Well, I must say that no good deed goes unpunished. I am sorry to have announced our little clean-up with a snide comment, but it is too late to take that back.
I'll let Rob speak for himself, but my motivation was to make the top a little safer since so many people in so many different arguments over the years about the SEO anchor have said it is needed because of the danger of rocks being knocked off. Assuming the truth of those many claims, including first-person accounts of being hit, I'm very comfortable with the assertion that our actions were not futile.
I've heard virtually no complaints about the ongoing stonework at the base of the cliffs, done to alleviate erosion that endangers no one, so it is bizarre to hear vehement condemnations of analogous efforts that might prevent injuries and even possibly save lives. As for the sarcastic cracks about what next, I think a water bar or two might be a good idea. If we are happy with all those stone escalators to the base of the cliff, what is the problem with securing areas at the top that pose a real danger to climbers below?
It should be noted that we did the clean-up after the SEO anchor had already been replaced, so our purpose couldn't possibly have been to prevent the replacement.
It has taken 71 years for the top to reach the state depicted in my "before" picture. Anyone who thinks that is all coming back after the next rain has a very different understanding of erosion than I do, but I guess we'll see. In any case, the idea that the stone-clearing work is "temporary" compared to a piton and sling anchor is pretty silly. They are both temporary "solutions."