Author Topic: Stop the Madness!  (Read 3322 times)

Offline climbingchimp

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2004, 04:40:28 pm »
Oh, my mistake.  It was LUNCH PAD that I was referring to.  

Chill.   Partner.  

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2004, 08:22:46 pm »
Ah... well in that case... sorry to accuse you of saying that intentionally.  I have never seen pins there, though I have only been climbing here for 3 years.  I noticed Webster's guide makes mention of a single piton on that ledge (obviously now gone).

Offline climbingchimp

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2004, 05:49:56 pm »
It's ok.  :o  

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2004, 02:34:32 pm »
So...

thanks to an unnamed source, over the weekend I got back several of the pins that were removed from Upper refuse. even after a lengthy discussion with the source, I'm still not 100% sure I understand why they were taken. it seems to have been a mix of ego, a misguided ethical stance as well as some theft... regardless I have been reassured, and hopefully correctly, that this won't happen again - at least not by this person.

I went by IME yesterday and picked up an assortment of pins to use to try & replace what was missing. this includes the broken-off pin on pitch 1 of Fun House, the 2-pin belay above the top of Black Lung, and the 3 pin belay at the top of Upper Refuse. a total of 6 pins.

this morning I hooked up with DMan and we climbed the routes, replacing the pins as we went. I sincerely appreciate his assistance, support and all around good vibes.

the head of the missing pin on Fun House was unfortunately broken off in the rock. I was unable to get the stub out, and unwilling to mess up the rock more than it already was, I pounded it in a bit & left it there. I added a new pin directly below the old one, yielding effectively the same protection.

I was able to recreate the Black Lung belay so that it is very similar to what it was. FYI you can get a #3 BD Stopper to slot just below the lower pin, giving you a bomber 3 point anchor.

I was able to replace 2 of the original 3 pins on the the top belay. unfortunately I didn't have the correct size baby angle to replace one of the vandalized pins. that said, again there is a bomber nut placement just below the lower pin that you can use to give the desired 3 point anchor. when I get a chance I'll throw in the other pin.

I can only hope that this doesn't take place again. I can assure everyone that removing the pins on classic climbs like this will NOT make them go away permanently and if the perpetrator is discovered there are many local and non-local climbers who will give them a very hard time - if not more!

BTW the story about the stolen pin and the climber who fell to their death because of it is TRUE. just because YOU can climb a route without the fixed gear, do NOT assume that everyone can. removing fixed gear that is described in the guidebooks and well known can cause more than just mental discomfort from those expecting it to be there. in our overly litigous society, I could easily imagine a wrongful death suit!

be warned!

Al
« Last Edit: April 20, 2004, 02:37:11 pm by admin »
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Offline Luceboy

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2004, 04:48:42 pm »
Al and DMan,
A heart felt thank you to both of you guys.  The climbing community owes you for your time and energy (not to mention cash)...Thank you again.  ;)
Kevin
"Not all those that wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien

Offline rustyrat

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2004, 08:48:32 am »
Alright Al, well done! may normality and fun on the rock now be the order of the day.

Offline M_Sprague

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2004, 09:09:21 am »
Al and DMan,

Thanks for the fix-up. I haven't climbed at Cathedral in years so I don't remember the route well, but, if fixed gear is needed, why didn't you choose to replace the pins with good half inch stainless steel bolts, well camoed? My feeling is that if you are going to leave metal in the rock, they should be good quality, highly reliable and well situated. I have found that often a well placed bolt can replace several pins and they don't require being replaced as often. I personally would rather see two well placed bolt anchors than a nest of old pins and slings. For the most part, pins are yesteryears technology for fixed gear. This aside, your efforts are much appreciated.

Mark
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is not a path and leave a trail."
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The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. John Kenneth Galbrait

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2004, 09:51:24 pm »
a couple of people have asked if they could contribute some $ to defray the cost of replacing pins & bolts on the cliffs. you should know that the cost of this kind of hardware is paid for by the local Mountain Rescue Service (MRS). DMAN & I have just provided our time & energy gratis. if you would like to contribute to the MRS, and believe me when I say that they do good work, you can send your check to:

Dave Kelly
Treasurer, MRS
c/o EMS Climbing School
Eastern Slope Inn
Main Street
North Conway, NH 03860

They will certainly put your contribution to good use. Be sure to say why you are contributing.

If you want to contribute to the web site <grin> we'll be having the annual fundraiser in the fall.

Al
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Offline df

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FRe: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2004, 11:29:02 am »
first, let me say that I have only climbed on cathedral a couple times, and don't know most of the routes involved.  I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers, just wondering about the issue, because it seems a bit odd from outside the area.  In this era of access issues, it's chatrooms like this that fuel land managers to shut down areas, ban fixed gear, etc, so I'm just hoping to get a little insight into the local history,thought and ethic behind the issue.  I've heard of retroed bolts/chopping on Thin Air back into the mid 80's, but that's really all I know about it, and had no idea that pins were also an issue.

That said, this seems like a really different reaction to missing pins than has been the case in most other areas.  There were many fixed pins all the way up such classic routes as the naked edge in Eldo, famous gunks routes, etc.  Most of these have either been removed or fallen out over time--I can see replacing them when there is no alternative for gear, (some of the other pins in this case are necessary, I'm assuming?) but the photo on the homepage shows a pin in a very easily protectable crack (possibly even with visible scars from all the cams and nuts placed to back it up?? Or are those from the removal?).  In either case, that makes me think that the safety argument doesn't hold water, so my question is: why is there such an uproar over pins missing when they are not necessary for someone to safely lead the route?  Aside from sport-style convenience, SHOULD they be replaced?  As far as the guidebook references, pins fall out all the time where I climb, and I was taught never to count on fixed gear someone told me about on a crack anyway--most guidebooks are erroneous at some point, and make a point of telling people that it's not a static medium, anyway.
I ask this not to create controversy, only because it seems to me from outside the area that unneccessary fixed gear is more of a safety hazard than not having it (how many newbie leaders really take the time to back it up or even know how to tell if it's good a few years from now?) but also because I see placing/replacing a pin in a cam placement  on the same slippery slope as a bolt next to a handcrack, retroing the american direct, etc.-- heck, maybe we should just bolt women in love or the mordor wall so i can do it, etc....  (I know this was how the 1st ascent was done, but we don't nail these routes anymore for a reason--why stick to tradition if there's a better/cleaner/safer/more ethical way?).
Again, please don't take this for an antagonistic response, I'm just a bit baffled by the commotion over this particular pin that was pictured, and hoping for some insight into the local ethic--is it convenience, or the local dependance on teaching climbing, or the principal, etc. that's behind the reaction?
Thanks,
Dave

Offline frik

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2004, 12:34:13 pm »
Yo df, as someone who's been climbing "locally" in NH since
before Funhouse was even in any guidebook, i couldn't agree with your comments more. While i can't say that the removal of this particular fixed gear was a particularty good thing, i just don't understant the invective that it has generated.

Offline t-rad

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2004, 02:11:15 pm »
ditto

Offline docn

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2004, 03:09:16 pm »
Al, Thanks for replacing the pins. You should have hammered in a few more to create an anchor to hang that moron off of!

Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2004, 05:02:24 pm »
It has been awhile since i have done funhouse so i don't recal the exact nature of that first pitch. It does however look like a decent green alien placement? the fixed belay?  I just cruised by while doing the book now and then so don't really recall the exact situation there either. I think the real issue is with one person makeing the decision to remove the fixed gear in an area that is used by many. That decision should have been tossed arround the comunity or at least discussed with the members of SAR.  My general rule of thumb is that if a pin comes out with finger pressure I pull it, label it with the approiate historical data and hang it on the wall. (except for a few memorable occasions were I have pounded that sucker back in with a biner and prayed it would hold body weight) If it is still stuck in there I let it be untill nature takes it's course. If the pin is one that I origionaly placed, I make the decision to replace with a pin or a bolt at my pleasure. If you don't like it, put up your own rt. (I have actualy caught $#it for replaceing a crap pin with a bolt on a rt. that I put up) If a newbie chooses to trust old iron like a fat new   1/2" stainless steel glue in, then that is just darwinism at work ::) It certainly looks like the pin on the first pitch could be cleaned? but the belay may be another story?  those decisions should be made by the guys at SAR  whome i consider the stweards of the cliff. Not by any single individual.

Offline dogboy

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2004, 09:08:50 pm »
I can understand being confused by the strength of the emotion the removal of the pins on these particular climbs has caused (and yes, you can easily protect the initial crack on Funhouse without the pin)...but, as tradman points out, the real issue here is whether or not one climber has the right to take it upon his or her self to decide what fixed gear should be allowed and what removed, without asking anyone else in the community for input.  And, as has been mentioned earlier in this post, the trend over the last year has been towards more experienced climbers removing fixed gear from beginner climbs...something that smacks a bit too much of self-rightousness and too little of concern for the safety of other climbers.  People take the potential consequences of their actions far too lightly...how would YOU feel if, in a fit of ethical puritanism, you decided to remove an "unnecessary" pin from a climb, only to find later that another climber, who perhaps had done the climb a few times before and had counted on the fixed gear being in place, had been hurt or killed due to the missing gear?  Its entirely disingenuous to dismiss such a scenario by blaming the injured climber for relying on fixed gear...as though your removing the gear wasn't the actual and immediate cause of the accident.
     It is one thing to believe that climbers should not rely on the presence of fixed gear, and to proclaim that belief to others.  Its an entirely other thing, and a dangerous and irresponsible and self-righteous thing, to translate that belief into actions that my put others' lives at risk.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2004, 09:10:17 pm by jeffc »
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Offline Erik_N

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Re: Stop the Madness!
« Reply #44 on: April 24, 2004, 06:11:39 am »
 First, pins are not just missing from easier climbs.  Colonial Ambush, Intimidation, and I heard Arno's Corner pins are also missing.  These could be random or deliberate connected attempts to remove all fixed pins.
Second, The notion that missing pins makes climbs more dangerous, with a few execeptions is crazy. I don't know about you but I usually look ahead several moves and if I can't see a way to protect it I evaluate.  One option is always downclimbing before you get into trouble.  
 If you can't safely protect Funhouse, Upper Refuse, Intimidation etc... without the pins don't climb it!
 I'm not in favor of removing pins but I'm not in favor of replacing them either unless they are crucial.