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Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap?
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adatesman


Jun 16, 2008, 9:42 AM
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Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap?  (North_America: United_States: Pennsylvania: Northeastern_Region: Delaware_Water_Gap__Mt__Minsi_)
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Hey All,

The talk about the overcliff trail has me thinking that maybe organizing some maintenance of the undercliff trail would be a good thing. I've seen evidence of people doing a good bit of brush clearing already and that's much appreciated (by me at the very least), but maybe if we get a bunch of people together we could do something to address the erosion problems between Grunge Wall and Land of Giants and maybe even put in some steps along Cat Wall?

Anyone interested?

-aric.


(This post was edited by adatesman on Jun 16, 2008, 9:43 AM)


joeforte


Jun 16, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Re: [adatesman] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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If we do decide to do a trail day, I've been considering putting in some rap stations up there, to avoid the choss on top, and make single rope rappels possible.

I'd like to put stations on the arete between suprise and voyage, and somewhere near osprey. I'm waiting for some input from the community before I start. The water gap is such an awesome place. I'd love to see better trails and safer rappels.


adatesman


Jun 16, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Re: [joeforte] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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joeforte wrote:
If we do decide to do a trail day, I've been considering putting in some rap stations up there, to avoid the choss on top, and make single rope rappels possible.

I'd like to put stations on the arete between suprise and voyage, and somewhere near osprey. I'm waiting for some input from the community before I start. The water gap is such an awesome place. I'd love to see better trails and safer rappels.

Hey Joe,

Even without a trial day I'd be up for helping you out with that.... Just shoot me a PM or email sometime.

-aric.


joeforte


Jun 16, 2008, 12:55 PM
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Re: [adatesman] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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Sounds good. I'd just like to get everyone in agreement on where to put them. I Know where I'd want them, but I'd like some more input from others that climb at the gap.


geo_nutt


Jun 17, 2008, 6:24 AM
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Re: [joeforte] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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joeforte wrote:
If we do decide to do a trail day, I've been considering putting in some rap stations up there, to avoid the choss on top, and make single rope rappels possible.

I'd like to put stations on the arete between suprise and voyage, and somewhere near osprey. I'm waiting for some input from the community before I start. The water gap is such an awesome place. I'd love to see better trails and safer rappels.

Hey Joe-
We've met a few times before, clilmbing at stoney ridge, etc.

First off I think putting in a few rap stations at gap is a good idea and I would be willing to pitch in some time and effort if need be. But before all that I just wanted to voice my opinion, I really like the osprey route I think its a fun easy/moderate route that has an adventurous feel to it something thats not easy to come buy in these neck of the woods. I guess my request would be to keep the rap line off route. Part of the nature of which makes that route fun is building gear anchors on exposed terrain. I would be really bummed to climb up to that second belay and see a couple of rap bolts that I could just as easily clip. Yes, I could still build a gear anchor if I wanted too, but it wouldn't be the same Pirate

Well thats my opinion. Besides that keep up the good work! and let me know if you need any help

cheers
brian


adatesman


Jun 17, 2008, 12:04 PM
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Re: [joeforte] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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joeforte wrote:
I'd like to put stations on the arete between suprise and voyage, and somewhere near osprey.

Hey Joe,

Consider me in agreement on this, and with Geo_nutt about it being off the route as well. Now that I think about it, early last spring I cleaned an amazingly scary bail station close to Osprey (single #5 BD nut that was barely in the crack backing up a knotted nylon sling jammed behind a loose flake with a fist sized stone jammed in behind it to hold the sling in place) that seems like the perfect spot for the intermediate rap station. It was 15 or 20' left of the route (just right of the slab to the right EDIT- Oops, I meant LEFT of Osprey) and somewhere between the first and second belay. Actually, looking at the guidebook it looks like it would have been really close to Pain Builds Character.

Anyway, rapping from the tree above the route you almost landed on it, so perhaps it wasn't a bail station after all and was actually a jury-rigged intermediate rappel that you couldn't see wasn't solid until you got there and soiled yourself. Either way it wasn't safe to use so I pulled it.

As for between Surprise and Voyage, I assume that's to help move the raps off Surprise since its one of the more popular routes? I guess I'm neither here nor there on that one.... You've got 2 rap stations there already, but one ties up the route and the other is mostly free-hanging and requires two ropes. I've never looked to see if dropping from up and right of the Surprise station would be free hanging or not, but if not that may be ok. I just don't like the idea of people trying to scamper over that 5' block above Surprise unroped to get to something closer to Voyage... Slip from there and you're taking the fast way down. Plus its really loose and easy to trundle bowling balls down Chieftain and Surprise once you're above that block.

Anyway, I'm most likely ok with most anything short of convenience bolting or sport routes and am up for helping out whenever and however. I can be available weekdays as well....

-aric.


(This post was edited by adatesman on Jun 18, 2008, 6:23 AM)


joeforte


Jun 17, 2008, 7:22 PM
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Re: [adatesman] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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I think keeping the rap anchors off route would be nice, to keep the adventurous feel, limit toproping and traffic (yeah right.... at the gap), and most importantly, to keep falling objects off routes.

I think a midstation to the right of osprey would be nice, where I have also seen sketchy intermediates built. But what about the top. Keep using the tree up above the choss, or install an anchor below in the good rock. How high is the cliff exactly there. Can the tree and a midstation make it to the ground with a single 60?

As far as suprise and voyage... I would definately make it easier to get to from suprise, since a traverse left from voyage is kinda easy and natural anyway (I accidently climbed it that way once, only to realize that I should get up to the tree to save time, and ended up crawling marbles back right with horrendous rope-drag).

I've never climbed the route on the arete. This would be very close to the proposed rappel route. I wanna make sure it does not interfere. I'm going to the 'Dacks this weekend, but maybe the weekend after we can make it a day.

If anyone has any more input, we can really make sure we do this right the first time. No More Slop Anchors In The Gap!!!!!


TradEddie


Jun 18, 2008, 10:54 AM
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Re: [adatesman] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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Please, please don't put anchors on existing routes. Osprey has more adventure and exposure than most Gunks 5.6's, mid-way anchors would change that completely. An intermediate rap anchor anywhere near a climb, could even lead people off-route, and that might be a little too much adventure.

If we've slogged up the talus, and climbed three pitches, can't we walk (admittedly carefully) a few yards to an existing station, or carry another rope?

Please, don't bolt for convenience.

Ed


adatesman


Jun 18, 2008, 5:52 PM
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joeforte wrote:
I'm going to the 'Dacks this weekend, but maybe the weekend after we can make it a day.

Hmm... Seems like I'm in NC that weekend and the one following. Anytime after the 7th is good for me.

Oh, while I'm thinking of it, I've got my eve on the fallen log before you get to Land of Giants. I'm not so fond of the chicane down and around it, and think taking the path up the ledge is a better choice erosion-wise. Thoughts?

-a.


dynobelay


Jun 18, 2008, 10:38 PM
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Re: [joeforte] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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I'm all in favor of some trail work to keep the path from eroding. The Gap is in need of that.

Bolted rap anchors? I don't need them. I don't need/like them at the Gunks either. And they just seem to multiply.

One consideration: paint blaze the trees along the walkdown path so it is followable as an alternative.


mojomonkey


Jun 19, 2008, 5:51 AM
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joeforte wrote:
I think keeping the rap anchors off route would be nice [snip]

I think a midstation to the right of osprey would be nice [snip] what about the top. Keep using the tree up above the choss, or install an anchor below in the good rock.

[snip - one near surprise]

I'm going to the 'Dacks this weekend, but maybe the weekend after we can make it a day.

If anyone has any more input, we can really make sure we do this right the first time. No More Slop Anchors In The Gap!!!!!

It sounds like you are talking about putting in anchors in two weeks, not just trail maintenance. Good intentions, but it seems like far too quick of a schedule. People have been climbing there a long time and have been making their way down. A week or two of discussion on this site is not likely to get a consensus from locals and regulars there. How many do you think actually log in here? I met some older guys last year who had apparently put up a few of the routes, but given their old school footwear, I am not optimistic they cruise climbing websites weekly...

Probably try talking to some of the FAs first. Maybe a notice on the tree at the top of the talus for a month or so with this forum's address or a phone number.

Otherwise the anchors you place with good intentions may irk someone who yanks them, and you'll never get a chance to talk to each other...


adatesman


Jun 19, 2008, 8:35 AM
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mojomonkey wrote:
Otherwise the anchors you place with good intentions may irk someone who yanks them...

Hey Mojo,

I somehow doubt that will happen, seeing as the handful of sport routes that went up a while back haven't been chopped. Good idea with posting a sign looking for feedback... If I get up there this weekend I'll put one up where the trail hits Practice Wall.

-a.


adatesman


Jun 19, 2008, 8:41 AM
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dynobelay wrote:
One consideration: paint blaze the trees along the walkdown path so it is followable as an alternative.

Given how little the walkoff trail would be used and how loose and unsafe it is up there I suspect the trail would fall into disrepair rather quickly and not be worth putting the time and effort into. Heck, when I went looking for it above Surprise last weekend bowling balls were coming down after us for 10 minutes after we got back to the climb, so encouraging people to head upslope on that isn't the sort of thing I'd be in favor of. Too easy for someone below to get hurt and much easier and safer to just put in a limited number of bolts to allow the classics to be rapped with a single rope.

-a.


dynobelay


Jun 19, 2008, 9:49 AM
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Re: [adatesman] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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Unlike the Gunks, the clifftop at Minsi is always a dangerous place. I've often done the walkdown path. Its not really loose or unsafe if you stay on it. But then I often just downclimb Hidden Passage which is commonly thought a horror.
I realize that sport routes and bolted raps are a la mode everywhere now. And that the Gap will also go that way. It's just that, like sugar, I prefer the raw taste rather than the refined.


roclimb


Jun 19, 2008, 8:06 PM
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Re: [joeforte] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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I believe a rap station was put on OSprey over a year ago. The idea was to keep rappells from the raptors nest.

Someone above mentioned that someone should talk to older climbers about adding rap stations first. I have climbed at The Gap since the mid-80'as and put up a lot of lines there. I myself am 100% for Joe putting in anchors and I know a lot of older climbers will back him.

I approached the park service several years ago about fixed anchors and they thought it was a good idea considering the nature of many of the trees on most of the old routes. The majority of the rapells at the Gap are pure hazerdous.

Just my 2 cents
~Rob


adatesman


Jun 20, 2008, 7:24 PM
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I don't know any of the old folks, but I'll be up there tomorrow and will be posting a sign with my contact info asking for feedback and giving a heads up about an upcoming trail day. Hopefully that will catch anyone who doesn't hang out here....

And while I'm thinking of it, my wife noticed in the August 2007 (we're a bit behind in our reading) that they have a great how-to article for organizing trail days / Adopt-a-Crag. I'm thinking maybe approaching it this way could be more beneficial and garner us some goodwill with the powers that be. Plus we might be able to score some some sponsors for food/t-shirts. It would also probably be a good idea to get the NPS people involved, since they would likely know quite a bit about trail maintenance and erosion control and should have some excellent feedback on making things nicer/safer at the cliff, not to mention that they're right there anyway.

If no one has any objections, I'd like to approach it this way and will handle the necessary coordination and whatnot. Maybe shoot for an early August date? Maybe make it a 2 day affair and see if the NPS would allow overnight camping in exchange for the trail work? I always thought camping at the top of Osprey would be pretty bad-assed....

Thoughts / comments?

-aric.


roclimb


Jun 21, 2008, 1:13 PM
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That is a great idea. You can register an adopt-a-crag at www.accessfund.org They will send you out a packet of water bottles and other stuff.

I would be happy to post the event on my website as well when you get a date for it.

~Rob


adatesman


Jun 21, 2008, 7:43 PM
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Yup, that's just what I was thinking of doing, Rob, and was looking at the registration info last night. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with your website though... Mind sharing a link? EDIT- Nevermind... You're Rob Holzman of paclimbing.com, right? I've seen the site before, but was blanking on the name.

On a side note, I posted a sign at the top of the blue dot trail just as it reaches the Practice Wall this morning giving people a heads up about the possibility of an upcoming trail day and asking for feedback on adding some new rap anchors. The sign points them here to join in the discussion or to email me directly for info. We were going to post one at that new outdoors shop in town (which doesn't have climbing gear, but does stock the Steele guide), but we didn't get off the cliff until well after they closed.

And in other news, I found no evidence of the overcliff trail above Osprey and there's way less room up there than I remembered, so the idea of camping up there isn't so appealing anymore. I didn't see a new rap station either; just slings around a large tree directly above and one ledge up from where Osprey and Heroine Hypnosis top out.

There was another rap station about 10 or 15 feet to the left that looked to be above Guttersnipe or Dragon's Lair, which was also slings around a tree but it doesn't look like it gets much use. There was one new-ish sling around the tree (not yet faded and still fairly supple), but the rest of the slings (if you can call them that) were ancient. And by ancient I mean that the tree had grown around two of them, which are now firmly embedded inside the tree. I cut off all the mank (as much as I could for the two inside the tree), but left the newer sling and rap rings.

It seems to me it might be better to just throw a pair of bolted hangers on the left side of the wall on the ledge Osprey and HH top out on (so above Pain Builds Character) and pull the other two stations to save the wear on the trees and keep people off the loose dirt/rocks above. Not so convenient for topping out on the routes around the corner, but not too bad and judging from the condition of that rap station it doesn't look like they get done much anyway. To put this opinion in perspective, while we were at the bottom of Osprey this afternoon we had several baseball sized rocks come down at us while another group was setting up their rap. The lower ledge isn't as loose, so chances are it wouldn't be as much of a bowling alley if the rap was from there. Oh, and BTW, its loose enough up there that I took a small, unexpected slip going from the one rap station to the other and came uncomfortably close to taking the quick way down (by which I mean that had I not been as careful it might have happened, but I was making sure to hold onto things and immediately sat down once the ground/mud started giving way). So for this spot being the rap station for two of the more popular routes on the PA side, keeping people off the loose stuff up top by adding two bolts to the ledge below might be worth doing solely from a safety perspective if for no other reason.

-aric.


(This post was edited by adatesman on Jun 21, 2008, 7:51 PM)


adatesman


Jun 22, 2008, 10:34 AM
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joeforte wrote:
How high is the cliff exactly there. Can the tree and a midstation make it to the ground with a single 60?

Hey Joe-

Sorry, forgot you asked this.... I was up there yesterday and looked for good anchor spots. A pair of 60's from the tree make it to the bottom of Osprey with maybe 15' left over. I don't think a pair of 50's would make it, but you'd certainly be able to get to the almost-4th-class ledge between the start and 1st belay.

So I'm thinking maybe a bolted rap station on the lower ledge at the top, and an intermediate 22m down. This way someone with a single 50 could rap to the intermediate and then at least to the ledge above the start and either downclimb or figure something for a short 3rd rap to get to the bottom (should be lots of gear options and/or blocks/trees to sling).

While this would mean that you couldn't get to the bottom on 2 raps on a single 60, it also means that someone with a 50 and not knowing any better wouldn't find themselves screwed and having to jug back up (or hanging there awaiting rescue for lack of knowledge about how to jug back up). Seems to me this would be a more responsible approach, doesn't inconvenience those who bring two 60's to rap and puts the intermediate that much further up to prevent TR use.

-aric.

EDIT- Actually, thinking about this again it might be possible to make it in 2 raps on a single 60 and real close on a 50. Figure tree to bottom is ~55m (15' extra on a pair of 60's), tree to wall at lower ledge is ~4m (guessing, but should be in the ballpark) so new rap station to bottom ~51m. Put the intermediate 23m down gives 28m intermediate to bottom, so totally doable on a 60. If the tree to new rap station is more than 4m and you push the intermediate down a bit, you may even be able to do it on a 50 (it'd be close though....)


(This post was edited by adatesman on Jun 22, 2008, 10:42 AM)


roclimb


Jun 22, 2008, 12:27 PM
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Re: [adatesman] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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A friend of mine put in a two bolt anchor on Osprey last year. It is possible it was chopped however.

I wonder if the anchor was chopped? There should be bolt holes somewhere if so.

I'm 3,000 miles away right now so I can't go check unfortunately.

---------------------------------------------

Joe,

how's things going? Wish I could have had more time to lead that thing in Jim Thorpe before I left.


(This post was edited by roclimb on Jun 22, 2008, 12:28 PM)


adatesman


Jun 22, 2008, 12:49 PM
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Hey Rob,

Any idea where he put them? None of us noticed them, but that doesn't mean they aren't there (and I didn't look all that hard, focusing more on looking for the overcliff trail). I may head up again sometime during the week, so could take a better look if I have a general idea where to start.

I have to say I'd be rather annoyed if someone chopped them given that there's at least one bolted sport route still there. If you're going to go to the gear-only extreme and prohibit bolted rap stations where they're warranted, there's no place for bolted routes and they should have been chopped too. Personally I don't see a problem with a handful of sort routes as there's plenty of otherwise unprotectable (and loose) rock at DWG, so why not make an exception for safe rap stations too?

Ok, off my soapbox and back to painting the porch.... Crazy

-aric.


(This post was edited by adatesman on Jun 22, 2008, 12:50 PM)


joeforte


Jun 23, 2008, 5:03 AM
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Re: [adatesman] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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Thanks for the input. We're gonna have to wait until we sort all the issues out before we put any rap stations in.

I was definitely NOT considering putting the stations ON any routes. They would be between Heroin Hypnosis and osprey. And the second station MUST hit the ground with a 60, not almost, and no downclimbing. We're doing this for safely and convenience remember.

I wouldn't remove any existing rap stations off trees either, in case someone misses the bolted station and tries to go rap off the tree they've been using for years.

The anchors will be off-route and will have low visual impact, so they do not take away from the asthetics or the adventure of either climb.


piton


Jun 23, 2008, 5:44 AM
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Re: [roclimb] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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why don't you put in a escalator also so you don't have to walk up a talus field.

bolts are for sissies. keep your sissy bolts on your sissy PA side. GOT THAT ROB. SISSY


(This post was edited by piton on Jun 23, 2008, 5:46 AM)


joeforte


Jun 23, 2008, 7:42 AM
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Re: [piton] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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You can have the escalator for the NJ side, piton, we enjoy the talus warmup.

The approach has never killed anyone (at least not literally), as far as I know. There has been a few deaths and many close-calls due to loose rock and crappy rappel stations.

BTW, your attitude is rediculous. Bolts are for pussies? Does this mean you didn't clip any of the bolts on "Carbs and Caffine"? Bolts have their place, just like pitons once did.

Like I said, these rap stations would be off-route, and would not distract from either climb. If you don't want to use them to rap, then don't... but they would make things a lot safer up there.

It's nearly impossible not to rain down rocks on parties below you when you rappel off osprey, or the tree above voyage. And I know of more than one account of a stuck rope coming off that tree, resulting in a long jug back up, and more rocks raining down. Everytime you pull a rope off that rap, rocks come with it.


(This post was edited by joeforte on Jun 23, 2008, 8:20 AM)


roclimb


Jun 23, 2008, 8:07 PM
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Re: [joeforte] Anyone up for trail maintenance at Delaware Water Gap? [In reply to]
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Hey Piton,

Why don't you just fess up and admit you chopped the bolts along with the ones at allamuchy. And while you're at it why don't you go by your real name Mike Stainaslaw?

Mike people are doing something productive not DESTRUCTIVE.

~Rob


(This post was edited by roclimb on Jun 23, 2008, 8:08 PM)

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