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#69213 - 11/08/13 04:01 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: Lucander]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
IC it a totally different situation from the Gunks. One or two-pitch routes are rappelled from bolts from the top of the pitch, and the rappel routes basically go straight down the climbs. The climbs literally end at the bolts.

The problems we are seeing in the Trapps are the proliferation of non-bolted anchors of varying quality and longevity, a process that undermines the Preserve concept of established descent lines that would keep dangerous and frustrating two-way traffic on routes to a minimum.

Admittedly, the Preserve came upon the descent-line concept only after instituting an ill-advised bolting process that created two-way traffic. And it may be that additional descent lines are or will ultimately be called for. As it is, the original intention to decrease tat and make rappelling safer has been compromised by climbers' insatiable need for rap anchors everywhere they feel the need to descend.

One of the problems with the established descent lines is that they have to be found from the top, and we are told that except for a few "zealots," climbers don't think even a hundred yards or two of walking at the top "is a good use of their day off" because the time involved might keep them from "climbing another route." If such an astonishingly self-centered sense of entitlement really characterizes the general climbing population---which I seriously doubt---then there would be little hope for preventing the Trapps from becoming webbed with tat.

A much more likely explanation, which still involves a remarkable lack of curiosity and interest in any part of the environment that isn't graded vertical rock, is that climbers don't know how to find the descent lines and have no interest in figuring out where they are. This might be remedied by placing some cairns in locations that would help to locate the lines from above, but the cairns won't work if a significant number of climbers, who Lucander bizarrely classifies as the "non-zealots," are going to insist on throwing some slings around every tree at the precise tops of the routes so they can rap back down without the heartbreak of having to take a horizontal step.

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#69222 - 11/10/13 02:45 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: rg@ofmc]
cfrac Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc

The problems we are seeing in the Trapps are the proliferation of non-bolted anchors of varying quality and longevity, a process that undermines the Preserve concept of established descent lines that would keep dangerous and frustrating two-way traffic on routes to a minimum.


RG, I haven't climbed here as long as you have but I am quickly approaching my 30th season in the Gunks and during this time it seems that the number of anchors have remained about the same, perhaps there are fewer anchors now. Maybe I am fooling myself and I am not remembering things clearly, but that is my recollection. As a teenager learning to lead in the Gunks we never considered the descent because you could rappel anywhere because there were always trees with slings. My mentors taught me never to rappel off of trees without slings due to the damage done to the tree, but I still witnessed this being done. It also seemed that there were many more solitary anchors, such as a single sling on a small tree 30 feet up. With shorter ropes and no standard rappel routes people often came up short and just swung over to the nearest tree. It also seemed like there were more people getting off route or getting in over their heads back then, so there were more bail slings. Today, the difference is that the trees are all dying.

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#69223 - 11/10/13 03:39 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: rg@ofmc]
ianmanger Online   content
enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
The obvious questions then being, where should additional bolted descent lines be placed and what lines of argument might induce the Preserve to support a request for their placement?

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#69224 - 11/10/13 04:38 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: ianmanger]
Lucander Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 224
Loc: Stone Ridge, NY
A synonym for zealot is dogmatist, perhaps I should have used that term instead?

I posted the Indian Creek page to illustrate the difference between New York and Utah. Here, everyone has an opinion (and thinks its worth sharing) - that's why we have a 35 page thread on anchors. It's a quirk of our region, and it's probably not going to change. In Utah, they fix anchors and people thank one another for their time and money. That's Mormons for ya.

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#69225 - 11/10/13 06:24 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: Lucander]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Originally Posted By: Lucander
A synonym for zealot is dogmatist, perhaps I should have used that term instead?


What would be better would be to stop using straw-man arguments and snide ad-hominen references and try to have a rational discussion about the real issues.

Originally Posted By: Lucander
I posted the Indian Creek page to illustrate the difference between New York and Utah.


Seriously? In less than a minute I found the following four anchor ranting threads on MP. If I had the time and interest, I could probably post fifty.

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/what-is...050#a_106949186

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/geezer-wall-bolt-removal/106554912__1

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/wtf/106448057#a_106483193

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/the-low...335#a_105996831

My guess is that there is far more controversy going on in Utah than we'll ever see in New York.

Originally Posted By: cfrac
RG, I haven't climbed here as long as you have but I am quickly approaching my 30th season in the Gunks and during this time it seems that the number of anchors have remained about the same, perhaps there are fewer anchors now.


Chris, we are both operating on the basis impressions that, in addition to being intrinsically unreliable, are affected by our choice of locales, frequency of visits, and other sources of sampling variability. Perhaps you are right, I certainly have no hard evidence for what I'm saying about proliferation.

I agree there has been a decrease in what appear to be bail anchors, perhaps as a result of there being much more information out there and a lot less uncertainty. I don't think anyone puts a rope directly around a tree any more for rappelling. What seems to me to be on the increase is well-constructed anchors, in a few cases even cables, with no apparent thought about the the myriad bad effects of running descent lines straight down ascent lines, and clearly with no acknowledgement of often nearby bolted rappel descents installed by the Preserve.

Seriously, does anyone here think that the convenience of having a rappel route running down an ascent route outweighs the experiential and safety considerations for ascending parties and makes such routes preferable to walking a hundred yards to a Preserve rap line. Anyone? I'd really like to hear a rational argument for that position.

The founding flaw of this thread is what appears to be an intrinsic assumption that all anchors are good and deserve to be upgraded when they deteriorate.

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#69228 - 11/10/13 11:14 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: rg@ofmc]
Adrian Offline
journeyman

Registered: 03/12/09
Posts: 73
Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
The founding flaw of this thread is what appears to be an intrinsic assumption that all anchors are good and deserve to be upgraded when they deteriorate.

So what do you suggest? Leave an anchor alone if it's on an ascent route?

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#69229 - 11/10/13 11:31 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: rg@ofmc]
cfrac Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 462
Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc

The founding flaw of this thread is what appears to be an intrinsic assumption that all anchors are good and deserve to be upgraded when they deteriorate.


With some elbow tendonitis and a bit of free time I find myself once again sucked into the fray! Here goes:

Not all anchors are good, but if an anchor is fixed and used regularly it should be good and does deserve upgrading when it deteriorates.

The way it is now not everyone uses the preserve anchors to descend due to a variety of reasons. The other anchors are in a constant state of being cut and then soon replaced. As a result trees are dying and the anchors are often unsafe.

There was a college campus that built its campus without sidewalks. After a year of seeing where the students chose to walk by observing the matted down grass the sidewalks were built. The campus did not have the dirt pathways that appear on many college lawns.

In reading John Stannard's newsletter Eastern Trade I learned about the original dilemma of copious trails leading to the base of routes. After set trails were added this problem subsided. There were enough trails positioned and marked to establish a better way to approach the base. It didn't result in an infinite number of trails.

My point is that in order to save the remaining trees in the Trapps, the most commonly used rap stations should be replaced with bolts near, but off to the side of the trees and the ascending climb. They should be convenient.

The other option is to continue to argue that there should be no other fixed anchors besides what the preserve has installed and watch as the remaining trees die and perhaps have a few people die due to anchor failure.

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#69230 - 11/11/13 12:40 AM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: cfrac]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Originally Posted By: cfrac

With some elbow tendonitis and a bit of free time I find myself once again sucked into the fray!


Sorry to hear about the elbows. It seems the gold standard for rehabbing them is negative wrist curls. See http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3614 and http://www.drjuliansaunders.com/resources/feature_articles/dodgy_elbows/ .

Originally Posted By: cfrac

Not all anchors are good, but if an anchor is fixed and used regularly it should be good and does deserve upgrading when it deteriorates.


I don't understand the "fixed" qualification. Isn't every anchor under discussion "fixed?" I'm not sure I understand the "used regularly" qualification either. How is regularity quantified and what use thresholds apply?

In any case, I think you're proposing far too low a gate. If, as recently has happened, someone puts a rap anchor at the top of CCK, thereby creating two-way traffic on the route, there is still an excellent chance that it will be used regularly, but is it a good idea to have it in the first place?

Originally Posted By: cfrac
The way it is now not everyone uses the preserve anchors to descend due to a variety of reasons.


One of which is the proliferation of convenience anchors right in front of their eyes so they don't have to look for the Preserve lines.

Originally Posted By: cfrac
The other anchors are in a constant state of being cut and then soon replaced. As a result trees are dying and the anchors are often unsafe.


This is a non-sequitor; the constant cutting and replacing is not killing the trees. The presence of the anchors is killing the trees. Every day the anchor isn't there is a good day for the tree, so the more cutting the better from the tree perspective.

Originally Posted By: cfrac

There was a college campus that built its campus without sidewalks. After a year of seeing where the students chose to walk by observing the matted down grass the sidewalks were built. The campus did not have the dirt pathways that appear on many college lawns.


This was the original Preserve idea and it was not a success, probably for the same reason the campus experiment (if true) worked: people will usually try to take the shortest distance between two points. Other considerations of importance are not on their radar.

Originally Posted By: cfrac
In reading John Stannard's newsletter Eastern Trade I learned about the original dilemma of copious trails leading to the base of routes. After set trails were added this problem subsided. There were enough trails positioned and marked to establish a better way to approach the base. It didn't result in an infinite number of trails.


This would be an argument for set rappel routes and the vigorous discouragement of all others.

Quote:
My point is that in order to save the remaining trees in the Trapps, the most commonly used rap stations should be replaced with bolts near, but off to the side of the trees and the ascending climb. They should be convenient.


I'm not at all against saving trees, but I think the most important questions have to do with the creation of two-way traffic on popular routes.

In any case, what are the "most commonly used rap stations" and how is this decided? If a "commonly used rap station" is fifty feet from a Preserve rap line, should it too be replaced with bolted anchors? What about some regions that have a lot of climbs side-by-side? You won't be able to just put some bolts "off to the side" and keep the descenders from colliding with ascenders. If the station is "commonly used," does it get bolted anyway?

And "they should be convenient?" Who decides that? And when the "decider" fails to create bolted anchor, what will prevent the growth of anchors someone else deems "convenient?" Isn't that pretty much what's happening now, and if so doesn't your proposal solve little or nothing?


Quote:
The other option is to continue to argue that there should be no other fixed anchors besides what the preserve has installed and watch as the remaining trees die and perhaps have a few people die due to anchor failure.


Spare us the dire prognostications! Rapelling has been a major source of accidents in the Gunks and if you don't want people to die you should probably make 'em all walk back with the zealots and dogmatists. Moreover, I don't see why there are only two options. The Preserve could create more rap routes, or even without doing that could provide better information and marking for the ones that exist.

One thing I'm pretty sure of: if and when an "appropriate" number of fixed descent lines are created, if there isn't an outright ban on the creation of more anchors, nothing will change for the climbers or the trees.

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#69231 - 11/11/13 04:40 AM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: rg@ofmc]
mummert Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/16/99
Posts: 96
Loc: Danbury, CT, USA
Quote:
It seems the gold standard for rehabbing them is negative wrist curls. See http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3614 and http://www.drjuliansaunders.com/resources/feature_articles/dodgy_elbows/ .


In the last 3 or 4 years, there's been new studies on treating tennis elbow using Theraband Flexbars. It worked well for me, and I'll occasionally just pick one up while watching TV or a movie.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/25/phys-ed-an-easy-fix-for-tennis-elbow/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2971639/

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#69232 - 11/11/13 04:58 AM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: mummert]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Originally Posted By: mummert

In the last 3 or 4 years, there's been new studies on treating tennis elbow using Theraband Flexbars...


Oh yeah, I forgot to mention these, they provide another way to do eccentric forearm contractions. It's the eccentric part that is common to all the methods and that seems to be the secret weapon in elbow tendinitis rehab.

The trouble with the Flexbars is that they come in different strengths, so there is an initial question of which one to begin with, and then subsequent questions about possibly upgrading to stiffer ones. The advantage is that they are easily transported and make good conversations starters. Using either the homemade "hammer of Thorette" in the UK article or just the dumbells suggested by Dr. Saunders provides more fine-tuning ability and may be cheaper if you already have some of the weights around the house.

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