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#64671 - 05/04/12 07:01 PM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: mummert]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Originally Posted By: mummert

Before anybody starts to believe that there's unanimous consensus in removing this anchor:

I enjoy the fact that the anchor is there. I have 70m ropes, and I like being able to run the two pitches together and get back to the ground. I also like to do the same on Welcome to the Gunks -- which also requires a 70m.

There is no question that many people enjoy their conveniences and are in no mood to give them up.

Quote:
Secondly, how many accidents would have been prevented in the past if the anchor wasn't there?

Rappelling and lowering accidents are distributed over all the anchors, and there has been an explosion of those accidents in, say, the last ten years. The fact that one has not happened in this particular location cannot be used as an argument for its inherent safety.

Quote:
Thirdly, all anchors in the Gunks are convenience anchors. Don't pretend that the ones you happen to use are somehow different than the ones others use.

No one is pretending anything. Once the bolted convenience anchors are there, most people are going to use them, including those of us who thought, argued, and still believe that they were, on balance, a bad idea. The discussion here is about adding a new set of bolts that seems worse than the already-existing bad ideas, and in that sense it is different.

As for chopping the existing anchor, my argument was hypothetical, namely, that if one were serious about safety, chopping the SOEO anchor makes more sense than replacing it with bolts.

Finally, when it comes to the convenience of lowering through anchors, a convenience that also makes top-roping through the anchors possible, one should note that the convenience for one party frequently creates an extended obstruction for a host of other parties who can't get on the route, with the result that the so-called convenience anchor inconveniences many more people than it helps. That's bad resource management.

And speaking of management, I think the Preserve learned early on that directing climbing traffic back down a route is a bad idea, and I doubt they'd make that mistake any more.

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#64672 - 05/04/12 07:23 PM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: rg@ofmc]
Dana Online   content
addict

Registered: 07/13/00
Posts: 619
Thirdly, all anchors in the Gunks are convenience anchors. Don't pretend that the ones you happen to use are somehow different than the ones others use.

One of my favorite internet points of view.

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#64674 - 05/04/12 07:32 PM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: Dana]
retr2327 Offline
member

Registered: 06/14/07
Posts: 108
On further reflection, I'd have to agree that replacing the sketchy-looking anchor with bolts might make things worse. A), it might make it more likely that climbers would assume a 60 meter would reach the ground (a stupid assumption, but it will happen nonetheless); and B) it will probably encourage climbers to set up top ropes on the climb.

For both of these issues, the very fact that the anchor now looks "untrustworthy" tends to restrict its use to those who are comfortable evaluating the collection of apparent mank.

Finally, if you get up there, are determined not to top out, and refuse to traverse over to something else, you can always leave a piece.

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#64675 - 05/04/12 08:02 PM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: jhurwitz]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: jhurwitz
I completely disagree with the argument of rap stations all being set up for 60 meter lines.


Just to be uber pedantic: the danger I see is the first-pitch bolts that are all lower-off-able. Not rappels. Use as "Lower-offs". From first pitches. Those are, thus far, all set up for <60m ropes.

Most climber-installed rappel stations, which are also mostly pins, fixed nuts, webbing around trees, etc., people know aren't necessarily 60m to the deck. I'm not saying those should be, either; usually climber-installed fixed stuff is determined by, say, tree availability, not height.

But all the bolts at ends of P1 ... you can lower to the ground. That's a mode a lot of people use, for better or worse.

Edit add - Jason, no offense meant, just trying to make my point very clear, and probably overdoing it. And thanks much for taking care of that anchor.


Edited by Julie (05/04/12 08:09 PM)

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#64678 - 05/04/12 09:11 PM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: Julie]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
I usually do Son of Easy O a few times each season and have always used that anchor over the roof to rap from. While it may look at little sketchy, upon inspection it is fine. I also think it is better than topping out and climb a few more feet on non descript 5.2 and chancing knocking down all the loose stuff up there. Permanent bolt anchors are great when there is no alternative or you are trying to save the abuse on a tree but I don't see the need here. Keep bolts to a minimum and only use then where necessary.

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#64679 - 05/04/12 11:07 PM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: Coppertone]
jhurwitz Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/04/12
Posts: 14
Loc: Stone Ridge, NY
Julie - No sweat. No offense taken or intended. smile Thanks for the clarification.

The next question as I see it is to seriously take a look at all the pins that need replacement. To be clear, not all pins require replacement as there may be gear placements next to or behind them. Some pins, however, would maintain the existing rating and help keep some popular routes from being significantly more dangerous.

A good example of this is Classic. The second pin is in really bad shape and I fear may just break off if it's removal was intended. Any thoughts? Perhaps this should be in a different thread?

Please name any other routes that could use pin replacement. I think that this is a good year for it!

-Jason

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#64680 - 05/04/12 11:46 PM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: jhurwitz]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Originally Posted By: jhurwitz


The next question as I see it is to seriously take a look at all the pins that need replacement...Any thoughts? Perhaps this should be in a different thread?

Please name any other routes that could use pin replacement. I think that this is a good year for it!

-Jason


Dave Lucander started a thread for this very purpose:

http://gunks.com/ubbthreads7/ubbthreads.php/topics/56950/Shawangunk_Anchors_Wish_Lists_#Post56950

The present discussion belongs there too, but too late for that now. It would be a really good idea to try to keep all such discussions in one place!

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#64681 - 05/05/12 12:49 AM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: worthrussell]
worthrussell Offline
journeyman

Registered: 04/11/10
Posts: 90
Loc: NY, Brooklyn
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2308
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I'm not going to get into the arguments, but two points:

1. Only the Mohonk Preserve can install bolts.

2. A 5.2ish traverse takes you over to the ledge with bolts over City Lights and, further along that ledge, bolts over Kama Sutra.


Well, 5.easy of some sort. And yes, the walk-off is short and easy, although a party that isn't competent on loose terrain, once they are over the top, can rain pebbles and bigger stuff down on parties below, making it questionable whether people should be encouraged to go all the way on this climb.

Once you are on top, I think there might be an option to rappel Baby, just to the South, or you can just walk a short distance North over to the multi-bolted ledge I mentioned above, in addition to walking back to the Uberfall or Radcliffe. If the party has a single rope and has to do two rappels, than it is probably faster, and at least no slower, to walk back to the Uberfall and then back to the base of Son of Easy O.

And of course, there is the possibility of climbing down the 5.0 Easy Overhang. BITD we all just soloed down it, but it can be downclimbed with protection too.


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Various iterations of that anchor have been there for at least fifty years; the idea that its presence had anything to do with lowering off is absurd. People belayed there because ropes used to be 120 feet and because communication with the second is very difficult if you go all the way to the top. Although the stance is now primarily used by climbers on Son of Easy O, it originally served parties on Easy O primarily.

If we are going to seriously advance the argument that climbers are incapable of making accurate judgements about the security of in-situ anchors and need bolts in order to save them from their own incompetence, then putting bolts in a position that would encourage lowering with ropes that might not be long enough is utterly indefensible. You can't have your danger cake and eat it too.

In view of the potential for dangerous lowering and the perception that climbing parties cannot determine anchor security and are unable to employ appropriate back-up procedures, it is obvious that the only sensible thing to do would be to clean those anchors entirely.

There does seem to be a problem with the extreme incompetence of so many parties up there. Yes, there are a lot of pebbles at the top. No, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should be knocking any of them off, but if that is the ultimate content of the safety concerns, then I'm with John Okner; the solution to pebbles at the top isn't bolts on the wall---send up a crew with a shop vac and clean the area up.

There doesn't seem to be any end to the demand for ever more convenience coupled with increasing fundamental mountain incompetence. Basically, climbers keep shitting on ledges and then when it's piled up to their eyeballs, they argue that an outhouse is absolutely essential. Since lowering and rappelling accidents are now among the primary dangers facing climbers, and since experience does not seem to be much of a hedge against catastrophe in these situations, anything we can do to decrease top-roping and rappelling will have positive safety consequences beyond what can be achieved by encouraging these practices with ever more bolted anchors.

The whole issue is moot, because, as Julie rightly observes, the Preserve will do what it will do. I think they rushed in to the bolting business without thinking through all of the issues and consequences and are now rather circumspect about adding more. They have put themselves in a position of having to inspect and maintain all their anchors in perpetuity and I don't think they are in a rush to add to that burden.


Originally Posted By: mummert

Before anybody starts to believe that there's unanimous consensus in removing this anchor:

I enjoy the fact that the anchor is there. I have 70m ropes, and I like being able to run the two pitches together and get back to the ground. I also like to do the same on Welcome to the Gunks -- which also requires a 70m.

There is no question that many people enjoy their conveniences and are in no mood to give them up.

Quote:
Secondly, how many accidents would have been prevented in the past if the anchor wasn't there?

Rappelling and lowering accidents are distributed over all the anchors, and there has been an explosion of those accidents in, say, the last ten years. The fact that one has not happened in this particular location cannot be used as an argument for its inherent safety.

Quote:
Thirdly, all anchors in the Gunks are convenience anchors. Don't pretend that the ones you happen to use are somehow different than the ones others use.

No one is pretending anything. Once the bolted convenience anchors are there, most people are going to use them, including those of us who thought, argued, and still believe that they were, on balance, a bad idea. The discussion here is about adding a new set of bolts that seems worse than the already-existing bad ideas, and in that sense it is different.

As for chopping the existing anchor, my argument was hypothetical, namely, that if one were serious about safety, chopping the SOEO anchor makes more sense than replacing it with bolts.

Finally, when it comes to the convenience of lowering through anchors, a convenience that also makes top-roping through the anchors possible, one should note that the convenience for one party frequently creates an extended obstruction for a host of other parties who can't get on the route, with the result that the so-called convenience anchor inconveniences many more people than it helps. That's bad resource management.

And speaking of management, I think the Preserve learned early on that directing climbing traffic back down a route is a bad idea, and I doubt they'd make that mistake any more.

Pooh Bah this is your idea of not joining the argument? I guess your love of inconvenience was what drove you to do so.

Kudos

I have been lashed by the wisest traditional inconvenient man i know. Hammers and Pitons and hemp ropes oh my!

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#64691 - 05/05/12 02:41 PM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: worthrussell]
retroscree Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
Some historical perspective in this discussion...
The original rationale the Preserve used for bolted anchors was:
* there were nests of tat/pins/irretrievable nuts on various climbs that many climbers were only doing the first pitch
* these were damaging some trees, like Jackie and Classic (although soil compaction was probably a bigger factor)
* these anchors regularly reappeared whenever they were removed
* the Preserve received a number of complaints about the visual blight (mostly from non-climbing visitors, the major source of income and donations)

So basically the original justification was environmental protection and removal visual blight. At first the Preserve started pretty slowly, with only 5 bolted anchors initially. Somewhere after that the number of anchors increased exponentially, accelerated in part by the Preserve's recommendation to climbers to not use the cliff top trail due to it's deterioration of compaction and erosion. Arguably that is when the greatest number of purely convenience anchors appeared as it morphed into a traffic management issue.

From a purely environmental view, bolted anchors probably do have the least impact. The ethical issues of fixed anchors is something else entirely.

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#64704 - 05/06/12 05:13 AM Re: Son of easy o rap [Re: retroscree]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Originally Posted By: retroscree
Some historical perspective in this discussion...
The original rationale the Preserve used for bolted anchors was:
* there were nests of tat/pins/irretrievable nuts on various climbs that many climbers were only doing the first pitch
* these were damaging some trees, like Jackie and Classic (although soil compaction was probably a bigger factor)
* these anchors regularly reappeared whenever they were removed
* the Preserve received a number of complaints about the visual blight (mostly from non-climbing visitors, the major source of income and donations)

I'd go with all but the last point. By and large, visitors can't see slings on the cliff and I don't think there was any hue and cry about that. There were, however, complaints about chalk on carriage road boulders.

Quote:
So basically the original justification was environmental protection and removal visual blight. At first the Preserve started pretty slowly, with only 5 bolted anchors initially. Somewhere after that the number of anchors increased exponentially, accelerated in part by the Preserve's recommendation to climbers to not use the cliff top trail due to it's deterioration of compaction and erosion. Arguably that is when the greatest number of purely convenience anchors appeared as it morphed into a traffic management issue.

You seem to be saying the anchors multiplied because the Preserve told climbers not to walk back? I don't buy that for a second.

I think the reason for rap anchor proliferation was the banning of parking on Route 44. This forced people to bring packs with all their stuff to the base of climbs, rather than returning to their parked cars by walking back along the top. With everything at the base, the motivation to rap back was strong and there was no longer any good reason to walk back along the top.

Quote:
From a purely environmental view, bolted anchors probably do have the least impact.

No permanent anchors have the least impact. Fewer permanent anchors have less impact than more permanent anchors.

Quote:
The ethical issues of fixed anchors is something else entirely.

Climbers use the term "ethics" when they mean adhering to or violating certain rules of the game. There is no question of ethics involved, but that doesn't mean the issues are trivial, since some type of voluntary restraint lies at the very essence of what climbing is.

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