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By joeforte
From palmerton, pa
May 25, 2013

ThomasK wrote:
I'd like to add some spin to a couple points Joe brought up. Most of the old guard 1st ascensionists have long gone, even decades ago. Although they may be happy to have their names remembered for some climbs here I'm sure they could care less about us following their style of protection. They're older now and life has other concerns. Besides they don't own their route, there's no patent. There is no crazy reason to contact them to get permission. When they did their 1st ascent they did whatever the hell they wanted for ethics or protection. Fine. So should we. Not to completely ignore theirs but to have our own. Fritz Wiessner led most of his climbs ground up with just a couple pitons and a rope tied around his waist! Of course I would never suggest bolting any of Fritz' routes, but that's my ethics, out of respect; its not a rule that applies to everybody's routes. Nowadays most routes are worked on top-rope, protection drilled on rappel, then led. You feel more courtesy for their time involved in producing the route than respect for the actual ascent. And if they overdid the bolts where gear could have been enough, perhaps disdain. We, especially the locals, have just as much right to decide current protection and ethics at the Gap than all the past climbers there. The old guard has left. Pitons came first and now bolts are being put in by 1st ascents and apparently by guides. As hinted, the Gap will not stay obscure too much longer. The population density is too high and the climbing too good. More climbers will arrive, many itching for bolted climbs. There is a place for some pitons and bolts at the Gap and there is a place for trad R and X rated climbs. I'm suggesting a middle ground, that rules don't and shouldn't work, but maybe managed anarchy can. I think that an internet consensus actually might be the best solution. The gunks.com site is one of the best and serves the needs of that area quite well. The Gap IS the Gunks, well maybe the southern Gunks or poor-man's Gunks, but it is the same rock. I think someone should ask them to add "Delaware Water Gap" as another category between "Gunks Routes" and "Other Areas". It would be a perfect forum to discuss everything about DWG; protection issues, new routes and variations, route conditions, suggestions, work days, etc. Not that I don't like this site but it is nice to have all DWG discussions concentrated on one site easy to reference, and I think it would benefit from the experienced gunks.com users. I didn't know the Gap had rusty old 1/4 inch bolts, although the pitons are often older and rustier. I am one of those who do like R rated routes. And I would probably argue to not retro bolt most of those routes at the Gap. But there may be exceptions. I only climbed Martin's Fall once but I'd recommend looking at the seriousness of the beginning of that traverse. I recall the leader is well protected, but the second faces a fair size swing. Its a great Gap climb that many moderate grade climbers would be thrilled climbing but is more serious for the second than any 5.6 at the Gunks. X ratings have gotten looser. I noticed in the new Smith Rocks guide that I've climbed 13 X rated routes there. I thought they were all R rated at the time. Except for one that should be XX (I Lost My Lunch), don't ever do that climb. Fortunately there are very few X routes at the Gap. Getting Bent was probably PG or PG-13 when done on aid and likewise when later free climbed. The critical fixed gear has deteriorated over time so it is now X rated (technically X minus since I didn't die). Its an exciting climb that should be restored with either pitons or bolts to a PG-13 rating. (Sorry for the long rant, but I found this whole discussion verging on being a productive Gap forum, and couldn't resist throwing in my 2 cents.)


This attitude worries me

"Most of the old guard 1st ascensionists have long gone, even decades ago. Although they may be happy to have their names remembered for some climbs here I'm sure they could care less about us following their style of protection."

What leads you to that assumption? You are "SURE" that they could care less about us upholding their ethics? Really?

I'm glad you respect Wiessner, but what makes him any different from Steele, Ronca, Hill, etc... They deserve their respect too. They did most those FA's at the DWG before micro cams even came out. There is a good chance that Wiessner even did a bunch of FA's at the DWG. Would it change your mind if you found out that he put up Martin's Fall?

Why is the internet a bad place for a consensus? Most of the diehard, local, and/or original DWG climbers are not reading this thread!

"Nowadays most routes are worked on top-rope, protection drilled on rappel, then led. "

Really? That's how you think MOST routes are developed?. Maybe if you are developing sport on stetchy, unprotectable limestone, but not trad on bulletproof quartzite. Everything at the DWG can go ground up, just like it did in the past.

I have no problem with keeping the gap clean, but please also keep it wild. I, and many others, love the wild, committing nature of the gap. There are plenty of tame sport climbing areas within an hour or two of the gap. No need to sterilize this place.

Nearly every line at the Gap has been led on the existing gear. Besides, there are plenty of G rated routes. What makes it need bolts now?

I'll agree, that there may be exceptions at the gap, but we should ask first. What does it hurt to ask? In the past I've asked a few FAists if they would mind if I added bolts to certain routes that where excellent climbing, but otherwise unprotectable at spots, and therefore rarely enjoyed. What I found out was that in some cases, pitons were stolen, or they didnt want to bother with bolts at the time. They were glad that I offered to IMPROVE their route, and now those routes are enjoyed by more people. The key is asking.

Consider that Maybe you did not find the gear that the FAist used, or have the skill at placing gear that they did. Maybe you needed double ropes to make it safe. I always climb with doubles at the gap, and they help a lot with protecting your second climber on traverses there. Climbing safely requires more than just a barrage of perpetual protection. Sometimes it requires some thought and creativity.

If you wanna compare the gap to the gunks, go ahead. Are they adding bolts to committing routes at the gunks to make them more accessible to the masses? I think not.

Should the DWG be listed on the gunks website, so more masses of the people from the city can go there for free, instead of paying for the gunks? Again, I think this is a bad idea.

Is the DWG not fun enough? Really? Besides a little cleaning (ok maybe a lot), and the replacement of old bolts, I think it is just fine the way it is. Actually, it is GREAT!


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By Larry S
May 25, 2013
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

Weather looks to have cleared a bit. Crossing and i are headed up there shortly to work on Black Wall.


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By AEM
May 25, 2013

Yes, great the way it is, but maybe a little low key sprucing up here and there.

The Gap will not likely become hugely more popular due to several reasons. Periodic access to Minsi keeps the climbs woolly. The poison ivy is horrible. The approaches are either strenuous or disgusting depending what side you climb, and very limited opportunities for posing. Did I mention vicious hornets? I got stung 3 times on my head last year while leading a very popular climb.

It's a good discussion though, and nice to hear that people are charged up about the place. It would be nice to hear about some exploration beyond Osprey or corkscrew.

The other thread focuses on adventure opportunities, as opposed to developing climbs, that almost more how I see the place anyhow.


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By Larry S
May 25, 2013
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

We did some cleanup on black wall today. Removed a bunch of grass, vines, and a bush from P1, and a number of bushes and brambles from P2.


Black wall
Black wall


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By Larry S
May 25, 2013
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

Black wall a few weeks ago. The corner was more overgrown than it shows.

Black wall 2 weeks ago, pre cleaning
Black wall 2 weeks ago, pre cleaning


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By kenr
May 25, 2013

ThomasK wrote:
I think that an internet consensus actually might be the best solution.

I wish that could be true, but ...
as Joe F pointed out, some of the players are not much interested in net forums.

Also there cannot be a "consensus", because the population of active outdoor climbers is polarized between those who know that climbing is fundamentally about real adventure including risk of death; and those who know that climbing is fundamentally about athletic moves + puzzle-solving.

anyway ...
(a) It does not require a consensus in order to place new bolts. I assume (if you've got a good drill and the money to purchase bolts) doing it solo is sort of fun.
(b) It does not require a consensus to destroy bolts. I assume (if you feel a certain zeal) doing it solo is rather fun.
(c) It takes significantly less time and money to destroy bolts than it does to place bolts.

To see how the practical realities of (a)+(b)+(c) play out (versus "internet discussion" or "consensus"), see the recent history of the southern Adirondacks (on the MP Eastern states forum), the long history of Connecticut, or visit certain climbing sites in Eastern PA.

Ken


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By Larry S
May 26, 2013
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

anyone interested in heading up to the gap tomorrow. I'm available from 9 to 5


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By Larry S
May 27, 2013
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

Did a little groundskeeping on the rib and shadow line today. Nothing major, just trimmed back some brush.

I think a set of pruners is going to be perm added to my rack when at the gap.


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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
May 28, 2013
Day Lily.

I'm not a DWG climber. As a PA local I appreciate all of your effort even if its just in discussion for some.

For those that do put physical effort and time and "sacrifice" their potential climbing time to clean, organize and inform you are inspiring.

It sounds corny but I mean it and I'm here to support.


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By joeforte
From palmerton, pa
May 28, 2013

Larry S wrote:
We did some cleanup on black wall today. Removed a bunch of grass, vines, and a bush from P1, and a number of bushes and brambles from P2.


Nice work!


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By PosiDave
May 28, 2013

Larry,

I will be down to help you clean in in a few weeks. I am working weekends until sometime in mid June. But after that I would like to clean that place up and even work on redoing a guidebook if you would like.

As far as the bolt issue. I stated that because NJ has issues with that and I know pitons have been hammered as anchors at both Allamuchy (I tore them out) & at Mills Reservation. Why they used pitons and why have fixed anchors at these places seems pretty dumb to me. (Why can't I go bolt anchors at the Gunks If I don't want to walk my ass to a rap station?) I don't necessarily agree or want to argue, but most routes in these spots have been climbed before and bolting in this Not So great state is illegal. So just keep that in mind.


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By Larry S
May 29, 2013
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

PosiDave wrote:
Larry, I will be down to help you clean in in a few weeks. I am working weekends until sometime in mid June. But after that I would like to clean that place up and even work on redoing a guidebook if you would like.


I'm down and i'd love to have some help there. Hopefully by mid-june the PA side will open up too.


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By kenr
May 29, 2013

PosiDave wrote:
NJ ... bolting in this ... state is illegal.

Where is that written?
The statutes of NJ are up on the web, be interesting to see the exact wording.
So is this a statute of the state? or an administrative rule in some parks?
What are the specifics? Any sort of bolts?
Anywhere in the state of New Jersey?

? So like no city in NJ can ever be permitted to bolt a commemorative plaque or a warning sign onto any tree or rock ?

With laws and rules, often the details matter.

Thanks for any help on finding specifics,

Ken


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By Larry S
May 29, 2013
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

The water gap is a national recreation area, it would be the national park rules anyway, on both PA and NJ sides.


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By kenr
May 29, 2013

PosiDave wrote:
... (Why can't I go bolt anchors at the Gunks If I don't want to walk my ass to a rap station?) I don't necessarily agree or want to argue, but most routes in these spots have been climbed before ...

Yes every route in the Gunks was climbed lots before there were any bolted rappel stations. Then the Mohonk Preserve constructed several bolt+chain anchors. Some of these anchors were justified in terms of preventing damage to trees. But others (e.g. Frogs Head P1, Snooky's Return P1) had no link to any trees.

Some Gunks climbers complained (and some still complain) that these are unnecessary "convenience" fixtures -- and point out that it is straightforward to walk off from the tops of most climbs in the Gunks. I guess some of these climbers would gladly have destroyed the new unnecessary bolt anchors -- but they were installed by the owners of the cliffs. Most climbers in the Gunks nowadays gladly use these "convenience" fixtures.

Then when climbing was introduced to the Minnewaska State Park Preserve (also in the Gunks), bolted Top-Rope anchors were constructed -- "convenience" if there ever was, since the tops of the Peterskill cliffs are easily accessed by walking, and it is straightforward to set up legal top-ropes by a static line to a legal tree.

Further, in the Mohonk Preserve there are some folks who indeed could not be bothered to "walk their ass" to an official bolted rappel station, and some of those (lazy) climbers have constructed other unofficial quasi-permanent rappel points (also some top-rope anchors) in the Trapps -- which used to be just nylon slings with rings. but in recent years a number of these unofficial anchor points now have steel cables. Some Gunks climbers still disapprove of these "convenience" fixtures, but the owners of the land seem to tolerate them, and most climbers visiting the Mohonk Preserve gladly use them.

So DWG is shorter driving distance from New York City and northern NJ with lots of climbers, costs much less per year or per day, has similar quartzite conglomerate rock (including some great easy routes) -- yet DWG is vegetated while both the privately-managed Mohonk Preserve and the state-managed Minnewaska Park climbing areas are very popular.

How come?


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By Michael C
From New Jersey
May 30, 2013
Mt Minsi, PA

Larry S wrote:
The water gap is a national recreation area, it would be the national park rules anyway, on both PA and NJ sides.


Looks like the National Park Service has issued a bolting policy.

www.accessfund.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=tmL5KhNWL>>>


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By gtluke
May 30, 2013

Last year on my 3rd trip to the top on the Jersey side, I found the rap station completely gone. I wasn't prepared for that so had to leave some crappy gear behind. Usually there is a decent nylon/ring station at the top. Just a heads up.


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By joeforte
From palmerton, pa
May 30, 2013

gtluke wrote:
Last year on my 3rd trip to the top on the Jersey side, I found the rap station completely gone. I wasn't prepared for that so had to leave some crappy gear behind. Usually there is a decent nylon/ring station at the top. Just a heads up.


Which route are you referring to?


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By Larry S
May 30, 2013
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

gtluke wrote:
Last year on my 3rd trip to the top on the Jersey side, I found the rap station completely gone. I wasn't prepared for that so had to leave some crappy gear behind. Usually there is a decent nylon/ring station at the top. Just a heads up.


If it's a tree anchor, which many are here, it's definitely to be expected that you may have to add too or rebuild the descent anchor atop a route or walk over to another descent. So people should be prepared to leave some cord/webbing and a rap ring or carabiner.

Some of the mid wall rap stations are gone because the trees they were on died.


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By joeforte
From palmerton, pa
May 30, 2013

Larry S wrote:
If it's a tree anchor, which many are here, it's definitely to be expected that you may have to add too or rebuild the descent anchor atop a route or walk over to another descent. So people should be prepared to leave some cord/webbing and a rap ring or carabiner. Some of the mid wall rap stations are gone because the trees they were on died.


People have died at the dwg due to rap anchors failing. Consider every fixed anchor suspect, and be prepared to make your own if need be. This place is as close to alpine as NEPA gets, which is why I always said that sport climbs do not belong here (besides the fact that there is ample gear). You definitely have to know how to fend for yourself on these cliffs. I always climb on double ropes, and carry rap rings and webbing at the dwg.


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By Michael C
From New Jersey
May 31, 2013
Mt Minsi, PA

Going to try and head on there tomorrow and take a look at Friends in High Places. Might do it from the top down, after climbing The Rib. Looks like heavy shrubbery on P2, no idea how the start is.

Pic shows (l to r) Black Wall, The Rib, and Friends in High Places.


Black Wall, The Rib, Friends in High Places
Black Wall, The Rib, Friends in High Places


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By mgree
May 31, 2013

Hey Michael, I was just cruising the forums during lunch and saw your pic. I don't know if you've climbed Friends in High Places before, but the twin cracks in the crux roof should be obvious from the ground unless they're hidden by vegetation. Anyways, I think you'll be heading left and pulling the roof long before you hit the heavy vegetation where your top line starts. If I remember correctly (it's always tough with the Gap), the vegetation halfway along your middle line is the stuff that'll be in your face. Have fun, and consider the Ribcage finish when you do the Rib if you've never done it and want a clean, spicy, unusual, and somewhat sandbagged 5.6 finish.


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By Larry S
May 31, 2013
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.

Micheal - From what i saw looking at it last weekend, Mgree is right - the right slanting part of your purple line under the roof is where the in-your-face vegetation is. It might be difficult to do on rappel because of the angle of the route and the roof it bypasses. Consider taking it ground-up and aid/hang when you get into the brush, then attack small branches with a pair of pruners while hanging to get you thru it, then have your second clean up the job on his way up. Sorry i can't be around to help out tomorrow.


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By Michael C
From New Jersey
May 31, 2013
Mt Minsi, PA

Thanks guys.

Matt - how's the protection on this climb? Any funny stuff?


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By mgree
May 31, 2013

Friends in High Places protects fairly well. Feel free to stop reading if you don't want more beta than that. The 5.7 crux is actually very well protected thanks to the double cracks in the roof. The first notch and some of the slabbier terrain leading up to the P1 belay will give you more pause, because as usual in the Gap there's multiple ways to do things and it's not always obvious which way is the easiest and best protected. I've always belayed at the standard spot, but you'd be better off setting up a belay as soon as possible after you pass through the 1st notch. That'll keep you and your rope away from a nasty poison patch.

The Ribcage also protects fairly well, although the only way I found to protect the crux (the first real move of the route) is to put big gear (#3 C4 on one rope, #4 on the other) in the slanting horizontal at your feet. It'd be a wild fall, but the move is more of a mental puzzle than anything. Once you figure out the right way to do it it's actually quite easy.


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