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The Golden Shower Wall
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Pushing Two Hundred S 

Pushing Two Hundred 

YDS: 5.11b/c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Consensus:  YDS: 3rd French: 1- Ewbanks: 1 UIAA: I ZA: 1 British: M 1a [details]
FA: 
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 7,387
Submitted By: Mav on Aug 21, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (37)
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Description 

Sloping undercling with a overhand cross.

Location 

Glacier Gorge.

Protection 

5.


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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 29, 2012
By Eli Helmuth
From: Estes Park, CO
Aug 22, 2010

C'mon guys-
putting in bolts 2 feet off a popular trail in RMNP on a weekend in the middle of summer is a TERRIBLE IDEA!
Couldn't you find a rock AWAY FROM THE TRAIL for these antics...on a 40' wall?!?!
Some public opinion polls have ranked climbing 3rd, behind mining and forestry as the most destructive activities on our public lands...bolting off a very busy tourist trail only fosters this misconception.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 22, 2010

I totally agree with Eli. This route must have taken hours of loud hammering right next to a very popular tourist trail. Isn't this basically how bolting got banned in the Flatirons?
By Allen Hill
From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Aug 22, 2010

Bad idea.
By dakotahills
Aug 22, 2010

"Guideline #1: don't be a jerk"
and furthermore this isn't RIGHT next to the trail, and so what if people see it!? Maybe it will encourage them to try something new. I'm pretty sure that for the 5 minutes of the hike that people could hear the hammering, they were probably pretty curious and intrigued.
By Patrick Vernon
From: Albuquerque, NM
Aug 22, 2010

I saw this route the other day on the way to Sharkstooth. I don't get it, who is going to climb it? An hour hike from Glacier Gorge (whose parking lot is chronically full anyway, so tack on 20 mins in the shuttle) for one 50' sport route? Are you planning other routes on this wall? It is 20 feet from the trail, in a very high profile area, will probably only very rarely get done, and is frankly a bit of an eyesore with chalked x's and the whole nine yards; why was this put up? Loch Vale is not the Sport Park. The hangers were not camo'ed.

I know I know, guideline #1, but these are valid questions, do you plan on putting in more routes?

-Patrick Vernon
By cletus blum
From: Boulder, Colorado
Aug 22, 2010

I do realize that the climb is very close to the trail and will inherently attract some attention. I have walked up to the Loch Vale a few times just to turn around due to weather. The motivation to put a climb here was not to create a sport climbing wall but to have something to play on while in the area. The goal was not to offend anyone but to simply put up a new route for people to try while they were in the Loch Vale Area. When talking with the rangers they seemed to have no problems with the route, if they had we would have not put it up.

~Cletus Blum
By Kevin Craig
Aug 23, 2010

Uh, yeah. People will be inspired to try climbing for the first time on an 11b/c route? Verdict: Ego route. Penalty: Back to the gym, boyz.

- edit to remove last comment -
By Ryan Jennings
Aug 23, 2010

This is a question that should be discussed. Thousands of climbers have walked by this wall for years and we've all entertained thoughts of lines here. What held us back? We may have been lazy, thought bolts wrong, or thought the climb was just trivial. I would imagine most were on there way to a serious objective loaded with a full rack of cams looking for an adventure because that is what RMNP is about...adventure. It used to be that was what climbing was about...adventure.
Climbing has certainly changed, and this is a prime example of where we are headed if we don't discuss these matters. In RMNP, why do we need more "access to climbing"? We are surrounded by it, and there are many many walls with better access than an 1.5hr hike. Why do we need more bolts in an area surrounded by natural routes of any length you want?
I support the authors desire to establish a new route, but you will never truly feel what, I think many would argue, climbing is really about until you put the bolt gun away and simply climb. Bring a hand drill if you have to. It will force you to think about how important it really is that you put that hole in the rock. Study and search and find a new line that doesn't require a bolt every four feet. There are plenty out there, but you will have to be skilled and possibly bold. Climb from the ground up and feel your way. You will have to know how to downclimb. You may even have to learn how to hook! Talk about adventure and inspiration!
If you want to impress the tourists, let them see you hanging 400ft up a new route taking wippers off the roof your desperately trying to find a piece above. Seeing you whip then get back up and send will certainly inspire them.
I agree lame to bolt a short route, with a power drill, by the main trail, mark Xs, take photos of the drilling (I see this all the time, it's like posing with your cool car), and spray about it.
Don't get me wrong I've placed a few bolts too, but I always feel better when I don't and I understand the impacts I'm leaving behind and have thoroughly discussed the merit of doing such. The merits can only be decided upon in your own head, but I certainly hope in the future we aspire to develop more routes that push the "limits" of the sport rather than push the "number" of routes we have. Think about it!
By JPVallone
Aug 23, 2010

Your plan worked,

You have totally inspired the recreational hikers of RMNP, and tourists everywhere to start climbing. It was kind of a bummer, but I went up to wrestle all 40ft of this masterpiece but after the crowded shuttle and overcrowded trail on the way in. It was to my surprise, that all these folks on the bus with me were headed up to wrestle this proj as well. It sucked, I had to cue up, and there just wasn't enough room for all of us. I waited 45 minutes just to get my turn on this visionary stepping stone. I didn't even get a chance to send, there were so many people waiting to climb, we had to enforce a one hang rule and you're out.

I saw a whole family, grandparents and all, they were only going up to the lake for there picnic, some photos, and hopes of taking some photographs, but they actually brought there rack and draws all the way up so they too could do something else while up in the area.

Thanks for helping to fuel our sport and market to the less exposed folks who might never of climbed, now thanks to this beauty of a route, climbing numbers will sure explode. It's just crazy you only put one line in, if we had more there, we could accomodate so many others, and this could truly become a trail side social landmark.

P.S. Why didn't you just top rope it for something to do if you needed to climb it that bad? Was it that big of a deal that you needed to lead it?

P.S.S. I wonder why after generations and countless thousands of incredible climbers have walked past this over more years than I have been alive, has it never been bolted before? Why it took countless years and visionary sportos in 2010 to actually see this pebble's potential???
By Tom Halicki
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 23, 2010

Bad idea. Not very mature judgment.
By Bill Duncan
From: Jamestown, CO
Aug 23, 2010

60 feet tall = top rope. Why are bolts other than top rope anchors necessary?
By Andy Novak
From: Golden, Co
Aug 23, 2010

Wow...just, wow. Good job guys, whoever you are, for putting up the most retarded route I have ever seen. What are your real names?

EDIT: In the future, stick to Boulder Canyon and STAY OUT OF THE PARK.
By blakeherrington
Aug 23, 2010

There's a big difference between style and ethics.

These guys didn't leave any trash, fixed ropes, fixed draws, etc. They didn't use a power drill, or violate NPS laws. They strived to follow all explicit 'rules'. I think it's important that critics of the route realize this.

That being said, the style of the route isn't really in line with the area. Why not talk with some prolific locals to learn about a possible tradition of bolt-free TR climbing on this and other small, highly visible walls? If your goal is merely to develop some sport routes, there are thousands of potential bolted face climbs around that (although often not particularly high quality...) would satisfy that desire in a less-visible area, much closer to the road. If you want to establish new routes in RMNP, the potential is vast as well, but do so in the tradition of the area, not by turning trailside escarpments into Sport-Park simulators. It's great that folks put the time and money into developing sport climbs, and make the effort to comply with NPS Laws, but consider the possibility that such endeavors are best done in locations with a tradition of similar climbs.

If Mountain Project didn't exist, and this route wouldn't have been 'recorded' anywhere, would it still have been bolted?
By justin dubois
From: Estes Park
Aug 23, 2010

"When talking with the rangers they seemed to have no problems with the route, if they had we would have not put it up."...those Rangers don't have the slightest f'n clue about the ethics and traditions of climbing in RMNP.
By pfwein
Aug 23, 2010

Eli H. wrote "Some public opinion polls have ranked climbing 3rd, behind mining and forestry as the most destructive activities on our public lands."

Do you have a link to those polls--I spent a bit of time trying to find them online and couldn't.
I don't have an opinion on the route one way or the other, but my experiences with non-climbing tourists is that they either don't care much one way or the other, or, more commonly, regard it as at least a mildly interesting activity (how do you get the ropes up there . . .).

Bolts seem to bother a certain sub-species of climbers. If you're one of the climbers (and sometimes I am), fine, but let's not pretend that you're somehow the defender of Ma, Pa, and Junior Tourist who are bothered by the bolts. Ma, Pa, and Junior couldn't care less.
By David A
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 23, 2010

Pfwein's got the right idea. I'm not going to get any deeper into this argument than that.
By Greg D
From: Here
Aug 24, 2010

Holy Fack! What were you thinking.

So, for those that have never been there:

Sunday, 3 am, we wake up to drive 2 hours to the Glacier Gorge parking lot to begin an amazing adventure into some of the most pristine and well-protected land in the country. After about an hour and a half of hiking in the dark, we shut off our headlamps. It is just barely light enough to see without them, though I'm still asleep. We are in a field of wild flowers, a crystal clear steam babbles near by, fresh pine is in the air, and I see a herd of elk grazing only 30 feet away. Then, smack dap in front of me I see what appears to be a sport route. What the fack. I must be dreaming, or having a nightmare. This is so bizarre. A sport route complete with shiny bolts and chalk right in front of me only a few feet from the trail in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

This is not a sport/trad thing or a "you bolted my crack". This is just the most inappropriately placed routes EVER.

1. Placing non-camo'd bolts=bad.
2. Planning on camo'ing after the fact=bad.
3. Leaving chalked x's=bad.
4. If climbed regularly, it will get chalked up=bad.
5. Claiming it was to inspire others. Umm, an 11b/c route in the pristine national forest to inspire= retarded.
6. Having RMNP officials approval means nothing. They simply have to consider whether you are violating any laws, rules, and regs of the park. Not whether this is a good idea or bad one=bad.
7. You already toproped this one. Then bolt it?=bad.
8. First ascents are considered courage, talent, vision, thoughtful consideration, and art. Most first ascentionists are very proud of their work and own it. Why is your full name not listed here?=very bad.

This route is the most poorly thought route ever simply based on location. If you must place a sport route in RMNP, there are miles and miles of huge rock walls off the beaten path. Some may make perfect sport crags. This is not one of them.

Please consult with officials about the regs on removing hardware and do so right away. This would be=good.
By Chris Beh
Aug 24, 2010

Bolting a route right over the trail is short sighted and way too high profile. Look at the kerfuffle (cool German word meaning, roughly, a temptest in a teapot) going on here. If you put up a route off the trail, none of this conversation would be happening.

There is an amazing amount of cragging potential in Loch Vale for short, bolt-protected climbs. If it was an area where a power drill could be used at will, there could be hundreds of routes up there. I don't really care if a route is done ground up or top down as long as it is a good route and tastefully bolted, i.e. no bolts by safe gear placements. Hand drilling is naturally self-limiting regarding over-bolting.

To the energetic boys who put up this route, go find a crag off the trail up there where you can do your work in privacy. It will save you a lot of scolding.
By Malcolm Daly
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 24, 2010

Nice job, guys. Not only have you totally hacked the traditional ethics of RMNP alpine, you've also introduced the trashy, naming ethics use at the worst of the sport climbing piles. Golden Shower Wall? Classy.... You should be so proud.
By EDGE
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 24, 2010

What a terrible decision to bolt a route here! The best solution would be for the FAists to remove the bolts themselves and repair the holes, before someone else does it and starts a mean spirited ethics war in the Park that would only serve to paint climbers in a bad light. This route is definitely not worth having that happen. Let them keep the route name for the resultant top rope if they want to.
By dakotahills
Aug 24, 2010

There seems to be a lot of ego involved here with these comments, and it makes you all look like a bunch of climbing gangsters. I'm sure the forefathers of climbing would be proud of the bullying taking place here. LIVE AND LET LIVE.
By ryanhd
Aug 24, 2010

Everyone who has been posting here and getting all bent out of shape about this climb needs to go re-read PFWEIN's post and reflect upon the truth of that statement. Hikers, rangers, tourists, campers - these people neither chop bolts nor care AT ALL about them being there. I would also venture to say that 90% of the climbing community is ambivalent as well.

Why do a few people think they can go around threatening the FAists with things like "remove the bolts, before someone else does," simply because it doesn't align with their notion of what climbing is supposed to be about? Climbing is a personal experience and everyone is allowed to manifest that experience how they so choose. If someone else's experience (i.e., sport climbing in RMNP) isn't to your liking, that's fine, but don't be a bully and threaten to chop down their bolts. This form of bigotry is no different than any other.

If you want the bolts down, go about it the right way. If you want your unspoken "ethics and traditions" to be legitimized and protected within the park, take actual proactive steps towards making that happen. Talk to local officials, form an action committee that can approve or disapprove new fixed hardware in the Park, and arrive at a consensus together. In the mean time, realize that this climb was put up in total compliance with RMNP regulations and guidelines, and that as of now, it has as much of a right to be in the Park as any other route.
By Scotty P
Aug 24, 2010
rating: 5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c X

We've dealt with this exact scenario before, and the FAists need to remove the bolts ASAP. Despite RyanHD's assertion that hikers and other recreationalists do not mind seeing bolts and chalk on cliffs and rocks, the truth is they do. And they are vocal, and can become active in speaking out against it.

Any visitors to the area, be they hikers, rangers, recreationalists or climbers, have a right to not have their own "personal experience" diluted by seeing some chalk and metal all over an otherwise pristine rock or sector.

While everyone can agree that climbing will be allowed for a long time in RMNP, acts like this one can cause access issues for specific sectors, rocks, cliffs or hardware.

There is plenty of FA glory available in RMNP that is not directly off a popular hiking trail. I think it prudent of the FAists to remove the hardware, repair the rock, and use their tools to take advantage of the many other opportunities in RMNP.
By Andy Novak
From: Golden, Co
Aug 24, 2010

Hey, Ryan, you joined this site 4 hours ago. Much like the Boy Scouts who put up this nightmare of a route, you have no idea what you're talking about. Look at the people who have commented; Helmuth, Daly, Hill, these are pillars of the local community. "Golden Shower Wall?" Really? You guys have a lot to learn. Like I said above, atrocities like this belong in Boulder Canyon. Man up, and take out the bolts.
By Ben Cassedy
From: Denver, CO
Aug 24, 2010

"If you want the bolts down, go about it the right way. If you want your unspoken "ethics and traditions" to be legitimized and protected within the park, take actual proactive steps towards making that happen. Talk to local officials, form an action committee that can approve or disapprove new fixed hardware in the Park, and arrive at a consensus together. In the mean time, realize that this climb was put up in total compliance with RMNP regulations and guidelines, and that as of now, it has as much of a right to be in the Park as any other route." - ryanhd

Yeah, that's the ticket. Let's get park officials involved because we can't settle our silly squabbles ourselves. They will surely look upon us with favor and be honored to adjudicate our disputes.

Isn't voicing legitimate criticism over the route an 'actual and proactive step' towards a solution? Especially when it's done on an open forum in direct dialogue with the bolters? Isn't there already an overwhelming consensus that this route was a bad idea? Why do I feel like I'm talking to an 18-20 year old?

Speaking of that, how old are you guys who bolted this route? This thing has juvenile-male-testosterone written all over it.

And I say all of this as an avid sport climber.
By Greg D
From: Here
Aug 25, 2010

ryanhd said:

"Everyone who has been posting here and getting all bent out of shape about this climb needs to go re-read PFWEIN's post and reflect upon the truth of that statement. Hikers, rangers, tourists, campers - these people neither chop bolts nor care AT ALL about them being there. I would also venture to say that 90% of the climbing community is ambivalent as well.

Why do a few people think they can go around threatening the FAists with things like "remove the bolts, before someone else does," simply because it doesn't align with their notion of what climbing is supposed to be about? Climbing is a personal experience and everyone is allowed to manifest that experience how they so choose. If someone else's experience (i.e., sport climbing in RMNP) isn't to your liking, that's fine, but don't be a bully and threaten to chop down their bolts. This form of bigotry is no different than any other.

If you want the bolts down, go about it the right way. If you want your unspoken "ethics and traditions" to be legitimized and protected within the park, take actual proactive steps towards making that happen. Talk to local officials, form an action committee that can approve or disapprove new fixed hardware in the Park, and arrive at a consensus together. In the mean time, realize that this climb was put up in total compliance with RMNP regulations and guidelines, and that as of now, it has as much of a right to be in the Park as any other route."

Umm, not fooling anybody with your profile a few seconds old. You must be mav or the other "fa" that doesn't take pride in your work or own. But you can create a new profile to make it look like someone else supports your route. Lame.
By Peter Beal
From: Boulder Colorado
Aug 25, 2010

Although I agree that the location of this route could be seen as an issue, I think that some of the comments on this route are getting out of hand. There is no reason that, as Chris Beh has pointed out above, that there could not be some amazing and otherwise unprotectable sport climbs on various formations throughout the park. If the local "ethic" is suddenly saying that the entire park is off limits to bolts placed on rappel or too many bolts or something else (it's not too clear exactly what the issue is here), then there ought to be some better effort to develop a consensus. As far as I can tell, the FAists of this climb followed the rules of the actual park and while they may have been somewhat hamhanded about how they went about it, I don't see why that matters.

If you don't like sportclimbing, then start with chopping Tommy Caldwell's Sarchasm to make your point. Is PTH coming under fire because a. it's close to a trail, b. it's rappel bolted or c. it's too easy, put up by unknowns, and otherwise irks people? If the problem is crowds or less adventure in the park or some other more nebulous concern, I doubt that Pushing Two Hundred is going to attract anything like the numbers that are drawn to the usual trade routes in the park, every day, all summer long.
By Greg D
From: Here
Aug 25, 2010

The discussion continues here:
mountainproject.com/v/colorado...
By Robert Buswold
From: Longmont, CO
Aug 25, 2010

Peter: I think one of the big issues here (and the one I am most concerned with) is that RMNP is supposed to be a natural haven for people who want to get out and enjoy the mountains. Of course there are the roads into the park and the composting toilets in the backcountry, but do we really need fixed metal bolts on a rock just feet from the trail? I don't see any reason in adding to all the other unnatural features (i.e. toilets/roads/bridges) in the park. Even if only one or two people climb this route they will still inevitably leave behind all their chalk marks on the holds. Is that something you'd like to see on a trail in RMNP?
By dakotahills
Aug 25, 2010

This is seriously getting pathetic, you men love your drama. MOVE ON.
By Patrick Vernon
From: Albuquerque, NM
Aug 25, 2010

Peter,

I think the proper response to your question is d: This route is the worst representation of the history, ethics, and traditions of climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park in the most visible area to date that I can think of (to both climbers and non-climbers).

The debate is not one of sport vs. trad, but rather three things: how we wish to represent our sport in the context of Rocky, quality control, and the future of first ascents in the Park. I feel this route crossed a line of sorts, but like most lines it is hard to ascertain exactly where the line should be drawn, hence the room for debate.

At the end of the day, the route just isn't that good. It is literally the worst quality sport route I can think of in the entire national park (including Lumpy Ridge), and it is also one of the most visible. This ain't no Sarchasm. The rock quality is poor, the upper part looks like it was heavily scraped to remove moss and lichen, and the chalk will probably not come off in the rain in spots. It simply wasn't necessary, was done without any sort of community consensus (apart from the immediate friends of the developers?) and does have the potential to cast climbing in a very negative light.

There is potential for more lines on this wall (in the .12-.13 range), and I wouldn't be surprised if it was the developers plan to bolt these as well. Unfortunately/fortunately these lines directly overhang the trail and should not be bolted. While I appreciate people playing devil's advocate, and even empathize that the cascade of negative attention is probably very frustrating for the developers; I am really glad the community came together and let these people know that this is not right, this is not the way we want to portray our sport in Rocky, and that at the very least no more routes should be put in on this wall. The developers can dismiss the community voice, call it pathetic etc., but in the end they are really just digging themselves a deeper hole.

-Patrick Vernon
By Brent Apgar
From: Out of the Loop
Aug 25, 2010

There's not much else that I could say that hasn't already been voiced.
Personally I would have to say that, regardless of the bolters intentions and whether or not the route complies w/ RMNP regulations, this was not the best idea and would ask that the developers please remove the route.
-BA
By JPVallone
Aug 26, 2010

PATRICK VERNON +1. Well said in your last post!!!!
By Leo Paik
Administrator
From: Westminster, Colorado
Aug 26, 2010

Some of the concern regarding this route comes from the history of a similarly bolted route, Superfresh, bolted right over a trail perhaps 1 1/2 miles from a trailhead, which significantly contributed to the complete shutdown of bolting in the Flatirons for about a decade and a half. It took years of ardent efforts on the part of big-time local climbers to enact reasonable change to what we have now.

Admittedly, this is a different park, different land managers, and different times. Nonetheless, fixed hardware is a significant issue within at least some of the National Forest and National Park lands. In some cases, outright banning of new fixed hardware and even replacement of established fixed hardware have been inflicted upon climbers. None of us climbers want this...period.

At least to some degree, those who have voiced their concerns do not want history potentially repeating itself in a cherished area. Everyone here who has posted shares the same love of this park!

Please consider prudent placement of fixed hardware in addition to following regulations and sampling a minority of the climbing community and minority of park officials before acting.
By Stephen Berwanger
From: Montrose, CO
Aug 28, 2010

Silly sport climbers!!!!!!!
By spn
From: Sioux Falls,SD
Aug 31, 2010

How about a strict, ground up, and no power tools ethic that WILL keep people humble.
By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Aug 31, 2010

Leo Paik and Pat Vernon are right. Bolts, in conspicuous locations, have sometimes closed whole areas. Superfresh in the Flatirons is a scary, local example. In Canyonlands, a line of shiny bolts on Outlaw Spire were spotted by bikers on the White Rim Trail, who complained, leading to the strict 1995 no-bolting rules there.

The rangers and tourists you met might have been polite, but you can be sure there are others who will be rabidly against seeing chalk and bolts, and will complain loudly.

We climbers are privileged to have the freedoms we have. With privilege comes a responsibility not to be "hamhanded." Please remove these trailside bolts, patch the holes. Name the climbs and write 'em up as topropes. Sport climbs would be better located out of direct line of sight from the trail.
By Ryan-Nelson
From: Fort Collins, CO
Sep 22, 2010

5.3 right next to the trail?
why?
By tooTALLtim
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 25, 2010
rating: 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a X

This route is in the process of being cleaned up. The hangers are off, the bolts and their holes are next.

"All the tourists that day seemed to be in awe, taking pictures, and not complaining." Funny, they were doing the same thing when we were taking the hangers off. I guess tourists don't know anything about climbing ethics or climbing access issues since putting up or taking down a route elicits the same response.

Timothy Davis
By They call me Sam
From: Fort Collins, Colorado
Sep 26, 2010

Plain stupid.
By Mav
From: Madison, CT
Nov 27, 2011

That article is from Jan. 2010.
By Greg Sievers
From: Estes Park, CO
Feb 28, 2012

I saw the bolts a while back and was extremely disappointed.
We skied up there last month, and while passing by, glanced over to the wall and did not see them.
If they are now all gone = Thank You.

As for 'local review', I heard of none.

However, in the future, if you need a contact person to spread around questions to the local climbing community or RMNP, feel free to ask me. After ten years of volunteer service as an American Alpine Club Chairman, the event originator and organizer of Lumpy Trails Day, 25 years in Estes Park, an Ed's regular, and the receipient of the Access Fund, Sharp End Award for leadership and activism, I am happy to help or assist you to reach your audience.
By Michael Byczynski
From: Denver, CO
Apr 29, 2012

DERRRRRP I can bolt a wall deeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrp.

Get it together guys, golly.