This corner is 5.6 at best, but it has some really cool (interesting, bizarre) moves to get up it at that grade. I did the first bolted ascent of it (cleaning out that corner crack would take a few weeks, plus it would probably just fill in again) with most of the green on it.... so treat it as an adventure climb! The corner may get ice in the winter? Flying Monkey for a name? Sure.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Dec 7, 2011
I have always been a pretty avid bolter and have put up a lot of sport routes, of all grades, but can't help going WTF when I see this. Does anybody else have the same feeling or am I just getting crotchety? If it is good and people climb it, it will get the leaves brushed out. Unless there is a tree root running down it, it would clean right up. If you guys go bolting up every 25 foot portion of rock that is climbable down to 5.1 without any restraint, the place is going to look like shit. What about just putting a couple bolts at the top for an anchor if you don't want to use the tree and clean the crack out to see what is there for those who really want to lead it?
Frankly, I don't see the purpose of the bolts on these little lines either-- they are too short and too easily top-roped-- but at the same time that is just my opinion and these bolts are here now, so I don't think it is worth bickering about. It is also worth noting that there has been bolting going on in the woods around Redrock (and at Oz) for at least 15 years (when I first climbed there as a kid) -- probably longer. And there are patches where the scars of previous bolt wars are all too obvious. In my mind mind, a nest of empty holes with a few entrails of chopped, rusted bolts sticking out looks -- and represents -- something far uglier than a tiny overbolted cliff in the middle of the woods that few people actually visit.
Personally I would I hope that that the decision to bolt at Redrock would be based on how easily and safely top-roped a climb is. There are some new potential climbs opening up that might be candidates for bolted lines given the difficulty of safely top-roping them. Otherwise, there is no shame in cleaning-up routes and installing solid, well-positioned anchors for new top-roping lines that others can enjoy enjoy. In the end, most climbs will probably be used that way anyway. Redrock is a little Greater Boston crag. Good times for an afternoon but not exactly a lead climbing destination.
One of the reasons I have been adding these routes and photos to MP recently is so that these climbs become established as part of the public domain where they belong. I hope this will lead to the area being viewed as common resource so that decisions about bolting -- whether positive or negative -- will not be taken lightly or unilaterally. The first step in this process is for people to get out and climb and enjoy these routes for whatever they are worth. Then hopefully people will start caring about them enough to want to protect them.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Dec 7, 2011
I agree with just about everything you said there, Jim. My point in mentioning it was not to bicker but as a wake up call for whomever is doing it to step back and have a look at what they are doing from a little broader view. It is very easy to get blinders on when you start getting excited about developing an area, even with the most selfless intentions, especially when relatively new to bolting (I don't know if that is the case, but suspect it).
Oh, and MNatti, not that this route should take more than a day to clean, but some routes do take weeks to clean, and if they are good, they are worth it.
Thanks for the input, Mark. I am not new to developing. In fact, I have done quite a lot of crag development, though mostly in New Zealand. I agree that perhaps I should have put in a bit more effort into that crack before diving for my drill, but after a good amount of exploration, I deemed that it really isn't worth the cleaning. Not only does it have tree roots in it, but due to the configuration of the "guts," I doubt it will accept cams (perhaps BIG hexes IF the roots were cleaned out). I agree that a lot of the "new" routes getting cleaned up and bolted are a bit short, but they are helping to spread out climbing pressure from the main wall as well as giving folks an opportunity to practice lead climbing on bolts without driving all the way to Rumney. On that note Mark, I have climbed plenty of your routes and seen perfectly good trad placements on some of your sport routes, but that is not the point of this. Why not come try these and see what you think? I've seen you down these parts before... perhaps it's time to visit Cape Ann again. If you come, shoot me a message and we can grab a pint!
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Dec 8, 2011
Well, Rumney is a schist sport area and usually running around to the top to throw a little TR down is not such a good idea. If there is a major tree root running down this corner, than good call not to disturb it. I do think if it was worth bolting, then it should be cleaned around it though.
I'll try to bite my tongue about this area from further comments. I know it is a fine line when trying to figure how much to develop little local areas with limited climbing nearby. We have a small area like this down where I am and I have contemplated putting a few bolts in for years, going back and forth on the idea.
I have never actually climbed here. I am usually headed north or if staying in Mass, I would probably go in the direction of Farley. If I was in the area, I would try it though. Some of the routes look nice.
I don't know, but given the history of bolting and chopping in the area, I think most of these bolts will disappear. I don't know if this is right or wrong as I have not climbed here in quite a while, but it certainly has been this way in the past.
Enough negative input. Oz is a great crag and is only bolted where needed. There is no need for R or X rated routes in a small climbing area like Redrocks. Most of the people around the Cape Ann climbing community area (at least that I have bumped into) are totally stoked these areas are being revived. And we locals are reviving them with as little impact as possible. Go Climb!
Well said, Chris. I can neither condone or condemn the man with the drill. Oz was bolted tastefully, and as far as this crack goes, I say why not? You need large gear for it, something I really would not have for Redrocks. The more fun leadable stuff the better? The more stuff I can challenge myself, why not? Bring in small rack, a bunch of draws and presto! Let's make the day out of it. Instead of one fun main wall, how about 4 or 5 other great areas to play in? Squabbling aside, let's accomodate the greater number of us in this amazing sport while staying together as one, tastefully of course.
"Flying Monkey." 5.6. Weird, wet, and mossy chimney (with bolts!) left of the prominent crack ("Tinman"). Haven't climbed this. I'm guessing you can stem up it (it's pretty low angle). Doesn't look too hard, but it is pretty mossy and slick on one side, so it looks ripe for cool face-planting. Clean it and climb it! TR anchors at the top.