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Retrobolted anchors on Lotta Balls descent route removed.
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By kemple sr.
Mar 13, 2013
We noticed that boltted anchors have obviously been removed from Black Magic at Red Rocks. Rappells are now from trees. I am curious why this was done. I am not local, so not aware of local politics, but it seems to me that bolted stations are far less environmentally destructive than rapping from trees. Trees are often killed this way, and anything nylon is an anchor with high visual impact, and a short expiration date. Thanks.

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By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Mar 13, 2013
Dow Williams, 2011
kind of a busy area, why would you rap this route when you can walk off?

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By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Mar 13, 2013
Cool snow formation at the base.
Dow Williams wrote:
kind of a busy area, why would you rap this route when you can walk off?


Dow, I think they're talking about the bolts that were added to the descent line of Black Magic/Lotta Balls.

mountainproject.com/v/bolted-d...

@Kemple - technically, the bolts were put in illegaly and someone felt the need to yank them. They probably should've just been left alone.

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By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Mar 13, 2013
Dow Williams, 2011
correct, there should be no bolts in the gully...most of us can down climb that gully no worries...I am shocked someone put them in there really

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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Mar 13, 2013
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)
Because this is a man's sport and trees are dumb. Crappy old nylon is the Red Badge of the hardman so strew it proudly as to leave proof of your bold descents wherever you may climb.

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By thedogfather
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 13, 2013
First, this gully is NOT an easy down climb. Second, only two of the three new anchors were removed. These were brand new gold colored hangers and chains that were put on the south side of the gully by the trees that were previously used. But, the bottom one is next to a rattier tree but one that was used for years to rap from. So, given these observations, if two were illegal why wasn't the third. If the third was there to save the last tree why were the first two removed.

I would love to hear from the person that felt it necessary to remove just two of the three.

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By Josh Janes
Mar 13, 2013
I took the liberty of retitling this thread to fit the facts since the "anchors" on Black Magic were not "chopped."

Since these routes were first climbed, the descent has always been down the back of the formation and has been facilitated by three rappels from slung trees. It was only last year that someone installed a bolted rappel station right next to each of the three trees. While unnecessary (and kinda silly), because it is a separate descent route (and therefore didn't affect [the commitment level of] any of the climbs nearby) and also because it is completely hidden from view, well, it wasn't the worst thing to happen in Vegas last year. Pointless yes, but whatever.

Anyway, "removal" of these anchors merely restored the descent to how it's always been. No need to cry wolf about chopped anchors.

All placing bolts like these and then removing them does is stir the pot unnecessarily. Of course, maybe the first person was trying to save some trees and the second person just really needed the hardware for some rad new route somewhere else. In that case, kudos to both of you.

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By Brian in SLC
Mar 14, 2013
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Have done the descent a few times over the years (never "walked off"). As long ago as '85 and as recent as last fall.

I dunno. I kinda appreciated the fixed rap anchor locations for rope pull. Their location seemed well thought out. And, the trees are pretty nice. All tatted up, not as nice, IMHO.

The immense amount of braided social trails going to and from the crags in that area are much a bigger dealio methinks.

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By Jim Amidon
Mar 14, 2013
J TREE
somebody pissed on the campfire and the folks down wind didn't like it...

That gully well maybe is a down climb for some, but anchors to save trees in that desert environment......

Not too hard to see the logic....

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By Doug Foust
From Henderson, Nevada
Mar 14, 2013
new toy
BADASS!!!!
I'm constantly amazed by these hardcore people in Red Rock. Feeding your rope through rap rings attached to a tree by slings and rappelling is sooooo superior to feeding your rope through rap rings attached to bolts and rappelling.

That is just hardcore descending. I hope to be such a hardcore descender someday!

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 14, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credits to Kyle Jones and his lucky anti-rain jacket.
I am with rgold and killis from that thread. Commercial bolting in RR is a problem. Locals taking care of the situation is exactly what should have happened. We shouldn't be worrying about some trees that will never last as long as the rock, regardless if the rope threads the same. Slings last a long time in the desert compared to the most other wet parts of the country. The only people this could be an eye sore is to climbers which should be used to seeing slings on trees. To clean it up, feel free to cut it off and add your own. I'm pretty sure nobody will create a thread to complain about it.

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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Mar 14, 2013
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)
Stupid trees. Truly worthless ephemeral beings.

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Mar 14, 2013
TomCaldwell wrote:
We shouldn't be worrying about some trees that will never last as long as the rock, regardless if the rope threads the same. Slings last a long time in the desert compared to the most other wet parts of the country.


Trees are alive; rock is dead. Trees are much more valuable resource in the desert than compounded sand aka red rock.

Einstein, slings degrade in the sun, not the rain. Last I heard, there is still a lot of sun in the desert.

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By Kevin Craig
Mar 14, 2013
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd
Your answer lies within

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By Rob Fielding
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 15, 2013
Third pillar of dana descent.
Great topic for discussion with some valid points on both sides from doug, the joshs, and many others...

Some beneficial aspects I see for removal of these bolts are promoting a solid foundation of not placing bolts where natural protection is present. I see these anchors as primarily "convenience" anchors that although appear harmless may promote retrobolting in other areas where they are not warranted. A few examples of currently retrobolted routes are adventure punks and the walker spur. I personally like the variety of safe routes as well as the run out routes that RR has to offer.

The ethical dilemma of harming the tree is another interesting issue, but it brings up the point of placing retrobolted anchors at every single natural descent anchor in RR. Should all natural anchors be replaced for the ecosystem? What about cleaning routes? Should every bush not be harmed? Should we also not be hiking trampling the wildlife everyday on the approach to routes? Where do we cross the line?

Also, although it appears to be not currently regulated, it is illegal to retrobolt in the canyons. Another reason for at least minimizing unneccessary retrobolts.

I'd love to hear some rebuttles as well as some more efficient ways to communicate w the local climbers so there are not "chopping" wars. Maybe the lvlcc could be used to some effect.

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By Doug Foust
From Henderson, Nevada
Mar 15, 2013
new toy
Rob,

I think you are blurring the lines between retrobolts on routes and retrobolts on descents, in my mind a huge difference. Natural protection on routes is removed by the second. Slings on a descent are left in situ and become basically fixed gear. They may be easily removable, but in general will always be there.

Doug

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 15, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credits to Kyle Jones and his lucky anti-rain jacket.
David Sahalie wrote:
Einstein, slings degrade in the sun, not the rain. Last I heard, there is still a lot of sun in the desert.


Ah yes, the internet, where resorting to insults to try and make a point is so common place. This site used to be so good because you could discuss topics without unnecessary ridicule. I guess all sites eventually degrade to rc.com status. My point about water is that nylon instantly loses 70% of it's strength when wet, and is even worse if it goes through freeze thaw cycles. In a place like the SE, where there is lots of sun and moisture it is a contributing factor. I will tactfully agree that the sun is also a major contributing factor. Slings shaded by those ephemeral beings will last a long time, because in the desert moisture is not contributing to their degradation.

The rock is a finite resource. While the desert is a sensitive ecosystem, trees do grow back over time, but the formation of rock is much slower. So while I do care about living things, our sport is not LNT even if we try. Rob's argument regarding damage done from something as simple as hiking is relevant.

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Mar 15, 2013
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.
I'm going up the the Vertigo rappels in Eldorado Canyon right now and chopping them! The trees were just fine for the raps, uh, that is, until one of them died. I don't care, I'm chopping those convenience bolts today.

Whoever you are, mysterious Vegas rap anchor chopper, I salute you.

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By Glenn Schuler
From Monument, Co.
Mar 15, 2013
A grey fox skull wedged in a crack 100' up on a FA I was working on - don't see that every day...
TomCaldwell wrote:
My point about water is that nylon instantly loses 70% of it's strength when wet


Wow, so if it starts raining my ropes no good? This is a good factoid to know :/

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By Dustin B
From Steamboat
Mar 15, 2013
It's always a party.
thedogfather wrote:
These were brand new gold colored hangers and chains that were put on the south side of the gully by the trees that were previously used.



Should've been camo painted, gold hangers are silly, and gold chains are for going around ya neck...bling.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 15, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credits to Kyle Jones and his lucky anti-rain jacket.
Glenn Schuler wrote:
Wow, so if it starts raining my ropes no good? This is a good factoid to know :/


Thanks for leaving the last part of that sentence out since it was the most pertinent. The strength loss is reversible unless it freezes. Your rope may have a dry coating to slow the absorption, but I am sure you already knew this. Your just trolling like most of the content being generated here nowadays.

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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Mar 15, 2013
TomCaldwell wrote:
My point about water is that nylon instantly loses 70% of it's strength when wet, and is even worse if it goes through freeze thaw cycles.


70%, eh? You sure about that?

I thought you were being facetious in your first post, but now I realize you have no idea what you are talking about. Your understanding of the desert environment is clearly lacking. To say that moisture is not a contributing factor in the desert is plain wrong. You realize that it does in fact rain and snow in RR? Further, to say that trees simply grow back in the desert as a justification for preserving the "finite" resource (the two 1/2" by 3.5" holes) of rock is ridiculous. By your logic, "We shouldn't be worrying about some trees that will never last as long as the rock," we shouldn't worry about any living organisms because they won't last as long as rock. Give me a f'n break.

Yes, climbing is not LNT, but there is no reason to unnecessarily increase impact on the ecosystem, especially given the increase in users and resulting increase in impact on said resources.

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By J. Thompson
From denver, co
Mar 15, 2013
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.
Rob Fielding wrote:
A few examples of currently retrobolted routes are adventure punks and the walker spur.


Two interesting and different examples.
In the case of AP, you had a route that was always rappeled directly, from the time of the FA. The problem was; you weren't rapping off trees or slung blocks or other "natural" anchors. The "fixed" anchors consisted of a few bolts(even some drilled angles!) and the fixed nuts, cams and pitons. The problem with that is that 1 persons booty and acceptability of risk isn't the same as the next persons. So you might get to an anchor, expecting to find a solid rap, and find a sinle nut with a sling and no rings/carabiners. Thats because the party in front of you thought that was good enough. That route needed to have bolted anchors for the descent. Especially as popular as it was to become. I'll give you 1 guess as to who installed the bolts.

The Walker Spur on the other had isn't a rap route. The protection bolt shouldn't have been added. The bolt that was added next to the exsisting Protection bolt, creating an anchor, shouldn't have been added either. I know who was involved, I spoke with them about it. There was some confusion between the leader and the person who added the bolts. It was supposed to have been purely a replacement of the exsisting Protection bolt. It's to bad.

Now chopping the bolted anchors in the descent gully from LOBs wall in silly. I'm for having that, well used, descent bolted and saving the trees for as long as they can live there.

josh

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By Glenn Schuler
From Monument, Co.
Mar 15, 2013
A grey fox skull wedged in a crack 100' up on a FA I was working on - don't see that every day...
TomCaldwell wrote:
Thanks for leaving the last part of that sentence out since it was the most pertinent. The strength loss is reversible unless it freezes.


What I am getting at is according to you if I am 8 pitches up a route and it starts raining, I better not fall because my rope is only at 30% strength. Your freeze thaw statement has nothing to do with that, so I left it out. I'm no nylon expert but I find that very hard to believe - source please?
Additionally, your contention that back in the glory days of MP we had nothing but intelligent & civil discussions around here.... Yarp's, Eric Schmidt's and David Sahalie types have been around since the beginning - deal with it - it's the internet.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 15, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credits to Kyle Jones and his lucky anti-rain jacket.
JoeP wrote:
70%, eh? You sure about that?


Page 11, number 3 of the FAQ section. sterlingrope.com/media/documen...

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Mar 15, 2013
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credits to Kyle Jones and his lucky anti-rain jacket.
Glenn Schuler wrote:
Additionally, your contention that back in the glory days of MP we had nothing but intelligent & civil discussions around here.... Yarp's, Eric Schmidt's and David Sahalie types have been around since the beginning - deal with it - it's the internet.


So what you are saying is that is just becoming more acceptable to be inconsiderate. I stand corrected.

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