Steiger's 1985 guide to Mt Lemmon lists The Skill Saw Crack on page 157. I thought Eric left it out of Squeezing The Lemmon, but someone pointed out that there is a little arrow pointing to it on page 198. It is right behind the Matterhorn Boulder which is well worth the one minute approach all by itself.
Park as for Lizard Rock or Matterhorn. Walk across the road and head for the striking Matterhorn Boulder. The Skillsaw Crag is 50 feet beyond. One minute approach.
The route in question. 3 sections of varied climbing: a steep blocky section leading to a little roof....a slab (!).... a sublime stem/lieback dihedral.The blocky section is pretty fun now that I've trundled and reinforced. The slab has the best slab crux I've ever done (and I've been climbing over 1/3 of a century). The dihedral is amazing...I wish it went on for another 50 feet. One of the most unusual lines in So. Az.The technical crux is the transition from roof to slab. But the rest of ...[more]Browse More Classics in AZ
The sport route on the downhill side of this formation has many chiseled holds that lead up and over the roof.
If you don't mind manufactured climbs this one looks good. However this reporter bailed at the second chain draw when he saw Baker's recipe for the route.
Many of us thought the days of chipping were behind us. Sadly this is apparently not so. I, for one, was sadly disappointed and would not condone this kind activity by finishing the route once I realized the situation.
This truly is a sad day in the long and storied history of Mt. Lemmon rock climbing. Please let us not forget, if we fail the learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.
While I understand your concern for chipping, I believe your description of this route to be way off the mark. First I believe that the route has only one chipped hold, without which the route would be something like 5.11+ plus one move of between 5.14 and impossible. Most of what John did was removing and reinforcing several death blocks from the bottom section.
Like you, I don't like chipping, but if John had not chipped the one hold in this completely blank section, there wouldn't be any route there. Those who are offended can do others from the hundreds of good and thousands of largely forgettable lines on the mountain. Those who are willing to try this climb will find a very fun and consistent climb with three distinct sections with different climbing types (steep jugs, thin slab, and corner climbing). I found the top corner section to be as fun a ~25' section as exists anywhere on the mountain.
So while in general I do agree with your distaste for chipping, I feel that in this case the situation to be very far from the black and white terms as you presented them.
2 holds were "very aggressively" cleaned. (Ok...very VERY aggressively.) But none were created from nothing. The rest is normal choss-pounding / comfortizing.
There is an apparently drilled pocket at the top of the slab that is actually completely natural.
This stretch of rock was __FAR__ from pristine when I found it. There was no queue of would-be FAists lined up to do it. People have been eye-balling this rock for 40 years. But no one signed up to wade through the loose blocks and gravel-filled seams until an experienced "choss-master" appeared.
I could easily turn this route back into an unpleasant, one-star one-move-wonder with a couple CC of epoxy putty. If that's what people really want.
maybe John's (assumed to be facetious) offer to restore the apparently 2 suspect holds to there original state will be considered a step in the right direction by some, but not be me.
The argument is best approached by direct comparison of the route as it stands now with the route after the the holds in question get back-filled with epoxy putty (or equivalent).
As it now stands the community has access to a very excellent route when judged solely on how fun the climbing is. It also has a route that due to the events involved in current state of the two holds leads some to ethically question the legitimacy of the line.
If the holds were to get filled back in, you will have, let's say, a climb with all but one move in the 11+ range and one move of about 5.15. No one will ever do that route because there are no 5.15 climbers in Tucson and they don't visit here and even if they did, would they rush out to send this route which is really 11+ with a single V13 move in the middle? I suspect they wouldn't really even consider it a route but a roped boulder problem
My choice is obviously to leave it as it and let many climbers have the chance to enjoy the great climbing.
That said, I am not blowing off the concern for chipping holds. I would like to see a more nuanced discussion of the issue in the AZ forum. I have very strong views on what I think makes sense. I may start such a thread on the AZ forum when I get back in Tucson. I would start with my own thoughts and my perceived justifications for those views and then welcome any friendly and constructive responses from any others.
No need to fill in the damage. It's done. I don't question the amount of effort that went into this route. I also don't question that it is now good climbing. I'm just saying, and letting the public know, that it's been heavily manufactured and I'm not going to climb it. There are lots of other great 5.12 routes on the Lemmon. If others climb it and they love it more than mom and apple pie that's great.
This kind of shenanigans is a slippery slope I don't want the Tucson climbing community to have to go down again. So I'm going to, "Just say no".