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Oak Creek Waterfall bolting problem
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By karabin museum
From phoenix. AZ
Apr 29, 2013
zebra power

Just out of the parking area for the Oak Creek Waterfall, some climber decided to go crazy with glue-in bolts on the main approach trail which leads to the creek. Like 40+ bolts. This area shows a great example of somebody who has no authority on bolting. What a disgrace and on the main trail which thousands of visitors a year walk down to get to the creek. One route looks like an aid training traverse, and then there are bolts glued everywhere on the trail on the tops of many of the plateaus. Some are missing hangers and some of the glue-ins looked smashed down by somebody else retaliating the bolting. There is even one glue-in bolt on a separate 100 lb rock which two people can freely carry around. This creek area is the locals 5-star swimming hole, which is now being climber trashed.

Does anybody know who is creating this mess?


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By Hampton Uzzelle
From Tucson, Arizona
Apr 29, 2013

Marty, I don't know if this was ever resolved but others are aware of the problem. See the link below. www.mountainproject.com/v/oak-creek-waterfall-area-parking-a>>>


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By karabin museum
From phoenix. AZ
Apr 29, 2013
zebra power

Thanks for the link but at the same time there was no effort made by other climbers to clean up the problem? The posts are from 2010. So somebody goes out and makes a joke about bolting and it is left for everybody else to see? Any anti climbing organization can use this area as an example of why bolting should be stopped.

This is a total problem!

If this was a practice area for rescue training, I would personally like to have a few words with their captain on incorrect bolting that he is promoting within a visible tourist area located just down stream from Slide Rock. Besides placing dangerous bolts for others to hang off of as practice. Whoever did this has no respect for nature. There are bolts F'n everywhere, and many for no reason and on the main trail! The bolts were placed with no thought, directionals are incorrect, many bolts are too close to the rock tops which are expansion on sandstone, all on short 15' creek bed walls. There are however a few large Petzl glue-in bolts which are not commonly seen and were purchased possibly directly through the Manufacturer. Any climber can see how ugly this situation looks for all climbers.

This is not a slack line set up or film shoot or anything like that. Just somebody that decided that they were going to create their vision of climbing. Start with power drill, get big ego, create a mess for all, and then read the "how to climb" and "climbing ethics" books.

The climbers in Phoenix would have proudly chopped this problem away once it got started. It would be deemed "unacceptable" by all Phoenix climbing organizations.
What are the Northern AZ climbers doing about the problem……………..nothing……………really? Just letting the problem get worse?

Oak Creek Waterfall area
Oak Creek Waterfall area

Oak Creek Waterfall area
Oak Creek Waterfall area

Sponsored!
Sponsored!

"unbolted" rock face, Oak Creek
"unbolted" rock face, Oak Creek


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By john crawley
From flagstaff, az
Apr 29, 2013

The attrocity is there with the permission of the land managers. It's used for search and rescue training. Believe me I have wanted to remove them often.


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By john crawley
From flagstaff, az
Apr 29, 2013

The attrocity is there with the permission of the land managers. It's used for search and rescue training. Believe me I have wanted to remove them often.


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By Joel Unema
From Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 29, 2013
me

That area is used by a few rope access training groups and Sedona Fire rescue for training. I dislike it as well, but chopping it would not be a good move for relations with other groups. Also, myself and the climbers I know try to keep the area clean by picking up trash around the swimming hole. Climbers from Flag do not leave trash on the approach or near the swimming hole, it is other tourists and non-climbing swimmers.


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By Zack S.
From Prescott, AZ
Apr 29, 2013
Me

As mentioned in the previous thread, these are land-manager approved bolts placed by Ropes That Rescue. They're obviously unnecessary and a mess. Rescue could be practiced and kids could go top roping at literally dozens of other places in the Sedona/Flagstaff/Prescott areas.
This does indeed show what plenty of money and a cozy relationship with land managers will get you. It reminds me of Pink Jeep Tours being tacitly allowed to leave tire tracks all over the slickrock, or getting an unnecessary berm installed at the entrance to Dry Creek Road so they don't look stupid when people pass pink jeeps in passenger cars. Or a certain bike tour company in the area constructing an illegal bike trail out their back door with no consequences due to a 'personal' relationship with a land manager...gotta love that Red Rock Ranger District.
As much of an eyesore as it is, please leave the bolts alone. Chopping these 'legal' bolts will only create problems for the N. AZ. climbing community.


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By Dean Hoffman
Apr 29, 2013

Interestingly enough I was just discussing this with a SAR member recently (and before anyone goes slagging on SAR remember that even "badasses" find themselves in situations where they need trained rescuers and an organized system to get them out of it...). But I digress, anyhow those bolts have apparently been placed by Reed Thorne of Ropes that Rescue www.ropesthatrescue.com/, and have no affiliation with Coconino SAR or Sedona Fire. Both organizations do use them now, but as I understand it had no hand literally and figuratively, in placing them... As with every other climber that has passed by what likely is the most horrible, ugly, and irresponsible bolting I have ever seen, I often contemplate pulling said bolts. Unfortunately many of them are glue ins and there is also the danger of raising the ire of "the Man". What do we as a community do about it? If the said bolts were suddenly to disappear I think that the perpetrators should make all efforts to mask their identity, we certainly would not want anyone thinking that the upstanding members of the climbing community had anything to do with it.

(Edited in light of email as noted below)


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By AMT
Apr 29, 2013

I'd hate to see this area get caught up in a chopping controversy. My work is in public land management and it seems like there might be solutions esp. given the amount of visitors in the area. If it'd be helpful to have someone talk with people from Coconino SAR, Sedona Fire, and the Red Rock Ranger district, about potential solutions (hard to believe we couldn't come up with a less visible alternative location for rescue training), I'd be happy to give it a shot. Agreed with Joel and John about the need to keep relations good esp. in an area as special as the waterfall. -Anne Mariah-


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By Robbie Brown
From Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 29, 2013
Jumping across the mace gap with a PBR

As Chris Kalous once said regarding bolts; "If you clip them, you own them"


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By guy bon
Apr 29, 2013
yup...

I haven't been to the waterfall area yet but I noticed a similar atrocity near grasshopper point, and even at the anvil boulders. Grasshopper point is littered with funky anchors in weird spots and hanger-less bolts on boulders. The same can be said about the anvil boulders. I can see adding a bolt to the top of some of the taller faces of the boulders but to have 5 or 6 is stupid....not to mention most are missing hangers or are improperly placed glue-ins.

Going from CT to Sedona was like a vegan first witnessing the results of the atkins diet.


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By karabin museum
From phoenix. AZ
Apr 29, 2013
zebra power

This is the worst bolting I have ever seen, and it was done by a company that may rescue somebody some day. Nice! My hat is off to all rescue guys out there since there are a lot of uneducated climbers climbing the rocks. But out of all of the rock in Oak Creek canyon, the mouth of a popular trailhead was chosen to deface and in a low budget way. To me this looks like a training ground opportunity that was taken too far.


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By guy bon
Apr 29, 2013
yup...

atop a 10ft. boulder
atop a 10ft. boulder


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By lou
Apr 30, 2013
Whitney portal.....bony fingers

Dont have a problem with Search n Rescue throwing some bolts around to practice... might not be pretty.. but I think most people understand the need... they tend to use more anchors for their setups than climbers would.. all sorts of backups..directionals... etc.. we may all need them oneday when we get busted up.... the best can get broken. I would like to see whoever put the rebar ladder at the pond given a talk to!! Now ever pedestrian goes up to the crags... spray paint yay.... hello

cheers
lou


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By JMo
From Tucson, AZ
Apr 30, 2013
vertebrae roof

Anne MT, hats off for talking solution. Let's all be careful: we've just lost our parking privileges at the pit, lord knows what could happen to our beloved waterfall if we piss the wrong people off.


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By Red
From Arizona
Apr 30, 2013
Cobra Kai

lou wrote:
I would like to see whoever put the rebar ladder at the pond given a talk to!! Now ever pedestrian goes up to the crags... spray paint yay.... hello

Grab your popcorn everybody.


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By Fred AmRhein
Apr 30, 2013

lou wrote:
I would like to see whoever put the rebar ladder at the pond given a talk to!! Now ever pedestrian goes up to the crags... spray paint yay.... hello


Don't forget the Dots, Milk Duds, and Coke . . . get ready for the movie; something to do with Pots, Kettles, and a Blacksmith as I once heard it told . . .

10 . . . 9 . . . 8 . . . ?

There might also be a short cartoonish lampooning before the film about some interesting "historical" activity at Pinnacle Peak and in the McDowells . . .

7 . . . 6 . . .

Fred


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By Nicholas Oxentenko
Apr 30, 2013
twister roof, Flagstaff, AZ

Comparing the bolt ladder to the waterfall bolting disgrace in Sedona is invalid, personally I have seen many Gipsy-esk hoodlums come up the steep west side of the pond and only find the ladder upon watching climbers come up that way, or maybe you are referencing all the graffiti at the pond that has shown up after the installation of the ladder? Graffiti that I have still yet to see/find in my years of climbing at the pond. Given a free afternoon I wouldn't hesitate to chop some bolts if I could see it keeping some novice climber from getting injured.


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By Fred AmRhein
Apr 30, 2013

Nicholas Oxentenko wrote:
Comparing the bolt ladder to the waterfall bolting disgrace in Sedona is invalid


Quite true; the glued-in rebar ladder at The Pond area is anything but a "bolt" ladder, there are literally no bolts and it's quite a bit more than that. Most comments over the years surrounded who was responsible for it not so much in advocating to actually chop it; thus the Pot, Kettle, and Blacksmith riddle.

Regardless, there it is and my guess is that it's not going anywhere soon.

Fred


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By Nicholas Oxentenko
Apr 30, 2013
twister roof, Flagstaff, AZ

Miss typed bolt ladder when I meant rebar ladder FYI


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By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 30, 2013
JJ Schlick on first ropeless ascent of Cranium Crack .12 Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ.  1999

Hey KM I was obviously upset when these bolts first appeared for so many reasons. The hangers have been removed, hammered, and otherwise mangled many times over by unknown parties. However fresh bolts just keep sprouting up... And after a few years watching the process and pondering the situation all I can really tell you is this guy really wants bolts there for whatever reasons. However, these short sandstone walls along Oak Creek just below the parking area for the Waterfall are not a crag, and the bolts placed here are not to protect rock climbs. It is unfortunate to say the least, but as I have learned, yelling and screaming about it on the Internet isn't going to solve anything. I mean hell, even chopping the bolts didn't solve the problem. So the issue is more complex than we would like to imagine, and the solution might need to be more involved than mere sabotage.


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By BGBingham
Apr 30, 2013
night ice

Nicholas Oxentenko wrote:
Comparing the bolt ladder to the waterfall bolting disgrace in Sedona is invalid..


Calling the comparison invalid, doesn't make it invalid. There were plenty of climbers who thought the rebar ladder was unnecessary and self serving at the time it was put up. This is similar to how climbers feel about the subject of this thread and it is an issue that pops up regularly - not just in climbing.

In boating it came about when someone (can't remember who, but he was eventually caught) blew up a rapid on the Salt River so as to make guiding trips easier and portages less frequent.

Coming to consensus is difficult at best but if something shows up suddenly and (relatively) anonymously it likely means there should have been more discussion.


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By Jeff Kent
From Sedona, Az
Apr 30, 2013

JJ Schlick wrote:
So the issue is more complex than we would like to imagine, and the solution might need to be more involved than mere sabotage.


I think the issue is less complex. If it's not affecting access, we should leave it alone. Especially if it's there with express permission.

It is an eyesore though!


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By Eric D
From Gnarnia
May 1, 2013
Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, high Sierras.

I sent a polite email to Ropes that Rescue and their reply is below. It looks like they did not place the bolts.

"Thanks for the email. I am wondering where you got this information. We (RTR) do not require bolts to do what we do (training in rope rescue and rope access) except on the vertical wall where we have done an aid climb. As I understand by the person who did them, those Fixe glue-ins were placed with painstaking care to camouflage them. Dirt was used along with epoxy to insure the finish remained unobtrusive. We (RTR) use natural anchors for rescue work and those placed at the Waterfall parking lot appear to be used by multiple climbing groups to teach rappelling and so forth. Also, the Coconino County Sheriff's SAR team and Sedona Fire District TRT teams train there regularly. Perhaps they placed some of them? (There is another place where this has occurred on the Casner Canyon Trail coming from 89A just by the 60kv power line. We have used that area for years with bolts and glue ins galore and no one has ever complained). I have personally removed several messy looking bolts and glue ins on the top of the rock at the Waterfall area. We bent them over and then used a huge bar to twist them off. Again, we do not need bolts or glue-ins for what we do.

I am in favor of preserving the area without bolts of any kind. Some times they are necessary and if we have to place them, we do so discretely and try and camo them. Any bolt I place in a visible spot is done precisely with this consideration. I just got another email from some person named [ommitted] who's tone is very offensive and accusatory. I will not even bother to answer it because the guy sounds like a nut.

Thanks for sending this email."


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By Dean Hoffman
May 1, 2013

In response to that email Eric, I will apologize if the information I had is incorrect, I certainly am not out to start a witch hunt and I have had no interaction with Ropes that Rescue, however I do trust the individual I spoke with and he did state that Ropes that rescue had placed the bolts at the waterfall. Perhaps he was not aware of the recent proliferation. It is interesting though that no individual or organization has stepped forward to claim these bolts.


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By Eric D
From Gnarnia
May 1, 2013
Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, high Sierras.

No worries Dean. They actually seemed to know who placed them but didn't want to say who. My email to them was respectful and we had a good interaction, so no harm done.


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