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ACE: Eldo fixed hardware application vote
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By Wyatt Payne
From Littleton CO
Jan 4, 2014
Big Bend (South faces in Aug Bad Idea)

Please leave the pins alone. Many of us have had our asses saved literally by some soft iron that was hammered in by Kor or another pioneer when our gear ripped out and theirs held. Yes expansion bolts are more confidence inspiring, but Eldo is and never has been a place where climbers that are weak between the ears go to test themselves. Eldorado is a very special place because of the confidence, ability, and preparation necessary to climb there. I never want to see that change. Be ready to confront the actual challenge the rock provides in the moment you are there without giving yourself the excuse of saying someone else had it easier, or safer when they did it. That could be the greatest moment of your life and you are missing it because you are mentally off some place crying that it is harder for you than it was for them. Climbing is selfish in many ways. Given that, you climb a route because it signifies something to you and the people before you. Risk is a huge part of that equation.

If a pin rips out then lets try to protect the scar with some nut trickery, or cam antics until it is voted to replace it or not with a pin or bolt on a case by case basis.

If every pin that is in Eldo is replaced with a bolt. I think we can all agree that the place we all Love and call home will be substantially more tame. That is not what I am looking for in climbing, and if most people take a hard look inside themselves they probably aren't either. I have never wanted to have the lion that is Eldorado Canyon tethered to the ground so I could confront it in total safety.

Food for thought: Thank God no one found a way to bang in a pin half way through the run out on Jules Vern. Because if they had we would have long since questioned that pins integrity and replaced it with a big fat bolt. So now you have to ask yourself would it be even close to the experience that we have on that route today? NOPE

Potentially swapping Pins for bolts is not even close to an even trade. This fact is why people are so excited to have a bolt instead of a pin. It absolutely changes the mastery required to do the climb. Eldo is Eldo because it requires a massive skill set to climb hard on-sight. I want that to remain to be the case in Eldo because it is important to me as a climber to be able to have that adventure where I have to be ready to truly handle the challenges of a climb. We owe it to future generations to preserve Eldo as a place where climbers can have that experience for themselves. If they don't want that, or their ego can't handle not climbing at their absolute gym grade maximum then there are plenty of places where they can safely step up full number grades at a time. Eldorado does not need to become that place. Preserve the Experience that is Eldorado Canyon.


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By beth bennett
From boulder
Jan 4, 2014

I'm one of those long-time Eldorado climbers, more than 40 yrs now- hard to believe. I belayed some of the FFAs in the early 70s and did plenty of FFFAs in Eldorado. None of us really thought too much about any of the fixed gear - 1/4" bolts, pins, bashies, etc. Now we have no qualms about yanking old quarter inchers or even replacing the aging 3/8' bolts from the 80s. So I'm puzzled by this attitude of pins as historic. Entropy happens to everything and we need to realize that and accept it. if you want to hang on to the historic pin, take a picture, put it in the visitor center, but accept that it's not in the same condition it was on the day it was placed. If you need proof, there is an excellent series of experiments on pin placements and reliability summarized at

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/is-there-a-future-for-pegs-in-briti>>>

I know a few people who pulled pins falling on them in Eldorado and got pretty beat up. If it's possible to yank the pin - and admittedly for some of them this won't be possible - and leave a good natural placement, why not?


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By TheBirdman
Jan 4, 2014

It's traditional climbing. It's not supposed to be 100% safe, that is the appeal for many people. The idea that we should remove pins because they might be dangerous is the same argument that we should remove all the loose rock in Eldo because it might be dangerous. Pins, loose rock, fixed nuts, weather, old bolts, etc., is all part of the Eldo experience. If you want it to be safe where climbers don't have to evaluate the quality of their protection, go sport climbing on any of the 1,000+ routes between Boulder and Golden.

The idea that pins should be removed because they are of poor quality is a strange argument. Any trad climber (especially those that climb in Eldo) worth their salt can evaluate the quality of a pin and adequately place their own protection as back up. Just as any trad climber must learn to negotiate loose rock, weather, and other objective hazards, fixed pro is just another factor in the ever-changing equation of "How safe am I?" constantly going through a traditional climber's head.

I don't think just because someone inexperienced is willing to trust their life to a crappy pin in Eldorado warrants removal. I'd argue anyone willing to indiscriminately clip a pin of unknown quality and view it as a bolt isn't fit to be climbing in Eldorado. Anyone who does this probably isn't qualified to place adequate back-up gear or evaluate any of the other 100's of objective hazards that are present throughout the canyon.

I see two arguments here. Keep the pins because (1) they are of historical value and (2) they may, in some cases, offer some protection. The arguments to remove the pins is that many are of low quality that could give people a false sense of security and are in fact a hazard to unqualified climbers. Let me be clear, this is less a situation where I find the arguments to keep the pins overwhelmingly persuasive or compelling. It is more a case of I find the arguments to remove the pins to be overstated. Eldo is not the place to try and remove objective hazards and I would argue it is those very hazards that attract many of us to it. The pins simply add to the character of the canyon and the adventure that is inherent in climbing there. Removing them in the interest of protecting potentially incompetent leaders is an argument I simply do not find to be persuasive at all.


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By Joseph P. Crotty
From Broomfield, CO
Jan 6, 2014
Maltese cross.

The PDF's for the two pin removal applications can be seen at the below links. Listing them in this thread also as it's not real obvious how to view them when your voting.

Peanuts - Fixed Pin Removal

The Bulge - Fixed Pin Removal

To vote you just have to create a login on the ACE site.


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By Wayne Crill
From an Altered State
Jan 7, 2014
pilon fracture

Steve Levin wrote:
Whether one considers them historical relics, familiar protection, or in-situ garbage, correctly assessing a fixed pin requires quite a bit of experience, and without a hammer, a bit of faith. This is all well and good for experienced climbers. I think a question to pose is: today, when most climbers start in the gym or sport climbing and few have ever placed a piton, are unnecessary fixed pins on moderate routes a false security that could lead to a beginning trad climber being killed?


Well, typically, I think Steve has brought up the crux question here, or hit the proverbial piton on the head. I worry that this apparently reasonble question/concern is the beginning of a slippery slope down to the lowest common denominator. 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. In general "we" don't add bolts where natural gear is available, because we expect people to learn to place natural gear in order to safely lead these climbs. I completely agree with those who have reminded us all that climbing is inherently dangerous and you can't dumb it down to remove the danger, no mater what. I realize there is a slippery slope here but I support leaving fixed pins unless they block natural placements (or maybe you can remove them by hand....). Yes there is a danger that someone might completely trust a fixed pin, not back it up, fall, and the pin might pull and they might die. But the same can be said about any natural gear placement really.....


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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 Steve Levin
From Boulder, CO
Jan 7, 2014
Sundevil Chimney, Titan

reboot wrote:
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?


These are good points, although I know many climbers who've been climbing decades and have never placed a pin.

The key is education. And not necessarily "how to place and evaluate pitons" but simply that fixed pitons are unreliable and need to be backed up. How do we get that message out?

Well, it is out there, but unfortunately not every climber who ventures into Eldorado knows this. I agree completely with Wayne that it's the climber's responsibility to know the risks, have the skills, etc. for a given terrain. And I am strongly against "sanitizing" Eldo (I'm one of the ACE board members resisting the movement to remove unnecessary pitons).

But all that iron ain't getting any better. As an "experienced Eldo local" I feel I have some kind of responsibility towards addressing mitigable dangers on moderate routes, I'm just not sure what that means. I don't believe in the "Darwinism" answer. And I think the actual danger of a piton pulling etc. is low, as someone stated above (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).

But after watching someone gun it completely out of control for the fixed pin on Curving Crack, Castle Rock last summer (a very unnecessary fixed piton), I'm still pondering this issue.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jan 7, 2014
Sure, I can belay

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 Steve Levin
From Boulder, CO
Jan 7, 2014
Sundevil Chimney, Titan

Another point to make, for those of you inspired to start carrying a hammer in Eldorado:

Bruce Hildenbrand wrote:
I used to carry a hammer with me every time I did 'Over the Hill' to test the fixed pins. I usually ended up knocking them back in about 1/8" to 1/4".


This should be the only action taken if you're carrying a hammer and want to evaluate a fixed pin. Carefully re-drive the piton in the direction it was placed. A lot of information can be gleaned from observing the pin while doing this. Even if you're carrying a permit and replacement hardware, this is the primary and often only step required. (And just leave the bent, half-way-in soft iron alone.)

Way back when I was lucky to survive climbing many of the Eldo 1960s aid routes (Canary Pass, Book of Numbers, Fire and Ice, Red Dihedral, Apple Strudel, etc.), and Fountain sandstone is pretty fragile- even with the more-nuanced and "gentler" use of aid pins (albeit many cruxes were hooking).

The most damage to the rock is done while removing pitons. Only with a permit in hand, and after determining the piton is suspect, should any attempt be made to remove it. Piton removal should, in general, be restricted to careful use of a hammer only. With care, pound the pin back and forth, back and forth, until you can use fingers to remove it.

A funkness should be used only as a last resort, since it will do the most damage to the rock. If the pin is so hard to remove that it requires a funkness, it's probably not such a suspect placement after all.


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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
Sure, I can belay

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 JLP
From The Internet
Jan 7, 2014

Steve Levin wrote:
A funkness should be used only as a last resort, since it will do the most damage to the rock.

I'd say it does LESS damage to the rock. You hammer a pin back and forth when you can, because it's faster and easier - and more damaging to the rock. There is a famous article by Middendorf about cleaning pins in standstone by only hitting them UP, so as to create stopper placements, but that's a tangent. The funkness is for when you can't do these things. It's less damaging, I'd say, to pull the pin straight out of the rock, as the funkness does - it also takes more time and energy, not to mention more broken biners. If you have no idea what you're doing and use a funkness to mindlessly manipulate the pin in any and all directions then I'd agree it might be more damaging, but that's not because of the funkness.


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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
Sure, I can belay

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 Steve Levin
From Boulder, CO
Jan 7, 2014
Sundevil Chimney, Titan

JLP wrote:
I'd say it does LESS damage to the rock. You hammer a pin back and forth when you can, because it's faster and easier - and more damaging to the rock. There is a famous article by Middendorf about cleaning pins in standstone by only hitting them UP, so as to create stopper placements, but that's a tangent. The funkness is for when you can't do these things. It's less damaging, I'd say, to pull the pin straight out of the rock, as the funkness does - it also takes more time and energy, not to mention more broken biners. If you have no idea what you're doing and use a funkness to mindlessly manipulate the pin in any and all directions then I'd agree it might be more damaging, but that's not because of the funkness.


I disagree with this. Yes, mindlessly pounding a pin with a hammer will damage the rock, but in my experience, I have much more control using a hammer than using a funkness. Flakes especially are more susceptible to ripping off when using a funkness. I think that's what happened with a recent pin removal in Eldo where the flake in the original placement was destroyed using a funkness. I also think crack edges are more likely to get blown out using a funkness in Fountain sandstone.

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.

The upward-driving technique for removing pitons in straight-in desert sandstone cracks is specifically to change a repeated nailing placement to a clean placement. I think that is a different scenario than this discussion.


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By Steve Levin
From Boulder, CO
Jan 7, 2014
Sundevil Chimney, Titan

Greg Miller wrote:
Wouldn't this bring up a another issue with routes like Wendego or the start of T2 that seem to be only protected by ageing pins?


Hey Reggie!

Yep, but that's a whole other can of worms. The fixed pins/pin placements on Wendego, Yellow Spur, Rincon, Super Slab (P1) ... even Musta' Been High, etc. will all reach a point where we will need to decide what to do when/if like-for-like is not an option and no clean gear placements are available. (T2 is a drilled angle that will eventually be replaced with a modern bolt.)

Quite frankly, part of the intention of the current pin-removal applications is to generate debate. 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.


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By pfwein
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 CJC
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 on this happy offwidth

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 JLP
From The Internet
Jan 7, 2014

Steve Levin wrote:
I think that's what happened with a recent pin removal in Eldo where the flake in the original placement was destroyed using a funkness.

Couple more comments on this truly invigorating topic. The JV pin looked like just the very tip of it was beat like a freak'n mofo into the rock, leaving a clearance closer to the eye. It's truly amazing the thing was still in there, it might be some kind of record for a normally dicey KB/Bugaboo pin. I seem to recall (distantly) that this same pin was constrained from being hit side-side, hence its fixed status. A funkness, on top of this, might not have a clear swing for a straight out pull given the lip feature right below. Therefore, the pin would bang and lever against the flake while being funked. Could it all have been helped? Basically, I can't come to any of your conclusions from this example, certainly not without having the thing right in front of me while it was happening.

All of this is moot given the entire silly, contrived variation would have been lost to obscurity where it belongs were it not for the combination of this sorry fixed pin dangling up there and the photo of Bill Putnam in Climb! doing the start with roughly 100 spotters.

Also, I don't think the Middendorf example is irrelevant in this thread. An example would be on a climb like Over the Hill, where pins carelessly removed (or maintained) could be the difference between needing to add new pins, a bolt or simply being able to use a small nut in a scar.

On a related note, I have to say I'm amazed that any Schmuck (nobody in particular here) can go grab a permit to bang and drill away in the canyon, whether it be for maintenance or new routes. The craft is not trivial and, IMO, most people suck at it. I think we're fortunate that the few who are good seem to also end up doing the most work, rendering the majority as reasonably safe.


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By Joseph P. Crotty
From Broomfield, CO
Jan 7, 2014
Maltese cross.

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 "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

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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