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#65214 - 06/04/12 03:10 AM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: socialist1]
Doug Offline

Registered: 12/29/06
Posts: 165
I thought the general idea on pins at the Gunks was to leave them in place until the are no longer viable. At that point remove them, if possible, and replace only if modern gear doesn't offer adequate protection in the vicinity.

So saying "it has been there 50 years" as a precedent to have it 50 more doesn't really seem relevant.

#65215 - 06/04/12 03:35 AM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: socialist1]
tradjunkie Offline

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 359
reading socialist1's post, a few thoughts:

1) my prior post seems, on reading it, that it could come off as smug or worse. My apologies; that should reflect on my poor, hasty, and impolitic writing rather than my personality, which has plenty of defects of its own. My point though is that there is little disadvantage in splitting your work plan across two dates.

2) I second socialist1's implied suggestion that perhaps instead of installing a new anchor, if you feel the need to keep working after removing the old junky anchor, that time and effort could be redirected to the clifftop environment, perhaps a nice log bar or two to approximate a decent root system to hold the rocks in place. Not as sexy as pounding pins while dangling from a rope but tackles the loose rock issue more directly.

#65216 - 06/04/12 04:05 AM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: Valpine]
rg@ofmc Online   content

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2454
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
First of all, I think there is a valid distinction between "local" esthetics and "global" esthetics. "Local" esthetics refer to the experience on the cliff itself, what the rock and the climbing is like. The concept of "natural state" makes perfect sense from the local perspective, whether or not there is a highway nearby or a crowd below. This has little to do with "wilderness experience" and absence-of-wilderness arguments are irrelevant here. Climbing on a cliff in its natural state is still a completely different experience than climbing on a cliff that has been modified for the convenience of those who will be either rapping directly down the route or setting up topropes on it. For these reasons, I don't buy Valpine's "global" argument that "esthetics" make no difference on SOEO.

Secondly, not all anchors are the same. It has become abundantly clear from the Preserve's early bolting mistakes that anchors directly over climbing routes are the worst in terms of the climbing experience, creating not only top-roping monopolizations but also two-way traffic on the routes. The SOEO anchor is an ancient belay-stance relic from a bygone era that has turned into a modern problem anchor. Ironically, only its present perceived mankiness keeps it from its full disruptive potential, something that replacing it with a more trustworthy version will fix.

I don't think there would any good argument for that anchor except for the problem of incompetent parties raining rocks down on crowds below. So the ideal solution, if it is possible, (I can't remember what the crack situation is like up there) would be to move that anchor over to the side, over Hether, which although excellent is not popular because of its more run-out climbing and non-boldface status in Grey Dick. This would eliminate top-roping on SOEO, which is otherwise sure to get worse if the current anchor is improved, would still provide a path back to the base for rappellers and so avoid the issues with the cliff top, and yes, would probably turn Heather, which is now "underused," into a top-rope route.

Some folks may say that it will not eliminate top-roping and rapping down SOEO, because people will reinstall that anchor too. I guess we'd have to see how that plays out, but I'd certainly be in favor of aggressively cleaning and re-cleaning any attempts to re-establish an anchor directly over SOEO if there is a perfectly good one off to the side.

Edit: Others posted while I was writing this and watching the Celtics win in overtime. I hadn't seriously thought about the potential for cleaning up the top so that it would be ok for incompetent parties to belay up there. That would be a better solution than my suggestion above, which might not be possible anyway if suitable cracks are not available.

#65218 - 06/04/12 07:44 AM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: jhurwitz]
schwortz Offline

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
Originally Posted By: jhurwitz

Schwortz - I don't see the point in removing an anchor that will be replaced within a week or two. I'd rather just get it right now and assist with maintenance over the years to come. I should have replaced many of these pins years ago, but didn't. I'm sorry about that!


you're delusional if you think someone will continually replace a completely pointless pin anchor. that shit costs money, and most climbers who would want an anchor there dont know the first thing about nailing and dont own any iron. just chop the whole mess and be done with it. you're part of the problem or you're part of the solution in this case. dont go backwards.

#65221 - 06/04/12 12:35 PM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: jhurwitz]
ianmanger Offline

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
That would be me. PM me.

Originally Posted By: jhurwitz

Anybody got a cordless sawzall I could borrow? I'm quite accurate with power tools. I've a strong background in jewelry and a fairly strong background in construction, etc... I WON'T DESTROY IT! wink


#65225 - 06/04/12 02:55 PM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: ianmanger]
SethG Online   content

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 680
Loc: NYC
I am still in favor of chopping that mank and not replacing it, if anyone's counting votes.

I question the utility of somehow cleaning the top. Isn't the problem that it's a drainage? Remove the rocks and after the next heavy storm there will be more.

Nevertheless since our ropes are long enough to reach the top I see no need for the anchor, and improving it will only yield more toproping and polish on what may well be the most popular 5.8 in the Gunks. It is a bad idea.
It's true, I have a blog.

#65227 - 06/04/12 03:18 PM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: SethG]
rg@ofmc Online   content

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2454
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I think fixing up the top would involve real erosion-control measures; e.g. water bars and/or cribbing. Obviously, the Preserve would have to approve.

#65241 - 06/04/12 06:07 PM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: rg@ofmc]
Rickster Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 815
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Installing water bars and drainage control of some kind above the cliff's edge would need some planning so as to not redirect the flow over another climb, belay stance etc.

#65259 - 06/05/12 01:55 AM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: Rickster]
Bill Offline

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 85
Loc: Mass Land
Chop it. Keep chopping it. I don't buy for one minute the BS about the "loose" rock above. There is one reason and only one reason that anchor is where it is at and that is for top roping the climb.

I will not label as selfish those who occasionally set a TR on it and have multiple members of the party thrash and flail on it,thereby denying access to the those who wish to lead it.

I will however completely and wholeheartedly confess to my selfishness regarding being very mildly annoyed (sorry I can't muster more anger, I'm into the Zen thing) when I get the urge to lead it or to introduce someone new to the Gunks for whom I believe it will be a great climb for them to lead or to follow and find a rope hanging there. Particularly when I say "Whose rope is this? Do you mind if I head up it?" and someone eating there lunch down by Frogs Head says "Yeah, my buddy and his friend are on their way now to climb it." Huh?!?!?!?!?

Please folks, "nature" has nothing to do with it. The Gunks is an outdoor climbing gym. A very pleasant and enjoyable place but very far from any slight scent of a natural experience.

And please don't insult my intelligence and the untold lurking hordes and the very, very, very many of frequent Gunks climbers who never log in to by advancing the "loose rock" argument. You are either naive, delusional or believe we can be deluded; or perhaps an incredibly wonderful, other dimensional combination of all three.

Stripped of all the BS there are two opposing camps on this one. Please don't muddy the waters with any horse-pucky, in-between crap. On one side there are those that believe it is their right to rap and top rope one of most classic lines at the Gunks whenever they choose to do so. On the other side are those who believe it is their right to lead and follow the line to the top and get down by the "incredibly arduous" 10 minute walk off, after, if necessary waiting in a queue of like-minded individuals to do so.

Like Rich, who despite his clever rhetorical gambit of suggesting a rap anchor over Hether, I am resolved to the fact that the anchor will remain and folks will continue to TR off it for evermore, or at least for my lifetime. When confronted with a TR group dominating the climb I respond with "No worries" and move on to Plan B.

BTW, how old are the pins making up the anchor? My experience is limited but I have seen a pin, vintage undetermined but "old", snap on a lead fall. I have on one occasion pulled out a pin , vintage undetermined, with my forefinger and thumb that on the surface looked good but was rusted out. It is now sitting on my bookcase as I type this.

If by some strange chance I have not made myself clear enough in the above please PM me so we might arrange to meet at the Otter or Gail's backyard to further discuss, on your tab of course, on my next trip down to the Gunks.


#65261 - 06/05/12 02:30 AM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: Rickster]
whatthegunks Offline

Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 134
Loc: High Falls, NY
These three giant pins are bombproof even without the funky cam litter. The webbing that combines the pieces is supple and tied so as to distribute weight pretty evenly between multiple points (recently added blue "backup" runner aside, which is so short that it places the whole load on a single f'd up cam), and with a knot isolating the rings in a redundant common point. What is the big deal?

This anchor seems to come up over and over, it's weird. Over the last six years I've been in the Trapps maybe 150 days a year and out of those days I've visited the Frog's Head Area twenty to thirty times/yr. I do SoEO a dozen times or more a season, with friends, clients, bouldering, whatever, it's such a cool route! In all this time spent on or around this route I virtually never see people toproping it. On the other hand I was once beaned when a very strong and experienced local sent a golfball down onto my noggin' as I stood belaying a friend on Pas de Deux. I've seen rocks knocked down from there dozens of times.

It is so strange to me that folks get their panties so utterly bunched over this particular anchor when, to me, it makes total sense to have it. Even with a sixty you can rap to the little ledge on climbers left and have to down climb all of like four feet. Keeping people off the top of the cliff from Bunny over to Maria makes sense, it's a little crag with a ton of people visiting it virtually every single day from late March to early November. Pretending that it's some sort of pristine wilderness is nutter. I'm not suggesting we go cut the trees down, pave the base and grid bolting the wall but we shouldn't pretend the Trapps (especially this portion of it) is anything but one of the most popular sections of crag in the world and having good, safe and, yes indeedy, Convenient anchors makes sense.

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