A simu-rap might work nicely here using the bolt as a rope guide. I.E. Have your second down climb on belay then lower yourself using them as a counter weight. String the rope through the bolt to ensure it doesn't slip off the sides. I haven't done this here but from what I recall it should work great.
You guys are crazy if you think that bolt is actually a Stettner original from the 60's. Although I don't like rapping off of one piece either it's not exactly a relic. You can even see the remnant of an older pin a few inches away from that bolt.
IMO Simul-rapping is way more sketchy. Bad advice, especially because someone will invariably read your suggestion, Google simul-rapping, and promptly kill themselves.
I know an old pin doesn't mean the current one has been replaced, but that hardware is in way too good of shape to have been there for 48 years. I've seen 10 year old bolts in way worse shape.
And STANDARD rappelling is dangerous and contributes to many injuries and fatalities every year. How is an advanced rappelling technique not dangerous? If that's the way you want to descend that's fine. Just don't recommend it as THE way to do it, and don't declare it to be not-dangerous, especially when amateurs are looking for advice.
Different metals in different locations deteriate at different rates.
ALL climbing is dangerous and exposing noobs to all options is the best policy. With the situation on top of this needle the simu-rap as I described is safest, especially if you dont trust the bolt. It's the responsibility of all climbers to know descent options and how to execute them. Simu-rapping is no more dangerous then a regular rap and in alot of cases is probably safer. Care to bitch some more?
Most rappelling accidents occur because 1)people don't know what they're doing, or 2)because people make simple mistakes. In general simu-rapping, is a more complex rappel, with more factors in play. That opens the door for both accident factor #1 and #2, more than on a standard rappel.
Given the non-redundancy of this system it MIGHT be the best option for descent on this route, provided you know how to do it. But in general simu-rapping does have a higher potential for error.
Speaking from the experience of arresting the fall of a "noob" due to a catastrophic rapping mistake, I would never, ever, have someone new to climbing try rapping. The bolt is old, but anywhere you go there is an aspect of trusting old manky bolts with your life.
So I plan to climb cleo's needle as my first trad lead in a few weeks. I'm super sketched out by this bolt though. I'd rather not downclimb or simul-rap. How angry would the DL community be if I left a camo sling around the top block to back up the rap? I was thinking I'd run a piece of 7mm cord through a piece of vinyl tubing, and spray paint that tubing to mimic DL purple quartzite... Any thoughts?
By Chris treggE Administrator From: Madison, WI Mar 29, 2013
To be honest I was a little weirded out rapping off a single bolt too.
If you leave webbing, someone else will clean it up. No big deal.