Last weekend a friend and I hiked the top of the Trapps starting at Easy Keyhole and ending at High E. We liked the idea of marking the main rap stations with cairns, so we thought we would inspect the anchors and build cairns. The landscape and what we learned on the hike kept us from building the cairns.
We learned several things on this hike, but the main points were these: Generally speaking, if a climb tops out where the hillside is pitched there will either be an erosion gully or the beginnings of an erosion gully. The trees in the erosion gully top-outs are either dying or already dead. Anywhere the cliff is flat or angled back at a top-out (mostly from the Arrow wall to High E) erosion is almost non-existent and the trees are in good shape.
We took pictures of every top anchor, but here are two examples that show the extremes:
I realize that many of us have different ideas of how to solve this problem, but I think we all agree there is a problem and it needs to be addressed. Dick Williams and volunteers have done a tremendous amount of work at the base of the cliff, but nothing is being done about the cliff top ecosystem.