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Geezer Wall Bolt Removal
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Sep 26, 2009
1982 lead of Supercrack
Saturday, September 26th 2009
Saturday, several climbers in Big Cottonwood Canyon reported complete bolt removal on the new sport climbing area, Geezer Wall. Over 125 Rawl 5 piece bolts were taken off of 15 routes. No motive or suspects have been established.

As the initial person that envisioned and developed this area, I am shocked and very disappointed in the actions of this individual(s). This wall was developed by a community of friends on a wall that I have been looking at for 20 years.

The climbing community has always been comprised of individuals willing to voice strong opinions. In fact, these strong opinions have been instrumental in forging modern climbing as we know it. Many positive aspects have come about through these debates and consensus has generally been the end result. Since when does ripping out an entire wall constitute active debate or reaching consensus in the climbing community?

One would have thought consensus had already been gained by the sheer amount of traffic on the wall and positive comments on the web. Geezer Wall was a wall designed for moderate climbers in a place where there were no known existing climbs. It was meant as a gift to the climbing community and the climbing community just got ripped off.
Mark Sargent
Mark Sgt
Joined Oct 21, 2007
576 points
Sep 26, 2009
Rager's Edge (Rest In Peace)
If anyone knows the individuals that went to the trouble to KILL this crag we'd like to have a discussion on why such a harsh measure was taken to KILL a little gem that had a host of SAFE sport and mixed routes for the 5.5 to easy 5.10 leader. To put it bluntly, you people are anti-climbing community and ought to quit climbing. The amount of effort (with significant cost) to put up these routes FOR THE SLC CLIMBING COMMUNITY and beyond, and the quality and well thought out nature of the routes, did not justify KILLING THE CRAG.

It's in the hands of all you climbers out there if you feel this was justified fine, call the Geezer Wall dead. If you feel this action was unnecessary and want the routes to go back up come together and make it happen prove to those freaks that did the deed this is uncalled for, will not be tolerated and unacceptable in this climbing community. Thanks for the support!

Localism sucks and like on the coast, those that adopt this elitist mentality need to be called out and punished. Banishment from climbing in the central Wasatch is the minimum these individuals need to receive: Yeah I'm really irked about this BS.
Mike Kurilich
From Salt Lake City
Joined Jul 31, 2008
9 points
Sep 26, 2009
Rager's Edge (Rest In Peace)
Underground is my middle name and man, you nailed it on keeping new routes under wraps. Screw the guidebooks, websites, etc. go find it on your own...yeah right. Pragmatism always works in the eye of the beholder in reality it's all for one and none for all in this day and age. Killing this crag is a text book case supporting that argument.

And hey thanks for keeping your mitts off the hardware up there-from here on out you are being watched!

Whom ever did this again, open your mouths and explain the importance of your actions and don't be a chump and use some lame fake name. Myself and the others that developed this crag, as well as the climbing community at large, deserve to hear your side of this story and we are all ears. Maybe Craig is right and easy, safe sport routes aren't acceptable here in the Wasatch and if so then let's have a crowbar, bolt pulling, climbing Klan, good ol' boy, new climbing cold war, route killing party! Don't forget your masks to keep your identity under wraps. Tongue in cheek folks, tounge in cheek. If you care about this issue speak up if not, then cool Geezer was called deceased on 9/26/2010. I've got better things to do that's my last commment on this...
Mike Kurilich
From Salt Lake City
Joined Jul 31, 2008
9 points
Sep 26, 2009
Our less than official sponsor!
I would be in favor of putting the routes back up! Even the hardcore senders out there had to start on something...don't fear the moderate! Christian "crisco" Burrell
From PG, Utah
Joined May 18, 2007
2,274 points
Sep 26, 2009
  Third bolt on last pitch of cheetah
This could be a sign that people are getting sick of people grid bolting the shit out of the canyons.

Thanks for your 'community' service but in my opinion we have enough routes for everyone.

P.S. I have no idea who did it.
mikewhite
Joined Feb 28, 2007
98 points
Sep 26, 2009
Whoever took the time to do this could have spent the same amount of time cleaning up garbage, helping the homeless, volunteering at shelters, etc etc etc. Jesus, find something better to do with your free time. At least clean up an old aid route or something worthwhile. If you think this crag is stupid and easy, then why bother with it at all? I don't enjoy sport climbing easier route that much, but I know a lot of people who do. Are they lesser people? notmyname
From Stony Brook, NY
Joined Apr 9, 2007
125 points
Sep 26, 2009
Bushwhack Crack
How bloody stupid! People need to learn how to do more constructive things in their free time. Everyone, not just the elitist sport or trad climber is entitled access to the rock. If someone takes it upon themselves to develop an area geared toward promoting the sport, I think that they should be commended.

It has always been my opinion that if the energy used to debate bolting or not bolting was redirected to developing a new energy source, cold fusion would already be invented. Cars would run off of water. Etc. (I am exaggerating a bit) I find the hiking trails, ski resorts, mountain bike paths, etc far more obtrusive than a bolt.
Nick Faust
From Sandy, UT
Joined Jun 9, 2007
16 points
Sep 26, 2009
Lame. Maybe I have very little knowledge of how much "grid bolting" there actually is in bcc, but i have always been under the impression that the canyon needs more quality sport areas like the s curves and less tributes to cocaine and runouts above RPs in the early ninties. Tosh Peters
From Park City, UT
Joined Oct 11, 2007
143 points
Sep 26, 2009
  Third bolt on last pitch of cheetah
Tosh Peters wrote:
Lame. Maybe I have very little knowledge of how much "grid bolting" there actually is in bcc, but i have always been under the impression that the canyon needs more quality sport areas like the s curves and less tributes to cocaine and runouts above RPs in the early ninties.



Yes there is a big problem with people and their damn drills.
Sorry to inform you but many many people have passed up that chunk of rock. Why did they do this? Because it would be a 5.5 with 12 bolts!!

I am not here just to give you guys shit. I can think of about 6 people that are bolting every choss heap they can find with google earth. And some of them use their drills to chisel trail signs in boulders along the trail. WTF??
Yes it is very out of hand around here.
When shit like this going on, its a big red flag that things have gone to far.

Next crags will be closed down.

mikewhite
Joined Feb 28, 2007
98 points
Sep 26, 2009
mikewhite:
Most climbers can follow a bit harder routes than they can lead. Also, your grammer needs a bit of work. No sport climbs in your profile? Relax a bit, try a few sport climbs. You may find out you like them more than you think. Just an older guy putting in his $.02 worth. Peace out; I guess is the saying.
Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Joined Jul 7, 2004
47 points
Sep 26, 2009
  Third bolt on last pitch of cheetah
SpencerTaylorParkin wrote:
>> Next crags will be closed down. Is this a threat?



How would that be a threat? Its called a result of climbers screwing the place up.

You just joined this site a few hours ago.
Is that how long you have been climbing?

Sorry guys but not every rock needs bolts in it.
Just my 2 cents.
mikewhite
Joined Feb 28, 2007
98 points
Sep 26, 2009
1982 lead of Supercrack
Shame on Mike White who is a board member of Salt Lake Climbers Alliance. SLCA propounds on their web site that “SLCA exists to promote climbing opportunities, preserve local access and encourage stewardship of the environment”; yet, they have a board member, Mike White that condones the removal of the bolts on Geezer Wall and obviously is opposed to future climbing opportunities as stated in his posting of 9/26. Is this indication of an elitist localism attitude that pervades further into Salt Lake Climbers Alliance? Are they only promoting climbing areas “they” deem worthy? I would have thought that they would have board members that would be striving to reach out and communicate with climbers of all levels and backgrounds in an effort to align our community. I would have thought the SLCA would have been a mediator of the issues that affect our climbing community and not be initiating summary statements against part of that climbing community.

I realize Mike is entitled to his personal opinion and it may differ from mine and others in Salt Lake Climbers Alliance but when I read a negative reactionary post from a board member of a group that claims to be a “Climbers Alliance” it has me concerned about double standards and wondering exactly who is included in the “stewardship” they talk about.

As far as the accusation of us “grid bolting the shit out of the canyons”, Mike, have you taken the time to talk with any of the beginner climbers these climbs were developed for? Who are you to determine that these climbs were wrong, the feedback we had from the climbers they were intended for has been positive. As far as the disrespect for our ‘community’ effort, you know nothing of our/my intent and again, obviously have not heard the positive feedback on this area.

Shame on Salt Lake Climbers Alliance for not having a unified voice from its board members….or maybe they do.
Mark Sgt
Joined Oct 21, 2007
576 points
Sep 26, 2009
At age 55, my wife is a novice climber with passionate aspirations to advance her abilities from 5.6 to 5.7 and God willing someday 5.8. Now thanks to some thief, her training area is no more. And now the debate rages over whether Geezer Wall should have been bolted in the first place. What was so terribly wrong with it? It seemed like the routes were well thought out and responsibly set. Ourselves and over a dozen friends have climbed there many times. We are now better climbers because of Geezer Wall. You critics out there come across to this old geezer as being elitist and very selfish. Let us geezers have fun climbing with bolts! Clark Richards
Joined Sep 26, 2009
0 points
Sep 26, 2009
Mark Sgt wrote:
Shame on Salt Lake Climbers Alliance for not having a unified voice from its board members….or maybe they do.

Knowing what the unified voice of the SLCA has to say would probably require input from more than one of its board members - who is obviously writing in his name only, otherwise he might have mentioned something about acting as a spokesperson.
Keep you head together Mark... I'm sorry someone removed your bolts, seemed like a lot of hard work. I hope this situation sorts itself out.
Boissal
From Small Lake, UT
Joined Aug 21, 2006
1,713 points
Sep 26, 2009
  Third bolt on last pitch of cheetah
If you knew anything about me you would know that I never codone chopping of anykind. Because it never ends. Choss gets bolted then choss gets chopped then bolted againe ect..ect..

Kinda lame for you to involve the slca in this. Why dont you call the asca and try to get me fired. Hell send them all a email and see what they say.

All was tryin to say was you might want to rethink you new super easy crag after the chopping.

Relax bro it was not me.
mikewhite
Joined Feb 28, 2007
98 points
Sep 26, 2009
  Third bolt on last pitch of cheetah
Mark Sgt wrote:
Shame on Mike White who is a board member of Salt Lake Climbers Alliance. SLCA propounds on their web site that “SLCA exists to promote climbing opportunities, preserve local access and encourage stewardship of the environment”; yet, they have a board member, Mike White that condones the removal of the bolts on Geezer Wall and obviously is opposed to future climbing opportunities as stated in his posting of 9/26. Is this indication of an elitist localism attitude that pervades further into Salt Lake Climbers Alliance? Are they only promoting climbing areas “they” deem worthy? I would have thought that they would have board members that would be striving to reach out and communicate with climbers of all levels and backgrounds in an effort to align our community. I would have thought the SLCA would have been a mediator of the issues that affect our climbing community and not be initiating summary statements against part of that climbing community. I realize Mike is entitled to his personal opinion and it may differ from mine and others in Salt Lake Climbers Alliance but when I read a negative reactionary post from a board member of a group that claims to be a “Climbers Alliance” it has me concerned about double standards and wondering exactly who is included in the “stewardship” they talk about. As far as the accusation of us “grid bolting the shit out of the canyons”, Mike, have you taken the time to talk with any of the beginner climbers these climbs were developed for? Who are you to determine that these climbs were wrong, the feedback we had from the climbers they were intended for has been positive. As far as the disrespect for our ‘community’ effort, you know nothing of our/my intent and again, obviously have not heard the positive feedback on this area. Shame on Salt Lake Climbers Alliance for not having a unified voice from its board members….or maybe they do.




Why don't you give me a lesson on "community service". Sounds like I need one.
mikewhite
Joined Feb 28, 2007
98 points
Sep 26, 2009
Some of these areas need to be gridbolted with easy routes. it keeps the contrive-o-meter down at other areas. Yes, Salt Lake Slips and a few other places have this to, but they are getting crowded. With those crowds you also get problems (cops not liking all the cars parked there, trash, etc etc). Sounds like this geezer wall could have eased the congestion, and also given us some place to take the GF so she'll stop yelling at us on how we always take them on hard routes, or a place the boyscouts or LDS groups could mob.

There is SOOOOOO much rock and potential in BCC, that the canyon can support many many more of these types of walls. I don't understand why it bothers people so much, unless it screws up existing routes.
notmyname
From Stony Brook, NY
Joined Apr 9, 2007
125 points
Sep 27, 2009
Rager's Edge (Rest In Peace)
Alright I have to chime back in due to your somewhat inaccurate comments Mike. Did you look at the Geezer Wall? There are routes from 5.5 to 10.B with a number of routes having a mixture of gear and camo(you gots to love that man!) bolts i.e. in total there are 2- 5.5; 4-5.6; 2-5.7; 2-5.8; 2-5.9; and 3-5.10's meaning this crag has again, a nice mixture of climbs for those leading at that grade or higher - we all like a nice cruise on occasion; oh and again, routes that require gear too. Saying it's all a bunch of 5.5 routes and strictly bolted is misleading and more so using the hyper inflammatory "grid bolted" descriptor. But hey if that's what you want to call it, be my guest man. I just beg to differ...

This crag is off the beaten path and the three days we were up there(my contribution) we saw two party's on the Glass Ocean i.e. that zone ain't the Hollywood Freeway during the morning commute man. Deference to the area was keenly on our minds and we knew this wasn't going to be an area hikers or mountain bikers would access and go whoa...too many climbers call in the rangers or cops or, whom ever you refer to that is going to take away our inalienable climbing rights. (And for Gods sake we live in Utah Man The LAND IS OURS! Tongue in cheek again-sorry folks) As it is, the hike is semi-arduous and those "wanting it" have to work to get it. So no it's not next to some well trodden path where, as you allude, concern would be real if it were. Valid that point is and taken at face value. And you know what? I agree it looks like a choss pile from afar but as it turns out the rock is of high quality meaning safe enjoyable sport and combo routes. No harm in that is there? And coming from a guy replacing old star bolts etc. to "keep it safe" on old guard routes; that has to resonate a bit I would think?

In conclusion, I think you are jumping the gun(I had to sorry man)and are missing the target on this one with your shots. (Nice guns BTW)You are gonna probably still disagree and hey I'm easy with that and you have every right to voice your opinion; dissent is alright and more is needed in this day and age. The issue here is someone (the Geezer Wall crag killers) not voicing their opinion to the greater climbing community prior taking the "Taliban" suicide bomb approach to making their point heard and that is just plain old wrong and ultimately, that is going to lead to their banishment ala Ken Nichols in North Conway.(Your puzzle is CLASSIC MAN!) Or, it will pave the way to establishing a body of our climbing peers (SLC Alliance?)working in unison with the SLC community to develop "new route" guidelines to ensure, again as you state, the preservation of our cherished Wasatch climbing areas. There is a ton of rock out there, and a ton of climbers coming on, and new route development is only going to increase...what would it be like if SLC were the size of Denver? Give it time.

BTW: Yeah Mexican crack is one of my favorites too and I tip my hat to you in working with the ASPA I used to work with one of it's founding members way back when. Keep up that great work mate.

Keep up the dialogue folks this is a BIG issue and as can be seen, a fight is in the making unless we as a group figure this out in a civil manner. I saw way too much BS like this back in my surf days (fist fights, vandalized cars, verbal abuse walking to the water etc.) and hell that's a big reason why I came here almost 20 years ago. It's coming to a local crag near you soon so let's get or shit together and work this out. The community always wins out as indicated by the surfers that ended up in jail and literally banished from their home breaks due to the their "Taliban" like behavior: We are better then that...

Final word I promise.
Mike Kurilich
From Salt Lake City
Joined Jul 31, 2008
9 points
Sep 27, 2009
  Third bolt on last pitch of cheetah
Yes jumping the gun has happened here.
Sorry it happened on this thread but I was pointing my finger at everyone that owns a power drill.
Please don't think that I am attacking you guys.
Please re read my posts.

We do have some problems in the wasatch with many people. I am not going to name names.

Yes it is fucked up that some prick chopped your routes. I would just hate to see it happen a second time.

With more routes and more crags we have more problems.
I just don't see the logic behind drilling routes everywhere.


I put up one route in my life with bolts and swore I would never do it agine. But that is just me.

I apologize for My ethics being voiced. I thought I was in America.


125 bolts????
mikewhite
Joined Feb 28, 2007
98 points
Sep 27, 2009
Removing bolts without the permission of the FA (or at least consensus from a sizable portion of the climbing community) is WRONG and UNACCEPTABLE.

This is irregardless of the quality of the route. We (as a community) should not stand for it. It is an ethic that is well-established in the Wasatch, and was put to the test a few summers back.

We can have a debate about whether or not this rock or that rock should be bolted, but we should NOT be debating whether this action is acceptable.

Whoever stole this hardware did so without any appeal to the climbing community. If you look at the MP pages for this area, you will see not one single comment questioning the development of these routes.

I don't care how good these routes are. I don't care if this rock is choss or bullet. I don't care if these are 5.5 or 5.14. We should condemn stealing hardware from routes.
kBobby
From Spokane, WA
Joined Oct 5, 2001
1,373 points
Sep 27, 2009
This thread is a bit out of hand already. For those of you giving Mike a hard time, remember that he has probably replaced the anchors or lead bolts on many of the climbs that already exsist in our canyons. His feedback is valid. Over bolting and overuse of the resource that is on public land will lead to it's regulation by the forest service or whoever else.

How about teaching people to mock lead? How about laps leading in the gym? There are a ton of ways for beginners to learn how to climb, and to do it safely.

125 bolts is a lot of bolts. It is possible that the bolting was excessive, even for beginners.

For those of you who are ticked, how about helping to replace some of the old bolts in the canyon that really need it, as opposed to developing every inch of rock in the canyons. And if you really need to develop a whole crag, maybe BCC and LCC aren't the best places. There is a lot of rock in Utah, and rock that is definitely in less conspicuous places.

I personally think 125 bolts is possibly too many bolts at a crag. There are whole crags in AF or maple that don't have that many bolts.

Sorry your hard work isn't appreciated by all, but there has to be a middle ground. Maybe 62 1/2 bolts at the crag....just sayin.
sgreen
From salt lake city, ut
Joined Apr 30, 2007
13 points
Sep 27, 2009
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
SpencerTaylorParkin wrote:
Sitting, waiting in my car at the BCC park-n-ride this morning, I did see a man with a crowbar get into his car. I'm afraid to say that I can't give anymore details than that as my memory will not allow.


Crowbar or large pry bar (bright yellow?)?

There was a significant crew up Ferguson for the SLCA sponsered Trail Day up there, and, a TON of folks had hand tools for trail work.

Mike, grouchin' about grid bolted crags in a thread where an entire crag had its hardware removed? Bad timing, man. 'Preciate ya, though, and we missed you yesterday for sure. Big up's to all the hard work you've done for years here for our community.

I can't fathom that anyone would remove that much hardware.

Specifically, what was taken (make, model)? Anyone have any photo's of the camo' paint job on the hangers? If someone has added this stuff to their personal collection for their own routes, it'll show up sooner or later.

Did they take the entire bolt out? Or, just unscrew the bolt and rip the hanger? What did they fixture from to remove the top chains and anchors? Any sling with initial on it?

Really makes me wonder who would do this and why. Someone with an agenda? Maybe. Someone using an agenda to acquire free hardware? More'n likely.

Someone has to have seen something. That's just too much work to not get noticed.

Post up if you've seen anything. Like, say, a guy with a large pack by himself looking around (ok, I do that). General descriptions, whatever.

What was the timeframe this happened in? Gradual, or, whole shebang in short order?

Ugh. Unbelievable.

-Brian in SLC
Brian in SLC
Joined Oct 6, 2003
11,031 points
Sep 27, 2009
Wanna know why someone didn't see this douche removing 125 bolts? He did it in the dark. Probably wearing camo. Probably while cursing tat webbing. Probably while holding a complex and intelligent conversation with himself to pass the time. STH
Joined Jun 25, 2007
18 points
Sep 27, 2009
Stairway To Heaven - all the way to the Pearly Gat...
One item that most people do not realize, myself included until it was point out to me recently is that the wilderness boundary is less than a couple of hundred yards from the road.

I am not sure exactly where the boundary is located but crags like Lonely Challenge, Std Ridge, Glass Ocean, Dead Wood, Dead Snag Arete, and Geezer Wall are all in the federally designated Twin Peaks Wilderness Area.

With this information comes a couple of points the first is concrete the second is subjective. 1) the use of mechanical devices such as power drills are prohibited 2) Activities within wilderness should be wilderness dependent.

The first statement is pretty clear. And my guess is that the 125 bolts were not hand drilled. A big oops that is very understandable.

The second statement may sound odd, but it can be and has been argued that "grid bolted" sport climbing areas are not wilderness dependent. And as such, they should not be allowed and the area "removed". I am not saying this is the case here as I have not been up to Geezer wall but I have been to an area where this was the case. Of course in this instance, I was meeting with Federal officials and the climbers who developed the area on site to resolve the problem. Which of course is the correct course of action rather than unilateral removal.

As for the wilderness boundary issue. It is really quite problematic as to my knowledge there has never been any signage on the Stairs Gulch Road/Trail or the trail up to the Sports Challenge Crag. Perhaps it is time to ask the Forest Service for such signage. Of course rarely, is it the case that the signage is right on the boundary but typically a few hundred yards into the boundary.
Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Joined Jul 6, 2007
1,132 points
Administrator
Sep 27, 2009
Green Monster  Photo by Thomas Holmes.
Allen Sanderson wrote:
...wilderness boundary...


This .kmz file for Google Earth shows the boundaries of the designated Wilderness Areas in Utah.

The site containing the above file, Utah Wilderness Atlas, is a useful reference.
Perin Blanchard
From Orem, UT
Joined Oct 1, 2005
8,434 points
Sep 27, 2009
  Third bolt on last pitch of cheetah
Allen Sanderson wrote:
Perhaps it is time to ask the Forest Service for such signage. Of course rarely, is it the case that the signage is right on the boundary but typically a few hundred yards into the boundary.



Please can we keep the feds out of this?
This is how crags get closed!!!
It has happened before and it will happen again.

By the way I work for cache valley electric if you want to slag them a bit I don't mind at all.

So what would have the most impact on our climbing access?

1. over bolting
2. chopping
3. bitching on the net where they can see it
4. drilling in wilderness

Do I need to post a disclaimer about my personal opinion every time I post?
mikewhite
Joined Feb 28, 2007
98 points


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