Goto Chockstone Home

  Guide
  Gallery
  Tech Tips
  Articles
  Reviews
  Dictionary
  Links
  Forum
  Search
  About

      Sponsored By
      ROCK
   HARDWARE

  Shop

Black Diamond: "Neutrino" karabiner - 2016 model. (Gate opening 22mm) Gate opening = 22mm. - Assorted "Ano" colours... (Red shown) Email colour preference . (ALL colours except BLUE in stock!)  $9.00
25% Off

Chockstone Photography Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
Australian Landscape Prints





Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 30
Author
New anchors at Araps - What do you reckon?
simey
8-Jan-2017
8:56:56 PM
There are a couple of recently installed rap anchor / lower-off thingys above the first pitch of Penny Dreadful (11) at Mitre Rock, as well as at the top of the mega-classic Mari (17) on Central Gully Right Side.

My understanding with the Penny Dreadful anchors is that it allows people to do the first pitch and then either lower off, or rap, so they can then repeat the other easier pitches leading to that ledge. Whilst I think this is admirable in some ways, I also feel that it eliminates the requirement to build a natural anchor on what is one of the best introductory multi-pitch routes at Arapiles. My thinking is that if climbers want to repeat the other single pitch routes then they can simply build their own natural anchor and rap off that each time before ultimately topping out on the very pleasant grade 6 finish.

The mega-classic Mari already has abseil anchors only a few metres away, so descending wasn't exactly a chore, although a lower-off certainly makes life more convenient, particularly as building the anchor there did require a bit of thought.

My concern however is that Arapiles is one of the best cliffs to learn how to lead on trad and building natural anchors is part of that process. The difference between having lower-offs on the harder routes and not on the easier routes is that frequently on the harder routes you don't have a partner who is interested in seconding the pitch, so it makes more sense if the leader can lower-off in those situations.

I am keen to hear what other people's thoughts are regarding these particular additions. I personally feel they are over-stepping the hazy line that is Arapiles climbing. I will happily use lower-offs as soon as I see them, but I am very aware that rigging belays on natural anchors is a skill that doesn't want to be completely eliminated from Arapiles climbing, otherwise you could end being pretty useless if you venture further afield. However I have placed plenty of rap anchors and retro-bolts at Arapiles too.

I am simply keen to know what other people think of these particular additions. And do we want lower-offs appearing above all the moderate and easier routes?


patto
8-Jan-2017
10:10:25 PM
It all sounds like a slippery slope to having every second pitch with bolted anchors. That isn't the Arapiles that I know and love.

Sure if I was climbing Mari tomorrow new lower offs would make things just that little bit more convenient. So I'll use them..... But while we are at it, setting up natural anchors on top of the Plaque wall has become a pain.... Give those beginner climbers some nice big bolts there too.

Sarcasm aside, I think Arapiles currently has an excellent balance of bolts and any further bolting should only happen with careful consideration and consultation.

I laugh at places like Yosemite where they'll happily have bolted belays on every pitch next to good gear but the rappel routes on very popular climbs are off tiny near dead trees with a bunch of tatt.
mitch46and2
8-Jan-2017
10:37:44 PM
The penny dreadful area anchors.

Natural gear options aplenty surrounding bolts to make anchors for belaying or top roping. Its not as if people are gonna be doing laps for the big redpoint of leather bound or penny dreadful every day. Also the fact that you can scramble off unroped from this ledge, or its 8 metres of gr5 to get to the top an walk 2 minutes back to the road. Dont agree with these anchors.

Led the fantastic pitch of kestrel last week, curious why is there another anchor 2 meteres away on the same ledge to the left? Could these have been merged?

Potex
8-Jan-2017
10:57:55 PM
I agree that Anchors at the top of Penny Dreadful is unnecessary, its a great beginners route and no need to mess around with it.

Mari.. Yeah could come in handy. Surely it sees enough traffic, and I feel that it being a 17 jamming test piece that often enough people pushing up through the grades would face themselves with a second who cant get up it which as we all know is a PITA.

patto
8-Jan-2017
11:15:56 PM
On 8/01/2017 Potex wrote:
>Mari.. Yeah could come in handy. Surely it sees enough traffic, and
>I feel that it being a 17 jamming test piece that often enough people pushing
>up through the grades would face themselves with a second who cant get
>up it which as we all know is a PITA.

That could be said for hundreds of climbs at the mount. The other month I saw a strong Euro climber who could not jam his way up Necrophiliac (15). I don't think bolts are a good idea for any climb a second might have difficulty on....
simey
8-Jan-2017
11:22:01 PM
On 8/01/2017 mitch46and2 wrote:
>Led the fantastic pitch of kestrel last week, curious why is there another
>anchor 2 meteres away on the same ledge to the left? Could these have been
>merged?

Good point. The anchors directly above Kestrel are probably redundant now that the rap route from Flinders Lane heads directly down the wall just to the left. Another advantage of the new rap descent is that you can get down on a single 60m rope in two abseils (unlike the 50m abseil above Kestrel which requires two ropes).

Perhaps the only reason to keep the Kestrel rap there is if people are climbing the routes next door, in which case you would be rapping over them.
Wendy
9-Jan-2017
7:18:45 AM
Simey, you could come over for coffee and we could have an extended rant about rap anchors. Maybe we should drive to Qld together again - it could fill in 20 hours or so easily.

The Penny Dreadful anchors are weird. I would never have imagined a need for one there until they turned up and actually, I still can't see a need for one there. I used to guide those routes a lot, there was never any issue with traffic jams up the last pitch and there are about 5 different ways you could go up that wall if there was, which also means you could do a different second pitch for each route up the bottom face if you wanted, but really, there are only 2 there that ever get done. Leather Bound just goes straight to the top. The descent is not dodgy and whilst it has potential for erosion, anchors off the summit servicing a range of routes would be more effective at addressing that.

Whilst I think there are more than a few cases where there are rap stations almost on top of each other, I can see some use for the Mari one, mostly around not belaying in the sun. People usually go to Mari in the summer because it's shady, but it did suck belaying in the sun up there. The other one is around getting in the way of parties on Megalomaniac using the other rap. The walk down descent has overgrown these days and it wouldn't be good for it to become a major thoroughfare again.

I think the rap down Tiger Wall and the new one down the right watchtower both suck. Flinder's Lane, the cave and Ali's were all coping with the traffic fine. On the other hand, both the halfway ledge and the base of that abseil rapidly became devegetated. The Kestrel rap starts and ends on rockier ground and does not have the same damage despite being there for many years. The lower one also goes over several climbs on the base of Tiger Wall. The right watchtower one has a station in the middle of Siren. Really, if you are doing a multi pitch, you have already committed to a certain degree of journey and where walking down is safe and doesn't trash the gullies, I think it's perfectly reasonable to do so. From RWS, you can easily access the Pharos gully track, just wait in line at the LWS if you really have to abseil. You could always walk off watchtower gully if you don't want to wait. Again, I have never had to wait more than a single group to get off LWS. The only times I have had a problem getting down Ali's is when groups were doing the "rock journey", which I have a bunch of issues with in itself.

I don't know that people are really at risk of loosing the skill of setting up natural anchors. Most easier routes, indeed most routes in general, still involve some setting up of gear anchors. I'm certainly in favour of placing appropriate rap anchors and am even responsible for some of them, but I do think there have been some strange decisions made about some. I haven't removed any but I do try and let the people responsible know why I think they are unnecessary, for whatever notice they take of that in future.
kieranl
9-Jan-2017
9:25:32 AM
As to the Penny Dreadful anchors, which I had no involvement in, anything that cuts down the traffic in the descent gully from Mitre Rock gets a provisional tick in my book.
The two arguments that I have heard against it :

1. It spoils the finish up the nice little wall. You can still do the nice little wall if you want, and most people on their first journey up this area will still do it.But how many times do you want to do it? The last time I did Witch Hunt I left an abseil sling. Other times I have had the rest of the party abseil off then soloed out.

2. It's a good place to practice building a trad anchor. Well you can still get your beginners to do this. You can even tell them to clip one of the bolts so at least one piece will be good.

I haven't been back since the anchor went in but overall I think they're a good thing, primarily because of the reduction in traffic of people in the descent gully. Some of the reaction to them has also been quite over the top.



simey
9-Jan-2017
10:28:43 AM
On 9/01/2017 Wendy wrote:
>Whilst I think there are more than a few cases where there are rap stations
>almost on top of each other, I can see some use for the Mari one, mostly
>around not belaying in the sun. People usually go to Mari in the summer
>because it's shady, but it did suck belaying in the sun up there. The other
>one is around getting in the way of parties on Megalomaniac using the other
>rap. The walk down descent has overgrown these days and it wouldn't be
>good for it to become a major thoroughfare again.

Fair points. I must admit belaying in the sun at the top of the cliff would be a drag on those hot days when you specifically go there to escape the heat.

>I think the rap down Tiger Wall and the new one down the right watchtower
>both suck. Flinder's Lane, the cave and Ali's were all coping with the
>traffic fine. On the other hand, both the halfway ledge and the base of
>that abseil rapidly became devegetated. The Kestrel rap starts and ends
>on rockier ground and does not have the same damage despite being there
>for many years. The lower one also goes over several climbs on the base
>of Tiger Wall.

I reckon the Tiger Wall rap descent works quite well, although I would rarely use it to descend from Flinders Lane as multi-pitch rapping is usually more time consuming than walking/scrambling down. I do use those anchors if I am climbing routes in the immediate vicinity (many of which don't go all the way to Flinders Lane). By the way, have you done the mega-classic that Bec and I put up there recently 'Renovation Nation' (20)?

>The right watchtower one has a station in the middle of
>Siren. Really, if you are doing a multi pitch, you have already committed
>to a certain degree of journey and where walking down is safe and doesn't
>trash the gullies, I think it's perfectly reasonable to do so. From RWS,
>you can easily access the Pharos gully track, just wait in line at the
>LWS if you really have to abseil. You could always walk off watchtower
>gully if you don't want to wait. Again, I have never had to wait more than
>a single group to get off LWS. The only times I have had a problem getting
>down Ali's is when groups were doing the "rock journey", which I have a
>bunch of issues with in itself.

What do you mean by LWS and RWS? Do you mean LWF and RWF? (Left Watcthower Face and Right Watchtower Face, for those of you who hate acronyms).

I haven't used the LWF rap descent, but I can't imagine that I will. Walking down Pharos Gully is pretty convenient in comparison. I usually walk down if I climb on the RWF too. It is faster and saves taking two ropes.

>I don't know that people are really at risk of loosing the skill of setting
>up natural anchors. Most easier routes, indeed most routes in general,
>still involve some setting up of gear anchors.

It is not uncommon to climb trad routes around the world and end up a lower-off. Just be careful if you go climbing with someone who has supposedly done a load of trad leads but rarely rigged an anchor!

simey
9-Jan-2017
10:47:35 AM
On 9/01/2017 kieranl wrote:
>As to the Penny Dreadful anchors, which I had no involvement in, anything
>that cuts down the traffic in the descent gully from Mitre Rock gets a
>provisional tick in my book.
>The two arguments that I have heard against it :
>
>1. It spoils the finish up the nice little wall. You can still do the
>nice little wall if you want, and most people on their first journey up
>this area will still do it.But how many times do you want to do it? The
>last time I did Witch Hunt I left an abseil sling. Other times I have had
>the rest of the party abseil off then soloed out.
>
>2. It's a good place to practice building a trad anchor. Well you can
>still get your beginners to do this. You can even tell them to clip one
>of the bolts so at least one piece will be good.
>
>I haven't been back since the anchor went in but overall I think they're
>a good thing, primarily because of the reduction in traffic of people in
>the descent gully. Some of the reaction to them has also been quite over
>the top.

Those are all reasonable points although I don't think the descent has suffered from erosion issues as most of it is on rock. The adverse reaction from many climbers regarding these anchors is because they do seem out of place.

Andy P
9-Jan-2017
12:04:59 PM
On the fence with this one and am not even a climber, but;

Is this the 'sanitisation' and 'dumbing down' of Traditional climbing by indoor plastic climbers who only ever clip bolts. Can see both Simey's well-put viewpoint/question about the skill to build a safe natural belay as well as KeiranL's point about minimizing erosion in the descent gully.

However, without consultation and a positive concensus from the wider climbing community I'd be most fearing that bolt rap stations will be popping up all over the joint and some (many?) will inevitably be placed by people bereft of the requisite skills at bolt location & placement. Shear vs Tension etc etc. See a bolt & chains & automatically think its bomproof ,,,, NOT ALWAYS!
Wendy
9-Jan-2017
12:37:26 PM
On 9/01/2017 simey wrote:

>
>>I think the rap down Tiger Wall and the new one down the right watchtower
>>both suck. Flinder's Lane, the cave and Ali's were all coping with the
>>traffic fine. On the other hand, both the halfway ledge and the base
>of
>>that abseil rapidly became devegetated. The Kestrel rap starts and ends
>>on rockier ground and does not have the same damage despite being there
>>for many years. The lower one also goes over several climbs on the base
>>of Tiger Wall.
>
>I reckon the Tiger Wall rap descent works quite well, although I would
>rarely use it to descend from Flinders Lane as multi-pitch rapping is usually
>more time consuming than walking/scrambling down. I do use those anchors
>if I am climbing routes in the immediate vicinity (many of which don't
>go all the way to Flinders Lane). By the way, have you done the mega-classic
>that Bec and I put up there recently 'Renovation Nation' (20)?

I haven't yet. Being a lazy local, I did all the ground level new routes/retrobolted old routes first when I got back from the states, then it got too hot. I figure a lot of people must be using those raps from the damage around them.
>
>>The right watchtower one has a station in the middle of
>>Siren. Really, if you are doing a multi pitch, you have already committed
>>to a certain degree of journey and where walking down is safe and doesn't
>>trash the gullies, I think it's perfectly reasonable to do so. From RWS,
>>you can easily access the Pharos gully track, just wait in line at the
>>LWS if you really have to abseil. You could always walk off watchtower
>>gully if you don't want to wait. Again, I have never had to wait more
>than
>>a single group to get off LWS. The only times I have had a problem getting
>>down Ali's is when groups were doing the "rock journey", which I have
>a
>>bunch of issues with in itself.
>
>What do you mean by LWS and RWS? Do you mean LWF and RWF? (Left Watcthower
>Face and Right Watchtower Face, for those of you who hate acronyms).
>
>I haven't used the LWF rap descent, but I can't imagine that I will. Walking
>down Pharos Gully is pretty convenient in comparison. I usually walk down
>if I climb on the RWF too. It is faster and saves taking two ropes.

I just realised I was still half asleep this morning and mixing my left and rights ... aside from that I was acronyming right/left watchtower slab.
>
Wendy
9-Jan-2017
12:40:24 PM
On 9/01/2017 kieranl wrote:
>As to the Penny Dreadful anchors, which I had no involvement in, anything
>that cuts down the traffic in the descent gully from Mitre Rock gets a
>provisional tick in my book.

I'd give it a tick if it was at the top of the cliff and also used by Cloaca and Parson's nose. It seems a bit like putting a rap station at the top of the first pitch of Euridice or D Major. There's a perfectly good second pitch above it and I can't really see a lot of sense to it.
kieranl
9-Jan-2017
2:43:44 PM
In general I don't get too fussed about abseil stations. I'd rather people end up back at the base without having to go down descent gullies and trog back to the base.

Let's say you do Yo-Yo to Flinders Lane, leaving bags at the base and go down Alis First you and your team walk to the base. Now you do the climb and descend Alis. Now you go down the eroded trail past the Fang buttress and all trog back to the base to get your gear. Now walk back to camp.

You've covered the track between Bard buttress and base of the climb 3 times and the track past Fang once. If you'd abseiled down Ab Fab you would have only covered the track from the base of Bard to Yo-Yo twice. You'ld have reduced your erosion impact on the place significantly for this one climb.

I know that I can walk down from the RWF faster than I can abseil it, but I choose to abseil it to reduce my contribution to erosion.

And I have to disagree with Simey about the condition of the Mitre descent routes. The track down past Hells Bells, where a lot of work has been done in the past, is falling apart and the Deacon side has tracks going everywhere.

During the cooler months I've regularly seen parties simultaneously on Ab Fab, Skylark and Kestrel so demand for the rap anchors can be quite high. I'd also be happy if someone put proper hangers on the Kestrel anchor instead of using the chain-links as make-shift hangers. Gives me the willies that does.

gordoste
9-Jan-2017
2:47:24 PM
Just because you might have a second who can't get up it doesn't justify lower offs. People need to learn how to deal with this kind of stuff. Set up an anchor, and clean your gear on abseil.

In my opinion, at Araps anchors should only be placed for erosion prevention or where other descent options are too dangerous. I believe the vast majority of these have already been addressed.

It would be a tragedy if the best beginner trad cliff in the world lost its ability to teach due to overbolting for convenience.

Eduardo Slabofvic
9-Jan-2017
3:08:59 PM
On 9/01/2017 gordoste wrote:
> at Araps anchors should only be placed for erosion prevention
>or where other descent options are too dangerous.

Agreed

So a rap station that services an area. Not rap stations that service routes.

and 1 rap station for the area, not three (or 4, or 5); and that rap station shouldn't place the fall line over another route that someone might be on.

Plus rap stations, not anchors - as they're different things.

BBSR
9-Jan-2017
3:39:26 PM
How does in benchmark against the VCC policy?

http://www.vicclimb.org.au/file/id/72

Nothing is going to please everyone, but consistency is probably a good thing.

dan_b
9-Jan-2017
8:21:24 PM
On 9/01/2017 gordoste wrote:
>Just because you might have a second who can't get up it doesn't justify
>lower offs. People need to learn how to deal with this kind of stuff. Set
>up an anchor, and clean your gear on abseil.
>
>In my opinion, at Araps anchors should only be placed for erosion prevention
>or where other descent options are too dangerous. I believe the vast majority
>of these have already been addressed.
>
>It would be a tragedy if the best beginner trad cliff in the world lost
>its ability to teach due to overbolting for convenience.

yep
kieranl
9-Jan-2017
9:17:49 PM
On 9/01/2017 gordoste wrote:
>It would be a tragedy if the best beginner trad cliff in the world lost
>its ability to teach due to overbolting for convenience.

Is that happening? Where?

There's anchors at:

top of Serpent (technically first belay but 2nd pitch is 5metres or so to the gully,
First belay of Penny Dreadful & Archbishop,
First belay of Kestrel (I actually saw someone finish the route recently. I thought the seconds were going to cut the rope).
All the way up Alis
Start of last pitch of Eskimo Nell

Hardly the death of trad climbing as we know it.

edit: No Future rap anchor can be accessed at top of first pitch of Resignation - doesn't seem to have stopped people doing Resignation
kieranl
9-Jan-2017
9:26:48 PM
On 9/01/2017 Wendy wrote:
>On 9/01/2017 kieranl wrote:
>>As to the Penny Dreadful anchors, which I had no involvement in, anything
>>that cuts down the traffic in the descent gully from Mitre Rock gets
>a
>>provisional tick in my book.
>
>I'd give it a tick if it was at the top of the cliff and also used by
>Cloaca and Parson's nose. It seems a bit like putting a rap station at
>the top of the first pitch of Euridice or D Major. There's a perfectly
>good second pitch above it and I can't really see a lot of sense to it.

People seem really attached to that nothing little wall at the top. It's hardly comparable (IMO) to the second piches of D Major or Euridice. Each to their own. But why is it OK to have a rap anchor at the first belay of Oceanoid if one on Penny Dreadful is not OK?

Actually went for a bit of a wander this evening. Not really practical to have one rap anchor serving both top of Parsons Nose and Penny Dreadful - getting between the two areas requires that one side would have to coil their rope and go fo a bit of a walk - or drag their rope across a gully and send stuff down it. Could probably do a 30m abseil to the ground from both sides of that gully but avoiding the gully bed to a rocky area at the base.

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 30
There are 30 messages in this topic.

 

Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | Landscape Photos Australia

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.



Australian Panoramic | Australian Coast | Australian Mountains | Australian Countryside | Australian Waterfalls | Australian Lakes | Australian Cities | Australian Macro | Australian Wildlife
Landscape Photo | Landscape Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Fine Art Photography | Wilderness Photography | Nature Photo | Australian Landscape Photo | Stock Photography Australia | Landscape Photos | Panoramic Photos | Panoramic Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | High Country Mountain Huts | Mothers Day Gifts | Gifts for Mothers Day | Mothers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Mothers Day | Wedding Gift Ideas | Christmas Gift Ideas | Fathers Day Gifts | Gifts for Fathers Day | Fathers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Fathers Day | Landscape Prints | Landscape Poster | Limited Edition Prints | Panoramic Photo | Buy Posters | Poster Prints