Shout Box

Who's Online
0 registered (), 17 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 2 of 39 < 1 2 3 4 ... 38 39 >
Topic Options
#57052 - 04/06/11 01:45 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: Lucander]
whatthegunks Offline
member

Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 136
Loc: High Falls, NY
I'm going to the Nears in a bit and will fix that anchor, I agree with belaying second with less rope out with crux moves right off the ground.

Top
#57061 - 04/06/11 05:45 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: Lucander]
ianmanger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
Originally Posted By: Lucander
What the Gunks: Nice work on that rap line...I hate using that thing. I'd lover my second from the GT to avoid both of us having to use it.



Well, IMO that should be pulled, not reinforced :-). There are other gear options close by and rapping in to this from the GT is yet another convenience line on a tree which we as a community really should be discouraging.

Top
#57064 - 04/06/11 08:05 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: ianmanger]
whatthegunks Offline
member

Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 136
Loc: High Falls, NY
I guess I was forgetting what that anchor on criss cross is like which is pretty lame; some small wires in opposition in a horizontal eight feet above a ledge with plenty of gear options. What that anchor is for is to top rope P1 and bail which I didn't feel like leaving anything new for. I thought about stripping it all together but left it as is.

I disagree with you Ian. The rap anchor allows for descent with a single rope and cord tied loosely (not the knot) around the trunk of a tree does much less damage than people walking/standing around. Soil compaction, which leads to erosion, is a much greater threat to cliff top environments than sling anchors. Better to finish route and rap than traipse around on ledges and cliff tops.

Top
#57076 - 04/07/11 05:44 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: whatthegunks]
ianmanger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
Originally Posted By: whatthegunks


I disagree with you Ian. The rap anchor allows for descent with a single rope and cord tied loosely (not the knot) around the trunk of a tree does much less damage than people walking/standing around. Soil compaction, which leads to erosion, is a much greater threat to cliff top environments than sling anchors. Better to finish route and rap than traipse around on ledges and cliff tops.


Which might be fine IF it wasn't predicated on people only arriving at that location from below. Instead it creates a new descent point that folks topping out on other climbs will gravitate towards i.e. foot traffic, tree damage and the problems you point out at yet another point on the cliffs. I'm all for reducing rap traffic on people ascending.. it would be nice if that could be managed more effectively given the crush on popular routes on weekends. I just don't agree that slinging trees for convenience is the solution. Plus I don't think a single 60m won't get you down from the top. You end up at that dangerous rats nest with the rusty time bomb pins.

Top
#57077 - 04/07/11 05:49 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: ianmanger]
Lucander Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 227
Loc: Stone Ridge, NY
The rap line for Dry Martini/Tequila Mocking Bird really has only one reasonable option - and that is the one being discussed. It's a good descent route, really goes over no terrain that is frequently climbed.

Walking left or right brings one through thick GTL forestry. Proceeding left, one would thrash his or her way a couple hundred feet to Overhanging Layback, which means one would rappel on top of Grave Yard Shift. Proceeding right, one would go towards Credibility Gap's top out - itself an adventure to get off of.

D.L.

Top
#57078 - 04/07/11 06:11 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: Lucander]
ianmanger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
Originally Posted By: Lucander
The rap line for Dry Martini/Tequila Mocking Bird really has only one reasonable option - and that is the one being discussed. It's a good descent route, really goes over no terrain that is frequently climbed.

Walking left or right brings one through thick GTL forestry. Proceeding left, one would thrash his or her way a couple hundred feet to Overhanging Layback, which means one would rappel on top of Grave Yard Shift. Proceeding right, one would go towards Credibility Gap's top out - itself an adventure to get off of.

D.L.


Well, last time I chopped that rap anchor (mentioned it in a thread a while back) I did exactly what you suggested. I don't recall any thrashing. It was a leisurely walk with time to smell the flowers. Why not just put a rap anchor at the top of every line if you want convenience? I know, you didn't suggest that, I'm just turning up the contrast so that we can see where this thinking leads..

Top
#57088 - 04/08/11 04:54 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: ianmanger]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I don't recall enough about these particular anchors to have a valid opinion, about the issues in this particular case, but...

After screwing it up initially, the Preserve quickly realized that placing bolts to eliminate the proliferation of deteriorating and unsightly rap anchors would end up being a never-ending task that would eventually bolt the entire cliff. What they turned to was the idea that a few well-positioned rap descent routes would serve the entire cliff and keep things from building up willy-nilly everywhere.

The idea makes sense, but doesn't seem to be working out in practice. Perhaps there aren't enough established bolted rap lines, or perhaps climbers will just never stop fabricating convenience anchors, with an extremely high standard of convenience being the norm; basically, as soon as I stop the delectable crux climbing on my route, I want to be able to rap immediately directly back to where I left my pack.

Ironically, the established rap lines appear to be falling into the same category as walking back along the top; too difficult, too time-consuming, and too inconvenient to utilize. Would things get any better if more bolted rap lines were added? It is hard to say, but I think that unless climbers begin to agree not to poop slingage all over the cliffs, there is little reason to be optimistic.

The existence of even substandard rap anchors seems to blind some parties to alternatives. This twig has slings on it, therefore we should rap here, and if the twig doesn't appear to be sturdy enough, then what we have is a rap anchor that needs to be improved, as opposed to one that need to be dismantled.

There is no intrinsic right to have a rap station where you want it. The cliff had virtually no raps stations anywhere for twenty or thirty years and somehow people managed to get up and down their climbs. Now the discussion is framed in terms of which stations are "essential."

The best way climbers could honor the Preserve's mission and the climbing traditions that have made the Gunks one of a dwindling number of trad crags in the US is to take the sternest possible view of added rap stations and cut most of them down.

Top
#57092 - 04/08/11 07:36 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: rg@ofmc]
whatthegunks Offline
member

Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 136
Loc: High Falls, NY
How long would it take before the cliff top looked like the cliff base if your vision of a return to the old days were to come true? I value your wisdom enormously, RG, but I think that you are not factoring into this the sheer number of people climbing. If climbers did not rap and instead walked off of each climb there'd be tens of thousands of laps walked across the cliff top, hundreds, reasonably assuming that folks would be doing at least a couple of routes each visit. This would decimate the fragile environment atop the Trapps. There'd end up being a spidery network of social paths that would result in whole sale erosion of the thin matt of top soil and death of blue berries and trees and all else.

Short of the Preserve dramatically scaling back the number of climbers allowed in to pre 1980's levels, the cliffs are going to be chock full of climbers and our attendant impact. Frankly, to take the line of thinking further, it WOULD be best if people simply rapped right back to their packs after doing their climb. I mean this from a strictly environmental stand point. Rap anchors on "twigs" aside, I am saying that the more people's activities are focussed in areas where they are not creating new impacts, established climbs and trails, the more that the Preserve's mission is being fulfilled. I'd argue too (devil's advocate) that gang top roping, hang dogging and all sorts of other sport climbing accouterments are as much Gunks traditions as walk offs, painter's pants and swami belts.

Top
#57093 - 04/08/11 08:29 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: whatthegunks]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I referred to walking back but did not and am not advocating it. Ever since on-road parking was discontinued, forcing climbers to carry everything with them to the base of the climb, walking back became impractical other than for a few routes near the Uberfall.

The lack of traffic up top has been a good thing for the environment up there, but a scenario, admittedly no longer a practical one, in which climbers walked to the base of climbs already equipped and did not return to the base would have distributed the population load over a larger region, making the massive erosion at the cliff base considerably less, and would have freed the routes from the fusterclucks imposed by descending climbers on ascending parties. Although we'll never know, I don't think it obvious that a more balanced usage might not have been better in the long term.

As for focusing impacts to keep new ones from happening, that was the Preserve's idea about established bolted rap lines, but seems to be happening is that climbers keep establishing new impacts by adding new convenience anchors.

One way of looking at this is that the Trapps is by now one giant impact and has already been sacrificed to the demands of convenience. With luck, the never-ending spread of these conveniences will help to create a generation of climbers with little or no interest in branching out to far more inconvenient areas that are now untouched by comparison.

But it is just as possible that populations will move out, and they will simply bring their current practices with them, so that newer areas will be almost immediately overrun with rap and toprope anchors; this is what happened at Lost City, and in view of climbers' overwhelming new tendency to foul their nests, I'm beginning to think that restricting climbing access to certain areas is a good idea.

As for the argument that sport climbing practices at the Gunks are by now as "traditional" as, say, having to construct your own belay anchor, something that a growing cohort of "trad" climbers are only marginally competent at, I can only say that traditions per se are of no intrinsic value.

What I think is of value is keeping the gunks as a place where future generations can still experience the best aspects of trad (as opposed to sport) climbing. There are fewer and fewer crags where this is possible; sport climbing, as Royal Robbins said, is the child that wants to eat its mother.

Top
#57109 - 04/12/11 01:45 PM Re: Shawangunk Anchors - Wish Lists and Updates [Re: rg@ofmc]
whatthegunks Offline
member

Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 136
Loc: High Falls, NY
Was it once the norm for climbers to leave the extras, the Gatorade, foot long deli sandwiches, chips, bars, coffee, extra gear, cell phone, novel, laptop, dog, hammock, cooler, GoPro video recorders, bouldering mattresses.... in their car? I find it hard to believe. Two friends casting off quietly, leaving as much metal and plastic and noise behind, for a day of adventuring in a vertical world? Sounds perfect, my personal favorite.

Yesterday a mutual friend said in reference to this thread, "his position hasn't changed". The thing is, climbing has changed. What has changed most is the fact that climbing has become a mainstream activity. Even ice climbing has become popular. There are more and more people coming out to the cliffs and their perceptions about the games climbers play are all over the place.

One thing that's stayed largely unchanged is the general herd mentality that the most climbers have. This idea that the Trapps are a huge impact zone, at least parts in particular, is completely accurate. Areas like Frog's Head, Mac Wall, Arrow, (the Nears north of Loose Goose), these areas have become a sort of vertical city park. Parks have lots of visitors that use them in a variety of ways and they get managed to support those different uses. Some folks are going to use the Mac Wall to get their uber athlete pump doing laps on Fly Again et al, others are going bumble their way up the a first multi pitch lead on Three Pines and another pair are taking MF to the top on their way to an "El Cap" day. This is current reality and a common thread here is that people are leaving their Winnebago (er backpack) at the base of the cliff and returning to it after one or a couple of pitches of climbing.

I don't know how many rappel anchors are enough, I mean they are all "convenience anchors" in the end. I do believe that anchors most commonly used should be bomb proof and be placed so as to limit impact on natural features and on people climbing below. Bad, poorly thought out anchors should not be placed or should be removed. Many of the most ridiculous anchors are not new but ancient relics that were dumb when they were created and have been backed up with one more strand over and over leaving messy lumps of crusty tat that are time bombs.

Dialogue on this forum, in the shop and at the crag will help to establish at least some consensus as to which anchors should be fixed and which should go.

Lost City and other more out of the way places will intermittently see more visitors in the coming years, hell it's barely more than an hour to hike to even the most far flung places. Keeping them free of trash, unnecessary rap anchors and out of print or digital guides is going to take effort. The Preserve has taken steps to limit the use of both LC and Bonticou by guides, allowing only one guide with two clients per service on any given day.



Edited by whatthegunks (04/12/11 01:46 PM)

Top
Page 2 of 39 < 1 2 3 4 ... 38 39 >


Moderator:  Mike Rawdon, Steven Cherry 
Sponsored