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ACE: Eldo fixed hardware application vote
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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 JLP
From The Internet
Jan 8, 2014

Cor wrote:
fork some $$$ out for a new sign...

Gregger Man wrote:
a fixed gear demonstration...


This stuff was played out decades ago. I suggest an embalmed corpse at the bridge wrapped in rope and mangled gear.

I agree 100% with the spirit and intent of the article Joe has posted a dozen times now to this tread, but I disagree with their methods and data - really sloppy and incomplete, with conclusions drawn out of nothing. This leaves you back where you started - yeah someday everything will probably be bolted, but what to do until then?


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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.

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

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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By Wayne Crill
From an Altered State
Jan 9, 2014
pilon fracture

Chad Stebbins wrote:
... 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...


I am of the opinion that bolt for piton swaps on T2 vs Wendego are very different proposals with different ramifications entirely.

As for T2, I did not know that this might have originally been a bolt, and since it is a drilled angle in a section of face, I agree with you that a bolt for pin swap here "eventually" makes sense and should not draw much resistance from the community.

However Wendego pin(s) are in a seam so swapping such a pin for a bolt creates a totally new bolt placement somehwere on the face above/below the crack and this would change the current and original character of the climb substantially.


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By Steve Levin
From Boulder, CO
Jan 9, 2014
Sundevil Chimney, Titan

^^^^

I mistakingly thought the T2 reference was to the drilled angle at the start, but I guess it refers to the pin up higher on the first pitch.


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By Steve Levin
From Boulder, CO
Jan 9, 2014
Sundevil Chimney, Titan

Steve Sangdahl wrote:
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 ?


I would like to clarify that NO piton removal done in 2013 was the result of an ACE vote, nor was any piton removal an activity of ACE.

All piton removals were done by individuals, acting on their own.


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By Wayne Crill
From an Altered State
Jan 9, 2014
pilon fracture

Steve Levin wrote:
^^^^ I mistakingly thought the T2 reference was to the drilled angle at the start, but I guess it refers to the pin up higher on the first pitch.


THanks Steve, my bad. I believe that second pin on T2 p1 has some natural gear not too far away if my memory serves me correctly (too often it doesn't!)?


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By TBD
Jan 9, 2014

Wayne Crill wrote:
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?


I don't think I stated my point clear enough. I would never argue that a fixed piton "can't" be good.

My point is that on the rare occasions that I have personally placed a piton in good rock, I POUNDED it in, clipped it, and was very confident in it. However, I have never had complete confidence in a piton I didn't place myself, never. I can't imagine anyone with a basic level of knowledge how they function would. Unless of course they reset it with a hammer.

If the consensus is maintaining fixed protection in the state that it was for the FA, then pitons are a very poor choice for the job. They inherently degrade over time and are near impossible to assess visually. What sort of maintenance program for fixed pins do you propose? Do we really want every knucklehead climber in Eldo (myself included) wielding hammers?


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By Steve Levin
From Boulder, CO
Jan 9, 2014
Sundevil Chimney, Titan

Tony B wrote:
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.


Gregger Man wrote:
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?


Chad Stebbins wrote:
If the consensus is maintaining fixed protection in the state that it was for the FA


Just stirring the pot here, but I think it is a misconception that fixed pins in Eldo are necessarily "the condition of the FA". They most certainly are not for historic Kor routes or other "classic 1960s aid routes". We have no idea what protection Kor placed (or that his partners left, if any) on his FAs; for all we know on his 1962 ascent of the Rover dihedral he ran that whole pitch out. I'm sure Kor left nothing on The Bulge or Peanuts. In fact, he didn't even place a bolt on The Bulge- should we go up there now and remove it to preserve "the condition of the FA"?

Let's revisit Jim Logan's post on page one:

Jim Logan wrote:
As one of the people who left a number of those pins around on the whole it was not intentional. ... Some places like the upper pitch of the Yellow Spur or the first pitch of the Naked Edge would go from having a pin every three ft to having none and one never knew what was going to be there. ... I wouldn't place too much intent on any of the old pins that are left.


Jim would know.

Let's recall that after the age of iron and aid climbing died out in Eldo in the late 1960s/early 1970s, the next generation of climbers set a standard of free & clean climbing that I would argue was the height of style and commitment. They approached everything ground-up, used all kinds of primitive clean gear (that was much worse than today's) and manky fixed gear (that was much better back then), and had a lot more faith in it than we do today; in fact, our modern data analysis shows they were somewhat naive. But they mastered their craft gradually and completely, down climbed rather than whipped, and had a very different view of what difficulty meant than we do today. My long-winded point being: these guys & gals didn't leave any of those pitons.

That changed in the early 1980s with the arrival of proto-sport climbing, which brought a change in technical levels, tactics, and equipment.

I would argue that the majority of fixed pins in Eldo nowadays that are "a condition of the FA" were from ascents in the 1980s, when the use of the hammer resurfaced alongside a rebirth of bolting, and were placed because no clean gear could be found (and remember- that gear was nowhere as good as what we have today) and the FAer elected to not place a bolt. Many of these routes were poorly crafted by today's standards (and by our modern "common sense") due to the evolving stylistic challenges of that era. All the rest of the fixed pins in the Canyon are ones that some "schmuck" (to quote from above) couldn't get out way back when.

So let's be clear on what we are preserving.

Anyhow, fixed pitons are part of the Eldo climbing experience. People who climb in Eldo need to know how to deal with fixed pitons. I don't think we need to start carrying hammers (perhaps I shouldn't have posted about that earlier) but we do need to know that fixed pins should be considered unreliable when they are not tested with a hammer, and when possible they need to be backed up.


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By TBD
Jan 9, 2014

Steve Levin wrote:
Anyhow, fixed pitons are part of the Eldo climbing experience. People who climb in Eldo need to know how to deal with fixed pitons. I don't think we need to start carrying hammers (perhaps I shouldn't have posted about that earlier) but we do need to know that fixed pins should be considered unreliable when they are not tested with a hammer, and when possible they need to be backed up.


I'm glad you mentioned it. I think it helps illustrate that the term "fixed pin" is somewhat of an oxymoron, and the difficulty in maintaining them in there "original state".

For my part, I was just trying to nudge the debate along.

Steve Levin wrote:
So let's be clear on what we are preserving.

Well perhaps this is the crux of the issue. Over the years, with all the debate, discussion, and mission statements, there still doesn't seem to be agreement on this most basic premise.


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By JLP
From The Internet
Jan 9, 2014

Summary of discussion so far:

Un-named ACE rep #1 reads a report with way more speculation than supporting details and facts, concludes pitons are very bad despite their 40+ years of holding falls in Eldo with few incidents and near zero maintenance --> goes on vendetta, gets spotted and called out.

ACE brings issue to community vote, rep #2 posts to MP.com.

Discussion surrounding how pulling and pounding pins damages the rock.

Points made that ACE is a charter and voice of the community, don't get it backwards.

Conclusion: Do nothing.

??

My take - once in a while, where necessary and obvious, someone who knows what they are doing goes up and checks out critical and suspect placements - as has been going on longer than 90% of the posters and current ACE members have been rock climbing.

Can we cite piton related incidents that resulted in injuries?

I am fairly certain Aliens pull more often and have precipitated more injuries.

Status-quo FTW. I think this is what the community is saying in their Peanuts/Bulge voting comments.


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By Brad White
Jan 9, 2014

I think JLP actually makes a good point when he says that Aliens probably fail more often than fixed pins. Many years ago, my partner placed a TCU on the 4th pitch of the Edge where I had previously seen a fixed pin. I remembered that the pin had looked pretty manky, and was not totally surprised to see that it was no longer there. My partner fell on the TCU, it pulled out, and because the rope got caught behind his leg he was flipped over and got a pretty nasty rope burn on his leg. Not a life-threatening fall, but an injury sustained none-the-less. This was a partner who knew how to best place a TCU.

Assuming that a modern piece of gear placed in a weird, piton-scarred placement is bomber, is in some cases taking a big leap of faith. In the above example, the modern gear clearly did not provide better protection than the "historic" fixed pin for my partner.

Also, I don't understand the idea that clipping a fixed pin in Eldo is a walk down history lane with the greats such as Kor. As Steve points out, it is questionable (at best) that the pin was placed on the FA. Also, having clipped such pins for many years, I usually am thinking about how glad I am to clip anything in that particular moment, and not at all about who may have placed the pin in the first place. I find this to be a hollow argument for maintaining "historic" fixed pins in Eldo.


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By Gregger Man
Jan 9, 2014
gg

Regarding walking down history lane-
These proposals essentially asked the question, 'are these superfluous pins the equivalent of manky fixed cams?' and the answer clearly is, 'no, they're historic.'
I noticed that there are two or three stuck tricams on the Ruper traverse the other day when we were replacing bolts. They've been there so long that the slings are bleached white. If I go remove those with a hacksaw blade for the sake of cleaning up trash, will I have removed something historic? Depends on who you ask, I guess.
Admittedly I am an outlier in the statistical distribution if you are measuring sentimentality. (edit to add: '...or facial hair')


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By Sean Brady
From Boulder, Colorado
Jan 10, 2014
Ronin

I have to jump in and say that while I didn't read the entire thread I think that Tony B. pretty much says in all in his first few posts.


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