Forums: Climbing Information: Access Issues & Closures:
Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario.
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Access Issues & Closures

Premier Sponsor:

 


darkside


Aug 31, 2005, 6:29 PM
Post #1 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 14, 2001
Posts: 1687

Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario.  (North_America: United_States: Wyoming: Western_Wy_: Upper_Bridge_Bands: Hideout_Wall)
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

February 2003: Two ice climbers prepare to descend from the 600ft Lower Weeping Wall. Their descent route is three rappels down the righthand side on pre-placed rap anchors. A couple of days later myself and two others prepare to descend the lefthand side on v-threads (accessory cord slung through a v-shaped hole in the ice) that we made. So which rap route was composed of the safer anchors?
Well obviously the bolted rap line right?
February 2004: I toss the ropes down the Weeping Wall's righthand bolted rap line. My partner is extremely relieved that this year there are brand new rap anchors for us. He had considered opting for making a set of v-thread anchors rather than trusting the old mank that was used a year previous.
July 200?: You stand at the top of a crag preparing to rap to the ground.
July 200?: You reach the crux bolt on an onsight attempt near your leading limit.

.....What next? Well you clip and continue yes? Right after you evaluate the integrity of the bolts of course. But what about if the bolt looks suspect? Is the hanger spinning; does that seem like a 1/4" bolt; a homemade hanger; what's happening here; why doesn't someone replace these things???

Climbing really started to develop on the Niagara Escarpment following the second world war but it wasn't until the early eighties that bolting of routes started to develop. By the late eighties there were many fully bolted routes and many routes protected in the "Mid-Atlantic" or mixed style. Some of these routes are classics and still extremely popular today. Other even older routes are protected by fixed pins. In more than a few cases it is old degraded pitons that provide the only protection on otherwise runout sections of climbs.

While the situations I started with, may be a far cry from climbing on the Niagara Escarpment, I wanted to use a contrast to make a point. Despite being located in the Canadian Rockies and involving ice climbing, the choices faced are much the same. I also wanted to show that the plight of climbers in Ontario is no different to other areas when it comes to fixed anchors. Whether we clip that old pin or risk using that rusted 1/4" bolt is something we need to consider carefully. If we decide the risk is too great then hopefully we have already decided as a community as to how suspect anchors will be dealt with. With the age and integrity of Ontario's fixed gear degrading as time goes on, I felt it was time to address the situation before we get an injury or access issues as a consequence. Through the Access Committee and the initiative known as Access Partners, I have started what I hope will become an established program to look after fixed protection along the escarpment. How this program develops and is applied will depend largely on the climbing community and this is what I am opening up to discussion. I know various concerns will be raised so give me some feedback.

The first step is done; a database of suspect anchors is established but still needs building and adding to.
Another step has been taken; one source of hardware has been approached. MEC has provided an initial pool of bolts and hangers to get started and are ready to help further as needs are established.

This raises the consideration of what criteria to use for replacing gear. This is not a program for adding protection to existing routes, nor is it a source of hardware for new routes. It is intended to provide replacements for old, damaged, or degraded, fixed gear. Neither is it my intention to retrofit whole routes but rather to prioritize replacement and maintain existing gear for the benefit and safety of all climbers.

An initial example of what this scheme can do is to be found at Mount Nemo. The popular sport route known as "Lost In The Forest" was missing the hanger from the second bolt and had a couple of other hangers that spun. As of the 25th August 2005, this is no longer the case and the route's protection is once again restored. In addition the route just left, known as "Running To Nothing" has had it's spinner corrected.

You can see the home page of the Access Partners at this address:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/accesspartners/
To check out the database of suspect anchors, you will need to join the group with a Yahoo ID. This will show your support for the Access Committee too, and you can find the database here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/...esspartners/database
What fixed gear do you know of that needs attention? Help everyone out and add a record to the database.

So what do you make of the two hypothetical situations I presented? Are you going to be happy rapping from old 1/4" ers or pulling through the crux above that piton that was 'probably' good 20 years ago? Or are you ready to support the Access Committee as they endeavor to keep our crags open - and safe?

Please discuss.


neutralcypruss


Sep 1, 2005, 3:42 PM
Post #2 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 22, 2003
Posts: 74

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Well in my opinion there is nothing worse than being in a precarious spot or just reaching a hard crux and all you have is an old piton and or a 1/4 button head actually it even sucks to come up on a spinner personally i think the rap program should have started a long time ago and it nice to see someone doing something about the situation coudos to you....


schnoz


Sep 1, 2005, 8:00 PM
Post #3 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 19, 2003
Posts: 83

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'm not sure how I missed mention of this for the last two years. Oh well, better late than never!

The message board for the group seems to be fairly quiet.

Do you want any and every spinner or missing hanger that I've come across to be entered? I can think of a few that I remember at Metcalf and Old Baldy off the top of my head.


neutralcypruss


Sep 3, 2005, 4:41 AM
Post #4 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 22, 2003
Posts: 74

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I think more people here in ont need to wake up and get envolved this post has been on here for two days. No one is even commenting this is somthing that involves all climbers and the safe continuation of climbing here in ont. No one wants to help with access and or somthing like this however one day we all may do with out climbing if everyone just keeps ignoring things like the rap program access isssues come on people as a friend once said GET SELFISH FOR YOUR OWN INTEREST IN CLIMBING...
Get off your rear end get involved.. Ontario has some great climbing better than alot of other places even .......


neutralcypruss


Sep 5, 2005, 2:18 PM
Post #5 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 22, 2003
Posts: 74

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

bump


neutralcypruss


Sep 5, 2005, 2:19 PM
Post #6 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 22, 2003
Posts: 74

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

bump


geezergecko


Sep 5, 2005, 5:55 PM
Post #7 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 729

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks for putting in the time and work Grant.


Partner abe_ascends


Sep 5, 2005, 8:23 PM
Post #8 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 17, 2005
Posts: 367

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Indeed, thank you Grant. I, for one, would love to see the community get involved to maintain the climbs here in Ontario. Not only are we helping keep people safe, but by getting involved it provides a chance to meet members of the climbing community and those people that influence and are influenced by it.

Again, thanks so much. I will definitely be getting on that Yahoo group and supporting this venture. If you need anything, let me know. I'll help in any way I can.

Adam


derekt


Sep 9, 2005, 6:10 AM
Post #9 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 21, 2004
Posts: 13

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I heard that someone (Grant!) fixed up the two Nemo routes, but I wasn't aware that there was a database/forum for keeping track of this sort of thing.

I'll be keeping an eye open for any manky bolts whenever I head out and updating the database. I agree that we should be more proactive about replacing old bolts and hangers, however, this thread seems to be flying under the radar. And it makes sense that the ACCess Committee is leading the charge, due to the sensitive climbing access in Ontario.

Maybe we could ask some of the local gyms post the link to the database so climbers are aware of its existence?


neutralcypruss


Sep 10, 2005, 11:21 AM
Post #10 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 22, 2003
Posts: 74

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

bump


darkside


Sep 15, 2005, 6:01 PM
Post #11 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 14, 2001
Posts: 1687

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

To address some previous points:
-The Access Partners group is relatively quiet because only official moderator e-mails are allowed. That is to ensure people don't get irrelevant mail and can be assured that only important info is sent out. In other words no spam, only access news.
-If missing hangers or bad pins are not known about, they're not going to get fixed. Listing them in the Access Partners database won't automatically get them fixed but at least they can be prioritized and the critical ones attended to. If a bolt is a little rusty, it isn't neccesarily bad but if you're afraid to even hang a draw on that old pin in case it falls out then it's about time someone knew about it and considered replacing it. So if they are ugly then maybe they don't need entering yet, but if they really are a safety concern, then get it entered into the database.
-Participation in administering the program will be needed. Donations of replacement gear is welcome. Donations to cover costs of gear not donated are welcome.

Basically if this program is to work, it will have to have the general acceptance of the climbing community, be of a format that climbers want, be sensitive to access issues, and work within constraints of land managers. It's a tall order I know, but I honestly feel this is an initiative needed in southern Ontario.

So I'd like to see some discussion of when fixed gear needs replacing, considerations of contacting the FA party where possible, criteria to consider, etc.

Tell me what you want this program to do!
Tell me how you want it to work!


darkside


Sep 15, 2005, 6:14 PM
Post #12 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 14, 2001
Posts: 1687

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

To address some previous points:
-The Access Partners group is relatively quiet because only official moderator e-mails are allowed. That is to ensure people don't get irrelevant mail and can be assured that only important info is sent out. In other words no spam, only access news.
-If missing hangers or bad pins are not known about, they're not going to get fixed. Listing them in the Access Partners database won't automatically get them fixed but at least they can be prioritized and the critical ones attended to. If a bolt is a little rusty, it isn't neccesarily bad but if you're afraid to even hang a draw on that old pin in case it falls out then it's about time someone knew about it and considered replacing it. So if they are ugly then maybe they don't need entering yet, but if they really are a safety concern, then get it entered into the database.
-Participation in administering the program will be needed. Donations of replacement gear is welcome. Donations to cover costs of gear not donated are welcome.

Basically if this program is to work, it will have to have the general acceptance of the climbing community, be of a format that climbers want, be sensitive to access issues, and work within constraints of land managers. It's a tall order I know, but I honestly feel this is an initiative needed in southern Ontario.

So I'd like to see some discussion of when fixed gear needs replacing, considerations of contacting the FA party where possible, criteria to consider, etc.

Tell me what you want this program to do!
Tell me how you want it to work!


meshuga3


Sep 21, 2005, 7:42 AM
Post #13 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 5, 2002
Posts: 85

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hey Grant,

Good idea on the anchor initiative. Seems to have worked well in the Red, Yosemite, etc. Off the top of my head: If roped climbing is still legal at Halfway (and it is my understanding that it is), then two routes- the .11a and the mixed .10d face/hands (sorry about names, don't have a guidebook in front of me) each sport rusty 1/4 inchers just waiting to rip.

They are both brilliant routes.

I couldn't post this to the accesspartners group, though I'm a member. Any idea why?

Alex


tradrenn


Sep 25, 2005, 2:06 PM
Post #14 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 15, 2005
Posts: 2990

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

There is loose hanger and I think the bolt ic coming off ( the nut is still tight ) on Polly Vicini at Nemo which is in Central Wall Area.

This bolt looks/seems to be similar problem that we had on top anchors of Live Bait, this one is on left hand side.

Wojtek

P.S. Thank you for fixing that bolt on Live Bait.


darkside


Sep 25, 2005, 3:28 PM
Post #15 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 14, 2001
Posts: 1687

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
Hey Grant,

Good idea on the anchor initiative. Seems to have worked well in the Red, Yosemite, etc. Off the top of my head: If roped climbing is still legal at Halfway (and it is my understanding that it is), then two routes- the .11a and the mixed .10d face/hands (sorry about names, don't have a guidebook in front of me) each sport rusty 1/4 inchers just waiting to rip.

They are both brilliant routes.

I couldn't post this to the accesspartners group, though I'm a member. Any idea why?

Alex
Indeed there are anchor initiatives that work elsewhere and I believe we can have a workable system in Ontario also. I only hope it can be organized before I leave the province or it may not happen.
I will see if I can look up the routes and add them for you. I don't really know what the problem was for you but the first thing that comes to mind (and maybe obvious) is that you need to be logged in to Yahoo. If you were a member but not logged in and used the direct link to the database, it may have given you an error or something. Failing that, there is a Yahoo help menu that may shed some light on it for you.
While I totally see the safety aspect of inspecting/replacing these anchors I would actually have to advise against it temporarily. My reasoning is that while attempts to reopen the bouldering in the area have been slow, they are proceeding. You are correct in your understanding of roped climbing. Specifically the routes that are already established and listed in the guidebook are OK with the reason being that climbing these routes will have a minimal impact and are therebye not the same concerns as the bouldering closure. Also I suspect that such a decision was made with concerns though, and that replacing current anchors may stir things up. My recommendation is to leave them alone until the bouldering issue is resolved or the complications and resulting additional traffic may impede reaching a resolution. Once that is sorted then we could look at the anchors in question.
Hope that hepls a little Alex.

On other news, thanks for adding to the database go out to Andy and Will, the first added that weren't by me. I can also report that another climber has been doing some maintenance on the northern escarpment. Thanks go out to Gus and his friends. They have replaced some fixed anchors and donated the gear themselves as well as doing the work. I hope to coordinate more with them.

I would also like to encourage more people to give me feedback because I have a limited time to make this initiative succeed. As I said before -
Tell me what you want this program to do!
Tell me how you want it to work!


meridian


Feb 3, 2006, 9:28 AM
Post #16 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 24, 2002
Posts: 29

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks for the database Grant! Great idea!

I'm not sure if this one is worth mentioning in the database but the 2 side-by-side bolts on the Pinnacle Arrete Route at Bottleglass aren't great. The one is rusted and the other spins but since they're not really needed I'm not sure if they're worth the time and effort.

Are you interested in bolt info for the Gorge in Elora? I'm not sure of the current access status (its listed as yellow on the ACC page) but I know that there are alot of bolts there in really bad shape.


darkside


May 16, 2006, 12:02 PM
Post #17 of 17 (5354 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 14, 2001
Posts: 1687

Re: Old fixed gear in Southern Ontario. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
Thanks for the database Grant! Great idea!

I'm not sure if this one is worth mentioning in the database but the 2 side-by-side bolts on the Pinnacle Arrete Route at Bottleglass aren't great. The one is rusted and the other spins but since they're not really needed I'm not sure if they're worth the time and effort.

Are you interested in bolt info for the Gorge in Elora? I'm not sure of the current access status (its listed as yellow on the ACC page) but I know that there are alot of bolts there in really bad shape.
I was just browsing some old forums when I saw your post. Unfortunately I no longer live in Ontario so I can't really continue fixing anchors. I did recommend the Access Committee continue the work but I don't think they have followed up on it. Neither has anyone kept the Access Partners initiative going. I offered to send messages out from the committee regarding the last Earth Day clean up but it seems no one considered it necessary. I'm afraid that the Access Partners has fallen by the wayside in the drive to reorganize the committee. Even my offer to teleconference in to meetings was declined.
Everything is still in place however and could easily be resurrected but it's not too practical for me to do so from this far away. It just takes someone with a desire to promote the future of climbing in Ontario.


Forums : Climbing Information : Access Issues & Closures

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook