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Avalon Tyrol possibly dangerous (updated info)
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By Rich Farnham
Jul 7, 2014

Please see my condition report here. I'm concerned that the anchor on the north side is moving, and have no idea what the failure mode would be. Catastrophic failure of that anchor is conceivable, and would result in an ugly situation for whoever was on the tyrol at the time.

Update 7/7/14: Several people reported that the tyrol was sagging badly. Having tightened it recently, I was concerned that the north side boulder anchor was moving.

I checked out the tyrol this evening, and have less concerns than I did before. The tyrol seems fine right now. There is the same amount of tension in the line as when I tightened it a month or so ago, and very little sag when I crossed the line. I'm curious if it is stretching significantly when it gets wet.

I'll add more at the bottom of the thread, to keep the discussion going. If you're headed to Avalon, I'd recommend reading the thread to understand the risks of heading out there.


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By Andy Hansen
From Longmont, Colorado
Jul 7, 2014
Intruder, 5.11+. Zion National Park. Photo: Matt Kuehl

Is it possible to use the Black Widow/Vampire Rock tyrolean instead?


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jul 7, 2014
Bocan

Andy Hansen wrote:
Is it possible to use the Black Widow/Vampire Rock tyrolean instead?


I think I remember seeing one in between the two the other day walking up the road as it made me wonder if I had ever seen it before.

It also looks like someone improved the vampire tyol too? No longer off the tree, but off the rock wall now.


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By Andy Hansen
From Longmont, Colorado
Jul 7, 2014
Intruder, 5.11+. Zion National Park. Photo: Matt Kuehl

The Black Widow/Vampire tyrol is in very good condition off solid bolts both sides of the river. Probably best to use this to access Avalon, I would imagine, if Avalon tyrol is not in good condition.


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By Rich Farnham
Jul 7, 2014

I suspect it's possible to get to Avalon from the Vampire tyrol, but it would be a long way around. You'll have to go up to the base of the Vampire to traverse east because the slab downstream of the south side tyrol anchor drops into the creek. There's no way around the bottom of it.

I think the other "tyrol" Scott mentions (between Avalon and Vampire) is only a hand-line. I've seen it down there but haven't been down to check it out. Now that the creek is a bit lower, this might be a viable way across until the main tyrol can be improved.

Scott - the Vampire tyrol has been attached to the rock for a few years now. I'm not sure who did that, but it's a nice set-up.


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By Ben Walburn
Jul 7, 2014
"This definitely beats lying in a pile of saw dust all day"

Hey Guys, thanks for being so vigilant with the safety of the tyrolean to Avalon. Is the tyrolean in question still up? It seems to me that it should be taken down immediately if your concerns are as such. Not everyone is going to read these posts or be as experienced to know better. I would gladly help out and remove them but I am not in town at current.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jul 7, 2014
Bocan

Rich Farnham wrote:
I think the other "tyrol" Scott mentions (between Avalon and Vampire) is only a hand-line. I've seen it down there but haven't been down to check it out. Now that the creek is a bit lower, this might be a viable way across until the main tyrol can be improved. Scott - the Vampire tyrol has been attached to the rock for a few years now. I'm not sure who did that, but it's a nice set-up.


Thanks Rich. I'm not so sure I'd personally cross the creek with a handline right now though. Still a white bubbling mess, but I'm sure it won't take too long. All the drainage ditches in Boulder are still at full capacity just about. And I could have sworn the vampire tyrol was off the tree until recently. haha I must have just used an old memory!! Guess getting old will do that.

Ben the tryol is still up. At the moment it's just an "observation" as I felt it had dropped considerably within several days and Rich confirmed that he recently tightened it. Per his observation he didn't see any evidence of rock movement, but you never know. With all the rain we've had in the past two years anything is possible.


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By Rich Farnham
Jul 7, 2014

Ben, I think your concern is valid. I want to go look at it before suggesting that anyone cut it down. I'm going to try to check it out on my way home tonight.


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By Rick Casey
From Lafayette, Colorado
Jul 7, 2014
Oct 2003, Boulder Canyon, 3rd Elephant Buttress

I know that climbers enjoy being notoriously independent..but a tyrolean like this deserves community support. The community organization that is logical to support such an effort is the Boulder Climbing Community ( boulderclimbingcommunity.net ) I believe supporting the constuction and maintenance of the various tyroleans in Boulder Canyon is something they have been considering for a while -- but lacked volunteer input to make it happen. This would seem to be a good opportunity to do so. Who knows? You might score some donated equipment to use...BCC has been conducting bolt replacement for some time now.

Just my $.02...

Rick Casey


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By RockinGal
From Boulder CO
Jul 7, 2014

Seemed fine and easily crossed by multiple parties on Saturday, July 5.


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By Rich Farnham
Jul 7, 2014

(I edited the title of this thread to something less alarming after checking out the tyrol this evening.)

Everything seemed just as I left it a few weeks back when I tightened it. I went out to the middle of the line, and it hardly sagged at all. My feet were still 6' above the creek, and I weigh 200 lbs. "Scott McMahon" and "Michael G." reported recently being low enough to almost have their feet in the creek!

I'm looking for more information before I go chop the rope and put a new one in. Those of you that have been across this when it was sagging, had it rained that day? The night before? Was the rope damp to the touch? Please post more details here, or send me a message through the site.

I'm okay replacing the rope if we need to, but the ropes are hard to come by. They are all used ropes, donated by climbers. It took a few weeks of begging this season to get enough rope together to replace the few tyrols that needed it. So I don't want to waste rope if we don't need to.

To answer several questions from upthread: Rick - I've been in contact with the BCC. I don't want to say too much, because I don't speak for that organization (although I am a member, as I hope all of you are!), but they are unable to help with the tyrols. I think the politics of the tyrols are tricky, and they need to steer clear. They have more important work to do, so I'm fine with that.

Others have asked if there is a group that replaces the tyrols. Not that I'm aware of. I have solicited ropes in the past, and replaced a few BC tyrols over the last few years. But I'm not the only one doing it. Occasionally I come along to find that someone else already took care of it. I've taken a few folks out to show them how to do it. Typically this has been people who had a rope to donate, were curious how it gets put up, and had a similar enough schedule to me that we could find a time to meet.


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By Robots and Dinosaurs
Jul 7, 2014

It is sagging more than other tyrols in the canyon usually do. I touched the creek when I was on it a little while ago but that was when the creek was at its absolute peak and even half the underpasses in Boulder were closed. I feel comfortable on it and I've been on it since I touched the creek and it is closer than I remember from last year but I felt fine on it. I am no safety officer and don't want to make any big claims but it doesn't freak me out I just think the rope is a little saggy and the creek has been especially high this year.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jul 7, 2014
Bocan

I attributed the morning sag to rain, but at noon it was still pretty bad. Possibly due to rain everyday? Typically I wouldn't have thought twice, but having never seen such a difference at this Tyrol I figured it warranted notice. If the rocks seem stable I didn't think it was overtly dangerous.

Additionally I'm sure it's been seeing quite a bit of traffic at the moment


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By Sean Brady
From Boulder, Colorado
Jul 9, 2014
Ronin

I'm happy to donate needed equipment, PM me should you so desire.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jul 9, 2014
At the BRC

Did the tryol today and it seemed fine. A little saggy, but that actually made it kind of downhill both ways. YMMV


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jul 9, 2014
Bocan

haha i guess i need to lose weight then.

Guess we can chalk it up to the extreme (for Colorado) humidity we've been having this year.


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