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Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi)
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abobo123


May 13, 2013, 7:45 PM
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Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi)  (North_America: United_States: Pennsylvania: Northeastern_Region: Delaware_Water_Gap__Mt__Minsi_)
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Who still climbs at the gap these days? I don't see many people there aside from the guide service groups, and there is very little activity on this site and mountainproject (where i typically live). Just wondering who the other locals are.


(This post was edited by abobo123 on May 13, 2013, 7:46 PM)


joeforte


May 14, 2013, 4:44 AM
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Re: [abobo123] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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I climb there


njrox


May 14, 2013, 5:33 AM
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YO!


abobo123


May 14, 2013, 7:06 AM
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Re: [njrox] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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Njrox - are you Mike C?


njrox


May 14, 2013, 7:28 AM
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Re: [abobo123] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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michael c from mp.com is me


Sanguma


May 15, 2013, 7:47 AM
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Re: [abobo123] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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I usually get there a few times a month from September to May.


abobo123


May 15, 2013, 9:32 AM
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Re: [abobo123] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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thanks for the replies. I asked this because i'd like to Maybe organize some stewardship/ route cleaning activities. There are over 100 routes on the PA side, but by my count only about a dozen are frequently climbed, and the rest are mostly avoided because they're dirty/overgrown.

PA side is still closed, that's the part that will really need some work when it re-opens. I don't know the Jersey side too well yet, spent most of my time over in PA, or avoided the place entirely because it seemed so dirty. There's some routes on Tamany that could use some gardening for sure, but they seem alot cleaner in general over there. For Minsi, I'd love it if the place were a little more cleaned up and more traveled so the routes could be better sustained. 

Two routes I'm looking to clean / reopen are Point of No Return 5.8+ ** on the Land of the Giants wall, and Morning Wall (5.9) and it's Variations. 

Point of No Return is very overgrown with bushes/prickers for it's first half and needs some serious gardening. 

Morning wall looks dirty like it hasn't seen action in a long time. It was bolted in 1989, and i suspect the bolts might need replacement too.

 I'm really open to suggestions, and want to try and promote a little stewardship that we can clean this place up a bit and get a better place for us to climb close to home.


abobo123


May 15, 2013, 9:38 AM
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Re: [Sanguma] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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Sanguma, it seems from your posts on here that you've climbed here more than most at the gap. I'd really like to hear your opinion.


Sanguma


May 16, 2013, 12:34 PM
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Re: [abobo123] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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Thanks for asking for my opinion, and I'm more than happy to give it, but I hope in my few posts that I haven't come across as a Gap expert. I've put a decent amount of time in the last few years and have tackled some obscure routes, but there's also still a lot I haven't done, and probably couldn't do because I'd get in over my head. That being said, here's what I think:

You're absolutely right, the Gap is a fantastic place to climb and it'd be great if the routes were cleaner. Joe Forte (who posted earlier in this thread) is the one to talk to about if/how it could be done. He's established many routes, and is an expert at taking routes full of dangerous old hardware and bringing them back to life. He also has good ethical judgement, and could talk about scenarios like when it's OK to trundle a rock, chop a bush, or install a bolt.

In my opinion (I've never cleaned a route, so take it for what it's worth), cleaning routes at the Gap would be a very difficult and temporary task. The Gap is a wild place - a lot of moisture, greenery, and soil on the move. Even the routes that get climbed often by Gap standards end up getting a vegetative sheen over the summer. Then there's the same argument you use for not washing an old car - "It's the dirt holding it together..."

I know I sound cynical, but I just don't think that clean routes will bring enough traffic to sustain the cleanliness. There are already many clean routes out there that people ignore. Easy Day for an Old Lady on the NJ side and Dancing Fool on the PA side come to mind. I think the best approach to take is just to continue climbing what you want to climb. If you see a hanging death trap, trundle it if you can safely do so. If you see scary bolts, let Joe know and chip in a few bucks for him to replace them. And if you find a cool climb that nobody you know has ever done, tell people about it to help dispel the opinion that the only routes worth doing are Osprey, Heroine Hypnosis, Triumverate, and the Rib.


TradEddie


May 19, 2013, 4:30 PM
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Re: [abobo123] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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abobo123 wrote:
 

Two routes I'm looking to clean / reopen are Point of No Return 5.8+ ** on the Land of the Giants wall, and Morning Wall (5.9) and it's Variations. 

Point of No Return is very overgrown with bushes/prickers for it's first half and needs some serious gardening. 

Morning wall looks dirty like it hasn't seen action in a long time. It was bolted in 1989, and i suspect the bolts might need replacement too.

Keith Uhl used to quietly clean his routes on weekday evenings in the Spring. He was killed a couple of years ago in a motorbike crash, so that may explain the state of the morning wall climbs.

TE


joeforte


May 22, 2013, 4:22 AM
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Re: [TradEddie] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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I did not know that about Keith. So sorry to hear about his early departure. Maybe we should organize a climb and clean day dedicated to him, and clean up some of his favorite routes.

Yes, the gap takes back routes faster than we can typically keep them clean, but that is ok. I think we might see a resurgence of activity there soon. I've always been reluctant to spread the word about the place because frankly, I like the fact that it is wild. I don't want people to go up there and get over their heads, or start retrobolting old trad routes because they think they are too spicy (this has already happened more than once up there). I think we should focus on keeping the classics clean and safe, and slowly revisit the obscurities to keep them from being permanently lost in vegetation.

Seems like fall is the best time for cleaning up there, as summer time can be totally brutal, but I wouldn't be against going up there with a handful of guys and doing some cleaning once the PA side reopens.


Sanguma


May 22, 2013, 4:28 AM
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Re: [TradEddie] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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Thanks for the info, TradEddie. From the little I've heard about Keith it sounds like he put in a tremendous amount of effort establishing and cleaning routes at the Gap. I, like probably many of the people on this site, feel some guilt about my own laziness and how little I've given back to the crags I've climbed at. Perhaps I'll start doing more. I monkey around rope soloing on my own at the Gap sometimes, and it'd be easy for me to tidy up a few routes.

On a separate note, I saw that there's a parallel discussion going on at Mountain Project which is starting to touch on the topic of adding bolts to already established "scary" routes in the Gap. First let me say that everyone is doing the right thing and discussing the issue with the community before grabbing a drill and doing the job, which is good. But here's what I ask - before suggesting a new bolt on this site or any other, or even before discussing the issue with the first ascensionist, go out and lead the route a half dozen times, because climbers often miss things the first few times. If you're creative and look around enough, you'll often find the gear you're looking for. In my opinion, the gear on Crackpot and Martin's Fall (even on the traverse) is more than adequate, and bolts aren't needed on either, although Crackpot already has a few. Those are two of the routes being discussed on Mountain Project. If a bolt was added to Martin's Fall, next you'd see them on the Ribcage, Corkscrew, Chieftan - it'd be endless. I'd ask everyone to think seriously of the way they lead routes. Climbers spend more time in "dangerous fall" territory than they think, they just don't realize it because they find the climbing easy and simply feel they won't fall. Who hasn't ran out an easy protectionless 5.4 section??? Do you think those sections should be bolted??? It's all about perspective. In many people's perspective, the traverse on Martin's Fall is just as easy. Bolting Martin's Fall would be like bolting every 5.4 runout you've ever done.


(This post was edited by Sanguma on May 22, 2013, 4:46 AM)


njrox


May 22, 2013, 6:44 AM
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Re: [Sanguma] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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that was me who put up the Martin's Fall bolt question. Well, it was more of a comparison...putting bolts on The Rib in places were there were cracks for gear and a tree to rap off of VS. putting a single bolt on a dangerous traverse that suppoedly doesn't take any gear.

but yeah, the discussion is going on MP.com

http://www.mountainproject.com/...p-climbers/108142144

and for the record, I don't own a drill nor do I plan on buying one. just hypothetical stuff to discuss among active Gap climbers. And I support keeping things trad.


njrox


May 22, 2013, 6:46 AM
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Re: [joeforte] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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joeforte wrote:
I did not know that about Keith. So sorry to hear about his early departure. Maybe we should organize a climb and clean day dedicated to him, and clean up some of his favorite routes.

Yes, the gap takes back routes faster than we can typically keep them clean, but that is ok. I think we might see a resurgence of activity there soon. I've always been reluctant to spread the word about the place because frankly, I like the fact that it is wild. I don't want people to go up there and get over their heads, or start retrobolting old trad routes because they think they are too spicy (this has already happened more than once up there). I think we should focus on keeping the classics clean and safe, and slowly revisit the obscurities to keep them from being permanently lost in vegetation.

Seems like fall is the best time for cleaning up there, as summer time can be totally brutal, but I wouldn't be against going up there with a handful of guys and doing some cleaning once the PA side reopens.

joe, I've seen your name all over the guidebook so I know you've put in a heck of a lot of climbing at The Gap. Message me if you're doing any clean-ups .


abobo123


May 22, 2013, 9:35 AM
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Re: [joeforte] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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I'n cross posting this from the MP discussion.

I believe the bolting part of the discussion was just theoretical, and we haven't spurred anyone out to start drilling. 

To bring this full circle, the original intent I had with starting this conversation was to discuss the area in general, and see if people thought there were things we could do to clean up/improve the gap. I've been climbing there for a few years, but often avoided it because it was, in my opinion at the time, dirty, overgrown, and not really worth the effort. I could drive an hour and a half farther to the gunks and get on some nice clean rock and not come back covered in poison ivy and ticks. 

Anyways, I'm just planning to try and climb there more, and If i can, clean up some overgrown routes. 

I think priorities should be cleaning overgrown routes and trail maintenance. Doing so could make a big impact. On the PA side there are TONS of routes that could be cleaned. Next would be to consider the common descent routes - be they slung trees, fixed gear, or bolted rappels. There are some sketch old fixed gear anchors mid wall out there. The lowest things on the list would be the altering of existing routes, which, as the points and counter-points above show, is a minefield of opinions.


abobo123


May 23, 2013, 3:44 PM
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Re: [abobo123] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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Fyi, minsi is still closed. It appears the falcon eggs have hatched, but its difficult to tell with all the foliage.


iron106


May 24, 2013, 10:56 AM
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Re: [abobo123] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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I have only climbed Minsi a few times. I wish it were more developed. If there was a bolt or 2 thrown in to make it a little safer, that would be nice.


joeforte


May 24, 2013, 11:49 PM
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Re: [iron106] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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iron106 wrote:
I have only climbed Minsi a few times. I wish it were more developed. If there was a bolt or 2 thrown in to make it a little safer, that would be nice.

I love how bolts automatically make it safer. There are routes with gear every 5 feet. How is a bolt going to make that safer?

As for the runout routes, skip over them until you build the skill to climb them safely too. Trust me, you'll get there. And when you do, you'll be glad you did. When you are in control, runouts are fun and rewarding. At this point, nobody is forcing you to climb the runouts though. Stay on the safe and easy routes. There are plenty!


TradEddie


Jun 13, 2013, 8:53 AM
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Re: [joeforte] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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Folks,
One thing to remember, any unauthorized "gardening" activity would be specifically prohibited by NPS regulations.
TE


forumboarder999


Jun 23, 2013, 10:22 AM
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A clean up day in the gap would be great even if it is only for trail maintainence. I live very close and would be willing to work any day during the week.


abobo123


Jun 23, 2013, 7:46 PM
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We did some trail maintenance from the cold air cave to boca roca grande yesterday. Trail is in ok shape, though some of the large downed trees are annoying. Today we climbed and did a little cleaning on drifting arrow and surprise. The mid rap anchor on suprise is missing at the moment.


forumboarder999


Jun 24, 2013, 6:49 PM
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Re: [abobo123] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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That's great glad to see people are interested in maintaining and improving the dwg. If you make plans for another clean up day please pm me. I work in the town of delaware water gap so I'm typically very close. Thanks for the time you put in.


abobo123


Jun 28, 2013, 8:11 AM
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Re: [forumboarder999] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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I'm looking to head up tomorrow afternoon, i'd like to get on / clean point of no return. It's #34 in the falcon guide. Lookin for a partner. The lower 40 feet of this look very overgrown. Anyone want to go?


forumboarder999


Jun 28, 2013, 3:33 PM
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Re: [abobo123] Active climbers at the gap (Mt. Minsi) [In reply to]
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Depending how the day at work goes I could be free to give you a hand.


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