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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 5. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 94
Author
The Eyrie, Mt Boyce retrobolted! Badly...

Macciza
30/12/2016
9:09:06 PM
Yep,
As bizarre as it may seem the classic climb The Eyrie has been retrobolted with possibly as many as 12 glued-in fixed hangers placed (in incorrect orientation- clipping section set vertically). In Victorian terms it would be like retrobolting some classic 12 on the Organ Pipes....

Forces are already at work to remedy this travesty and it should be dealt with swiftly.

If you know who did it or have any information please post details here.

timfreddo
30/12/2016
11:42:55 PM
It was me! Get a cuppa.

Before I start on my thoughts, a couple of points for this post..
1. Can we make this a non-Safer cliffs discussion mods? as it's a closed group, it'd be great to get more then the closed group peoples' thoughts...
2. Andy P, You might get your chockstone anti-boredom solved with the discussion that is sure to follow...
3. To reply to Macciza's hanger orientation issue. The brand of fixed hanger used are designed to be loaded vertically, and are strongest in this orientation.
4. The comparison to the organ pipes is incorrect, It's one of the most visited sections of cliff at Araps. The Abseil gully probably see's 2 parties of climbers per week... if that... More akin to somewhere with easy climbs in the far northern group if we're comparing to Arapiles.

So my thoughts for what I did..

- The Abseil Gully wall could be one of the best introduction to multi-pitch mixed climbing walls in the Blue Mountains.
Of the 7 routes on the wall, there are only 2 routes with no bolts to supplement gear, and they see waaaaay less repeats due to their serious nature. All the rest are mixed climbs with cams and bolts for pro. Even the "classic" 2 star climbs here see less repeats than they deserve.

- At current there is a very limited range of places for climbers to go and climb well protected (and pleasant) grade 10-15 mixed multi-pitch routes.

- Modernising this cliff will divert some traffic away from other overpopulated areas in the Mountains, and minimise the amount of people getting in above their head e.g. Sweet Dreams, Bell Bird wall etc..

- The climb in question is poorly protected by modern standards.
It's a ledgy slab with numerous 5-10m runnouts. With the amount of new climbers coming out of the Gyms, it's only a matter of time until people start falling off and breaking bones. Each time you get to a crack to place gear on this route, you've just done a run out, hard (at the grade) move. Then you place a cam, do numerous easy moves to become run out again and then do another hard, un protected move. I put some extra bolts in (3 from memory) to protect these run out moves and avoid ledge falls.

- The climb in question appeared to have been already retro-bolted. The mild steel carrot before the cave, the anchor in the cave, and the two carrots on the top pitch are all glued in with Araldite... I'm not sure if these were from the first ascentionists, but they looked after market.

- Why should easy climbs be more poorly protected?
For me, I see the worst potential for injury when climbing at the limit of your grade, in under vertical terrain... Why should harder mixed routes have well protected (by bolts if necessary) moves than easier climbs? It seems that the harder the grade, the more well protected a route is (a popular route that is, not alive in the bitter sea and co.)

Most of the people who object to the Eyrie being re-bolted climb this grade extremely comfortably. What if this climb was closer to your limit? Would you accept the risks, or not climb it as it's not well enough protected for where your climbing is at? Now imagine you had no other similar places to go to "work up" to this route...

- Why should old climbs be stuck in the past? times change...
As one climber put it, "Seatbelts were introduced to make crashes safer and you wear that on a daily basis. So maybe should all get in a car crash with no seatbelt because that's what grandpa did."
For climbing, everything leads towards safety, Why wear a helmet? The climbers of the past didn't... until a rock hit someone in the head. Do we need to wait until someone has an accident before progression can take place?

-This works into Fixed hangers instead of Stainless Glue in Machine bolts. Get with the times! Machine bolts are for bolting stuff together. Ringbolts are specifically for Climbing. There are numerous reports of climbers (who placed carrots) saying they used the best available at the time... the best available now is rings with EN standard. I wish I had placed rated rings on this route instead of the un-tested Glue in Machine bolts that hold the hangers. I made do with the best I had available at the time.

- The first ascentionist should have say over 'their' routes..
Why don't we all climb Janicepts with a rest at 21M0 like the first ascentionist did? I can't believe we dis-respect the first ascentionist by not following the method of their ascent and blatantly climbing past the rest spot used on the first ascent...
Times change, move with it.

- In summary, I'd welcome your thoughts, positive or negative.
If the majority vote is to remove the extra bolts, we don't need someone hacking the rock away with an angle grinder..
If you are going to remove these, you'll likely need to heat up the bolt/hanger with a blowtorch to melt the epoxy, then pull the bolt out of it's hole and patch the hole with similar covered gluedirt.
widewetandslippery
31/12/2016
12:16:07 AM
On 30/12/2016 timfreddo wrote:
>It was me! Get a cuppa.
>
>Before I start on my thoughts, a couple of points for this post..
>1. Can we make this a non-Safer cliffs discussion mods? as it's a closed
>group, it'd be great to get more then the closed group peoples' thoughts...
>2. Andy P, You might get your chockstone anti-boredom solved with the
>discussion that is sure to follow...
>3. To reply to Macciza's hanger orientation issue. The brand of fixed
>hanger used are designed to be loaded vertically, and are strongest in
>this orientation.
>4. The comparison to the organ pipes is incorrect, It's one of the most
>visited sections of cliff at Araps. The Abseil gully probably see's 2 parties
>of climbers per week... if that... More akin to somewhere with easy climbs
>in the far northern group if we're comparing to Arapiles.
>
>So my thoughts for what I did..
>
>- The Abseil Gully wall could be one of the best introduction to multi-pitch
>mixed climbing walls in the Blue Mountains.
>Of the 7 routes on the wall, there are only 2 routes with no bolts to
>supplement gear, and they see waaaaay less repeats due to their serious
>nature. All the rest are mixed climbs with cams and bolts for pro. Even
>the "classic" 2 star climbs here see less repeats than they deserve.
>
>- At current there is a very limited range of places for climbers to go
>and climb well protected (and pleasant) grade 10-15 mixed multi-pitch routes.
>
>- Modernising this cliff will divert some traffic away from other overpopulated
>areas in the Mountains, and minimise the amount of people getting in above
>their head e.g. Sweet Dreams, Bell Bird wall etc..
>
>- The climb in question is poorly protected by modern standards.
>It's a ledgy slab with numerous 5-10m runnouts. With the amount of new
>climbers coming out of the Gyms, it's only a matter of time until people
>start falling off and breaking bones. Each time you get to a crack to place
>gear on this route, you've just done a run out, hard (at the grade) move.
>Then you place a cam, do numerous easy moves to become run out again and
>then do another hard, un protected move. I put some extra bolts in (3 from
>memory) to protect these run out moves and avoid ledge falls.
>
>- The climb in question appeared to have been already retro-bolted. The
>mild steel carrot before the cave, the anchor in the cave, and the two
>carrots on the top pitch are all glued in with Araldite... I'm not sure
>if these were from the first ascentionists, but they looked after market.
>
>- Why should easy climbs be more poorly protected?
>For me, I see the worst potential for injury when climbing at the limit
>of your grade, in under vertical terrain... Why should harder mixed routes
>have well protected (by bolts if necessary) moves than easier climbs? It
>seems that the harder the grade, the more well protected a route is (a
>popular route that is, not alive in the bitter sea and co.)
>
>Most of the people who object to the Eyrie being re-bolted climb this
>grade extremely comfortably. What if this climb was closer to your limit?
>Would you accept the risks, or not climb it as it's not well enough protected
>for where your climbing is at? Now imagine you had no other similar places
>to go to "work up" to this route...
>
>- Why should old climbs be stuck in the past? times change...
>As one climber put it, "Seatbelts were introduced to make crashes safer
>and you wear that on a daily basis. So maybe should all get in a car crash
>with no seatbelt because that's what grandpa did."
>For climbing, everything leads towards safety, Why wear a helmet? The
>climbers of the past didn't... until a rock hit someone in the head. Do
>we need to wait until someone has an accident before progression can take
>place?
>
>-This works into Fixed hangers instead of Stainless Glue in Machine bolts.
>Get with the times! Machine bolts are for bolting stuff together. Ringbolts
>are specifically for Climbing. There are numerous reports of climbers (who
>placed carrots) saying they used the best available at the time... the
>best available now is rings with EN standard. I wish I had placed rated
>rings on this route instead of the un-tested Glue in Machine bolts that
>hold the hangers. I made do with the best I had available at the time.
>
>
>- The first ascentionist should have say over 'their' routes..
>Why don't we all climb Janicepts with a rest at 21M0 like the first ascentionist
>did? I can't believe we dis-respect the first ascentionist by not following
>the method of their ascent and blatantly climbing past the rest spot used
>on the first ascent...
>Times change, move with it.
>
>- In summary, I'd welcome your thoughts, positive or negative.
>If the majority vote is to remove the extra bolts, we don't need someone
>hacking the rock away with an angle grinder..
>If you are going to remove these, you'll likely need to heat up the bolt/hanger
>with a blowtorch to melt the epoxy, then pull the bolt out of it's hole
>and patch the hole with similar covered gluedirt.
>

Timfreddo you are a wanker. There are so many unclimbed lines in the mountains, you dont need to do public service.

E. Wells
31/12/2016
1:42:22 AM
Tim your a good bloke. What I do object to above is stating that rated bolts are better. Ubolts never twist loose and you can make the shafts suitably long and textured for roofs. Fixe and Petzl bolts are so short and have very smooth surface. Good on you for speaking up. I never would about my retros.

timfreddo
31/12/2016
4:44:26 AM
On 31/12/2016 widewetandslippery wrote:
>Timfreddo you are a wanker. There are so many unclimbed lines in the mountains,
>you dont need to do public service.

Nice productive reply wws... classic chockstone childishness... I wonder how many people you just talked out of sharing thoughts about climbing. There's different opinions out there, least you could do is bring up your thoughts in a productive manner that doesn't make people lose interest straight away.





arniearms
31/12/2016
8:05:41 AM
This is so wrong in so many ways.

rodw
Online Now
31/12/2016
8:17:03 AM
Sorry Tim I'm with WWS on this one re it being not needed..all your points are essentially invalid as like WWS says..just go for a walk and you can find a easy new mutli, no need to retro stuff that has a very established history.

Note Im all for well bolted easy to moderate routes if new ones...but plenty around without dumbing down existing lines that really have been climbed okay for ages...not everything has to be 100% safe or need to be "popular".

If your going to re-bolt stuff without consultation expect this type of feedback, doing it and expecting a reasonable response when you didn't even bother discussing said action in the first place seem a bit naive at best or arrogant at worse.

Stick to either just replacing bolt for bolt or be prepared to suffer months of consultation with community, then make an informed decision and do the needful..mind you no mater what you do someone will be pissed off..but at least you jumped through the right hoops and have some morale high ground to argue from..at the moment you have none.

Better yet just bolt new stuff at new areas, you still get some negative feedback but really no one will care enough to start chopping.


gnaguts
31/12/2016
8:34:31 AM
U did wrogn timfrog so B prepared to cop a simey style floggin.
Ur argument bout gettin with tha times don't apply to retroin mona lisas.

tnd
31/12/2016
8:35:39 AM
This retrobolting is a disgrace. It is not up to you to become the saviour of climbers who only climb low grade routes. Find your own!

This particular route is dear to the hearts of many just as it was. It has runouts, but none of them desperate. Hundreds of climbers have ascended it just as it was without issues.

Tim, you need to stop wasting you time with these antics. These bolts will be pulled quick smart, as will any others you place on similar climbs.
jrc
31/12/2016
10:10:26 AM
This act was totally inappropriate.
Eyrie was already overbolted I dare say without consulting the f a team. Same with old England and sweet Irish.
The cave belay has excellent sling anchors and nuts and cams can be placed elsewhere

If gym bunnies need to get on this sort of climb send them to a shop like where the rest of us buy climbing gear. Places that sell quickdraws also sell cams.

Please keep your precious rings off Bonnie Scotland too which can be adequately protected with slings cams and dmm s.

Your helmet comparison is spurious also have a look at John Davis'(RIP) photos from the 60s.


E. Wells
31/12/2016
11:06:47 AM
Before Freddos three new bolts I think I placed 3 peices of gear and one sling in 50m. Another trad masterpeice. Sweet Irish overbolted eh. Your all so macho. Bravo
patto
31/12/2016
11:42:13 AM
Good job in putting your hand up on the issue. But surely you could have spoken to the community BEFORE bolting.

Bolting past climbs is always a thorny issue. Leaving ALL poorly protected climbs unbolted is not always the best answer. But nor is bolting everything that has a bit of a run out or hard to place gear.

How somebody could consider retrofitting an existing trad route without community of FFA consultation is beyond me. Furthermore, many of the arguments presented here could easily be applied to hundreds of classic trad routes and pretty soon we'd need to have everything bolted for "safety".

tnd
31/12/2016
12:46:46 PM
On 31/12/2016 E. Wells wrote:
>Before Freddos three new bolts I think I placed 3 peices of gear and one
>sling in 50m. Another trad masterpeice. Sweet Irish overbolted eh. Your
>all so macho. Bravo

You might find that a problem, but some of us don't. That's the way it's been for a few decades, let it stay that way. It's very easy to back off those routes if one feels that there are not sufficient gear placements. Unfortunately backing off is a skill that gym bunnies do not even know exists, let alone develop.

nmonteith
31/12/2016
2:46:28 PM
I'll put one more vote in the "this was a silly idea" box.

Some routes probably do deserve a bit of retrobolting - but to me these are the routes that have potential to be classics, but because of poor bolting get zero traffic. Wasted prime real estate. The Eyrie is not one of these routes, it gets heaps of ascents and by and large everyone loves it just how it is. I like doing a bit of research on thecrag.com as its almost the only way of gauging the 'general climbing publics' views on routes. It's had over 300 ascents by thecrag.com users in the last 15 years and the keywords people use to describe it are "hard, fun, cool, nice, fantastic, good, sweet, amazing, great, lovely, classic, awesome, super, beautiful, rad, exciting, enjoyable, exposed, crazy, short, easy, cruisy, traverse, slabby". No mention of it being some sort of death route that requires fixing.

Chris Baxter once said to me that people underestimate beginners. It might have some 5m runouts but by and large the average beginner really won't have a problem with that. It's a good head game, and the lack of prior accidents seems to confirm that it's not an overly dangerous route.

nmonteith
31/12/2016
2:52:27 PM
On 30/12/2016 timfreddo wrote:
>1. Can we make this a non-Safer cliffs discussion mods? as it's a closed
>group, it'd be great to get more then the closed group peoples' thoughts...

Done!
climberman
31/12/2016
4:54:04 PM
Egads man
Why would you do this?

I can't see these bolts being there this time next week.

There are so many great cliffs and routes to climb in the Blueys for sport climbers, beginning sport climbers and aspiring gear climbers I, I just I just fk me this is a bad idea.


timfreddo
31/12/2016
5:17:11 PM
Thanks to those with constructive thoughts. appreciate your time in your explanations.
I'll head out soon and neatly remove the excess bolts, as that seems the majority vote from those that have replied.
Mr Poopypants
31/12/2016
5:28:50 PM
Hey Tim,

No need to heat the bolt and glue. Just put a socket and short bar on it and undo it. They twist right out, there is no bond between the glue and the stainless. A ratchet spanner makes it a lot quicker and easier. The glue is brittle and will chip away quite easily if needed. Give it a tap to get it started, but they usually come out pretty well. On building sites they even screw them back in. If you used machine bolts the thread will cut it's own thread in the outer glue as you undo it.

Good call.
G.
Martym
1/01/2017
9:09:07 AM
For reference:
The Eyrie - 12, Four Stars.50m
A great route with a classic belay stance. Perhaps a little run-out for beginners. FA J Worrall. H Ward 1969

Blue Mountains Climbing 2010 edition
Martym
1/01/2017
9:22:45 AM
In looking at the guide I note this area is only accessible by 50m abseil "take prussics just in case".
Hardly a gym kid's first choice!
I note there are at least 4 routes on that wall with a warning signs "a route known to be especially risky". The Eyrie is not one of them.
Afghan Wall seems an obvious issue as it's a traverse, so not top-ropable..
I think it's good that there's now Soft Parade for people to learn on. A new area, not a retro.

I mentioned the seat-belt reference to my wife, she grew up in Eastern Europe. She said when they were kids her parents would put a mattress on the backseat so they could sleep comfortably over-night on trips to the seaside. That brings nothing to this discussion, just a cute aside :)

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