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#68328 - 06/14/13 07:22 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: Lucander]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Sorry you think I'm doing nothing more than running my mouth. It takes some time and thought to post those "runnings," and I do it because I care about the future of the Gunks.

As I said earlier, I'm pretty close to quitting this increasingly quixotic quest, so you'll have a respite soon enough. Perhaps you can even go back to discussing anchor status without any consideration of anchor appropriateness, if that was seriously your original intent.

By the way, everyone has "tenure" at the Gunks. No committee can vote you off the cliffs.

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#68329 - 06/15/13 12:27 AM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: rg@ofmc]
Lucander Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 224
Loc: Stone Ridge, NY
I'm a pedantic academician, junior faculty at a downstate community college. Maybe that clears things up...

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#68330 - 06/15/13 02:19 AM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: rg@ofmc]
kenr Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 36
Thanks to rg's suggestion, I just added a small segment of one of my climbing ropes to the tree anchor at the top of Beginner's Delight.

But it was a single-rope instead of the suggested half / double rope. And I don't know if that tree is disapproved for rappelling - (or if the tree about 20-30 yards southwest along the GT ledge from below it is approved or disapproved) - so Please may those with greater experience and judgment in there matters advise me about whether I should go back and remove that piece of rope.

I do know that with double 60m ropes it is possible to rappel from that tree all the way down to a ledge with a short easy scramble to the ground. I also know that it is then possible to have difficulty retrieving the double-ropes (fortunately I was able to learn this by watching another party).

Ken

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#68331 - 06/15/13 11:51 AM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: kenr]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
No trees on the GT ledge should be "approved" for rappelling. The resulting soil compaction will kill them. This is why many rappel trees on the GT ledge have already died. If you don't want to contribute to killing the trees rap from bolted stations, or climb to the top and walk off.

Luncander, RG is something of a historical treasure at the gunks. As both a junior faculty member and a comparatively junior climber, perhaps you will consider the wisdom of just being quiet and listening.

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#68332 - 06/15/13 04:42 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: Kent]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2467
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Why thank you Kent. If anyone out there aspires to the exalted position of historical treasure, let me assure you that there isn't a single good thing about it.

Even though I've installed or upgraded some tree rap anchors myself, I think it is a bad idea for the reasons Kent describes. The trees will be killed by soil compaction caused by climbers. Of course, it makes absolutely no sense to install bolts right next to the trees so that there is no relief of the trampling; this is one of several major defects of the Preserve's reactive bolting program. They let climbers, who by and large don't care about ecological impacts, decide where those impacts will be concentrated.

A number of people have said there is no solution to these issues. I agree that at this point we can't expect climbers to come up with any on their own, especially as the ranks of young climbers from the gym expand, since these folks, talented as they are, don't know what trad climbing is and tend to define it totally in terms of what type of gear is used for protection.

The situation is a bit like what happens with many kids growing up. They can be very picky about what foods they eat. When they get older, they "discover" all kinds of tasty things they wouldn't touch earlier in life. If these same kids got to determine food production in their early years, we might have little more than macaroni and cheese for everyone.

At this point in the evolution of climbing, trad climbing is more and more in the position of those tasty grown-up foods. If the people who know what it is and appreciate it don't advocate for its survival, the kids won't get to choose something different later on, because the "something different" won't be there.

In places like the Trapps, the only hope I see would be for the Preserve to intervene, a possibility that seems unlikely to me. I don't think the Preserve has any vested interest in preserving trad climbing per se, especially since one of the intrinsic ingredients in trad climbing is risk.

But one could speak of rational resource management, which we don't see at the moment either. What is needed is a sufficient number of intelligently planned bolted rappel routes to service the entire crag, coupled with an outright ban on any climber-installed rappel anchors. This would inevitably mean that some short walks at the cliff top would be required to access descent routes, and so might bring some more erosion to the top, although the descents could be planned so that most routes to them would be as slabby as possible and erosion-prone slopes and gullies could be avoided. All that would, of course, be part of planning the descents.

The choice to fully isolate the top from serious impacts is otherwise going to be at the expense of (1) the cliff base, which has already been severely impacted and which cannot, at this point, be protected, and (2) the trees on the cliff, some of which have already been killed by climber's soil impacts. I think descent routes and paths to them at the top could be planned with very little real impact to the top, but of course it's not as if I've made a careful study of it.

Of course, even with a ban on climber-installed rap anchors, such anchors will be created. But I think an official ban will mean that there will be many climbers willing to cut rogue anchors down, and so there will be enough control to keep the situation from getting out of hand, as it is now.

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#68333 - 06/15/13 09:34 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: rg@ofmc]
kenr Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 36
Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
The trees will be killed by soil compaction caused by climbers ... ecological impacts

Something I'm not getting here, likely because I don't know much about ecology or land management.

I sorta thought Ecology was about niches and species and populations and energy exchanges and other system interactions among all those. I had not thought that Ecology was much about individual trees -- unless it's a tree that plays a very special role (e.g. the first instance of a non-indigenous species entering a new niche).

I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of trees of the same species as the one at the top of Beginners Delight are on the Gunks ridge, but that species population is well-established, and I'm not getting how having one fewer individual organisms makes any significant difference in the Ecological system of the Gunks ridge, or why land resource managers ought to give any priority for worrying, warning about, or monitoring the Beginners Delight tree.

But that's just my non-expert guess.

Perhaps some climbers could worry that sometime after (or before?) that tree dies, they will no longer be able to use it as a rappel anchor.

Since I've walked off or away from the top of Beginners Delight several times (including immediately after I placed that rope segment), that result won't be a problem for me.

Ken


Edited by kenr (06/15/13 09:35 PM)

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#68334 - 06/15/13 11:16 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: kenr]
Rickster Online   content
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 843
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
In my mind, this discussion is about more than one tree. The Beginner's Delight tree is but the most recent example of what many have witnessed over the past decades. After 41 years of climbing, I don't climb much as of late, but it has still become evident that the cliff face is suffering the wear and tear of our repeated passing, the foliage along the cliff face (above, below and on the face itself) suffers the most. As goes the Beginner's Delight rap tree, so goes all the other rap/belay trees.

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#68335 - 06/15/13 11:30 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: Rickster]
TrappDyke Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/10/09
Posts: 80
Ken, I totally agree. Same goes with those damn birds. I could be climbing Coex right now (to the top of course) if it weren't for those little squakers. It's not like if we gave them the old boot of the ledge there wouldn't be thousands more somewhere NOT in the way of MY climbs.

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#68337 - 06/16/13 03:19 AM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: TrappDyke]
cfrac Offline
addict

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 462
RG: I think we both have the same aim, which is in preserving the adventure of climbing. Where we differ, I think, is how anchors play into the equation. I have many thoughts and opinions, but I don't have the time right now to compose a thoughtful response...too many irons in the fire!

Still enjoying reading the responses though!
CFrac

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#68338 - 06/16/13 02:59 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: Kent]
Lucander Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 224
Loc: Stone Ridge, NY
Originally Posted By: Kent

Luncander, RG is something of a historical treasure at the gunks. As both a junior faculty member and a comparatively junior climber, perhaps you will consider the wisdom of just being quiet and listening.


If you'll take the time to read the 20+ pages on this thread, you'll notice that this is precisely what I've done. I agree with RG on most of his points and don't bother adding my 2 pennies.

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