BETA PHOTO: View of Geezer Wall from Storm Mountain Parking
This wall of easy-moderates was developed with the intent of providing another BCC alternative to the budding outdoor leader; luckily, there are several harder climbs that will give the more experienced leader something to get on after they do the “date” climb. The routes were put up keeping in mind the climber at that particular grade so more experienced climbers may find some of the bolts superfluous however I expect folks climbing at their limit at that grade will clip every bolt. Most of the routes only need draws but several do require some gear; see route descriptions for those routes. All routes can be climbed and rapped with a single 60 meter rope though you may have to rappel to an intermediate anchor or off to the side (upslope from the start of your climb). Remember to tie a knot at the end of your rope when rappelling. Several of the climbs have a rising traverse nature to them to maximize the climbing. There are two sections of Geezer Wall; the Main Slab and Climbers Choice Wall. Altogether these climbs come close to a 1000 feet of new climbing in BCC – enjoy!
These routes were put in by a community of friends over several months time mostly mid-week after work, racing against dwindling light, multiple June showers and all the speed bumps of daily life. Because of the piece-mix of time spent on this crag you will find several of the climbs to be half-pitches and have their own names; though in reality they could be done together as one long pitch. We utilized camouflaged bolt hangers to minimize impact and they work. I had several folks miss bolts when they did the routes soon after completion so keep your eyes open. Our intent was to make the climbs and area as safe as possible; we cleaned, we pried, and we put a lot of thought into bolt placements but remember climbing can be dangerous at any grade. Take in consideration that this is a new crag and still has some loose stuff on it, keep a look out and wear helmets. Due to the lower angle of the easier routes a fall on the Main Slab area would not be advised. One of the dangers here as a new area is the talus slope; it is very unstable in certain areas, tread carefully. Also several of the climbs are close to 30 meters long so if you going to lower your partner remember to tie a knot in the belayer’s rope end. Thanks to everyone for their effort and feedback.
The lower climbs of Geezer Wall are located halfway between the start of Steort’s Ridge and Glass Ocean. Go up as you would for Glass Ocean then just break out left, and cross the talus field (loose stuff here be careful). You may pick up a trail from the start of Steort’s Ridge that will take you up and left to a fin of rock extending up to Geezer Wall. Follow this trail up next to the rock fin to the bottom of the talus field. Then go immediately over to Whipper Snapper as the talus tends to be more settled next to the wall. Don’t make the mistake of going around the fin of rock down close to Steort’s Ridge towards Vector Madness – this is not the way. Expect a 15-25 min walk from the road. The upper end of Geezer Wall/Climbers Choice Wall takes you to just below the climb Redrum. During the summer Geezer Wall has been in the shade until about noon and then in the sun only until about 5 PM.
Congratulations! Geezer Wall is great. It is exactly what the new leader or, in my case returning to leading after major surgery, needs to gain confidence. The harder climbs are just plain fun! It's great to have new climbs in the area. THANKS!
Climbed geezer wall for the first time yesterday...it will definitely become the destination for anyone taking the "sharp end" for the first time! Look forward to trying out all the routes on this wall.
WARNING! A person or persons has chopped the routes at Geezer Wall!!! At this point do not waist your time going up to climb at this crag. I am going to hike up and assess the damage done by the culprits this afternoon.
If anyone knows the individuals that went to the trouble to KILL this crag we'd like to have a discussion on why such a harsh measure was taken to KILL a little gem that had a host of SAFE sport and mixed routes for the 5.5 to easy 5.10 leader. To put it bluntly, you people are anti-climbing community and ought to quit climbing. The amount of effort (with significant cost) to put up these routes FOR THE SLC CLIMBING COMMUNITY and beyond, and the quality and well thought out nature of the routes, did not justify KILLING THE CRAG.
It's in the hands of all you climbers out there if you feel this was justified fine, call the Geezer Wall dead. If you feel this action was unnecessary and want the routes to go back up come together and make it happen prove to those freaks that did the deed this is uncalled for, will not be tolerated and unacceptable in this climbing community. Thanks for the support!
Localism sucks and like on the coast, those that adopt this elitist mentality need to be called out and punished. Banishment from climbing in the central Wasatch is the minimum these individuals need to receive: Yeah I'm really irked about this BS.
To Mike and Mark and all of the others who inevitably worked so hard to establish this much needed "easy" sport climbing area to the Wasatch, it is sad to hear this act of disgrace happened. I was looking forward to a visit up there myself....being the geezer I am. Obviously the destructive work of a vandalistic nature from a disturbed (individual) someone who has been disturbed for quite some time now...Again, sorry to hear this happened. It is like trying to resolve an act of terror...hard to deal with even where to start as far as initiating some sort of dialogue.
Thanks on the condolences gents I really feel for Mark mostly. He's been looking at the chunk of rock since the early 90's and to take the time, effort (with a handful of old climbing friends), and ALL of his own money to develop such a fun place to climb, in a stunning setting and then have it literally erased, is disturbing and sad.
Obviously there is a group of climbers that have moved here with a new ethos and whether the wholesale killing of a new, cool, little crag is accpetable or not is up to us and our peers to decide. So far most in our community have been outraged by this action and at this point, I think we need to get this issue on the table via the SLCA to help resolve. I'm not going back up to re-bolt any of the GC routes until I can be assured those responsible have shown they acccept, what so far, has been an overwhelmingly consensus to do so.
The sadder part about tall this is Mark, I and all of our friends that helped develop this crag would have, in a heartbeat, led the charge to remove the bolts, epoxy the holes and make the rock as pristine as possible had their been an outcry to so do. And honestly, there was one section of the wall that I was dubious about in terms of too many bolts but Mark's argument was to make it safe due to the nature of the start and ground fall potential i.e. a funky sort of hard to protect crack you had to walk up. Outside of this section, and maybe one dubious lower anchor (for the beginner crew), the routes were well thought out and of pretty good to solid quality.
Thanks again guys your comments mean a ton to all of us and we'll see how this thing works out. It's gonna get interesting if it doesn't...
I haven't climbed at this wall, but saw it a few times on descents from other things. It looked good, and obviously the developers put in a huge amount of time, money and effort equipping this good quality wall with some easy-moderate climbs that are safe for people to enjoy. The chopping of these routes is a huge bummer and definitely an act of robbery. Very sad.
We were devastated to find out what happened to this wall as well and want to offer to help restore it. It was great to have alternatives to the normal areas-great to teach the new climbers to lead. Thank you for all the hours and money we know you spent.
I believe that restoring this wall will set a dangerous precident for what is allowed and accepted in the Wasatch. For those of you who haven't been there, this wall is EASILY protected with gear in MANY places also formerly protected by bolts. Also, many stances allow the climber to clip multiple bolts, either on the same route, or neighboring clips.
While I completely agree with developing new areas for the beginning masses I also scratch my head at those of you who have been climbing trad for many years, know the ethics involved, and are yet complacent about what has gone on up here. You guys should know better. But yet you defend the destruction (the initial grid bolting)of this rock because you're friends with the guys that put the routes up? Or they're supposed to be "well resepected climbers" so you'll "let this one slide?" Shame on you. A few of you are even instigators in the TC000 saga a couple years ago and now here you are defending the very action you were humiliating him for.
And another point, is this really what you want beginners to learn? That grid bolting and bolted cracks is acceptable? Out of the 100 beginners that have been here and saw what is "acceptable," how many do you think will be out drilling holes in 5 years? While this may have been a good, easy wall for beginning climbers, it was a HORRIBLE lesson to those beginning climbers and you should all be better teachers than that.
My 2 cents, there's plenty of rock in Boulder where this is accepted. Instead of expecting us to change our ethos, why don't you just move to someplace where bolting cracks, 4th class rock, steep approaches, and parking lot boulders is accepted and welcomed. It would, at the very least, save you money on hardware.
+1 for future removal should this wall be restored (it gets easier to say every time)
Haven't been here, just surfing MP to find a destination for my next trip. Who owns this rock? If you possess a deed for this cliff go ahead and chop it, if not, what right do you have to chop it. Who named you guys judge and jury. Ethics? Isn't this merely telling someone what climbing should be to them. How dare you tell me what climbing should be to me, or anyone else. Here is an idea, don't clip the bolts. To chop the routes is vandalism. If its public land its our land, not your land. This is the same argument all climbers use when access to public land is threatened for climbing purposes. If all it takes is a group of local environmentalists to claim its against their local ethic to use the area for climbing, then there will be no climbing on any public land. Oh wait this is all it takes. Trust me these groups are in every area of every State. It does happen, and will happen again. If this happened to your favorite climbing area how would you like other people imposing their ethics on you then? If its privately owned did anyone ask the land owner if the bolts could be placed? Was the same owner consulted when they were chopped?
Next comes the bolting is vandalism argument. Yep, those holes will be there for thousands of years, no doubt about it. So what. The amount of environmental damage done by "climbers paths" and bare ground at the cliff base is huge in comparison. Walls have closed in my state because of climber paths, I'm sure this is not the only state where this has happened. How did this happen? A small group of naturalists complained to the DNR. The path was not cut by the DNR, therefore illegal. Somebody imposing their ethics on someone else. Nobody informed them its our land not their land.
All climbing is bad for the rock. In all my years of climbing I have broken off several holds, they will not grow back.
If you have a deed (you don't) for the land or never have broken a hold or never have climbed on a cliff that has had any access issues (you haven't) or never have strayed from official paths and have no problem with others imposing their ethics on you then maybe you have a point. Not enough to vandalize this cliff, but at least you are not a hypocrite.
By the way I am a trad climber, as well as a sport climber. Being in the Autumn of my years I do find myself sport climbing more than trad and I agree some routes are overbolted. I have even z-clipped. But it wasn't my cliff, it was on a legacy National Forest Service route. It was on our land.
Even with my limited experience, and the fact that I lead only sport right now - there is such a thing as too much bolting.
As someone who hopes to move back to the SLC I would hope that people drilling holes in the rock would think twice...especially if it's as they say - that there were bolts next to crack routes. If you want to lead crack, learn some trad. It sounds like this crag could be a great place for both trad and sport climbers to learn, but overbolting is not okay. People who learn to lead thinking there will always be a bolt every 3 feet are destined for high-altitude meltdown.
Bolted routes can enhance the possibilities of an area, but IMO should be kept to a minimum.
Most of us have multiple climbing partners. You want to climb faces - climb with your sportos. You want to climb cracks on a given day - call up your favorite trad rat.
I've been mostly a trad climber for more than 20 years. Came from North Carolina which has a very strong trad tradition. I moved to Utah 10 years ago and have been climbing in Big Cottonwood since then. Since then, I have seen an explosion of climbers trying to get on the bolted routes, particularly on the walls with some easy climbs with some moderates nearby in BC. It has gotten ridiculous to try to take some newbies, flatlanders who are trying to adjust to altitude, or just plain "old" friends to a nice easy-moderate bolted or toprope wall just to have some fun. This has become true, even in the Uintas. The guide services alone often pack these places on nice weekends (what's that about, can't they find something a bit more remote or at least that requires some gear to set up?). The Storm Mt. area has become particularly ridiculous with some clueless sport climbers even trying to climb the trad routes with no or minimum gear because the lines are too long on the bolted routes. And someone chops new bolted routes in the area? What will that accomplish? The Geezer wall was too short, to close to the road to be a true destination for trad climbers. Plus, the easy trad routes in the Storm Mt. area are NEVER crowded like the bolted routes, so we really don't need more of these for the "beginning" trad leader. Heck, you could just have this new leader use trad gear on the bolted route to keep them safe for their first - 10 times leading. Plenty of trad with slightly easier access for those who want a blank wall, so why would they walk the extra steps to do the Geezer wall? Come on people, THINK AND EVOLVE! There is no danger of losing valued trad climbs in the Wasatch at this time (unlike the situation in North Carolina). Chop bolts in the backcountry if you like, I have no problem with that, but not in areas swarming with the masses.
What precedent would be set with bolting this wall? Plenty of bolted routes in the area already that don't need bolts (at least by NC standards). Most of these are harder than this old geezer could climb trad, but notice them everywhere. What 5.10 and lower climber is going to learn that they should go out and bolt easily protected walls? I've never seen any of these guys putting up new bolted routes---never, never.
I just got back from climbing this area. I brought my wife up there to learn how to lead climb. On bolts, not trad. It was real disappointing to see all the bolts chopped. I am totally disguised and ashamed of the SLC climbing community. If you don't want to clip it, don't clip it! Why ruin it for everyone else? Better yet, just don't climb there!
Ethics in Cottonwoods! Give me a break! I have been climbing in the Wasatch Front for over 20 years and there is no consistency at all. Just walking up to this area, there were plenty of climbs with a bolt right beside a crack. Those pictures can come from over a hundred climbs in the Wasatch Front. Are these jerks going to chop all those bolts too?
The person who chopped the bolts reminds me of a spoiled teenager. Loves to destroy things, but couldn't build a thing. If it was such a righteous thing to do, why are these people hiding? Do something positive with your life!
Just paid my first visit to this crag. Other than Crossing Over, all bolts and anchors have been cut. The gotcha for many is that the lower bolts were left on most of the routes, which is misleadingly dangerous.
I'll refrain from weighing in on the "to bolt or not to bolt" issue. But it would be best for anyone using this site to make the current state of affairs here more clear in the route and crag descriptions (for some who might not read the comments :).
If you're a lameass (not directed at the persons who FA'd this wall) climber that goes around bolting any old wall no matter what it offers (cracks, ect..), you should go spend your time on a more lameass wall... You people make me sick and are really tainting the whole spirit of climbing. GYM RATS, quit spreading your disease!!! Sounds like a great Trad learning area... Want to learn sport climbing? Hit Dogwood or the Slips, even better, stay at the gym... And yes, I started where you all did too (at the bottom scared to lead a 5.6 sport route), but I never went around proposing we add bolts to more traditionally appealing routes, or that someone should setup a special area for me to learn...
Edit: Let's give a little more respect to all the FAer's out there. Especially the ones who had the bold vision to pioneer the sport we probably all sometimes take for granted. Let's try and keep this vision insight for as long as we can... Before history is lost. Change is inevitable, but it doesn't mean we have to lose what I think is the most important part of climbing... Good old fashion fear!
I have a feeling my previous comment maybe misinterpreted by some here. So by no means do I condone the manner in how the wall was removed of bolts. That said, I would hope that the bolts would not be added back due to the nature of the wall.
Let Geezer Wall be a lesson to us all. Don't over bolt, but don't put yourself above sport climbers either. Hind sight is 20/20, but there could have been an easy compromise on this wall. One or two bolted routes where most needed (i.e. Goodrow's Wall). None of us own these rocks and we need to learn how to share among us all. Let's try and comminicate before we bolt and NEVER chop unless we have once again comminicated. Two wrongs don't make a right. There should have been less bolting in the begining. And if you had to chop, you should have chopped less as well. Now, EVERYBODY loses.
At the base of Lower Dentures/Sweet Louise we found a bag of anchor hardware. Looked like a bunch of stuff that could be used to bolt new routes and setup fixed anchors. We left it where we found it, but wanted to say something in case that someone forgot it there. Other parties climbed there today. Not sure if they left it there too. Probably worth a lot of money and will probably rust with the coming winter. Don't think it was the original hardware ripped out of geezer wall.