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Rumney's Outback Cave?
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By Jeffrey LeCours
From New Hampshire
Oct 28, 2012
This post was originally a comment in Rumney

Is the Outback Cave known by a different name or is it still out in the woods?

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Nov 19, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
It is way, way, way out there. I think Bradley hasn't even found it yet,lol.

I was at a New England sport crag this weekend that has tons of great 10s, 11s, and 12s of the quality of some of the best of Rumney (It kind of reminded me of Orange Crush, some of the Main Cliff with some flavor of a southern sandstone crag thrown in..no joke) It was such a joy to be at a fully bolted crag of high quality that hasn't been ghettoized by people who have had their outdoor aesthetic skewed by too much formative time at the gym, a steep sport crag without ratty looking, dangerous fixed draws strewn all over it. If you grow up in a trailer park with a fat mom who sits around in her purple stretch pants smoking ciggies, you will probably think that is fine. This crag maintained the outdoor magic. I think I will generally refrain from publicizing my new sport routes unless they are at a generally trad area or otherwise have little chance of being over-run.

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By JohnnyG
Nov 19, 2012
oh Man, you are killing me. Just a lat and a long for that special crag would be a blessing.

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By john strand
From southern colo
Nov 19, 2012
Mark - do i get one guess ?

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Nov 19, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
Nope.

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By matthewWallace
From plymouth, nh
Nov 19, 2012
Cool movement on this line
Mark how would you feel about PMing me direction to the Outback Cave?

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Nov 19, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
More to my point:
facebook.com/RrgFixedGearEthic...

I would be more inclined to mention other crags if I saw the fixed draws at Rumney reduced to at least under 100, for aesthetic and safety reasons. I feel a little like when my best bivy spot got closed down from visiting climbers leaving dirty diapers laying around.

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By S. Neoh
Nov 19, 2012
That's funny, Mark because, I was thinking 12 to 15 routes with fixed draws as the max. But I think 100 draws total is more realistic since for most climbs, we should only need to fix some of the draws but not all of them. I saw quite a bit of this practice down at The Red my last visit there.

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By nhclimber
From Newmarket, NH
Nov 28, 2012
Screaming Yellow Zonkers
amen mark. so many beautiful cliffs, with so many more up and coming. It's nice to keep some off the radar. But, you can't be bolting the next rumney, cause we are! Had a great day out at new said crag on sunday. It could use your eye, but i have been sworn to secrecy. :-)

Did you get out with Todd, i was hoping to go.

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By Jeffrey LeCours
From New Hampshire
Nov 28, 2012
I didn't even notice that you extracted my comment into a thread - thanks Mark! It should have been here in the first place.

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 28, 2012
Rumney
How quickly do the draws degrade? Most of them are used on overhanging sections, so they probably weather/wear slowly (?). Would this fall under the general crag fund (same people who manage the bolting)? I'd be willing to donate some quick draws too, fwiw.

[if there's a better thread where this has already been discussed please point me there]

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Nov 28, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
Between weathered draws and worn biners, the biners are the most dangerous part. If a draw simply snapped, you may not deck, but if a worn biner cuts your rope, you will.
Leaving aesthetics aside and just dealing with the safety aspect, a lower number of fixed draws would make it easier to regularly keep track of wear and use the best gear (steel biners etc.)

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By S. Neoh
Nov 28, 2012
Again, I agree with Mark, and while every good condition biner donated is appreciated, we should all think about replacing aluminium biners with steel ones when it comes to fixed draws. If you have to use Al, then put a good one on, preferrably one which is not made from "T" cross-sectionally shaped Al stock. Al biners made from round stock are very hard to find these days unless one resorts to using (gasp) oval biners .....

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Nov 28, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
Of course, if we as climbers only used fixed draws where absolutely needed, and otherwise used and removed our own, the danger of old gear would be greatly lessened.

And to the earlier point, the aesthetics could be much improved. I know quite a few route developers who are totally into sport climbing and the convenience and safety that it entails, who feel that the whole fixed draw and general disregard for keeping our outdoor crags looking like they are outdoors has gotten completely out of hand. Pretty much all the main developers of the best New England sport crags whom I have spoken to feel that way and therefor are becoming much more hesitant to share new areas. If we as a community could step back and get a little under control, it would be better for all of us. We would have more, better looking crags, better relations with the land managers and safer climbing.

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By S. Neoh
Nov 28, 2012
Agreed, Mark.

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 29, 2012
Rumney
M Sprague wrote:
If we as a community could step back and get a little under control, it would be better for all of us. We would have more, better looking crags, better relations with the land managers and safer climbing.


Tried that recently in an unrelated area. Not all climbers are receptive. If the access fund has a presence in your area, perhaps they could assist (since those issues could end up impacting access to area(s) and safety of climbers).

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By JohnnyG
Nov 29, 2012
How would you define which routes (or individual bolts) should have fixed draws?

Would, say, Orangahang qualify?

mountainproject.com/v/orangaha...

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Nov 29, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
IMO I would think if there was a safety issue, like Orangahang where falling on a TR risks shearing your rope, or if its very difficult to clean, those are legitimate reasons for fixed draws, also if a bolt had to go in a spot that is unusually difficult to clip without a preplaced draw. In rare instances, if a few fixed draws helps eliminate a clusterfuck and keeps people moving along, they are worth it.

In balance against the negatives, I don't think pure speed and convenience or having to know a few techniques for cleaning your draws are legit. The safety issues, ghettoizing the crag and upsetting land managers and other users and the effort, organization and cost needed to keep them up is not worth it.

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By Jeffrey LeCours
From New Hampshire
Nov 30, 2012
Is the Outback Cave on the north side of the Rattlesnake hiking trail? I have noticed a little bit of rock peaking out from the hillside when approaching from Sandy Hill Road. Is the Outback Cave more difficult to find than the Infinity Wall, hah!

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By Lanky
From Portland, ME
Nov 30, 2012
M Sprague wrote:
IMO I would think if there was a safety issue, like Orangahang where falling on a TR risks shearing your rope, or if its very difficult to clean, those are legitimate reasons for fixed draws, also if a bolt had to go in a spot that is unusually difficult to clip without a preplaced draw. In rare instances, if a few fixed draws helps eliminate a clusterfuck and keeps people moving along, they are worth it. In balance against the negatives, I don't think pure speed and convenience or having to know a few techniques for cleaning your draws are legit. The safety issues, ghettoizing the crag and upsetting land managers and other users and the effort, organization and cost needed to keep them up is not worth it.

This is pretty much exactly what I've come to believe, Mark. Thanks for stating it well.

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