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ACE: Eldo fixed hardware application vote
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By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Jan 7, 2014
Wayne Crill wrote:
My answer to Steve's question is that it is the responsibility of "climbers who start in the gym or sport climbing" (or anywhere) to learn the skills appropriate to the climbs/areas/endeavors they undertake.

Humor me a bit here, but I think your answer is a bit catch-22. Suppose someone started to learn climbing exclusively at Eldo. Just how is this said person going to learn the skills appropriate for the area? You can't go around pounding pitons for practice at Eldo, so how are you suppose to evaluate its soundness? And in a larger context, pitons are sort of becoming relics anyway. New piton placement, at least in non alpine environment, is being discouraged. So how does one learn to place them. And what significant use is the skill set for a new climber besides evaluate existing pitons? It's almost like carburetors and COBOL: sure, at one point servicing carburetors and programming in COBOL were essential skills, but do we really need to artificially perpetuate their existence? Even NASCAR gave the boot to carburetors...

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By Wayne Crill
From an Altered State
Jan 7, 2014
pilon fracture
I have a question for ACE.

It is my understanding that regarding new route bolt applications that official public input via applcation commentary through the ACE site is but one of a number of factors that goes into the decision of wheather to grant permission to use botls for a new FA. I have always assumed that there is actually a numerical algorythm that takes into account different factors and pruduces an apparently objective final decision re the application. Thus, overwhelming public support via voting does not necessarily guarantee bolt placement approval. Is this true?

What are the formal rules regarding final decisions for this pin removal application process? Because the public has actually spoken (not here but by people who take the time to examine and vote through the ACE site). I hope(if it continues) that the current 85-90% voting AGAINST the 'fixed pin removal' for Penauts and the Bulge will be accepted by ACE as the wishes of the active park users and not 'overruled' but the subjective wishes of certain individuals in positions of power.

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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jan 7, 2014
At the BRC
I rarely climb in Eldo so maybe I'm missing something.

If a fixed pin isn't needed for protection and is just being left in situ to decay, why isn't it just another bit of tat? Or more accurately, a piece of trash?

It's not a a big deal, but I can understand why the park might want to minimize the amount of unnecessary climbing gear in place.

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By ChefMattThaner
From Lakewood, co
Jan 7, 2014
ducking ropes at Copper
Mark E Dixon wrote:
I rarely climb in Eldo so maybe I'm missing something. If a fixed pin isn't needed for protection and is just being left in situ to decay, why isn't it just another bit of tat? Or more accurately, a piece of trash? It's not a a big deal, but I can understand why the park might want to minimize the amount of unnecessary climbing gear in place.



Because there is a good chance that "tat" and "trash" you are referring to was placed by the likes of Layton Kor, Pat Ament or Jim Erickson. The park has tried very hard to preserve these routes intact as possible from these very historical first ascents.

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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jan 7, 2014
At the BRC
ChefMattThaner wrote:
Because there is a good chance that "tat" and "trash" you are referring to was placed by the likes of Layton Kor, Pat Ament or Jim Erickson. The park has tried very hard to preserve these routes intact as possible from these very historical first ascents.


If the pins are so historic, then they should be documented, removed and protected rather than being left to decay and disappear.

It's not obvious to me that preserving the route is the same as preserving the hardware.

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By ChefMattThaner
From Lakewood, co
Jan 7, 2014
ducking ropes at Copper
Mark E Dixon wrote:
If the pins are so historic, then they should be documented, removed and protected rather than being left to decay and disappear. It's not obvious to me that preserving the route is the same as preserving the hardware.


This is the other side of the coin for sure. Definitely a point I have personally wrestled with while climbing in Eldo. I think as local climbers we have a slightly selfish form a nostalgia when it comes to these fixed pins. Most of us will clip these relics while on these historic routes, not necessarily for protection but just for nostalgia sake. Personally I get a kick out of clipping a pin driven by Kor himself standing in probably the same exact stance decades later.

However, as you said Mark, wouldn't it be more historically prudent to remove these pins and preserve them in a museum away from the corrosive effects of nature??? Wouldn't more generations of climbers get to see these historical artifacts if we did that? Or would it completely take away any historical significance by taking it from its place and putting it on a shelf where climbing gear certainly doesn't belong??

This is a question I don't think there will ever be a consensus on. Some people think removing the pins will no longer offer the same experience as the FA and therefore ruining the route and the significance of the gear. While others think leaving these pieces out to erode away with time and abuse is just simply negligent.

Personally if it came to a vote I would probably side with leaving them in place since they are now part of those routes I have climbed. Still not sure if that is the right answer but it's my answer.

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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jan 7, 2014
At the BRC
ChefMattThaner wrote:
This is the other side of the coin for sure. Definitely a point I have personally wrestled with while climbing in Eldo. I think as local climbers we have a slightly selfish form a nostalgia when it comes to these fixed pins. Most of us will clip these relics while on these historic routes, not necessarily for protection but just for nostalgia sake. Personally I get a kick out of clipping a pin driven by Kor himself standing in probably the same exact stance decades later. However, as you said Mark, wouldn't it be more historically prudent to remove these pins and preserve them in a museum away from the corrosive effects of nature??? Wouldn't more generations of climbers get to see these historical artifacts if we did that? Or would it completely take away any historical significance by taking it from its place and putting it on a shelf where climbing gear certainly doesn't belong?? This is a question I don't think there will ever be a consensus on. Some people think removing the pins will no longer offer the same experience as the FA and therefore ruining the route and the significance of the gear. While others think leaving these pieces out to erode away with time and abuse is just simply negligent. Personally if it came to a vote I would probably side with leaving them in place since they are now part of those routes I have climbed. Still not sure if that is the right answer but it's my answer.


The past is a prison.

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By pfwein
From Boulder, CO
Jan 7, 2014
A lot of assumptions about other climbers here, e.g.,
Steve Levin wrote:
These are good points, although I know many climbers who've been climbing decades and have never placed a pin.


ChefMattThaner wrote:
Most of us will clip these relics while on these historic routes, not necessarily for protection but just for nostalgia sake. Personally I get a kick out of clipping a pin driven by Kor himself standing in probably the same exact stance decades later.


Steve L--(I assume there was meant to be a "don't" in your quote, based on what it was responding to) Maybe you don't know them, but I don't think most recreational climbers (and "professional" climbers of the sport climbing / bouldering type) who started climbing 20 years ago or so around here have ever placed a piton. Why would they?

Chef Matt--I don't think you speak for "most of us." Nor do I, but I rarely clip pitons when good removable-gear placements are nearby. I'm guessing I'm in the majority among at least somewhat-experienced climbers, but I could be wrong.

I'm picking on these stray comments to illustrate that I don't think there's anything close to a consensus about what to do about pitons in Eldo, and a lot of that may be that we don't even agree on things that may shape our view on what to do about them. (As just another random example, someone above compared pins to loose rock in Eldo. Whether that's a good analogy or not, I don't know if the poster is aware that many loose rocks have in fact been intentionally removed in Eldo, which likely has saved some lives.)

My belief--pitons have basically no place in modern free climbing (especially of the moderate flavor, I can't really speak as to what the experts are doing). Remove them all, replace some with bolts, depending on other protection opportunities. I'm sure that is not a consensus view now; we'll see what the future holds.

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By Cornelius Jefferson
Jan 7, 2014
pfwein wrote:
pitons have basically no place in modern free climbing. Remove them all, replace some with bolts...


disagree. anyway you'll never get away with this in eldo, which is what we're talking about in this thread.

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By ChefMattThaner
From Lakewood, co
Jan 7, 2014
ducking ropes at Copper
pfwein wrote:
A lot of assumptions about other climbers here, e.g., Chef Matt--I don't think you speak for "most of us." Nor do I, but I rarely clip pitons when good removable-gear placements are nearby. I'm guessing I'm in the majority among at least somewhat-experienced climbers, but I could be wrong.


Well maybe you are right and I am jaded. Although I do see a MAJORITY of the climbers in Eldo clipping at least some of these pins WHILE I AM THERE climbing. So maybe it's just the people that like to climb the same days I do, but I always see a lot of pin clipping while in the park.

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By rob.calm
From Loveland, Colorado
Jan 7, 2014
Mother #1 on the Nautilus at Vedauwoo. Rob is calm...
Steve Levin wrote:
(I can't think of any Eldo moderate where the leader might "go for it" to a fixed pin and get into trouble, although I'm sure they're out there).


Second pitch West Overhang.
\
rob.calm

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By Ryan Watts
From Bishop, CA
Jan 7, 2014
Flatirons
rob.calm wrote:
Second pitch West Overhang. \ rob.calm


Also the last pitch of Ruper.

And as a member of the "relatively new climber who started climbing in the gym and hasn't been climbing in Eldo that long" demographic, I've always just assumed that all fixed pins are suspect and backed them up when possible. I've also always assumed that falling in Eldo in general is a bad idea, especially when unsure of the protection. Just because someone is a gumby doesn't mean they aren't aware of it :)

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By Joseph Crotty
From Broomfield, CO
Jan 7, 2014
The Black Wall rim Mt. Evans, CO.
Wayne Crill wrote:
I have a question for ACE. It is my understanding that regarding new route bolt applications that official public input via applcation commentary through the ACE site is but one of a number of factors that goes into the decision of wheather to grant permission to use botls for a new FA. I have always assumed that there is actually a numerical algorythm that takes into account different factors and pruduces an apparently objective final decision re the application. Thus, overwhelming public support via voting does not necessarily guarantee bolt placement approval. Is this true? What are the formal rules regarding final decisions for this pin removal application process? Because the public has actually spoken (not here but by people who take the time to examine and vote through the ACE site). I hope(if it continues) that the current 85-90% voting AGAINST the 'fixed pin removal' for Penauts and the Bulge will be accepted by ACE as the wishes of the active park users and not 'overruled' but the subjective wishes of certain individuals in positions of power.


Great question. Application vote tallies are covered in detail of section 1.8 of the ACE FHRC Guidelines. Yes, it's entirely possible that FHRC could over ride public voting on the pin removal applications but not currently probable.

As Steve Levin alluded to the pin removal applications were designed in part as a canvassing tool. It's also to shine light on the pin problem, spark debate and codify the parameters of discussion. These apps, objectively, are the simplest cases possible with ample natural gear that can be placed from an ideal stance to replace the pins.

Again, I encourage everyone to read Is there a future for pegs in British climbing?

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Jan 8, 2014
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
rob.calm wrote:
Second pitch West Overhang. \ rob.calm

Hmmm... those pins are not too bad, if I recall, and there is some pretty good trad gear about.
I think as long as someone considers them supplemental, which they should, they are just fine there and nobody should get into (much) trouble.

Steve Levin wrote:
I think my broader point was that using a hammer in Eldo to do anything other than re-set a fixed pin should be a fairly rare event, and that if gentle use of a hammer does not get a pin out, having resort to more forceful methods probably signifies that pin does not need replacing.

That is where I stand with the whole idea.

Here is the thing...
A wise climber is safe with judging a pin and a route.
An unwise climber is unsafe either way.

If a pin is obviously bad, sure, replace it. If a pin is not obviously bad, and has to be funked out to check it, then perhaps we should question ourselves about the nature of our sport and where paternalism fits in.
I am hearing a back-track of "the park owns this and wants it."
No - maybe a person who works for the park wants it, but the park is not that person, nor is he the park, and ACE was not intended to be the minion of the park, it was intended to be the climbers' voice there in a 2-way relationship. And the legitimacy of the organization rests upon it's representation of the community's voice within the bounds of the founding documents. Dictating to the community what the park wants is not the charter.

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By Cor
Jan 8, 2014
black nasty
Why don't we just have a organization (ACE, AAC, Whoever…) fork some $$$ out for a new sign or two that shows pictures of "fixed gear." It could show bomber good bolts, old suspect bolts, and old suspect pins. It could then explain the difference, the risk of clipping, and to use the alternative = trad protection. Or does this exist somewhere, and I miss it because I have been going in and out of Eldo for years...

A sign could be put near the restrooms near the entrance, and one up near the ranger shack

I don't know, this just came to mind. I did not read every comment in this thread, so sorry if this was mentioned already.
It is cheap, easy to do, and maybe makes everyone(locals?) happy. We save the pins, but make it more clear to climbers coming from around the globe what's up.

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By Gregger Man
Jan 8, 2014
gg
Cor wrote:
Why don't we just have a organization (ACE, AAC, Whoever…) fork some $$$ out for a new sign or two that shows pictures of "fixed gear." ...


In fact, we have a meeting on Monday to plan a fixed gear demonstration. The original idea was to put a large boulder on a flatbed trailer and hold an event where we put various pieces of hardware into the boulder and break them while measuring with a load cell. Do the same with some removable pro. Demo bolt replacement techniques while we're at it.
A permanent sign illustrating the same material would be nice.

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By TBD
Jan 8, 2014
Steve Levin wrote:
T2 is a drilled angle that will eventually be replaced with a modern bolt.


As I recall, the original placement was a bolt. Is this covered under the "like for like" replacement guidelines?

Steve Levin wrote:
I think this debate needs to evolve into the more difficult debate of replacing fixed pins with bolts (or not). But hopefully I won't be on ACE for that one.


In my opinion, you are absolutely right on this. I hope you are around for that discussion because you could add an important and credible perspective.

For one, I am surprised by some of the nostalgic impassioned pleas to keep the old pins in place. I would think that of all places, in Eldo there would be a consensus on minimizing unnecessary fixed protection.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Jan 8, 2014
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
JLP wrote:
This leaves you back where you started - yeah someday everything will probably be bolted, but what to do until then?

Nothing until it is patently obvious that we should, or at least suspicious. Colorado has a strong recreational user statute and the federal courts have already rules that the dangers inherent to climbing are 'patently obvious.'
I don't see where this requires us to proactively assume responsibility for gear being good. Once that responsibility is actively assumed, NOW you have a liability. Or at least there is legal precedent for that.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Jan 8, 2014
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
Chad Stebbins wrote:
I would think that of all places, in Eldo there would be a consensus on minimizing unnecessary fixed protection.

In Eldo, I am unaware of a tradition of minimizine fixed protection that was already in place. However, I am well aware of a tradition of preserving the condition of the FA.

IE: Don't retro it, and don't chop it. ACE was formed to stop that war, not to take one side or the other.

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By ac1
Jan 8, 2014
If the pin is good, and there are also natural gear options there, leave it.
If the pin is no good, and there are natural gear options as well, leave it.

If the pin is good, and no other natural placements exist, leave the pin.

If the pin is marginal, and was marginal at the time of the FA, leave it. This preserves the condition of the FA, and there is a tradition in Eldo of doing just that.

The debate surfaces when the pin used to be good, but now it's not, and there aren't other natural gear options. This is really the situation which is worth discussing, as Steve Levin alluded to in his post on page 3 of this thread.
Neither of the current applications fall into this category.

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By TBD
Jan 8, 2014
Fair enough

Tony B wrote:
However, I am well aware of a tradition of preserving the condition of the FA.


If this is really the consensus, perhaps Steve Levine's concerns are not founded. Pitons placed in good rock offer very reliable protection for the person who places them, but not for subsequent parties. Piton/ bolt swaps on T2 and Wendego should not draw much resistance from the community.

It seems to me that the alternative of the climbing masses carrying hammers and constantly resetting pitons creates a much greater risk to the preservation of the FA condition...

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By Gregger Man
Jan 8, 2014
gg
ac1 wrote:
... The debate surfaces when the pin used to be good, but now it's not, and there aren't other natural gear options. This is really the situation which is worth discussing, as Steve Levin alluded to in his post on page 3 of this thread. Neither of the current applications fall into this category.

Another pin that almost met that condition was the C'est la Vie P1 bent piton. We had considered putting up for review but never got the chance. It went missing sometime last fall, presumably broken off while catching a fall (it was cracked at the bend.) There is an inobvious cam placement nearby, but it's tricky to see.
There are tough questions to ask, depending on how strictly you apply the directive of preservation:
The angle at the optional belay on the Rover dihedral has a cracked eye.
1. Should we apply for a like-for-like and pound in a fresh one in order to maintain the conditions of the FA?
2. Should we leave it alone to maintain the historic hardware at least, if not the conditions?
3. Should we retire it for good a.k.a 'yank the mank' as it is not a key piece of gear?
The overwhelming majority on this thread say 'Leave it alone' (and you have mostly said so in a very civil manner by MP standards - thank you.)

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By Steve Sangdahl
From eldo sprngs,co
Jan 9, 2014
In my follow up conversation with ClimbingRanger Steve Muehlhauser shortly after the T2 pin removal that I witnessed , he mentioned that the state park was "interested" in the classic moderates in Eldo. Not sure what the plan is. Can someone from the state park system elaborate ?

Ranger Muehlhauser also mentioned that he had reprimanded some ACE reps "prior"to the above mentioned T2 pin removal for removing fixed pins elsewhere in Eldo without approval. Can someone provide details? ACE ?

Please correct me if I am mistaken about the details , it sounds as if the ACE " pin testing" process involves removing ,examining , and re-driving. Why was the pin I saw removed from T2 with a funk-ness device not replaced right then ?

Most of us long time Eldo locals usually clip the old fixed pins even if it's just out of habit . Act of faith .....maybe , but at least we get to make that choice .

Also before any official recommendation is made on this pin removal project would it be advisable to consult Rocky Mtn Rescue ? I spoke to a neighbor of mine here in Eldorado Springs who is on Rocky Mtn Rescue and is also a long time Eldo climber . For various reasons they thought it was a bad idea to remove the fixed pins in Eldo , unless of course you can pull them out by hand or with a sling.

Lastly ,I too have had friends over the years who have fallen on the fixed pins while pushing themselves , as I have too sometimes. Each time the old fixed pins have held. Probably just dumb luck, but some of these clowns are pretty heavy from drinking a lot of beer and not eating enough alfalfa sprouts.
Thanks ACE for your hard work on the trails , anchor replacements, and concern for climber safety. Peace and fuk-nes Steve Sangdahl. Now where,s my beer ?

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By Wayne Crill
From an Altered State
Jan 9, 2014
pilon fracture
Chad Stebbins wrote:
Fair enough If this is really the consensus, perhaps Steve Levine's concerns are not founded. Pitons placed in good rock offer very reliable protection for the person who places them, but not for subsequent parties.


I'm sorry chad but this statement is completely inaccurate. A well placed piton in good rock can in fact be as good for subsequent parties as for the FA, potentially for years and years. Where did you come up with this claim? might it simply be an assumption?

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By Wayne Crill
From an Altered State
Jan 9, 2014
pilon fracture
ac1 wrote:
If the pin is good, and there are also natural gear options there, leave it. If the pin is no good, and there are natural gear options as well, leave it. If the pin is good, and no other natural placements exist, leave the pin. If the pin is marginal, and was marginal at the time of the FA, leave it. This preserves the condition of the FA, and there is a tradition in Eldo of doing just that. The debate surfaces when the pin used to be good, but now it's not, and there aren't other natural gear options. This is really the situation which is worth discussing, as Steve Levin alluded to in his post on page 3 of this thread. Neither of the current applications fall into this category.


+++

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