Son of easy o rap

Posted by: worthrussell

Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 02:08 AM

General question and I know I'm gonna take a beating for it but I'll ask anyway. Would people be pissed if the top of son of easy o had a bolted rap? I'm just curious if it would be frowned on ,clipped or hailed as a savior of life. The pitons and manky cams do not inspire confidence. I love the climb and warm up on it every time I climb. Just looking to get a general feling from the climbing community.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 02:56 AM

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.
Posted by: pitfall

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 03:01 AM

You can get even warmer by walking off. It only takes a couple of minutes from there.
Posted by: donald perry

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 03:07 AM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
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.


Yea, while worthrussell watched I got up there to make that traverse. It is not 5.2, at least the way I remember it. You can go left though and downclimb.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 03:49 AM

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.

Posted by: Dana

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 11:12 AM

Why have a bolted anchor there? It takes very little time to walk back to the Uberfall and then back to the Frog's Head access trail.
Posted by: TrappDyke

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 11:38 AM

I think bolts near the top of Son of an Easy O are an excellent idea, and long overdue. I also believe an anchor just below the top-out of Baby has become necessary. The tree anchor on Baby is pathetic and the amount of erosion caused by topping out on both of these climbs is much more harmful to the environment than simply drilling four holes in the rock. I'm sure if enough climbers asked the Preserve for anchors on these climbs, they(the climbs) would become the next candidates for new anchors.
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 01:05 PM

Why Dana? Really? How about because 99% of people lower off of that manky sling salad. Is that more appealing to you than a set of bolted rap anchors? Im well aware that you can walk around but alot of people don't. People run Son of easy o as one pitch and rap from that poor excuse of a rap station. It's a safety issue as it stands now and the bolts would be hidden behind the overhang. It seems like a no brainer but i guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion. TrappDyke i agree. I talk alot about these issues but never act on it. I will stop by the visitors center next time im up and find out about filing a formal request. Maybe even start a petition
Posted by: Cornell Climber

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 03:09 PM

Since nobody has mentioned it yet... that anchor is about 36m above the ground. You can just barely rappel it with a 70m rope and rope stretch. I'm not aware of any bolted anchors at the Gunks which require more than a single 60m rope to reach the ground or another rap station.
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 03:50 PM

You can rap to the ledge and join up with baby rappel 15 feet to the left
Posted by: SethG

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 04:28 PM

Are there other Preserve anchors just shy of the top of the cliff? Seems like a bad idea to me. I'd rather see the pin anchor cleaned. Let everyone top out.
Posted by: GOclimb

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 04:33 PM

Originally Posted By: worthrussell
Why Dana? Really? How about because 99% of people lower off of that manky sling salad. Is that more appealing to you than a set of bolted rap anchors? Im well aware that you can walk around but alot of people don't. People run Son of easy o as one pitch and rap from that poor excuse of a rap station. It's a safety issue as it stands now and the bolts would be hidden behind the overhang. It seems like a no brainer but i guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion. TrappDyke i agree. I talk alot about these issues but never act on it. I will stop by the visitors center next time im up and find out about filing a formal request. Maybe even start a petition


I really hope you're just trolling. Out of curiosity, where do you live, and how long have you been climbing at the Gunks?

I ask because you seem to be totally clueless about things like local consensus, the history of fixed gear at the Gunks, and the myriad issues involved. In short, if you want productive action, and not massive drama, you're going about things in exactly the wrong way.

Cheers,

GO
Posted by: TrappDyke

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 04:43 PM

Goclimb. I don't see anything wrong with asking the Preserve to consider this. And, since when is Gunks.com the consensus?

Seth G. Topping out means raining down rocks on everyone below. This is an extremely high use area in which the top of the cliff is being severely impacted by foot travel. Question. Do you top out on Laurel, or M.F., or Birdie Party?
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 04:44 PM

Originally Posted By: SethG
Are there other Preserve anchors just shy of the top of the cliff? Seems like a bad idea to me. I'd rather see the pin anchor cleaned. Let everyone top out.

A lot of loose pebbles up there. But I think your idea is better than bolts.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 04:48 PM

I don't think he's trolling -- I think this (desire) is the obvious progression from the appearance of bolted anchors where fixed anchors once were (or weren't).

I agree with Seth: I'd rather see the current crap disappear than have a fixed anchor there. You can still run P1 and P2 together - an anchor doesn't make that different. It just makes what you do after that different, and if you're any kind of experienced enough, you can handle it. If you're not experienced enough to efficiently handle it -- time to learn.

The biggest problem, though, is that lowering off of it requires a 70m rope. I know, that's the future of climbing and all (eye roll icon here), but -- around here, that's really begging for an accident. This is not a cutting edge sport area where 70m ropes are de rigeur. People would see a fixed pair of bolts, clip & lower.

I disagree, though, with the "this is consensus, don't question it" lashing. First, "consensus" is an ever-evolving thing, and convincing someone to keep the current consensus current requires ideas and reasons, not just "this is the way it is". Second, it's a private area, and we don't get a say over bolted anchors, so there's no sense in bringing out the drama over it. The Preserve will do ... what they want.
Posted by: SethG

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 06:57 PM

You won't rain rocks on parties below if you are courteous when you top out.

And yes, I do skip the manky anchor and continue with MF. I haven't tried pitch two of Birdie Party yet, but I think I will do the same on that one. Laurel sucks, I like to skip that one entirely.
Posted by: TrappDyke

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 07:24 PM

O.K. but since when are the weekend masses courteous. Also, even with the best intentions and skill it's almost impossible not to knock off a few rocks on that top out. Especially when it's dry.
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 08:05 PM

Go climb love a good troll but no I'm serious. This is a highly used station and it is unsafe. We can talk all day about topping out and 4th class decent or a 5.2ish traverse but the fact remains that most just don't use it. The way i see it there are 2 options one is to remove all mank pitons and cams and force the top out or create a safe alternative. Not a local I grew up in the Bolton Landing/ Lake George region and spend most of my time climbing in keene Valley. Im not a local climber. I've never bolted a route. What drama do you speak of. This is an internet forum about the Gunks. Is there a better way to discuss issues among climbing masse? Trust me I'm not the first one who has thought about this nor am i the last. where does local consensus matter? Its a private land preserve not State run. What history do you speak of would this be the first bolted achor? C'mon man be real
Posted by: Dana

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 08:26 PM

Calling Bill Ravitch, calling Bill Ravitch.
Posted by: Doug

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 08:31 PM

Of your options, I'd go with removing the fixed anchor if it is such an attractive hazard. I've done that climb a few times and descended a few ways, including the very short walk to the City Lights bolted anchor. I guess I just don't see the need to having a permanent anchor there, bolted or otherwise.

I guess I avoid the area when it's busy so I have no idea how often it really gets used. I've never seen anyone rappelling from it. I used it once (as one component of an anchor) when doing Easy Overhang with my girlfriend so we could remain in eye contact for her first multipitch climb.
Posted by: SethG

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 08:44 PM

I have never had a rock dropped on my head on Son of Easy O.

I have had ropes dropped on my head when I was in the middle of leading the first pitch.

Chop that stupid anchor, that's my vote.
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 10:16 PM

The reason you haven't Seth is because very few people top out. Id prefer rope raining down on me to rock.
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 10:16 PM

Originally Posted By: worthrussell
Go climb love a good troll but no I'm serious. This is a highly used station and it is unsafe. We can talk all day about topping out and 4th class decent or a 5.2ish traverse but the fact remains that most just don't use it. The way i see it there are 2 options one is to remove all mank pitons and cams and force the top out or create a safe alternative. Not a local I grew up in the Bolton Landing/ Lake George region and spend most of my time climbing in keene Valley. Im not a local climber. I've never bolted a route. What drama do you speak of. This is an internet forum about the Gunks. Is there a better way to discuss issues among climbing masse? Trust me I'm not the first one who has thought about this nor am i the last. where does local consensus matter? Its a private land preserve not State run. What history do you speak of would this be the first bolted achor? C'mon man be real


In light of all that, especially the bolded stuff, you might consider reading the history section in any of William's recent guidebooks and search out posts by Rich Goldstone (rg@ofmc here and rgold on rockclimbing.com) and learn a bit about the history and ethics surrounding fixed anchors and pro in the Gunks before suggesting yet another needless permanent convenience anchor.

If you really want to keep rocks from falling on heads, why not at the top-out bulldoze, terrace, grade, build a concrete wall, asphalt, and add a railing like at the top of Glacier Point in Yosemite?
Posted by: Doug

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 11:01 PM

Originally Posted By: worthrussell
The reason you haven't Seth is because very few people top out.


I'm not buying that. Like I said, I've seen folks on the climb but don't recall ever seeing anyone rap off from the fixed stuff. I've seen folks top out, and often see a belayer at the top bringing up a second when I am walking by the area on the cliff top. Maybe we are both experiencing confirmation bias. At any rate our anecdotal evidence cancels out.
Posted by: Doug

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 11:04 PM

Originally Posted By: Doug
Maybe we are both experiencing confirmation bias. At any rate our anecdotal evidence cancels out.


Since that is unsatisfying, I think I'll call the preserve and suggest they install some turnstiles along the route so we can have a more informed discussion.
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 11:28 PM

retroscree my comment about rocks was a rebuttle to Seth G. Both rock and rope rain down with frequency on weekends which is why i avoid the weekends at the gunks. I don't know anything about bulldozing the top and asphalt and all that jazz but it sounds like you and Donlad Perry are on the same page.DP is looking to start some sort of climber coalition. You guys could find private funding and go about this project while simultaneously contacting brain dead insurance agents to cover free soloing a grade down from your lead ability. My only point was that Son of easy O is a high traffic area and that people utilize an unsafe rappel to forgo a topping out and walking off or down climbing 5 easy o. I wanted to see what the general consensus was about installing a fixed rap anchor. I guess you fall on the other side of the debate.
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/03/12 11:50 PM

Originally Posted By: worthrussell
retroscree my comment about rocks was a rebuttle to Seth G. Both rock and rope rain down with frequency on weekends which is why i avoid the weekends at the gunks. I don't know anything about bulldozing the top and asphalt and all that jazz but it sounds like you and Donlad Perry are on the same page.DP is looking to start some sort of climber coalition. You guys could find private funding and go about this project while simultaneously contacting brain dead insurance agents to cover free soloing a grade down from your lead ability.

The key difference is that I like satire and parody and facetiousness...DJP is apparently serious in his suggestion.
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 01:09 AM

touch
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 01:12 AM

touch'e accented e but i apparently cant copy and paste the accented e.
Posted by: stoopid

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 11:48 AM

If the rats nest currently above the roofs on Son Of is acceptible, I don't see how removing it and installing streamlined rap anchors makes the situation any worse (ie - why all the resistence?).
Posted by: talus

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 12:53 PM

Originally Posted By: worthrussell
touch'e accented e but i apparently cant copy and paste the accented e.
"touch'e"
would this word count on scrabble and how many points would it be if the u landed on triple letter?

btw all you need is shop vac to clean the top out
Posted by: chip

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 01:56 PM

I have topped out and I have rapped off the fixed stuff both before it was upgraded to the current state and after. It all works and remains your choice. As a very popular climb, for good reason, I believe traffic flow would improve if it were one way with everyone topping out.
I believe the current anchor is quite solid and redundant, although on initial inspection I was skeptical. A bolted station is less confusing to noobs and should last longer but I do not think would be any more safe for the time being since it is currently adequate for potential forces of top roping and rapping. That said, please use your own judgement as to whether you want to rap/belay off of it.
Posted by: jtuscanes

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 02:23 PM

Originally Posted By: worthrussell
General question and I know I'm gonna take a beating for it but I'll ask anyway. Would people be pissed if the top of son of easy o had a bolted rap? I'm just curious if it would be frowned on ,clipped or hailed as a savior of life. The pitons and manky cams do not inspire confidence. I love the climb and warm up on it every time I climb. Just looking to get a general feling from the climbing community.


Worthrussel,
Unfortunately, I think the intention of the anchor in question, was for a 70m lower off / quick TR setup....for linking the cruxes of both pitches. Julie is definitely correct in saying a 70m is needed for the lower off.
Posted by: Doug

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 02:43 PM

Originally Posted By: jtuscanes
Unfortunately, I think the intention of the anchor in question, was for a 70m lower off / quick TR setup....for linking the cruxes of both pitches.


I don't think that was the intention - I'm pretty sure that anchor has existed in some form or other long before 70 meter ropes were reasonably available or common.

Anyone know who originally put it in and why?
Posted by: jtuscanes

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 02:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Doug


I don't think that was the intention - I'm pretty sure that anchor has existed in some form or other long before 70 meter ropes were reasonably available or common.

Anyone know who originally put it in and why?


I am pretty sure that was the intention when it was reestablished 6 or so years ago.
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 03:39 PM

Its a good climb as two pitches but linked up is fantastic. The anchor is okay as stands for son of easy o rap but not so if someone were to rap down easy o off of those anchors. Sounds stupid I know but I've seen it done and I don't care what anyone says downward as opposed to sidewise force is not good on the the suspect gear. I guess we can argue about it back and forth without end I just figured it's a high traffic moderate that gets alot of use. I thought it would be a good candidate for bolted rappel. Hell if it stays as is I'll keep using it. I just gotta made good on my rosary and attend church more than once a year.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 03:40 PM

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.
Posted by: Mark Heyman

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 04:04 PM

Certainly placing an anchors where 70m ropes are required at the Gunks is far more a hazard than a generally manky anchor. I don't understand why anyone would even consider of it, and that alone should be enough of an answer to kill any consideration of placing a permanent anchor.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 04:23 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark Heyman
Certainly placing an anchors where 70m ropes are required at the Gunks is far more a hazard than a generally manky anchor.


That's exactly right; with any kind of climber-placed anchor (slings, pitons, fixed nuts, etc) I think people do at least question whether they'll need 2 ropes or 1. With fixed bolts, I think it's almost inevitable that people would just clip & lower away without questioning it. Plunk.

--

The two consistent themes I perceive around the contemporary "ethics" or consensus in the Gunks are: consistency, and traffic management. By consistency, I mean both consistent with past and generally accepted practices, and consistency from route to route along the cliff. Notably, I also perceive a desire to *disregard* simple convenience, despite the "convenience anchors" (some of them might not be, but some just plain are) that the Preserve has installed. I think Rich is right in his perception that the Preserve started down a road and soon after, reconsidered that travel.

In terms of consistency, an anchor at 70m just ... isn't. Nothing else along the cliff is set for a 70m toprope or lowering. It doesn't make sense to me to say "well, 70's are the wave of the future" at the Gunks.

Consistency with the past also says: chop this anchor, manage your pebbles and/or TRing uses yourself, then walk off or rap elsewhere.

In terms of traffic management: there's a set of anchors over City Lights that is better management, in terms of seeing what you're throwing a rope over, and in terms of pebbles. There's also the line over Baby. And there's walking off. I don't see the need for an *additional* set of anchors over SoEO for traffic management's sake.

If it's there for TRing convenience, I think the general consensus is against simple convenience here.

These three are the reasons that I think the anchor should go.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 04:30 PM

And it's not an entirely moot point: while the Preserve does what it will, we as a community also can decide to chop an anchor or replace it with like materials; and to get together & clean up / trundle dangerous stuff.
Posted by: stoopid

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 04:43 PM

Not sure the preserve encourages chopping or removal of anchors, any more than they want people adding anchors. I would assume the gunks climber's coalition helps navigate these waters?

I can see the points made about the 70m requirement. Unfortunately the existing anchor/rap station being used can still be confused as a 60m rap. I know I thought it was a few years ago after doing Easy O (ending at the anchor being discussed, not realizing there was more climbing above), noticing after I started to rappel the ends weren't down, and moving left to the station above Easy O's first pitch. So what I'm suggesting is that the current setup is already being confused by some as a 60m rap line, and as far as I know no one has rap'd off the end of their ropes (yet). I don't assume as a Gunks climber that every rappel will get me to the bottom. Once into the rappel it's easy to look down the wall and see if your ends are down, assuming there isn't a line of climbers down there who can confirm it. It's just as easy to move left and get to the next anchors above pitch 1 of Easy O. To say it can't or doesn't currently serve as a rappel station with a 60m is false, since it already does.

So the conclusion by some in this thread is to remove the anchor but I don't see the reasons provided as bullet proof.

The route gets a lot of traffic. There are bolted anchors at the top of numerous climbs in that area (Frog's Head, Laural/Rhodo, Apoplexy, Jackie, etc) that primarily serve as top roping and rappel locations for those popular climbs. This request isn't a stretch.
Posted by: Lucander

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 04:48 PM

For what it's worth: a climber informed me a couple of years ago that he tried hacking the Son of Easy O anchor, he reported that the hardware was almost irretrievably stuck.

I've always done the route as a single pitch and belayed at that anchor. I treat it like a single piece, place two more, and bring up my follower. From there, we do a short roped scramble to the top and descend from any of the myriad choices nearby.

And if you think the start moves on Son of Easy O are slick now, wait until masses of top-ropers have their hands and feet on it...

Nothing much left to say after Professor Goldstone has already laid out a clear case on this issue.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 04:50 PM

Hey stoopid*, I'm not talking about rapping. I'm talking about clip & lowering. Every other bolted P1 anchor at the Gunks, you can climb, clip & lower on a 60m, which, like it or not, is how a lot of people climb. It would be a dangerous inconsistency to have one sole exception.

*sorry, had to ;-). No tone meant in reality.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 04:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Lucander
For what it's worth: a climber informed me a couple of years ago that he tried hacking the Son of Easy O anchor, he reported that the hardware was almost irretrievably stuck.


Well, the webbing can't be that stuck. Leave what won't come out, but remove the software.
Posted by: Mark Heyman

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 05:13 PM

For the record I dont see anyone arguing that a 70m station is dangerous also arguing to leave the current anchor in place, and most have explicitly suggested that it be removed.

There is no inconsistency here.
Posted by: mummert

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 05:47 PM


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.

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

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.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 05:57 PM

Mark, Stoopid was making the point that the station works perfectly fine when using one 60m to rap; and he also would like to see bolts added. In my understanding, he was ignoring the inconsistency of the "clip & lower from here!" signal that bolts send, and that is a dangerous inconsistency when those bolts need a 70m.

Originally Posted By: mummert
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.


That's truth.

As far as consensus -- I'm only expressing my own opinion, and also trying to point out what an "ethical" consensus might comprise in terms of reasoning.

I should also admit that one of my reasons for removing that station is to lower the amount of gang-roping that takes the route out of play for long periods of time. Not that I haven't done that myself, even.
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 06:06 PM

Maybe as a bit of a reaction to the recent death, there are multiple threads where "making things safe(r) for the clueless" is a recurring theme. Perhaps we should remember that even the National Park Service in places like Yosemite, Zion, Grand Canyon, Mt. Ranier, etc. is now making a strong point in their literature and signage:

"Your safety is your responsibility."
Posted by: jhurwitz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 06:28 PM

I'll throw in my vote : Leave the existing anchor and make it cleaner and safer (if necessary) using pins.

It does need some work. A year or two ago I removed two of the really crappy tri-cams (possibly an old pin as well? - I forget) on the right and added the right-most pin. Unfortunately, I didn't have a quicklink on me and threw in the multiple wrapped 1" flat webbing. I'd like to find a way to completely remove the useless crap that's up there like a couple of the old tri-cams. I don't believe that these should ever be bashed in to back up anchors as the webbing goes bad and it ends up being useless trash and in the way.

I'm okay with rap anchors being present to assist us in our endeavors and I prefer to lower off that station rather than climbing the extra 20' to the gravelly top and risk dropping rocks. I completely disagree with the argument of rap stations all being set up for 60 meter lines. Read a guidebook and/or take a clear notice that your ends are not on the ground. Perhaps your belayer noticed that you climbed past a middle-mark on the rope if you have one? If climbers are not paying attention to their systems, no amount of foresight in the world will stop them from, eventually, screwing up and hurting themselves or others.

That's my 2 cents!

If anyone has any ideas on the best way to remove the old dead-head tri-cams without damaging the rock, please offer them up. I've already tried using a wall hammer and removed the 2 old ones that way. My one thought was to drill holes in the aluminum and collapse and remove them. Not an easy task!

-Jason
Posted by: retr2327

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 06:52 PM

In general, I'd agree that climbers should be capable of topping out without raining stones down on those below. (By the same token, they should also be capable of using rap stations without rapping off the ends because they weren't paying attention). But for the top of Son of Easy O in particular, I'm not a big fan of having more people top out: it tends to turn into a gravel driveway up there, such that topping out, moving around, bringing up the rope, etc. without disloding various pebbles is a real problem even if you're really paying attention.

Given the number of people milling about down below (and the number of climbers who can't seem to avoid disloding stones even when it's easy), I'm not in favor of chopping the anchor and telling everyone to just top out.

Personally, I like the existing rap station just fine. I'd also have no problem with it if the powers that be wanted to put bolts there instead.

As for the length issue, climb on doubles; problem solved. (And yes, I know that's not going to work for everyone).
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 07:01 PM

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.
Posted by: Dana

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 07:23 PM

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.
Posted by: retr2327

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 07:32 PM

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.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 08:02 PM

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.
Posted by: Coppertone

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 09:11 PM

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.
Posted by: jhurwitz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 11:07 PM

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
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/04/12 11:46 PM

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!
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/05/12 12:49 AM

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.


Top
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!
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/05/12 02:41 PM

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.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/06/12 05:13 AM

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.
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/06/12 02:04 PM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
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.

True, but that was what Thom had told me.

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
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.

No, I think it was a lot of things all mixed together, but the desire on the Preserve's part to decrease cliff top trail usage was at least part of their stated rationale.

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
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.

Agreed, but again, I feel there were a lot of contributing factors. Theoretically the Preserve was installing anchors primarily for environmental reasons, not convenience for climbers. Arguably, convenience seems to have won out.

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
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.

Of course, but if you're going to have permanent anchors anyway....

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
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.

Trivial? Hardly. We're talking about two different ethical considerations: the presence/installation of fixed anchors, and what kind of anchor. The installation is certainly the larger issue.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/06/12 04:16 PM

Retroscree, we don't really disagree about any of this. As for convenience winning out, that happened because the Preserve mounted a reactive program that installed bolts where climbers had already created makeshift anchors, and the climbers goals were never about environmental concerns. Rather than thinking about location-specific safety issues and traffic management, the Preserve began by simply bolting the biggest slingfests.

The only other thing they could have done would have been an outright ban on climber-created rap anchors, which after all would have been a modest extension of the ban on fixed pitons. I actually suggested this, but it was clear they had no intention of injecting themselves into climbing practices in that way.

The net result, however, is the present profusion of anchors and the periodic calls for more bolting to make those anchors "safe." To me, it looks like a never-ending cycle in which the land manager is always behind the 8-ball and is never able to genuinely manage the situation.

And now, I think we are beginning to see a new phenomenon which, once again, is going to put the Preserve in a reactive position: the installation of cables on trees. Personally, I have a lot of concerns about this.

First, a cable is as much, in fact more, a piece of fixed protection as a piton and so ought to fall under the Preserve's fixed protection ban. Admittedly, fewer and fewer climbers have the competence to test and judge fixed pitons, but I don't think anyone has a way to judge the reliability of cables, neither whether the installations are reliable, nor whether the materials used are appropriate, nor the degree to which aging has affected the security of the anchor.

The idea that cables saves trees is probably nonsense. I don't think there is much in the way of science or evidence that pressure on a tree is destructive, unless the bark is both entirely encircled and strangled by slings grown tight because of tree growth. What kills trees is the combination of soil erosion and soil compaction created by hoards of climbers trampling the same spot, and cables do nothing to lessen this effect and might even increase it, since they provide at least the illusion of a more secure anchor.

This illusion of security and the official-looking nature of a cable means that it will have a distinct influence in traffic patterns, and the fact that climbers are just putting these cables in willy-nilly ultimately promises more congestion and unpleasant climber interactions with absolutely no benefit to the environment. I think the Preserve needs to get ahead of the trend and not repeat the errors of a reactive approach that characterized its bolting program, but that's just me.
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/06/12 04:38 PM

opinion for the "community consensus" or whatever that is

Bad idea
1) climb to the top, isn't that the point
2) most people will assume a 60 gets you down
3) perpetuate the clueless and convenience culture
4) unnecessarily permanent
5) don't add more rappelling down routes
6) many other descent options in that section
Posted by: fear

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/07/12 02:00 PM

One word.

Escalators.
Posted by: chip

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/07/12 03:02 PM

For argument's sake, one could attach a laminate card to the anchors on SOEO to let users know they need at least a 70m rope to rappel to the ground from there and to otherwise stop at the ledge and use the bolts for the bottom section.
Posted by: whatthegunks

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/07/12 03:13 PM

I have been beaned on the head by a rock falling from the top of SoEO. I was belaying a climber on Pas de Deux and an extremely strong and competent climber sent a few rocks down including a bit about golf ball size that smacked onto my helmet as if there were a target painted there. I have seen many rocks fall from this spot, they seem to be propagating and then lining up like lemmings.

Perhaps an anchor lower (so as to not need a 70) and off to climber's right (so as not to be attractive for TR) might make sense.

Climbing is too popular, too many gyms, too many guidebooks, too many people!

Now what?
Posted by: Coppertone

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/07/12 04:07 PM

Originally Posted By: chip
For argument's sake, one could attach a laminate card to the anchors on SOEO to let users know they need at least a 70m rope to rappel to the ground from there and to otherwise stop at the ledge and use the bolts for the bottom section.


Isn't part of climbing being self sufficient and responsible for yourself and your partner. We are now going to start leaving instructions at the rapel anchors for how they are supposed to be used?

Just got back from Red Rocks and on some of the climbs that we did things varied regarding gear used and the state of certain anchors from route descriptions in the guide book and on line. We were somehow able to complete the routes safely without incident and get back down. We did all that without explicit instructions attached onto the anchor. I realize that the gunks is not exactly wilderness, but if we continue to try to make things as easy as possible for people where is the self reliance and independence going to come in. This is rock climbing outdoors, its not a gym and its not saturday morning soccer practice.
Posted by: climbingbetty

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/07/12 08:14 PM

Originally Posted By: TrappDyke
O.K. but since when are the weekend masses courteous. Also, even with the best intentions and skill it's almost impossible not to knock off a few rocks on that top out. Especially when it's dry.


This is pretty worthy consideration. The amount and size of loose rock up there and the fact that the best trees to use for anchors are 5 or more feet back from edge means that your rope will be running nearly on the top of these rocks over the edge, potential turning a densely populated area into a shooting gallery.

Also is the issue that the top out is a slight bit slabby, making for potential communications issues with a climber stuck under the roof. The current manchor, being a bit more out on the bulge and directly over the roof is better spot to belay from from both that stand point of knocking rocks off and communicating with your second.

I think those inherent safety aspects are what has kept that anchor in use for so long despite its rattlely appearance and are things the Preserve should consider if it decides to take up the question of replacing the pins with bolts.
Posted by: schwortz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/08/12 06:38 PM

climbing is dangerous

suck it up or stay home
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/08/12 08:47 PM

Originally Posted By: chip
For argument's sake, one could attach a laminate card to the anchors on SOEO to let users know they need at least a 70m rope to rappel to the ground from there and to otherwise stop at the ledge and use the bolts for the bottom section.


Better yet, a stamped metal disc linked to the anchor, labeled with the correct rope length. Weather and wear proof. Possibly include the installation date, and initials of the installer.
Posted by: Coppertone

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/08/12 08:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Rickster
Originally Posted By: chip
For argument's sake, one could attach a laminate card to the anchors on SOEO to let users know they need at least a 70m rope to rappel to the ground from there and to otherwise stop at the ledge and use the bolts for the bottom section.


Better yet, a stamped metal disc linked to the anchor, labeled with the correct rope length. Weather and wear proof. Possibly include the installation date, and initials of the installer.


And even better why don't we climb the route for them, place all their gear and rap off for them so they don't have to do anything at all or have any responsibility.
Posted by: TerrieM

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/08/12 11:43 PM

I think the Preserve should hire English butlers to stand at the base, dust the dirt off the climbers shoes before they climb, and say(cheerfully) "Pip pip. cheerio!" as they head off. They wouldn't mention the manky anchor, or suggest a rope length, because well - that just wouldn't be the British way.
Posted by: fear

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/08/12 11:57 PM

English-only Butlers might be considered racist. You're going to need the full spectrum. Or was that speculum... I digress.

I have seen those little stamped metal disks on the Flatirons in Colorado. Generally on the most popular routes with blind raps. Can't hurt in the Gunks I guess if there's a particular tricky spot although it's not as if there are many 7 pitch full-length crazy complicated raps anywhere in the Gunks...
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/11/12 09:37 PM

Betty

Build an anchor where the fixed one is to mitigate your concerns on the crux. Then follow one of the many suggestions of how to do P1 and the rap.

I think a hip belay works well for the top bit and keeps your rope up off the rocks.
Posted by: mr.tastycakes

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/18/12 04:03 PM

Wow. I realize I'm a bit late to this discussion but I want to enter a firm "NO" vote for bolted anchors on SOEO. I truly can't believe that I'm hearing people advocate making this 2-pitch classic easier to top-rope. That area of the cliff is a goddamn travesty for the Gunks already, supposedly an area with a strict trad climbing ethic. There are bolted anchors all along the ledge with many gear-anchor opportunities (i.e. City Lights and Frog's Head). Guides and other inconsiderate parties gang top-rope those climbs all day, often just the first pitch...it's awful.

Also, I consider the easy upper face on SOEO a joy to climb. It's easy, exposed climbing with great rock and gorgeous views of the Hudson Valley. After the more difficult climbing below, it's a reward. Soak up the sun, take in the view, and run it out to the top of the cliff. Having a mid-climb anchor to lower-off right after the difficult climbing is so.....so sport climbing.

I'm not some hardcore traddie that shuns all bolts, even at the Gunks. Arrow? Fine. Sente? Fine. Yellow wall? Fine. Every time I see the smashed bolts on Clairvoyance, I'm a little disgusted that this gorgeous route has been marred (even though it's beyond my abilities). I just hate this idea in every way.
Posted by: fallenglass

Re: Son of easy o rap - 05/25/12 07:22 PM

I agree with Mr. Tastycakes.
Posted by: jhurwitz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/02/12 04:29 AM

Alright guys, I was at the SOEO anchor, again, today and took a close look at it. Here are my thoughts: A very nice and careful leader and follower climbed past me as i was at the anchor. As careful as they were, they still dropped some stones from the top and they very much tried not to. That said, i still think a rappel anchor is the smartest way.

There are 3 pins, 2 cams with triggers clipped, 2 dead tricam heads and 1 dead cam head (the old rotting purple junior on the left) with a poorly tied webbing and 2 hollow aluminum rap rings.

I like the idea of the rap rings as they can't be toproped. What I'd like to do is clean all of the old junk and replace the 2 pins on the left. The one on the right is pretty new and solid. When all is said and done, I think a 3 piton anchor with 3 quicklinks, new cord and rap rings would work. I'd also like to remove the clipped cams as they will just end up as junk like the old .5 on the left. The challenge is removing the old mank. I'm assuming I can carefully drill some small holes in the tricams and cams and collapse them. The bigger challenge might be removing the pin on the far left as it's REALLY in there. Does anybody here have a lot of experience removing these old relics without breaking them and leaving a useless placement? If so, I'd also be interested in your assistance replacing the pins on Classic. It's time!

I could really use some assistance on this endeavor. Though I've banged in and out a few pins over the years, I think that this one may require a master's touch.

Thoughts? Concerns? Assistance?

-Jason
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/02/12 11:11 AM

Your plan seems sound.

But, to what end?

I understand some folks regularly use this as a rappel anchor (I have), but too often one sees it being used for top roping. If this is to beef up an anchor for top roping SOEO? Than I'd say no. If all the mank were removed, pins and all, would any leader be able to establish a sound anchor without pins? If so, I'd suggest cleaning it all out and not replacing the hardware.

Eitherway, thank you for your efforts. One way or the other, I'm sure it will be far safer than it is now.
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/02/12 02:24 PM

jason great idea! do it. Some people will probably complain but the complainers will use it just as much, probably more, than you or I. Its a solid compromise.
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/02/12 04:05 PM

Originally Posted By: jhurwitz
If so, I'd also be interested in your assistance replacing the pins on Classic. It's time!

Remember that most of those old pins on Classic are soft iron. It will be difficult to remove them without breakage. This was done intentionally so that they both conform to the crack and are more difficult to remove.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/02/12 04:09 PM

I think it sounds like a reasonable plan, one that is within Preserve guidelines for you to do on your own without permission from anyone else anyway.

Any anchor there will increasingly be used to tie up the climb for toproping, either by using double ropes or as 70m ropes become more popular. I suspect that putting that much rope in a belay system will sooner or later lead to a broken ankle or maybe even an injured back when the follower falls off low down and hits the ground with rope stretch (this has already happened on Double Crack), but I have never set up any kind of top rope there myself so do not know what the rope stretch situation is really like.

I mention this because there is a practically endless cycle of problems once climbers stop protecting themselves and start down the road of saving others from poor technique, ignorance, and bad decisions.

I'd rather see no anchor there at all, together with some education about diagonaling over to the selection of bolts on the Frogshead wall, an option that avoids going direct to the top and dropping stuff (which shouldn't happen, but it is obvious that there are too many people who are either unwilling or, more likely, unable to set up the right type of belay and maintain enough focus to keep from rolling stuff over the edge.) I'm also realistic enough to know that a new anchor is likely appear there anyway if the current one is cleaned, so that keeping that spot clean would probably require an ongoing effort.

I'd be willing to help with anchor removal, but in still in the midst of a long rehab period after a reconstructed ACL operation, with the Fall as perhaps my earliest return to outdoor climbing. As for a "master's touch" in removing old mank, I'm not sure there is such a thing. Back in the day when we used pitons on a daily basis, we tested and clipped old mank and removed new chromemolly. The most sophisticated technique we had was the funkness device---if that breaks the eye, the old masters would be up the same creek as everyone else.

It seems plausible to me that if drilling and "collapsing" is an option for the tricams, then the same technique could be used on old angle pitons whose eye had broken. (Smaller thinner blade pitons such as the one in classic pose a more challenging problem.) What is needed here is a different type of master, namely someone with metalworking knowledge and tools. (What can you do with an acetylene torch?)
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/02/12 04:20 PM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
(What can you do with an acetylene torch?)

Shatter the surrounding rock? Convert old mank into blobs of melted metal?
Posted by: Mike Rawdon

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/02/12 06:33 PM

I am skeptical that a few small holes will allow the Tricam to collapse. Climbing alloys are generally very hard. I think a cordless Sawzall with a long metal-cutting blade will be required.
Posted by: schwortz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/02/12 06:58 PM

i say chop and clean the whole mess. dont go backwards.

chop chop!
Posted by: jhurwitz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/02/12 10:19 PM

Thanks for all of the input! Okay, my plan is to remove as much of the mank as possible and leave the space with 3 solid pitons with quicklinks equalized with a double hollow aluminum rap ring powerpoint so as to discourage toproping the anchor directly.

I cold certainly use some assistance on pin removal. Not my first go around on pin removal, though it is a bit of a lost art. RG, I understand you're not in shape for this right now, and I appreciate your willingness to assist if you were!

Anybody got a cordless sawzall I could borrow? I'm quite accurate with power tools. I've a strong background in jewelry and a fairly strong background in construction, etc... I WON'T DESTROY IT! wink

My wall gear (hammer and funkness and some of my iron) is traveling across country with a couple of friends right now and could use the loan of any other equipment as well to complete this task sooner than later. Anyone?

Schwortz - I don't see the point in removing an anchor that will be replaced within a week or two. I'd rather just get it right now and assist with maintenance over the years to come. I should have replaced many of these pins years ago, but didn't. I'm sorry about that!

-Jason
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/02/12 11:02 PM

Sounds like this is done deal. Though if one goes back to the first post and discards all the sarcastic replies, and other OT posts. The majority of the remaining posts lean more towards chopping the old pins and tat and not replacing.
Posted by: Dana

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/02/12 11:19 PM

You have explained your set-up and said it would discourage people from toproping. Is it realistic to expect that? Won't it be easy for people to find a way to set up TRs? Also, I think it would be good idea to get more of a feeling from the community before proceeding. As a previous poster noted, the general sentiment on Gunks.com seems to be against replacement.
Posted by: jakedatc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/02/12 11:21 PM

Don't use shitty rap rings. unfortunately not everyone knows the difference. if you are going to make a new anchor, make it solid. If not then get rid of it all and leave it empty.

edit: i agree with Dana. having a new anchor there will have people keep TRing it.

also from earlier, i belayed from that anchor and my 2nd fell and reached the ground on stretch. i'm not sure how far up he was to do that but it's definitely something to consider.
Posted by: wivanov

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/03/12 01:48 AM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
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.

Isn't it still used by parties on Easy O?

Originally Posted By: jhurwitz
Okay, my plan is to remove as much of the mank as possible and leave the space with 3 solid pitons with quicklinks equalized with a double hollow aluminum rap ring powerpoint so as to discourage toproping the anchor directly.

This sounds like a reasonable plan - except for the hollow rap rings, it has my vote. And I have no intention of TR Son of Easy O.

If there has been some iteration of that anchor there for at least fifty years and it is currently now all mank, why is it a "badthing" to clean up the mank and replace it with 3 good pins? Fifty years seems long enough to set a precedent. The anchor in it's current form is an eyesore, if not a hazard.
Posted by: jhurwitz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/03/12 10:05 PM

I hear ya guys/gals. Also spoke with some friends regarding it. Who am I to put in hollow aluminum to assist with discouraging TRing. I'll make it bomb-proof! I am considering using all steel cable and quicklinks. Otherwise, I'd use some sort of nylon and just keep replacing every year.

My concerns with steel cable is possible fraying and the inability of many climbers to recognize it as safe. Not everybody can identify crosby clamps setup properly and will feel the need to add a sling to make it "safe" to them.

Thoughts?

-Jason
Posted by: jhurwitz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/03/12 10:14 PM

As far as the the "not replacing it" sentiment goes : I completely disagree with this and it is just not reality. Anything I remove completely will be replaced within a week.

As far as the general sentiment goes : I'm asking far more people about this than just the few who happen to lurk on Gunks.com. The general sentiment is do it and do it right!

As to dealing with the Preserve, I've spoken with Frank and other rangers about this and other anchors numerous times in the past and I'm not going outside of their guidelines in any way.

-Jason
Posted by: Dana

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/03/12 11:39 PM

What did you mean in your last post when you mentioned "the few who lurk on 'Gunks.com?"
Posted by: Bill

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/03/12 11:56 PM

Chop it. Keep chopping it.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 12:46 AM

Sigh. I still think it would be better not to have an anchor there at all. Well, its the Trapps, they've already been sacrificed to the convenience gods. One can only hope that concentrating top rope/rap anchors there will give those who care more energy to try to protect other areas from degradation.

Personally, I hate wire rope and am one of those who will always back it up, at least for the first person down. I think something like 80% of the strength of wire rope is in internal strands that are subject to breaking under repeated flexing, but such internal damage cannot be detected by inspection---only the outer 20% of strands are visible.

As for crosby clamps, I know how they are supposed to go on (never saddle a dead horse) and have seen some examples of incorrectly installed ones. I also have no idea whether the installer correctly tightened the nuts with a torque wrench, and I'd have to consult an industrial standards sheet to see if the correct number of clamps had been installed. Finally, I don't think there is anything uglier.
Posted by: jhurwitz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 12:58 AM

Sorry Bill, no can do, though I do hear ya and understand where you are coming from. I secretly yearn for the cliff in it's most natural state, lichen and all, and the beauty and challenges of bonding with nature on it's own terms. That is not a reality as I'm about 50 years too late and chopping an anchor won't reverse time and change that. Again, it's been there for a very long time and it would be replaced soon after. It makes more sense to do it right.

Dana, what I meant by "...the few who happen to lurk on Gunks.com" was just that. Out of the many climbers who visit the cliff and the many who call it home, only a small percentage of them lurk around this site and actually communicate within this forum. Just because I'm one of them doesn't mean that I will take only those opinions offered to me from this forum and base decisions and "public opinion" on just this small group. I'm at the cliffs quite often and make it a point to speak with different climbers and groups (guides, locals, weekenders, visitors, old-schoolers, etc.) and gather opinions.

Dana, out of curiosity, why do you ask?

-Jason
Posted by: jhurwitz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 01:10 AM

rg, I do hear ya and I agree. The wire rope idea was brought up to me by a couple of others. I do know how to install crosby clamps correctly (background in building and directing ropes courses), but I feel that the negatives far outweigh the only positive that I can think of. Negatives being unsightly and unnatural (the main reasons I'm removing the other crap) and many user's inability to identify the solidity of the anchor. The positive being strength.

The truth is that one way or another, there will be an eyesore and unnatural anchor there with or without me. Time and MANY CLIMBERS have proven this to be true. My intention is to make it bombproof and as aesthetic as possible. To not make a decision is to leave the crap there and continue to use the old mank and it's somewhat poorly equalized nylon anchor.

What makes sense to me is to make the strongest anchor and maintain it as needed by replacing the nylon, etc... when necessary.

-Jason
Posted by: tradjunkie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 01:57 AM

If you are so certain it will be replaced within a week, why not clean the anchor and wait 2 weeks to see what happens? Clean the anchor this week. Let 2 weekends elapse. On June 18, check the route and post the status of the anchor site here.

If the anchor is replaced with some leaver nuts or something, then by all means put in a good replacement anchor on June 18.

If the anchor is not replaced, consider that a signal and listen carefully to it; report back to gunks.com and let 2 weeks of flame wars inform your decision.
Posted by: Dana

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 02:01 AM

Jason,

I asked about the "few who lurk" part of your message because it had the tone of being dismissive, dismissive of the people who posted with whom you did not agree. If you review what you wrote, it would be easy and not unreasonable for someone reading the post to come to that conclusion.
I don't know if that was your intent, so I asked in order to have my assumption confirmed or denied.
But the content of your posts gives me the impression (I'm being careful to add that it gives me the impression) that you feel that people who disagree with you are a small minority and you have a clear line to, and a better idea of what 'Gunks climbers want - and you seem to be basing that on several assumptions , e.g., you are out there all the time talking to a large, representative section of the 'Gunks climbing community. That assumes that others are not: how can you know that? Of course, you may be right - and when I say that I am not being patronzing.
The basic issue here is should there be/ should there not be a fixed anchor and we all agree it should be decided by consensus. In many ways I don't care; I've never used that anchor, and I climbed SOEO many times, the last time 2 weeks ago. But consensus building is not done by forcing a viewpoint or by slighting what people say and feel, and you have been doing that.

Dana
Posted by: socialist1

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 02:07 AM


Jason,

Many of us would *really* not like to see that anchor there, and this goes beyond the discussion had in this board. The main objection to removing and not replacing the anchor (beyond convenience), is the concern for the loose rocks above. How about instead, the anchor is removed and some effort is made to control the rock/erosion situation above? You (and others here) seem to be convinced the anchor will be back within a week. I am not so sure - most are to lazy/cheap to construct something they are willing to rap off. This is not as simple as webbing around a tree.

What do ya say, can we just try to see what will happen if its removed but not instantly replaced? If the anchor springs right back up as you claim, then have at it. Here's hoping for a less clutter filled, more free cliff.

Ross

PS - Thanks for your motivation and willingness to take action on this issue, few are willing.
Posted by: Valpine

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 02:42 AM

…just throwing my $.02 to provide a better idea of "general sentiment".

I find talk about aesthetics and a natural state amusing when one is referring to a climb on which one can often smell exhaust fumes from a state route that is spitting distance away. The natural state of the Trapps was forgone many years ago when the road was put in and then on top of that, a carriage road was built to provide even easier access to the "natural" beauty. Aesthetics as a reason to not have an anchor on SOEO just does not hold any water in my opinion. I view the area around SOEO as busy and circus-like. The absence of an anchor is not going to change that. Nothing is going to change that save a nuclear apocalypse and the 50 or so years that it would take nature to reclaim that area. I really see no reason to not have an anchor there and in my mind safety trumps no reason. I say have a good, safe anchor there that allows people to get up and get down quickly so they can beat the hordes to the next climb without worrying about showering rocks on the line of noobs waiting to get on EO.


So I'm not understood I'll add that I am a great lover of wilderness. When I want to find wild, natural, lichen-laden rock I don't go to the Trapps to find it. Don't get me wrong, I do love the Trapps for what the Trapps offers. When I want clean, dry rock, convenience, easy access and to get in a lot of great climbing without having to clean lichen out of my eyes for the next two days the Trapps is where I head to. Even when in the Trapps, if I want a more peaceful, natural experience I head down way past the Frog's Head area and visit Sleepy Hollow. When I want a wilderness feel and natural, dirty rock protected from convenience-seeking crowds by long, muddy approaches, I head north to the Adirondacks.
Posted by: Doug

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 03:10 AM

I thought the general idea on pins at the Gunks was to leave them in place until the are no longer viable. At that point remove them, if possible, and replace only if modern gear doesn't offer adequate protection in the vicinity.

So saying "it has been there 50 years" as a precedent to have it 50 more doesn't really seem relevant.
Posted by: tradjunkie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 03:35 AM

reading socialist1's post, a few thoughts:

1) my prior post seems, on reading it, that it could come off as smug or worse. My apologies; that should reflect on my poor, hasty, and impolitic writing rather than my personality, which has plenty of defects of its own. My point though is that there is little disadvantage in splitting your work plan across two dates.

2) I second socialist1's implied suggestion that perhaps instead of installing a new anchor, if you feel the need to keep working after removing the old junky anchor, that time and effort could be redirected to the clifftop environment, perhaps a nice log bar or two to approximate a decent root system to hold the rocks in place. Not as sexy as pounding pins while dangling from a rope but tackles the loose rock issue more directly.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 04:05 AM

First of all, I think there is a valid distinction between "local" esthetics and "global" esthetics. "Local" esthetics refer to the experience on the cliff itself, what the rock and the climbing is like. The concept of "natural state" makes perfect sense from the local perspective, whether or not there is a highway nearby or a crowd below. This has little to do with "wilderness experience" and absence-of-wilderness arguments are irrelevant here. Climbing on a cliff in its natural state is still a completely different experience than climbing on a cliff that has been modified for the convenience of those who will be either rapping directly down the route or setting up topropes on it. For these reasons, I don't buy Valpine's "global" argument that "esthetics" make no difference on SOEO.

Secondly, not all anchors are the same. It has become abundantly clear from the Preserve's early bolting mistakes that anchors directly over climbing routes are the worst in terms of the climbing experience, creating not only top-roping monopolizations but also two-way traffic on the routes. The SOEO anchor is an ancient belay-stance relic from a bygone era that has turned into a modern problem anchor. Ironically, only its present perceived mankiness keeps it from its full disruptive potential, something that replacing it with a more trustworthy version will fix.

I don't think there would any good argument for that anchor except for the problem of incompetent parties raining rocks down on crowds below. So the ideal solution, if it is possible, (I can't remember what the crack situation is like up there) would be to move that anchor over to the side, over Hether, which although excellent is not popular because of its more run-out climbing and non-boldface status in Grey Dick. This would eliminate top-roping on SOEO, which is otherwise sure to get worse if the current anchor is improved, would still provide a path back to the base for rappellers and so avoid the issues with the cliff top, and yes, would probably turn Heather, which is now "underused," into a top-rope route.

Some folks may say that it will not eliminate top-roping and rapping down SOEO, because people will reinstall that anchor too. I guess we'd have to see how that plays out, but I'd certainly be in favor of aggressively cleaning and re-cleaning any attempts to re-establish an anchor directly over SOEO if there is a perfectly good one off to the side.

Edit: Others posted while I was writing this and watching the Celtics win in overtime. I hadn't seriously thought about the potential for cleaning up the top so that it would be ok for incompetent parties to belay up there. That would be a better solution than my suggestion above, which might not be possible anyway if suitable cracks are not available.
Posted by: schwortz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 07:44 AM

Originally Posted By: jhurwitz

Schwortz - I don't see the point in removing an anchor that will be replaced within a week or two. I'd rather just get it right now and assist with maintenance over the years to come. I should have replaced many of these pins years ago, but didn't. I'm sorry about that!

-Jason


you're delusional if you think someone will continually replace a completely pointless pin anchor. that shit costs money, and most climbers who would want an anchor there dont know the first thing about nailing and dont own any iron. just chop the whole mess and be done with it. you're part of the problem or you're part of the solution in this case. dont go backwards.
Posted by: ianmanger

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 12:35 PM

That would be me. PM me.

Originally Posted By: jhurwitz


Anybody got a cordless sawzall I could borrow? I'm quite accurate with power tools. I've a strong background in jewelry and a fairly strong background in construction, etc... I WON'T DESTROY IT! wink

-Jason
Posted by: SethG

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 02:55 PM

I am still in favor of chopping that mank and not replacing it, if anyone's counting votes.

I question the utility of somehow cleaning the top. Isn't the problem that it's a drainage? Remove the rocks and after the next heavy storm there will be more.

Nevertheless since our ropes are long enough to reach the top I see no need for the anchor, and improving it will only yield more toproping and polish on what may well be the most popular 5.8 in the Gunks. It is a bad idea.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 03:18 PM

I think fixing up the top would involve real erosion-control measures; e.g. water bars and/or cribbing. Obviously, the Preserve would have to approve.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/04/12 06:07 PM

Installing water bars and drainage control of some kind above the cliff's edge would need some planning so as to not redirect the flow over another climb, belay stance etc.
Posted by: Bill

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/05/12 01:55 AM

Chop it. Keep chopping it. I don't buy for one minute the BS about the "loose" rock above. There is one reason and only one reason that anchor is where it is at and that is for top roping the climb.

I will not label as selfish those who occasionally set a TR on it and have multiple members of the party thrash and flail on it,thereby denying access to the those who wish to lead it.

I will however completely and wholeheartedly confess to my selfishness regarding being very mildly annoyed (sorry I can't muster more anger, I'm into the Zen thing) when I get the urge to lead it or to introduce someone new to the Gunks for whom I believe it will be a great climb for them to lead or to follow and find a rope hanging there. Particularly when I say "Whose rope is this? Do you mind if I head up it?" and someone eating there lunch down by Frogs Head says "Yeah, my buddy and his friend are on their way now to climb it." Huh?!?!?!?!?

Please folks, "nature" has nothing to do with it. The Gunks is an outdoor climbing gym. A very pleasant and enjoyable place but very far from any slight scent of a natural experience.

And please don't insult my intelligence and the untold lurking hordes and the very, very, very many of frequent Gunks climbers who never log in to Gunks.com by advancing the "loose rock" argument. You are either naive, delusional or believe we can be deluded; or perhaps an incredibly wonderful, other dimensional combination of all three.

Stripped of all the BS there are two opposing camps on this one. Please don't muddy the waters with any horse-pucky, in-between crap. On one side there are those that believe it is their right to rap and top rope one of most classic lines at the Gunks whenever they choose to do so. On the other side are those who believe it is their right to lead and follow the line to the top and get down by the "incredibly arduous" 10 minute walk off, after, if necessary waiting in a queue of like-minded individuals to do so.

Like Rich, who despite his clever rhetorical gambit of suggesting a rap anchor over Hether, I am resolved to the fact that the anchor will remain and folks will continue to TR off it for evermore, or at least for my lifetime. When confronted with a TR group dominating the climb I respond with "No worries" and move on to Plan B.

BTW, how old are the pins making up the anchor? My experience is limited but I have seen a pin, vintage undetermined but "old", snap on a lead fall. I have on one occasion pulled out a pin , vintage undetermined, with my forefinger and thumb that on the surface looked good but was rusted out. It is now sitting on my bookcase as I type this.

If by some strange chance I have not made myself clear enough in the above please PM me so we might arrange to meet at the Otter or Gail's backyard to further discuss, on your tab of course, on my next trip down to the Gunks.

Bill
Posted by: whatthegunks

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/05/12 02:30 AM

These three giant pins are bombproof even without the funky cam litter. The webbing that combines the pieces is supple and tied so as to distribute weight pretty evenly between multiple points (recently added blue "backup" runner aside, which is so short that it places the whole load on a single f'd up cam), and with a knot isolating the rings in a redundant common point. What is the big deal?

This anchor seems to come up over and over, it's weird. Over the last six years I've been in the Trapps maybe 150 days a year and out of those days I've visited the Frog's Head Area twenty to thirty times/yr. I do SoEO a dozen times or more a season, with friends, clients, bouldering, whatever, it's such a cool route! In all this time spent on or around this route I virtually never see people toproping it. On the other hand I was once beaned when a very strong and experienced local sent a golfball down onto my noggin' as I stood belaying a friend on Pas de Deux. I've seen rocks knocked down from there dozens of times.

It is so strange to me that folks get their panties so utterly bunched over this particular anchor when, to me, it makes total sense to have it. Even with a sixty you can rap to the little ledge on climbers left and have to down climb all of like four feet. Keeping people off the top of the cliff from Bunny over to Maria makes sense, it's a little crag with a ton of people visiting it virtually every single day from late March to early November. Pretending that it's some sort of pristine wilderness is nutter. I'm not suggesting we go cut the trees down, pave the base and grid bolting the wall but we shouldn't pretend the Trapps (especially this portion of it) is anything but one of the most popular sections of crag in the world and having good, safe and, yes indeedy, Convenient anchors makes sense.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/05/12 02:59 PM

Originally Posted By: whatthegunks
Convenient anchors makes sense.


Sure. But I see that as a "lowest common denominator" factor in decision-making.

It all depends on your approach to the decision.

I'd like to think decisions get made based on the factors I outlined way above -- consistency with historical precedence and practice, consistency across the cliff, overall people-management needs, "leave no trace" principles.

Certainly, the overall gist of what the community thinks should matter, but that's very difficult to really determine.

I'd like to think factors like convenience, or the sanitizing of all possible dangers, come in a distant third.

But ... the great world turns, and things stay the same.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/05/12 03:24 PM

I've already explained that the question of fixed gear on the cliff has nothing to do with the pristine wilderness concept; that is a straw man argument that both misunderstands and avoids the real issue.

The fact that the Trapps is "one of the most popular sections of crag in the world" is by no means a prima facie argument for installing convenience anchors. Rather, it is a test of whether appropriate management strategies can preserve trad climbing, or whether population pressures must inevitably overwhelm the genre and leave in its stead a bastardized version of sport climbing with gear, as is happening even on the great routes in Europe (for example, the NW face of the Piz Badile, done in 1937, now sports bolted anchors at every belay stance).

Maybe Joe hasn't observed top-roping there, but it is clear that other people have, and the thread includes a post from someone who likes to do it. As 70 meter single ropes become more common, the ability to top rope SOEO easily will increase and so will the prevalence of the activity.

As for what makes sense, "convenient" anchors like the one on SOEO don't make even a shred of sense when they send rappelling parties straight down the climbing route.
Posted by: OldEric

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/05/12 04:58 PM

Not sure in anyone is keeping a tally - plus as has been mentioned the denizens of this site are a minority of those that would be interested in the existence of this anchor - but my vote is to remove it. I can't really elaborate any more then what has already been said. It's a convenience anchor pure and simple.

I am no wheres as much a local as most who have posted on this thread but I have climbed SOEO dozens of times over the past 40 years and walked off the vast majority of those climbs. Simple efficient and fun. I always make a point about being careful concerning the rubble at the top and making sure my partner(s) are aware of it too.

In the past few years I have seen it being TR-ed a lot and would venture that the majority of the ascents today are of the TR ilk. As has been mentioned it is pretty frustrating to have a moderate G rated climb tied up by a bunch of self-riotous topropers.

I think focusing on things like self sufficiency, being aware of loose debris and the consequences and being courteous regarding leaders priority would go along way towards persevering the trad ethics that are about to go down for the count.
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/05/12 05:31 PM

Originally Posted By: OldEric
As has been mentioned it is pretty frustrating to have a moderate G rated climb tied up by a bunch of self-riotous topropers.

As in able to riot on their own? smile
Yeah, chop it and see if it's rebuilt in 2 weeks/months/years.
Posted by: johnm

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/05/12 05:50 PM

The gunks are crowded. Let's try to be friendly.
The worst thing that happens at the gunks is
hostility.

Unlike Bill, I think that there are many sides to
this. I don't really care about this one anchor,
and I don't think there's an obvious solution.
Removing the anchor won't stop the top-roping,
besides, top roping is fun.

RG's comments about putting an anchor to the side
seems good (so people don't rap the climb),
but people will then make a directional at the
current anchor if they can. And it would mean establishing
another anchor - heavens!

RG's comments that only incompetent parties knock
rocks down seems exaggerated.

If everyone walked off routes then people would
probably be complaining about the resulting
damage and debris falling. More incompetent parties
at the tops of climbs, eh? (this point has been made before).

I cast my vote for chopping and replacing the anchor
many times and everyone freaking out.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/05/12 07:09 PM

Originally Posted By: johnm
RG's comments that only incompetent parties knock rocks down seems exaggerated.

When I was guiding, I somehow managed, many many times, to take one or two total beginners on Easy O, belay them up to the top with all the piles of rope and other things that have to be managed, coil up the ropes and change from climbing shoes to walking shoes, and never have them or me roll so much as a tiny pebble over the edge.

If a guide and two rank beginners can manage this over and over again, then you're incompetent if you are knocking stuff over, I don't care how long you've been climbing and what elevated grades you crush.

Maybe we need an evening guide's clinic on how to pay attention to what the hell you are doing? It ain't rocket science.

But this is just a grouchy old rant. It is abundantly clear that we can't get climbers, apparently even "strong experienced" ones, to pay attention to what the hell they are doing. The only way to deal with this general incompetence is to either keep an anchor below the top or else work on the top to make it safe for the distracted masses.

Originally Posted By: johnm
RG's comments about putting an anchor to the side seems good (so people don't rap the climb), but people will then make a directional at the current anchor if they can. And it would mean establishing another anchor - heavens!

Heavens indeed---that's not what was proposing, which was to eliminate the current anchor and replace it with one over Hether (if the cracks for doing so are there).
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/05/12 08:36 PM

Everyone is due their opinion and the opportunity to voice it. But, I disagree w/ you on one point, it should be evident to you whether you're an old hand or a newbie. The worst thing that happens at the Gunks is people can be injured or killed. Thus the concern over anchors, regardless of the intended use or location.

Originally Posted By: johnm

The worst thing that happens at the gunks is
hostility.
Posted by: Bill

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/05/12 09:13 PM

Quote:
by a bunch of self-riotous topropers.


Yeah. Brings back some awful memories. One moment Eric and I are standing there minding our own business and the next minute we are swept up in a maelstrom of self-riotous topropers. Some of the bruises are still healing. I do believe Eric's recent surgery was a result of the beating we took that day, but then I might be wrong. I often am. grin
Posted by: schwortz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/06/12 01:20 AM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc

Maybe we need an evening guide's clinic on how to pay attention to what the hell you are doing? It ain't rocket science.


nice!

chop chop!
Posted by: TrappDyke

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/06/12 02:43 AM

R.G., the erosion is much worse now than it was even five years ago. I'm a very careful climber, have never been hurt, or hurt anyone else. When I top out on Easy O and rap Baby I pretend I'm a ninja so not to knock off one pebble. I'm not clumsy. I can walk a slack line, walk on my hands, and even balance a baseball bat on my nose. Despite my considerations and skills I've still managed to knock rocks off the top. In another ten years of traffic, the top out will be a completely eroded mess and the tree on Baby will be dead. How this scenario is better than placing two bolts completely baffles me.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/06/12 03:05 AM

TD, two bolts is not the question here and never was the question here, so there is nothing for you to be baffled about.

Surely you know that bolting would be a Preserve decision, and they are understandably reluctant to multiply the anchors they are already responsible for. In any case, I think they've learned enough not to put a bolted anchor directly above a popular route, so replacing the current SOEO anchor with bolts is an exceptionally remote possibility and rightly so.

Nowadays, the best way off of SOEO is to traverse over to the ledge with the City Lights rap bolts. This avoids the top and uses bolts already in place.

I did suggest moving the current SOEO anchor over above Hether if there are cracks available for that---by now I would have checked myself if my knee wasn't wracked up, but alas, I can't do that right now. That anchor location would keep people off the top, keep down-traffic from interfering with up-traffic on SOEO, eliminate SOEO top-roping, and open up Hether for top-roping, an excellent route that most people do not want to lead. Seems like win-win for everyone if it is possible.
Posted by: empicard

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/06/12 03:53 PM

I say we just pour concrete and add proper drainage at the top of the cliff.
Posted by: OldEric

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/06/12 04:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Bill
Quote:
by a bunch of self-riotous topropers.


Yeah. Brings back some awful memories. One moment Eric and I are standing there minding our own business and the next minute we are swept up in a maelstrom of self-riotous topropers. Some of the bruises are still healing. I do believe Eric's recent surgery was a result of the beating we took that day, but then I might be wrong. I often am. grin


I on the other hand - am never wrong. Spell check on the however..
Posted by: RangerRob

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/07/12 12:34 PM

Here is my two cents on the issue. The anchor is going to keep reappearing there regardless of what we want or why we argue one way or the other. Everyone makes good theoretical points, and I can see the logic in both sides. But the reality that we already know is that people are now used to there being an anchor there. If it is completely cleaned, then something else is going to show up there. for that reason alone, I tend to agree with cleaning up all the old mank, and reinstalling a good anchor with webbing as opposed to cables.

I do think organizing a work crew to go up and get rid of all those loose rocks would be the better community action. Yes, they will roll down with erosion and rain again, but they can easily be removed again and again. If that is the real danger, then why not deal with that, instead of the anchor? That's what is going to get a third party injured or killed, not the presence or absence of a convenience anchor. We don't have to do any labor intensive water bars or erosion control measures. We're not looking for a permanent solution. Yearly maintenance, (and really not that difficult at all) is all that is required to to keep the rocks from the drop zone.

Anyone want to go up there with me some afternoon during the week with a couple of bags and help me get that crap out of there?
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/07/12 04:28 PM

Why is everyone so convinced that it will re-appear? Other than guides, how many people climb it so many times each year that they need to spend their time and treasure building a permanent TR/Rap anchor?

Why would you invest in a convenience anchor for gumbies? its not like it is really performing a valuable public service like Dick's stairs.

Lets chop it a few times and see how often it comes back.

I dont know how effective the bag o rocks approach will be but if someone is concerned about safety, it makes alot of sense to solve the actual risk, not the anchor.
Posted by: Dana

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/07/12 05:07 PM

Rob, I sent you a message.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/07/12 11:02 PM

Me too.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/12/12 03:10 PM

@Jason, if you're looking for practice pulling pins: There's a way-old pin about 4' above ground level, something like 20' right of Twin Oaks. It's in the little mound in front of the cliff.
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 02:55 AM

Ive climbed Son of easy o around 8-10 times this season. I tend to use it as a good start for the day. I very rarely, if ever, see groups tring the route. Fact is whether fixed rapp anchors are in place or not the groups the wanna top rope will continue to do so. I as a new climber who doesn't have the wisdom of the old school ethics value safety over all else. All other points are secondary. Rebuild it, drill it and the old douchers who wanna top it out do so. As an added bonus they can rain rocks on the self righteous lazy top ropers who are just dying to drag their feet up the start and polish the start a little more.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 05:14 AM

Originally Posted By: worthrussel
Fact is whether fixed rapp anchors are in place or not the groups the wanna top rope will continue to do so.

That's nonsense. A fixed anchor will generate far more top-roping than if there is none there. In any case, this particular argument is now moot, because the original fixed anchor has now been replaced with a new one, in the same place.

Originally Posted By: worthrussel
I as a new climber who doesn't have the wisdom of the old school ethics value safety over all else. All other points are secondary.

Here's some of that wisdom: you don't get safety from fixed rappel anchors. If anything, they decrease safety by promoting rappelling, which has been a major cause of accidents recently. And this particular anchor doesn't even satisfy what passes for modern "wisdom," since it sends rappelling parties down the ascent route. But the arguments have been made and the anchor is back in business, so that's that.

Originally Posted By: worthrussel
...the old douchers who wanna top out [can] do so. As an added bonus they can rain rocks on the self righteous lazy top ropers who are just dying to drag their feet up the start and polish the start a little more.

Well, the old douchers are going to have to work a lot harder at raining rocks (not that they ever did). Here's what the top of Easy O looked like around 5 o'clock on Thursday:



and here's what it looked like an hour or so later:



Not visible is the fact that the ledge below the top has also been cleaned up. We're guessing this will last the season, but maybe a little work like this twice a year would be even better.

As the thread above reveals, this was RangerRob's idea, who, although not an old doucher, seems to have enough wisdom to realize that the best way to fix a problem is to...fix the problem. The good ranger and I needed perhaps a bit over an hour to do this work plus the cleanup of the ledge below that can't be seen in the photos. It ain't that hard, folks.

Note: no lazy self-righteous top-ropers were harmed during this cleanup, because we didn't knock anything off.
Posted by: Frank Florence

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 08:20 AM

To the old doucher and young doucher-in-training:

Rich and Rob, thank you.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 12:01 PM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc

Here's what the top of Easy O looked like around 5 o'clock on Thursday:



and here's what it looked like an hour or so later:




That's like night and day. Great work, now for a water bar and you may not have to do it more than once a season or two. Great job guys.
Posted by: sknowlton

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 12:34 PM

From this old doucher, thanks Rich and Rob! Nice work.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 01:47 PM

Major props, Rob & Rich. That's righteous stuff.
Posted by: chip

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 02:04 PM

Way to doucher that crap out of there guys!
Posted by: ianmanger

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 02:41 PM

Nice job, guys. Thanks a lot. It was a stellar evening for some cleanup work.
Posted by: wivanov

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 03:42 PM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc

and here's what it looked like an hour or so later:


^5 Nice Job!
Posted by: OldEric

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 04:49 PM

Good job. How did your knee hold up getting up there?
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 05:11 PM

OE, thanks for asking. My knee is ok for moderate trail hiking (and Uberfall scrambling) at this point, and it withstood carrying packs of rocks up to a level spot thirty feet higher up. Naturally, I'm suffering from the general deconditioning imposed by four months of reduced activity (and 68 years of living), I can't run or jump rope yet without pain (boo hoo), and I can't high-step in a climbing position, so I'm going to be on the injured reserve list for a while longer.

It was nice to get out with Rob and actually do something useful.
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 06:59 PM

Excellent work!
I fall into the camp of not having replaced the anchor, at least not there. Since this thread wandered to broader topics from time to time, take a look at this thread on Supertopo for some alternate perspective.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 08:11 PM

The Supertopo example illustrates that the discussion is alive and well elsewhere too. However, the circumstances are not quite the same. The unidentified Supertopo situation involved an expanding crack. Hence, a bolt anchor sounds like a very good idea vs. Lost Arrows pounded to the eye.
Posted by: TerrieM

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 08:28 PM

Thanks for the cleanup Rich and Rob!

Reminds me of an instance a few years ago. We were doing trailwork, with the griphoists and rockbars, working a long stretch of cliff base trail, and someone comes along, thanks us and *suggests* a project for us might be cleaning up the ledges with loose rocks.

Of course, it IS a legitimate project. Maybe it was just the suggester's delivery was off.... But the reply(not from my mouth) was something along the lines of "That's a great idea. Let's you go do that!"

The mouth dropped gape reaction was priceless.
Posted by: oenophore

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 08:30 PM

My knee is ok for moderate trail hiking (and Uberfall scrambling) at this point, and it withstood carrying packs of rocks up to a level spot thirty feet higher up. Naturally, I'm suffering from the general deconditioning imposed by four months of reduced activity (and 68 years of living), I can't run or jump rope yet without pain (boo hoo), and I can't high-step in a climbing position,

I feel your pain -- literally. frown
Posted by: Coppertone

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 11:09 PM

Nice work.

Great to see you were out doing some physical activity. When you are ready to test some light climbing just let me know.
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/15/12 11:30 PM

Looks great, nice work, well done. Glad to see we arent all like me. Talk is cheap taking time out of your climbing day is commendable. I'll have to try it, someday.
Posted by: TerrieM

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/16/12 10:59 PM

Trailwork is tomorrow morning at 9am, Worth.... wink
Posted by: Bill

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/18/12 02:45 PM

Thanks guys!

We ran up it Friday night and got a first hand look - nice work!!!
Posted by: empicard

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/19/12 05:17 PM

Well done, gentlemen. Curious how long before some rain brings it all back.
Posted by: TrappDyke

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/19/12 07:12 PM

Empicard, I think that comment is inappropriate.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/19/12 07:46 PM

Originally Posted By: empicard
Well done, gentlemen. Curious how long before some rain brings it all back.


Good question. It appears that, over the years since Easy O was first climbed, erosion has averaged roughly 1/3 inch per year on average (about two feet, as I remember it appearing, in 71 years). Of course, even if the average rate is correct, the rate for any one season could vary (and has varied) very considerably, both because of the frequency of human traffic and the severity of weather.

If 1/3 of an inch is in the ball park, the area isn't going to look like the "before" shot for several years, and our guess that the cleanup will last a season seems pretty reasonable.

Rick's comment about water bars is on target. At this point, the top is a water chute that will continue eroding whether or not anyone tops out. But the lay of the land will make the water bars drain over Easy O, which could create new issues. I think it would be well worth having folks who know something about trail-building assess the drainage situation and see if water bars are a good idea; they certainly are called for in terms of the erosion of the present terrain.

One of the things that became apparent is the debris from the top does wash over onto the ledges below. We did try to clean up the ledge immediately below the lip, but, having brought up only a short static rope, we couldn't rap further to clean ledges lower down. The fact that debris from the top does end up on lower ledges makes the top clean up a good thing even if people aren't going to top out.
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/19/12 11:28 PM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
But the lay of the land will make the water bars drain over Easy O, which could create new issues. I think it would be well worth having folks who know something about trail-building assess the drainage situation and see if water bars are a good idea; they certainly are called for in terms of the erosion of the present terrain.

French drain and a downspout?
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/20/12 12:55 AM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
Originally Posted By: empicard
Well done, gentlemen. Curious how long before some rain brings it all back.


Good question. It appears that, over the years since Easy O was first climbed, erosion has averaged roughly 1/3 inch per year on average (about two feet, as I remember it appearing, in 71 years). Of course, even if the average rate is correct, the rate for any one season could vary (and has varied) very considerably, both because of the frequency of human traffic and the severity of weather.


The rate of erosion may prove to be faster the "second" time around as the topsoil and foliage are already gone. Excerbating the issue is the removal of the stones from the drainage area, current rainfall will cut down much faster over that sandy surface.

Fortunately, the photos show that the trail is not cambered. Which means alternating the water bars to both sides will help prevent sending all the water over one cliff edge. The more water bars used, the greater the dispersal area and hopefully less erosion.
Posted by: RangerRob

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/20/12 02:00 AM

Originally Posted By: TrappDyke
Empicard, I think that comment is inappropriate.


Yeah you insensitive clod!
Posted by: Bill

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/20/12 02:04 AM

Quote:
The rate of erosion may prove to be faster the "second" time around as the topsoil and foliage are already gone.


I want to see the refereed journal articles to back up this surmise!!!!

More seriously, erosion and rockfall have absolutely nothing to do with it. It is a philosophical? or ethical? choice; rap off/toprope versus walk off? Absolutely nothing more. At least until someone chops it. Then you have no choice unless you want to build an anchor and retrieve it after your TR crew is done. And you know where I stand. Chop it and keep chopping it!

I assume all those who are so concerned about the danger of disloging rocks if they top out on SOE and thus rap from the "safety/thinking of others" anchor, never rap Baby and always walk off.

BTW - Three lurkers, who never or rarely post here, have complimented on my original post on this thread. Moral of the story: Post more often when fueled by 3 glasses of wine!!!!
Posted by: worthrussell

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/21/12 02:06 AM

Terrie when youre out i'll come. Grab me this fall. You gotta get up here to the dacks with Val this Summer. Temps are a little cooler and the crowds are non existent
Posted by: retr2327

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/21/12 03:15 PM

"It appears that, over the years since Easy O was first climbed, erosion has averaged roughly 1/3 inch per year on average (about two feet, as I remember it appearing, in 71 years)."

I knew you'd been climbing for a long time, but I had no idea it was that long . . .
Posted by: GOclimb

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/21/12 04:16 PM

I have no dog in the fight, but still, thanks, RG!

GO
Posted by: Bill

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/21/12 05:19 PM

Quote:
I have no dog in the fight


Oh come on Gabe! Can't you make one up and jump on in?!?!? grin
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/21/12 05:58 PM

Originally Posted By: retr2327
"It appears that, over the years since Easy O was first climbed, erosion has averaged roughly 1/3 inch per year on average (about two feet, as I remember it appearing, in 71 years)."

I knew you'd been climbing for a long time, but I had no idea it was that long . . .


55 years is long enough, thanks, let's not add any more time than necessary to guarantee I'm still alive.

The two-foot guess was from memory of the exposed root system of a tree just out of the picture next to Rob's feet, not from some seventy-one year old recollection of the land before time.



You can't see the tree, but the depth of the trough is partially visible on the left side of the photo.
Posted by: empicard

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/21/12 11:56 PM

what'd i said?
Posted by: RangerRob

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/21/12 11:56 PM

Wow Rich....I'm grateful you would flatter me so much!
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/22/12 12:20 AM

In your dreams Rob.
Posted by: Doug

Re: Son of easy o rap - 06/26/12 01:36 AM

I've lost track of it in this thread, but if the replacement anchor is meant for rappelling, I'd think a second ring or link on each quick link would be needed. As is, they lay flat against the cliff so I'm not sure you could thread more than one and still pull your rope after (or it would end up pretty kinked).
Posted by: wivanov

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/04/12 02:35 PM

Looks much better than the old tat. Thanks!



edited to correct img url...
Posted by: gunks

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/05/12 12:30 PM

When I climbed it on Tues. the anchor had a non-locking biner besides the single chain link. Looks like the biner is gone.
Posted by: wivanov

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/05/12 04:57 PM

Photo was taken Monday, July 2nd
Posted by: fear

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/05/12 06:53 PM

NOTICE

After 166 replies to the controversial topic of a rap station this thread is closed.

Please? sleep
Posted by: core

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/08/12 03:45 AM

RIP sweet mank, I will miss you.

Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/10/12 01:27 PM

wow that mank was ugly! but the old mismatched turqoise and red sling combination is a winner too...

so somebody removed the old crap, put in nice pins with quick links and then built that imperfectly equalized sling anchor? the craftmanship seems at different levels, doesnt it?

i think we should have a weekly photo of the most famous needless anchor in the gunks to keep us entertained smile

Just got back from Eldo, Lumpey and RMNP (Spearhead). I can see why people move to CO to climb, wow! I forgot what it was like to walk off a great climb. Although it was good to practice my 5th class downclimbing, we need to get out there and install more rap anchors!
Posted by: KathyS

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/10/12 05:12 PM

"so somebody removed the old crap, put in nice pins with quick links and then built that imperfectly equalized sling anchor? the craftmanship seems at different levels, doesnt it?"

The person who put in the nice new hardware put a neat and tidy equalized cord and rings on it. Some low-life swiped that cord and rings, so a 3rd party put new slings on it as best they could. Probably just what they had in hand at the time.

The fact that I know the history of this anchor says I spend too much time reading Gunks.com. :^/
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/10/12 05:43 PM

Originally Posted By: KathyS

The person who put in the nice new hardware put a neat and tidy equalized cord and rings on it. Some low-life swiped that cord and rings, so a 3rd party put new slings on it as best they could. Probably just what they had in hand at the time.

The fact that I know the history of this anchor says I spend too much time reading Gunks.com. :^/


Kathy, where was this "low-life" activity reported on gunks.com?

The blue sling is a Metolius Equalizer, a model I don't think they are making any more. It probably cost around $30; not exactly a throw-away piece of gear. No matter who installed it, it is surprising that they got the arm lengths so wrong. I guess the knot must already be pretty welded, otherwise I'd have thought the next party out would have retied it.
Posted by: chip

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/10/12 06:50 PM

From the picture, it looks like the central arm may be snagged and just hanging off the screw lock for the link. It might not be too far off if then moved to hanging from the bottom of the link, if that is the case.
Posted by: KathyS

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/11/12 12:58 PM

RG, I thought it was here, but I couldn't find it when I scrolled back. *Sigh* Memory doesn't serve me as well as it used to. It was a Facebook post. Sorry 'bout that!
Posted by: wivanov

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/11/12 01:48 PM

Originally Posted By: chip
From the picture, it looks like the central arm may be snagged and just hanging off the screw lock for the link. It might not be too far off if then moved to hanging from the bottom of the link, if that is the case.


Yes. Also, the masterpoint quicklink was resting on the ledge and providing some slack in the arms. I did not actually use the anchor. I just snapped a pic as I went by so I can't say for sure how well equalized it was.
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/12/12 05:20 PM

I didnt see the third arm of the equalizer at first look on my iphone. thought it was blue through two pins and red through one. do see the off kilter quicklink so i grant it may be better than it first appeared.

RG - how long has the equalizer been out of production?

Still trying to imagine the scenario when i get to three pins 30+ meters up and 10m of easy scramble to the top and decide that I need to build and leave an anchor...? mama bear at the top?

that is a couple less pieces of gear i need to carry next time i climb though since I do like to bring up a second from that ledge.
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/12/12 05:22 PM

Originally Posted By: KathyS
RG, I thought it was here, but I couldn't find it when I scrolled back. *Sigh* Memory doesn't serve me as well as it used to. It was a Facebook post. Sorry 'bout that!


the great SOEO anchor has an FB page? can i dislike it? smile
Posted by: jakedatc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/12/12 08:55 PM

wombat they still make it.. with a handy storage pocket!!

http://www.rei.com/product/837637/metolius-equalizer-with-built-in-storage-pocket
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/12/12 10:20 PM

Keep the Equalizer neatly stowed in the built-in storage pocket when it's not in use; storage pocket has instructions printed on the outside to help you set up a solid anchor

yikes
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/13/12 02:14 AM

The storage-pocket model is, I think, different than the earlier Equalizer, which had specially-reinforced clip-in loops which could themselves be clipped after installation.
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/13/12 01:35 PM

but did it have instructions to help you build a solid anchor? RG - i know that you might need a refresher
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/13/12 03:23 PM

Given how infrequently I use any type of cordelette, you have a point. Best to rap the route first and leave instructional sticky notes at the belays.
Posted by: kim

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/23/12 12:43 AM

After all this discussion, I just needed to add a remark. THANK-YOU. The new anchor is beautiful. Nice equalized chain. I like doing the climb in one pitch with a 70m and the anchor is perfect.
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/23/12 05:26 PM

there are chains now? Did someone take the cordelette too? wow

Kim - if you need the anchor than you like doing the first 30+m of the climb. i must go back and climb this again because a beautiful anchor is the most important thing on a climb and must only improve this excellent pitch.

RG - Guess you can change the sticky notes to how to top rope with a 70m.
Posted by: schwortz

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/23/12 06:37 PM

maybe its time to put one of these on son of easy o:
http://www.perfectdescent.com/
Posted by: fotovult

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/23/12 07:23 PM

Originally Posted By: schwortz
maybe its time to put one of these on son of easy o:
http://www.perfectdescent.com/



Dude if you put a collection box for this at the uberfall I guarantee you'd hit a hundred bucks by the end of the weekend.
Posted by: Coppertone

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/23/12 09:36 PM

I hear Otis Elevator was just put on retainer to add additional convenience to lazy climbers.
Posted by: retr2327

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/24/12 02:53 PM

"accomodates climbs up to 55' tall . . ."
Posted by: curmudgeon

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/31/12 04:56 AM

Damn, I left a biner up there today. It was camouflaged in all that new chain setup. Good thing it belonged to my climbing partner. grin

Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 07/31/12 05:53 AM

Only in the Gunks is there that elaborate a fixed chain anchor built from pitons instead of bolts.
Posted by: curmudgeon

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 01:17 AM

Bling and booty looking north. laugh

Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 01:34 AM

I'm serious. Why is this acceptable*, while if it were bolts, a lot of people would have their panties in a bunch?
The Gunks, like North Conway, is an area where the concepts of being a trad area have been mistaken and not tempered by rational thought.

*true, not acceptable to everyone.... for the record, I do not agree with the existence of that anchor.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 02:49 AM

Shall we review?

Problem:



Problem solved the old-fashioned way:



Problem solved the modern way:



Ain't progress grand?
Posted by: cfrac

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 03:17 AM

This was a problem too:

Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 05:39 AM

True enough cfrac, but it seems to me that the primary justification for that anchor was that it was too dangerous for those below for a party to go on to the top and avail themselves of any of the several nearby descent options, including two bolted ones (not to mention the walk-down and scramble-down).

That being the case, the real "problem" was indeed the one I depicted, and the "old-fashioned" solution would also have been the one I depicted---together with the permanent removal of the bad old anchor.

The "modern" solution was to ignore the real problem and instead fix a flawed and accidental solution by removing the bad anchor and replacing it with the lovely contraption now decorating the scene.

Preserve rules give climbers the "right" to do this, so I expect we'll be seeing more such things in the future.
Posted by: talus

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 11:27 AM

Really pitons with chains!?!!? that's just horrible! at least make it 2 separate points where you can thread your rope through instead of 1.
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 01:42 PM

I also opposed all that crap the first time but apparently there was "consensus" away from gunks.com that it was a good idea. That was back in the webbing/cord version. We have not heard here why it became chains.

I still dont get it
Posted by: ianmanger

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 02:33 PM

Consensus? Among whom?

I have a hammer.

Originally Posted By: wombat
I also opposed all that crap the first time but apparently there was "consensus" away from gunks.com that it was a good idea. That was back in the webbing/cord version. We have not heard here why it became chains.

I still dont get it
Posted by: cfrac

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 03:48 PM

Originally Posted By: ianmanger
Consensus? Among whom?

I have a hammer.

Originally Posted By: wombat
I also opposed all that crap the first time but apparently there was "consensus" away from gunks.com that it was a good idea. That was back in the webbing/cord version. We have not heard here why it became chains.

I still dont get it


The cordelette got swiped not long after it appeared.
Posted by: fotovult

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 04:26 PM

Originally Posted By: ianmanger
Consensus? Among whom?

I have a hammer.



Time to get all Hayduke on that b*tch.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 05:07 PM

There is no current mechanism for consensus among the very wide-spread Gunks climbing community. Anchor maintenance has been carried out by individuals with good intentions, based either on their own private evaluation of need and appropriateness, or perhaps in this case on a sample of a segment of local opinion.

When the current Preserve rules on anchors were formulated, the population and conditions were very different. Everyone carried pitons and hammers and knew how to use them. Now, only a small group of climbers have this expertise, and the vast majority of climbers rely on and sometimes supplicate these "masters" for fixed protection. Consensus used to be built in to the fabric of the activity itself, but now more and more climbers are in the position of theme-park users who expect and demand that the rides be properly maintained.

Population pressures are growing and the "climbing public" is swelling to include large numbers of people with little connection to and understanding of trad climbing or even basic outdoor values. There has been an accelerating shift in perspective, in which the conversion of our forests and lakes into gardens and swimming pools is viewed as a positive community development. Climbs are viewed as "community resources" which, like theme parks, have to be modified and maintained for the enjoyment and safety of the community. Natural challenges, part of the essence of trad climbing, are expected to be blunted when those features compromise the convenience and someone's perception of the safety of the "community."

In this environment, one has to wonder whether consensus is even an appropriate mechanism for preservation, or whether it might in fact be an agent of degradation, a polemical term I use advisedly, understanding that there are many who either welcome the demise of the natural state of the crag, or argue that it is already nothing more than an outdoor gym and so should be subject to an unlimited amount of further "improvements."

One of the problems with the interventionist approach has been the continued occurrence of unintended side-effects. As more and more reliable rappel anchors have appeared, there has been an upsurge of rappelling accidents, making the original safety arguments look preposterous in hindsight.

The accompanying elimination of walking back along the top has led to enormous impacts on the cliff base, these have led to massive construction projects in boulder field and cliff base, and in turn these improvements are now starting to lure non-climbers off the carriage road and up to the cliff base, increasing the impacts there even more and also, I suspect, adding a whole new set of issues. The accelerating impacts at the base and the new issues on the horizon make the Preserve position, which basically viewed sacrificing the cliff base as a good trade-off for preserving the top, more questionable than ever.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 06:04 PM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
There is no current mechanism for consensus among the very wide-spread Gunks climbing community.


Certainly not. Was there ever, though (this is an honest, not a sarcastic, question; I am honestly interested)?

I scrolled quickly through this thread and tallied what I perceived as responses:

Keep / maintain / bolt the anchor:
Worthrussell
TrappDyke
Stoopid
Mummert
JHurwitz
whatthegunks
climbingbetty
Rickster
wivanov
Valpine
JohnM
RrrrRob
Kim

Choppity Chop Chop Chop:
pitfall
RG
Dana
Seth
Adrian
Julie
Doug
Retroscree
retr2327 ?
Coppertone ?
Talus
Mark Heyman
Lucander
Wombat
MrTastyCakes, mmm
Fallenglass
schwortz
Bill
tradjunkie
socialist1
OldEric
Ianmanger
fotovult

**** if I have missed, misread or misrepresented your view, please accept my apologies, and let me know.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 06:45 PM

Julie, probably not, although the opportunity for consensus to grow "organically" was naturally greater when there were fewer people and fewer styles of climbing. Leadership made an enormous difference; specifically Stannard's amazing efforts to convert the Gunks to "clean climbing."

In the late 1980's, the Preserve held a series of climber forums to inform a decision about whether to allow climbers unrestricted bolting ability. (Of course, very sporadic bolting had already occurred, but a new onslaught was in the offing, driven by the best young climbers on the scene and made feasible by the arrival power drills.)

Those meetings didn't produce consensus, but there was a convincing majority who felt the Gunks should not become a sport-climbing venue, and since this surely agreed with the Smiley's philosophy anyway, the result was the current restrictions on anchor placement.

Those meetings were the first and probably the last time the Gunks community gathered to debate the future direction of the cliffs. I haven't heard anything in more recent years that would suggest the Preserve, in spite of its roots in Quaker decision-making, would even consider a replay of those times.
Posted by: quanto_the_mad

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 06:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Julie

I scrolled quickly through this thread and tallied what I perceived as responses:

Keep / maintain / bolt the anchor:
...
Choppity Chop Chop Chop:
...


Those not wanting to beat a dead horse:
QTM
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 06:55 PM

Quanto, hah! Sorry for beating the poor horse. I was just interested in what the actual numbers said. I was actually surprised at the total # (~35, more than "just the handful of the few of us who still come here"); not so surprised that it was about 2:1 against.

RG, what about the Appie / Vulgarian era in terms of cliff curation and consensus?

Two thoughts, both generalizations but: the late 80s was a) when you could still expect that a lot of folks would still know their way around evaluating and removing pitons; and b) before most fixed stuff had gotten around to being dangerously old. And c) pre- or peri- Aliens, of course.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 07:43 PM

Julie, You can count me in the chop group.
Originally Posted By: Rickster
Your plan seems sound.

But, to what end?

I understand some folks regularly use this as a rappel anchor (I have), but too often one sees it being used for top roping. If this is to beef up an anchor for top roping SOEO? Than I'd say no. If all the mank were removed, pins and all, would any leader be able to establish a sound anchor without pins? If so, I'd suggest cleaning it all out and not replacing the hardware.

Eitherway, thank you for your efforts. One way or the other, I'm sure it will be far safer than it is now.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 07:45 PM

d'oh, I can no longer edit that post. Apologies for my lack of reading comprehension, Rick.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 08:15 PM

Julie, it may be hard to imagine now, when we see so much climber impact everywhere, but in the Appie/Vulgarian days the cliff was big, climbers were small, no one worried about impacts---it didn't seem as if climbers' presence could have any impact---and "curation" (nice term) wasn't on the radar. The occasional tree was cut down and the occasional bolt was placed and no one thought anything of it.

To expound a bit on things you did not ask, I think the first climbing environmental movement was against fixed pitons; this was led by Chouinard in the late fifties and early sixties. The idea was that as much as possible, every party should have the same experience as the first-ascent party. Chouinard looked at the Alps and saw huge classic climbs with fixed-pin ladders from bottom to top, and felt strongly that we should avoid that type of degradation in the U.S. and most particularly in Yosemite.

The piton ladders were there because the soft-iron pitons of the day were hard to remove and in any case could not stand up to repeated placing and removing. So Chouinard developed his line of chrome molly steel pitons that could be placed and removed sometimes hundreds of times, and promoted the idea that climbs should be left free of fixed gear.

Ironically, this turned out all wrong. Climbing became more popular, and the constant placing and replacing of chrome molly iron did enormous damage to cracks, especially in granite. Placements in granite that originally took rurps grew to the size of 1.5 inch angles (and made free climbs out of aid test-pieces). The Gunks suffered to a much lesser extent because the rock here is much harder than granite, but we developed our share of piton scars as well.

The destruction of climbs brought on by the desire to keep them pristine was a totally unexpected and unintended side-effect of hard steel. Chouinard was once again one of the leaders, risking his livelihood as a piton supplier by embracing and promoting "clean climbing." Although never fully appreciated on a national scale, Stannard was one of the major influences in a process that asked climbers to give up everything they understood about protection and embrace a method they knew nothing about.

But the original clean climbing implements were primitive, and even Chouinard's masterful improvements left many cracks in the Gunks that couldn't be protected with nuts. And so to some extent fixed pins came back---Stannard himself made and placed the best ones---as a necessary filler for the protection gaps left by clean gear.

The next development was cams, followed eventually by today's small cams, together with brass nuts and ballnuts, which together make almost all fixed pitons unnecessary and raises the possibility, for the first time in the half-century since Chouinard's original vision, that climbs could be left pristine in perpetuity.

But that vision has been clouded by the advent of the battery-powered drill, which has made extensive bolting a practical reality, and has made the comfortizing of climbs a realizable goal of considerable appeal to new generations of climbers, for whom the challenges of a crag in its natural state may no longer be of primary interest.

Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 09:29 PM

RG

thanks for the last post.

Perhaps as a supplement to the saturday training sessions, we should have fireside beers with our esteemed predecessors. Maybe dropping some knowledge on those who have only known plastic and guides so far will help provide a new (old) perspective. A healthy respect for the climb might also help safety.
Posted by: oenophore

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 10:56 PM

RG's well-informed and thoughtful mini-essays in this forum provide food for thought. Now that this thread has been steered toward discussion of the impact of ever-increasing visitation of the Preserve by climbers and non-climbers, another issue comes to mind.
The Preserve has taken some small steps to ration visitation on the busiest days. One may argue pro and con about the desirability of such a policy. Shall only a selected subgroup be allowed in? Shall it be first-come-first-permitted-in? Each alternative may be deemed unfair for reasons that the reader can imagine. Note that even if every Preserve parking space is filled, there remains lots of room at the empty lot across from the Brauhaus.
Posted by: Mike Rawdon

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/02/12 11:08 PM

Bottom line - there is no consensus on this issue. Probably never will be. Attempts by each side to advance their viewpoint went around so many times I was getting a bit dizzy.

Unfortunate, but that's the way it is.
Posted by: talus

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/03/12 04:05 AM

i'm indifferent, just think a better anchor can be made. So a individual is responsible for updating these anchors, why can't these individuals just put bolted anchors in? That would be the right way for the trapps, plus pitons do more damage than bolts (well human traffic does the most damage).
Posted by: core

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/03/12 12:29 PM

Wow, a chain anchor on soeo...what a shame. That can be a nice place to belay, but it's a little embarrassing that it's come to this.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/03/12 06:23 PM

Two further thoughts on Julie's question about "curation."

(1) BITD, almost all climbers came to the activity through a progression of other outdoor pursuits. In other words, climbers were all outdoorsman (there doesn't seem to be an appropriate gender-neutral term for this; I am not excluding women climbers here) first and then climbers. This meant that, in general, climbers were attuned to and appreciative of the outdoor environment and inclined to protect it when impacts manifested themselves. The Sierra Club, for example, was started by climbers.

Nowadays, the many new paths to climbing that do not involve any kind of outdoor connection have changed the nature of the climbing population significantly.

(2) Thinking about the specifics of climber concern for the environment in the Gunks, it is clear in retrospect the John Stannard was a colossal influence, really a paradigm shift. I think the general climbing population was ready for to hear what he had to say because of the conditions mentioned in Item 1, but the fact is that no one really thought in terms of concrete action until Stannard took it upon himself to try to awake the environmental sensibilities climbers shared.

Stannard's first actions were simple: he rose early and picked up garbage. He didn't say anything to anyone about it, and there was no internet bully pulpit available. He just did it. People noticed, and soon there was a bunch of people doing the same thing. Stannard's quiet integrity had more force than all the combined hot air the rest of us have expended on the internet since then. He did the right thing. People saw is was the right thing. And they chose to do it too.

No doubt, Stannard's position as the leading Eastern climber of the day helped, and comments he has made suggest that he understood that. He used his fifteen minutes of fame, not to burnish his image or establish some legacy in the annals of climbing, not to enhance his income or support his climbing, but rather to help people realize their own better instincts, to the benefit of the crags he loved.

Many people know that Stannard moved on to try to halt the the piton destruction of cracks in the Gunks and, in the process, became one of the preeminent national figures in the move to clean climbing. Once again, in his favor---in the Nation's favor---was the fact that most climbers were then outdoorsman and so primed to hear a message of conservation. But Stannard did something unique: he published and distributed for free a newsletter, The Eastern Trade, promoting discussion and the idea and desirability of clean climbing. I recall that this cost him a few thousand dollars, which he absorbed as part of the price of protecting a resource he saw as both precious and threatened. In an astonishlingy short time, and rather ahead of the rest of the country, East coast climbers mothballed their pitons and hammers and set sail for the adventures of the modern era.

Soon, these events will be forty years ago. The majority of those who were around then have moved on to other things, including an afterlife if there is one, and the remaining few witnesses who are still climbing are, with luck, on their last decade. The influence of Stannard's vision has surely been diluted, first because neither his contemporaries or those who came later had anything like his ability to project unquestionable integrity and a profound concern for the climbing environment---sadly, we dropped the baton when he left, and secondly, because the audience of climbers is nowhere near as receptive to the messages he so successfully promoted years ago.

I am not suggesting that all has been lost; I used the term "diluted" advisedly. Climbing has entire new genres that didn't exist forty years ago, and with such a diverse population the kind of unanimity achievable in Stannard's time is probably permanently out of reach, and may perhaps no longer be desirable. The old farts may be on their last lap, but there are plenty of young climbers who still believe in Chouinard's original vision: that on every climb, climbers are entitled to experience, as much as possible, the thrills, challenges---and yes, the risks---of discovery that drew the first ascenders to the sport and to the route they established.

Long live the spirt of Stannard!
Posted by: DebLee

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/21/12 07:49 PM

"the rock here is much harder than granite"

Citation needed
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/21/12 08:05 PM

RG - thanks for the very intersting essay
Posted by: Smike

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/22/12 05:31 PM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
Shall we review?


Ain't progress grand?


Although you and RR efforts where with good intentions, the "problem solved" method will in the short term mitigate the rock fall hazards for those that chose to walk off, at the expense of an increase rate of erosion, which is the issue. Looking over that location many times it all appears that foot traffic is the original culprit to the formation of the run off, and subsequent drainage ditch.

Long and the short of it, do we put up with an anchor that at worse results in an eye sore (really only visible by us) or promote the continual walk off and erosion which results in more substantial change and deterioration of the natural surroundings at the top of the cliff?

I see no difference with adding anchors to mitigate cliff top erosion vs. moving around 100's of stones to create all the steps from the carriage road to the cliff base to mitigate erosion on the hike up. Why is the latter progress and the former not?
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/22/12 08:09 PM

Smike

unless i misunderstood, the motivation for the anchor was not to mitigate cliff top erosion.

Many suggestions were made for alternate methods of decent that wouldnt require walking off: nearby anchors on Frogs Head or Easy O, putting the anchor out to the right off the line of climbing, etc.

The justification was safety from rocks on the top with some votes for convenience.
Posted by: Smike

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/22/12 09:25 PM

The rocks issue is a direct result of erosion from climbers topping out (whether to rap off nearby anchors or walking off makes no difference) Mother nature didn't make that drainage ditch all by herself.

There are a few other noteworthy examples. (Gelsa is one that comes to mind)


What RG and RR did was temporary fix, until climbers stop topping out, and the soil stabilized, the rock hazard isn't going away.
Posted by: talus

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/28/12 11:19 AM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
Shall we review?

Problem:



Problem solved the old-fashioned way:



Problem solved the modern way:


I don't where but when this was first being talked about I made the most ridiculous comment i could think of and that was to bring a shop vac to the top of son of easy o.

To see that the top was cleaned off is just completely ridiculous. It's just a matter of time before more rocks end up in the same spot. so what are you going to do go up there every time it rains? Plus if you are talking progress then it just progress in the erosion direction.

What's next a retaining wall
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/28/12 01:42 PM

Originally Posted By: talus
What's next a retaining wall

Plus shotcrete, french drains, water-bars, and eventual recontouring of the cliff-top in that area. Anyone remember the concrete drainage channel (along with all the epoxy/fiberglass filler, turnbuckles and rebar) at the top of the Old Man of the Mountain (RIP) on Cannon Cliff? Maybe something like that.
Posted by: crimpy

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/28/12 01:48 PM

a nice laurel bush or some other native plant?
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/28/12 06:16 PM

i dont think that the people (RG and RR) who vacuumed up the rocks were the ones that were very scared by them in the first place. But I heard it was a really cook solar powered shopvac!

They can explain their motives if they care but it seemed what turned out to be a futile alternative to the fixed anchors that were created.

RR - maybe given your recent experience, you could fix some ropes to bring appropriate convenience and "safety" to the Gunks?
Posted by: ianmanger

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/28/12 06:50 PM

Futile?
Next time I don't knock rocks down from there when I top out, I shall remember that they performed a very good public service. At the time they also noted that it would need to be done occasionally. I doubt that we will need to erode the edge too far before reaching rock, so that's probably where we'll end up. Then there will be no need for a convenience TR anchor 10ft below.

Originally Posted By: wombat
i dont think that the people (RG and RR) who vacuumed up the rocks were the ones that were very scared by them in the first place. But I heard it was a really cook solar powered shopvac!

They can explain their motives if they care but it seemed what turned out to be a futile alternative to the fixed anchors that were created.

RR - maybe given your recent experience, you could fix some ropes to bring appropriate convenience and "safety" to the Gunks?
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/28/12 06:55 PM

Originally Posted By: wombat
They can explain their motives if they care...

I'd say RG did exactly that with his usual eloquence earlier in this thread.
Posted by: crimpy

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/28/12 10:38 PM

i think i saw a couple old guys up there throwing rocks at beer drinking teens...
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/29/12 12:28 AM

Now that's funny!
Crimpy, you owe me a new keyboard!
Posted by: crimpy

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/29/12 12:38 PM

ooh man....you got it.
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/29/12 01:12 PM

Ian

clarification of my "futile" comment:

It didnt stop the anchor
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/30/12 04:17 AM

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."
Posted by: wombat

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/30/12 06:28 PM

sorry Rich. I misunderstood the timing. I thought you guys did your labors pre-chains in an effort to address the cited problem and therefore make the chains unneeded.
Posted by: talus

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/31/12 05:25 PM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc

It has taken 71 years for the top to reach the state depicted in my "before" picture.


???? really geez didn't the shale for the gunks form 400 million years ago, so wouldn't those stones be collecting on top and falling off a little bit longer then 71 years. I'm sure by now your after photo no way looks the same to the present. Those were not sarcastic cracks Rich it was just more idiotic suggestions as to the one of cleaning off the top. I hope you weren't serious on water bar.

you're always right though just like the time of rapping into nesting peregrine chicks to take photos that ended up Not surviving.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/31/12 07:58 PM

Originally Posted By: talus
Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc

It has taken 71 years for the top to reach the state depicted in my "before" picture.


???? really geez didn't the shale for the gunks form 400 million years ago, so wouldn't those stones be collecting on top and falling off a little bit longer then 71 years.


1. The Gunks aren't shale. That layer is underneath, and so is not capable of creating stones at the top.

2. The geological birthday of the Gunks is irrelevant. The 71 years represents 71 years of human erosion, which is the source of the problem, otherwise there would be stones at the top of every route.

3. On the other hand, if it really did take 400 million years for those particular stones to get there, then the cleanup would be essentially permanent.
Posted by: talus

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/31/12 08:53 PM

1. Oh excuse me the quartz conglomerate was an overlay to the shale during the Ordovician age.

2. well thank you for that and literally paving the way.

3. maybe so in a vacuum
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 08/31/12 09:26 PM

There's always the national park service approach:



Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/01/12 12:28 AM

Loose rocks, stones, till etc. along the top of the cliff will be the work of the last glacial period about 10,000 years back, give or take, plus some natural erosion.
Posted by: cfrac

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/01/12 02:49 AM

Why not rope off the walk-off before it erodes away the soil layer so that vegetation can reclaim the gully?

An "Area closed for re-vegetation" sign has been used in other disturbed areas in the Gunks.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/01/12 03:29 AM

That's a good idea, but there's a problem with someone topping out. According to the stories of rocks dropped on people's heads, there are people who top out on EO/SEO/Hether. What is a climber supposed to do when the way back from the lip is blocked by yellow tape?

The "area closed for re-vegetation" sign would have to be at the base of the cliff. Maybe that would work...
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/02/12 05:18 AM

I'm saddened that John feels the need to attack me personally. He does raise an interesting question, suggesting that the cleanup would be very short-lived: "I'm sure by now your after photo no way looks the same to the present."

So I went up and had a look. It has been 11 weeks since Rob and I went up there. There have been a few rather severe rainfalls, including one last Monday, I think, when two and half inches of rain fell in 45 minutes---a perfect erosion enhancer. As it happened, there was a party topping out too, so it does seem that people are going to the top.

In order to have everything in one place, here is the original before and after with the present 11 weeks after.

Before:


Immediately after:


Eleven weeks after:


I'll let everyone draw their own conclusions about this. In addition to the lighting, please note that the framing is a little different---be sure to compare comparable parts. Whatever your personal conclusions, I think it is worth noting a few facts. Rob and I did not vacuum up the small stuff. We removed large loose rocks, many of which would kill someone if they were kicked over the edge. It is fairly clear in the original shot how many of the larger rocks there were, and here is what our pile looked like after the cleaning:



After eleven weeks with some very heavy rains, not even a single rock of the larger size has appeared. I'd say the place has been orders of magnitude safer over the summer, and it seems fairly certain to me that it will last through the Fall. Will it last through the Winter into next Spring? I suspect it will, but only time will tell.

Was it worth doing?
Posted by: RangerRob

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/02/12 01:14 PM

I might add, it took Rich and I about an hour and fifteen minutes, (and 2 PBR's) to do that work. It seems perfectly reasonable for two people to go up there and clean up future loose rocks once a year, for the benefit we gained. I lot less brain power, cost, and effort than replacing the anchor.
Posted by: retr2327

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/04/12 02:43 PM

To Rich and Rob:

Well, I for one appreciate (and posted in favor of) your efforts. And while I can certainly understand a debate about the desirability or efficacy of cleaning the stones on top versus other (unspecified and/or unworkable, it seems to me) approaches, I have a pretty hard time understanding why anyone would want to personally attack two climbers who volunteered their time and efforts in an attempt to benefit the community, not themselves. In fact, it's pretty clear that Rich was not so much personally in favor of this approach, but did it because others (myself included) thought it was a potential safety issue.

I might expect that kind of crap from someone over at RC.com, but it's disappointing to see it here.
Posted by: Smike

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/05/12 01:48 AM

Originally Posted By: RangerRob
I might add, it took Rich and I about an hour and fifteen minutes, (and 2 PBR's) to do that work.


FINALLY someone has the guts to let the truth slip out. I sure hope you warmed up Riches PBR before handing to him. Cold will not do..
Posted by: RangerRob

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/05/12 01:58 AM

nope...both were mine smile
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/05/12 02:37 PM

Rich is too classy to drink that swill.
Posted by: crimpy

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/05/12 04:14 PM

Originally Posted By: retroscree
Rich is too classy to drink that swill.

its all the rage with the "hipsters"
Posted by: crimpy

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/06/12 02:48 PM

Posted by: oenophore

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/06/12 04:00 PM

Whew -- this thread has deviated too far!
Posted by: crimpy

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/06/12 08:53 PM

Originally Posted By: oenophore
Whew -- this thread has deviated too far!


wine drinker.
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/07/12 12:18 AM

Originally Posted By: crimpy
Originally Posted By: oenophore
Whew -- this thread has deviated too far!


wine drinker.

Well, there's that. But what else can possibly be said about the ludicrous rap anchor on SoEO?
Posted by: Daniel

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/07/12 12:32 AM

Originally Posted By: crimpy
wine drinker.


Well, at least it wasn't Heineken.
Posted by: pitfall

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/07/12 04:01 AM

"But what else can possibly be said about the ludicrous rap anchor on SoEO?"

A piton can be used to open a beer bottle.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 09/07/12 12:15 PM

Originally Posted By: pitfall

A piton can be used to open a beer bottle.


Or, eat sardines and rurps were great key fobs BITD.
Posted by: talus

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/15/13 02:32 PM

well the scree field is back on top of Son of Easy O



Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/15/13 03:08 PM

Still not nearly as bad as it was before cleaning a year ago, but perhaps another brief trip to the top sometime this Spring would be in order.

What we know for sure, regardless of what rap anchors are or are not present, is that parties are still going to the top. I suspect many of the ones that do go to the top are arriving by way of Easy O and are among the less-experienced climbers at the crag. Even so, "experience" nowadays does not necessarily have anything to do with careful walking and rope handling on loose ground; there seem to be some "experienced" climbers who are pretty oblivious to the danger to others.

Meanwhile, there are loads of people down at the base, exposed to the missteps of the beginners and oblivious "experts" at the top. If Rob and I or anyone else wants to go up there on our own time and spend an hour or so making the place a lot safer by moving the larger missiles off the launching pad, even if the task has to be repeated on a yearly basis, I'm at a total loss to see why this is so terrible.
Posted by: RangerRob

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/16/13 06:35 PM

I'll bring the PBR. It should take the better part of an hour. Interested Talus?
Posted by: tradjunkie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/16/13 10:18 PM

Everybody remember the longstanding climbers' tradition that after successfully climbing SoEO, you move one rock out of the way for good luck.
Posted by: cfrac

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/16/13 10:36 PM

No, you carry it to the summit of Skylight, which guarantees no rain above treeline if the rock comes from the SoEO gully.
Posted by: TrappDyke

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/18/13 12:50 AM

Not worth topping out any more. I'm pretty sure continual clearing of the rocks is just going to make it worse. I think the best idea might actually be to close down the top of the route for a few years and let it revegetate.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/18/13 01:08 AM

Originally Posted By: TrappDyke
...I'm pretty sure continual clearing of the rocks is just going to make it worse....


Absolutely TD.
Continually removing the stones and rocks will just allow the runoff to more quickly erode the exit trail. You'll notice in the posted photos above the depth of that exit trail as it appears to becoming more of a trough or shallow gully.

Not only will a common water bar divert runoff, it may possibly catch stones and rocks well above the cliff edge.
Posted by: RangerRob

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/18/13 02:10 AM

Sounds like you are volunteering to build a waterbar up there Rick. Thanks a lot!
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/18/13 11:23 AM

Originally Posted By: RangerRob
Sounds like you are volunteering to build a waterbar up there Rick. Thanks a lot!

Suggested it last year.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/18/13 12:54 PM

And I agreed to help. But then nothing happened.
Posted by: SethG

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/18/13 01:40 PM

If we are talking about building a swim-up bar at the Gunks (something which I wholeheartedly support), I think we should build it at Split Rock, not on top of Easy O. Just my two cents.
Posted by: retroscree

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/18/13 04:29 PM

Originally Posted By: cfrac
No, you carry it to the summit of Skylight, which guarantees no rain above treeline if the rock comes from the SoEO gully.

Skylight?
Posted by: cfrac

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/18/13 04:43 PM

Skylight, the mountain that sits behind Mt. Marcy. There is a legend that if you carry a rock to the summit you'll get good weather. As a result there are two HUGE cairns on the summit of rocks people have carried up there.
Posted by: tradjunkie

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/18/13 04:56 PM

Originally Posted By: SethG
If we are talking about building a swim-up bar at the Gunks (something which I wholeheartedly support), I think we should build it at Split Rock, not on top of Easy O. Just my two cents.


Actually, Seth, I think the idea of a quick swim on top of the cliff is more appealing than having to trek over to Split Rock after every climb. Plus it would minimize the casual crowds.

http://www.jaccuzzi.ch/index_e.html
Posted by: SethG

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/18/13 05:31 PM

You are right, that makes great sense! Top out to a swim and a beverage. The Gunks will be just like Chamonix.
Posted by: pitfall

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/19/13 03:22 PM

Yesterday we topped out and walked off from there. Not a single rock or pebble came down. It can be done people, just pay attention to what you are doing.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/20/13 04:08 PM

Originally Posted By: rg@ofmc
And I agreed to help. But then nothing happened.


Yes you did. I never got beyond thinking about it. If you're still game, I'll get back to you when I've returned from Hatteras.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Son of easy o rap - 04/20/13 04:58 PM

Still game!

Before we get jumped on, the question then as now is whether the Preserve thinks such a thing is appropriate and whether they would allow it. Neither Rick nor I contemplated just going up there and doing such a thing.

By the way, I understand that imbedded rocks retard washing away of soil, but it seems to me that rocks that are just scattered on top do not significantly restrict drainage and so their removal would not accelerate erosion.

There is, however, no question that over the years, well before Rob and I carted away a few rocks, a deep erosion channel was formed up there.