I had heard from a friend that the fixed rope rappel station was removed due to old age and had not been replaced. As this is a popular way to access the Shield I felt it prudent to replace it. I spoke with fellow climbers Justin Spain and Leigh Caswell about using one of their retired 11mm static ropes for the rap station. They agreed and we hiked down there yesterday and replaced the rope station.
Note: Some of the old webbing from the rappel station and the redirect from the lower tree was cut out but had not been hiked out. We were going to come back up after our climb but due to time constraints opted to hike out via the Fletcher-Piedra Lisa route. I'll be back in a few days to remove the old tat and do some adjustments.
Thanks to Leigh and Justin for donating the cord and helping out.
For info, the old rap rope was removed and hiked out because the rope sheath was stripped back from the core and bunched up for half a dozen feet while still in the rap zone ... likely during someone's rap prior to our coming through. The damage was out of sight from above and the rope was tied off below (probably for good reason) and so one could not inspect it by pulling the rope up. It needed to be removed without delay, but not just for old age.
I can not explain the cut-out webbing you found or the cut-out redirect down below. Everything we cut off (i.e., just the rain-soaked rope - heavy!) came out with us.
I made a related condition report on August 22nd for The Shield. My apologies for not getting up there sooner to replace it.
Just noticed the condition report on the Shield. Doh! I only browse the forums on this site so that's how I missed it.
We cut the webbing off the rap tree and left the better looking ropes for additional anchor. The redirect rope at the bottom we also cut off and direct tied with the new rappel rope. We thought we would have time to come back and remove the stuff so we left it stashed up there.
I'll be back up there to retrieve what wasn't carried out in the next day or so and to make final adjustments.
Thanks for pulling the old rope. Stay safe out there everyone.
Can you guys provide some useful beta on how to find the rap station? Thanks
See Getting There on the page for the Shield under "Access from the top". I've never tried following those directions as I've only done this coming from the top of the Knife Edge - not the fastest way if using the rap as an approach for a climb on The Shield.
I'd recommend spending a day just hiking to find it as we first did. A lot of the terrain the way we go is pretty unfeatured in relatively thick woods.