Add a curing blanket for an hour and you are out of there.

Not filling the whole cavity, placing a cap on top of it.

NPS might want to have a test which can be done on the valley floor to satisfy specifications.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 26, 2008 - 08:30pm PT
You should state clearly at the top that you are talking about the crack behind Camp 6 on the Nose of El Capitan.

The basic plan looks good, although I'm not qualified to judge the details on the expansion joint. I was talking with Bob Steed about a similar plan the other day - he was thinking of using spray foam insulation to make the plug; I was concerned it might not last very long.

Are you sure the crack tapers downwards? I thought it might be more parallel.

Your text would be nicer without all the bold.

Don't involve the NPS - they do not maintain routes.

You should delete your post in the other thread, where the photos do not show up - it's confusing to have both.
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Jul 26, 2008 - 08:39pm PT
You forgot the duct tape.......
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Jul 26, 2008 - 08:41pm PT
Dynamite might make a more permanent solution. You wanta chuck stuff in the crack, welcome to Another Sling belay!!!!!

Trad climber
Jul 26, 2008 - 09:08pm PT
I dont think it would be good for the formation to have that there. What if you just cleaned it out and used good old Ansel Evans posts to catch any culprits who thrash it with piss bottles again?

Trad climber
Jul 27, 2008 - 01:38am PT
gimme summa dat supah juice! 0.02 oz doesn't seem like enough! even with the graphs u r still an idiot! ALOHA!

Trad climber
Phoenix, AZ
Jul 27, 2008 - 03:04am PT
Thanks for cleaning up! That ledge is f@*&ing disgusting. I remember seeing actual poop in the slot. Which brings me to a question:

If you were irresponsible enough not to bring or improvise any sort of poop container, and you found yourself at camp 6 (even though there are normnally at least 10 legit poop containers at camp 6 as it is), why wouldn't you just fling the poop of the wall?

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 27, 2008 - 04:17pm PT
The sides are in paralel. The flexable matting would be jammed tightly against the two sides 6" down and as a channel. Then addition matting to file the void more loosely to an inch from the top then the SCC mix place into it.

I would not use spray foam. Like you said it will not last due to the envirionment conditions; Freezing with ice during winter and heat from the summmer. Unless you designed a topping to cover it. Another issue the material is not environmently friendly. Toxic chemistry if heated up.

The guy from Vegas does not have a clue about concrete so who is the idiot. Define "California Concrete" and if you can you might be able add some intelligence, I doubt it.

As for the bold lettering when I copied and paste that is how it downloaded. First couple of paragraphs were Ok just right after then when it did.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 27, 2008 - 04:26pm PT
It's an interesting idea, and at least worth debating.

Simply cleaning up what's already in the crack will require a major effort. Not much point to 'capping' the crack if there's still garbage and human waste left in it. It doesn't seem like it gets much natural flushing action, and it will get even less if the crack is blocked.

Capping the crack should make it impossible to put garbage in from above, but won't prevent people from putting things in from the side. Simply lean over and throw whatever you've got sideways.

There may be other places, on the Nose or other routes, that are similarly gross, but are just less visible. What other cracks may have to be cleaned, or plugs placed?

Then there's durability and maintenance. If the result in a few years is a few hundred kilos of disintegrating junk, displaced by freeze/thaw action, those beneath may not be pleased.

More aggressive education as to behaviour is another challenge. Legal enforcement may not be desirable or practicable, but there may be other things that can be done to at least discourage selfish behaviours, and even encourage positive ones. Perhaps there should be a Restop dispenser at Sickle Ledge, El Cap Towers, and Camp 6?

Trad climber
Jul 27, 2008 - 04:29pm PT
You'll have to block off the sides, too.

Otherwise people will just toss their junk beneath the plug.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 27, 2008 - 04:53pm PT
Sides long enough could be designed, no problem. Then the issue does someone rappel to area that is opened and trash.

Of course best idea is "education" but who listens and needs to be written in 17 different languages. Restop dispenser is an idea to look at.

How about snakes? I know where I can get some real nice ones in Asia. Smuggling them in not a problem since they hid in cargo containers all the time.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 27, 2008 - 05:19pm PT

The "bold" text happens because supertopo sees the [ B ] (without spaces) and that is a code to turn on bold. So if you change your notation to use (A) and (B) then it will look fine.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 27, 2008 - 05:23pm PT
Forgot - the NPS doesn't manage or maintain routes, at least not in any way for which it can be held accountable. But it does manage wilderness - and Camp 6 is in wilderness. They may have some interest in construction projects on El Cap.
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Jul 27, 2008 - 09:26pm PT
Let's face it, many climbers (I am not saying most or all, but a good number) have no f*cking clue about a 'leave no trace' mentality.

It seems that climbing nowadays is the domain of the, shall we say, 'unwashed' (read ignorant).

Social climber
Jul 28, 2008 - 07:13pm PT
Although, I know that this isn't a serious venture. I still want to add a couple comments.

2 years in a row I've hauled up a full size haul bag full of trash, human waste, pee bottles, old YOSAR batteries, ropes, and other general filth from the depths of the crack behind Camp 6. Both times as an official government patrol.

The first time, 2006, we climbed the route and cleaned behind Texas Flake, and other dirty spots as well.

The second time, 2007, I brought down about 8 gallons of water from the top to wash out some of the exploded pee bottles and general pee smell, and then packed the bag full of to the brim with the trash, and hauled it back up.

2006 the crack was full to the very top with garbage, and we cleared about a foot or so of debris out of the crack. When we returned in 2007 is still looked a lot better than it had the previous year...indicating that we were getting ahead of the curve.

This year I'll probably go again for another round. My goal is to completely have it clean by the end of my time here. I think once its clean, wilderness stewardship minded folks like all of the Supertopoian El Cap climbers will gladly pitch in to carry out stuff left behind.

I was also considering placing a sign at Camp 6 in multiple languages to guilt trip the lazy litterers into packing it out.

Both of these options require so much less effort than cementing the thing closed...and its in line with Wilderness Character and Law.

I realize its an attractive option, and would probably solve the garbage problem, but it would introduce the totally foreign concept of concrete into Yosemite Climbing. Not the road we want to go down my friends.

Remember 50 years of the most popular grade VI in the world means a lot of ascents, and most people are climbing it clean (garbage wise as well as style wise).

So lets have faith that we can Wipe the Nose clean and then keep Camp 6 ad other attractive disposal sites from getting congested again.


Jesse McGahey
Yosemite Climbing Ranger
(209) 372-0360
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Yonder (out in the sagebrush)
Jul 28, 2008 - 08:20pm PT
Wipe the Nose Clean....I like that. Never climbed the Nose but I went down to Camp 6 with Scott Burke when he was working the route, & MAN, I was blown away. Shocking, & I've done a couple El Cap routes & have seen other things(not THAT bad). I'm not sure why anyone would stick Anything into a place where it's gonna stay......boneheads!
Just kidding about the dynamite.....I get carried away(ask anyone)

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 28, 2008 - 08:22pm PT

Call it insane, but here is a sport {?} No awards: no gold, silver or bronze. No money in it either, well maybe a couple of bucks if Hollywood wants to do a movie or TV series.

Just One's self conscientious.

Commendation to you and your crew.

As for the concrete, cement starts off as a rock, it is heated and grounded down into a powder. Then it is consolidated back into a rock with the addition of a liquid.

In this case the thin 1/2" topping would be a blend of white and grey cement with the addition of granite aggregates making it impossible to detect from granite itself. Stealth Technology

Would be glad to give a demonstration.

Would be nice not to introduce a manmade material to this classic route/routes and your point is well taken.


What is the opposite of education: ignorance. That is what we are fighting.

Again Commendation to you and your crew.

Drinks are on me. At the "A" Hotel and not at the Lodge.

Social climber
Jul 28, 2008 - 08:34pm PT

thanks man, will you be up for the Facelift? We could all have a Camp 6/El Cap round table. The "A" Hotel sounds good!


Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 28, 2008 - 09:00pm PT

Hey! Roundtable great idea. And at the Hotel. Imaging Camp 4 deserted for a couple of hours would intrigue me.

I do not know if I will be there for the clean up but plan to be in the area mid Aug. Good God that's a couple of weeks from now.

Good idea.

Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Yonder (out in the sagebrush)
Jul 28, 2008 - 09:12pm PT
"Good God, that's a couple weeks from now".....Dude, that's my line. grins
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 3, 2010 - 03:51pm PT
I like the cap/seal idea to keep the crack from refilling with trash/feces.
Maybe some 2' sections of 6" or so diameter logs could be used to make the cap/seal instead of cement or foam. Trim to fit with a saw and hammer into place! They will rot and get smaller over years, but then hammer deeper to retighten; add a new layer on top eventually.

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Sep 3, 2010 - 04:11pm PT
Thanks for finding and bumping Clint.

Your idea is interesting.
Natural materials make a much stronger argument.

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Sep 3, 2010 - 05:48pm PT
Hey guys I am a foam insulation contractor and know that the foam will work, but here are some pro's and cons.

1. You have to use a closed cell foam 2 pound minimum.

2. You can paint the foam grey and blend it no problem.

3. You can chip away at any foam and rodents will chew that up and make homes in it.

4. The closed cell foam would have to be taken up in 4 propane size tanks and sprayed into the crack. Polyol Resin and Isocyanate. When combined make Cyanide vapors. We wear full face respirators and fresh air when we foam.

5 Closed cell foam would have to be done in temps lower than 75 degrees.
The chemical makeup of closed cell causes it to froth and foam in the canister over 80 degrees and it should not be shaken up at all or you will have to wait a day for it to settle down.

6 I'm sure the NPS would crap there pants if you put foam in the crack as it is against about everything they say the park is about. ( Natural)

7. I would just jam it with logs and and natural debris that would stay in place and not wash out of there.

8. Camp 6 is a water course in spring or after heavy rain.

9. Expensive to foam.

10 dont even think Great Stuff will work. It will hold water if emerged for long periods of time.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Sep 3, 2010 - 05:59pm PT
In physical terms, anything that might be put into the crack behind the Camp VI ledge, to block people from throwing garbage and crapping in it, will be a challenge. That is, to prevent climbers from putting things in the crack, without altering the character of the climb or creating problems.

Something solid (concrete, foam): Fills crack, maybe too permanent (trial seems advisable), may get in way, contrary to NPS requirements.

Something semi-solid (wood): Impermanent/requires maintenance, maybe contrary to NPS requirements, may disintegrate and fall out on those below.

Non-solid barrier (mesh): Impermanent, doesn't really stop people from stuffing things through and around.

Something soft (gravel, sand): Well, my cat would show how to use it for a litter box.

Signage, and perhaps a concerted information campaign, may help. Bearing in mind that many climbers come from around the world to climb the Nose, but are from places and cultures with different values and behaviours in terms of waste.

Another option would be a solar-powered camera off to the side, focused on the Camp VI area, maybe including a night-vision feature. ("Big Sibling is watching you...")

Or perhaps a poop chute running the length of the Nose, into which people could conveniently load their waste. Probably some maintenance challenges, but gravity would definitely do its bit.

Social climber
Seattle, Wa
Sep 3, 2010 - 06:04pm PT
I like the "Don't throw crap and trash in the crack" option.

Try it next time.

Mountain climber
Sep 3, 2010 - 06:41pm PT
People nearly come to cyber blows when it comes to adding a bolt or defacing the rock in ANY way and people are seriously considering capping a crap hole?
On El Cap no less??
I guess it is the Friday before a holiday weekend (?) traffic is probably light on the taco today...


Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Sep 3, 2010 - 06:44pm PT
Mighty Hiker

Thats funny I just got this image of 2000 trash cans tied together with the bottoms cut out running from the top to a dumpster at the base.

Messages 1 - 27 of total 27 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews