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superstition wilderness anchors
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By Hugo Almanza
From Phoenix,AZ
Feb 24, 2013
morrells wall

I was curious if anyone knew of the last time the fixed anchor situation had been negotiated with the land manager? I know the ban was quite some time ago.


Thanks for your time.


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By manuel rangel
From Tempe, Arizona
Feb 24, 2013
Trying to redpoint The Ugly 11c; steeper than it looks and the rock is scary in spots but good enough.

The Superstition Wilderness had a ban on any bolting. The NFS bans power drills (anything mechanized is banned) but not hand drills for bolting in wilderness.

Supes are hands off officially but I don't think you would have a route chopped by rangers. What you got in mind?


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By KevinF
From Granby, CT
Feb 24, 2013

manuel rangel wrote:
Supes are hands off officially but I don't think you would have a route chopped by rangers. What you got in mind?


Rangers may not chop the route, but they may chop access. Seems like reckless logic to me.


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By ErikF
Feb 24, 2013

So far the local admin folks in the Tonto National Forest have held to the precedent set in the Manning Directive of 1998 from the US Department of Agriculture, which greatly limits fixed anchors in a designated wilderness without a negotiated climbing management plan.

If someone wants a copy of that directive written at the time by Deputy Director Gloria Manning, please email or pm me and I'll figure how to get the .pdf I have into your hands.

Please remember that locally some land managers have in fact banned climbing, e.g., the Maricopa County Parks at the Santans and the White Tanks. Scottsdale has instituted climbing managements plans in its parks and preserves that are basically "no new bolts in new locations." We need to move carefully and respectfully.

Indeed, it appears that local land managers have a fair amount of discretion to ban activities they deem inconsistent with their mission and resources and the folks overseeing the Superstition Wilderness have remained fairly strict on what they consider consistent with their mission and therefore appropriate land uses.


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By Hugo Almanza
From Phoenix,AZ
Feb 24, 2013
morrells wall

Thanks Erik,

I was curious because it seems like there can be a reasonable and sustainable way to achieve a management plan that's beneficial for all parties. I'll shoot you a message. Is anyone else interested on working on developing a proposal and climbing management plan for the area?


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By manuel rangel
From Tempe, Arizona
Feb 25, 2013
Trying to redpoint The Ugly 11c; steeper than it looks and the rock is scary in spots but good enough.

In this month's Climbing Magazine I read that by this summer a NPS climbing management plan will be released. They go on to say the Forest Service may use it as well.

Kevin, I wasn't logical in my comments. Neither are the Supes management. We approached them a few years ago about replacing worn anchors and they denied us. I mentioned the bolted bench at the base of one of the most popular towers in the Supes, The Hand. I asked why it was ok to bolt a bench at the base of the rock we want to work on. Their answer: they're studying what to do about it.

It is the manager's personal decision, as Erik pointed out, to not allow any bolting in the Supes. Other wilderness areas do allow it as long as it is by hand.


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By Blackmore
Mar 3, 2013

just bolt it in the middle of the summer when it is 110, in the middle of the night. There was something on the books long time ago and sad that it was ok to replace old bolts by hand not motorized.


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