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Intifada 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b A5 X

   
Type:  Aid, Grade VI
Original:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b A5 X [details]
FA: Jim Beyer (solo) December 1988
Page Views: 5,879
Submitted By: Ben Folsom on Nov 15, 2001

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RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Originally rated A6 by Beyer. According to Beyer there were no holes drilled deeper than 1/4" deep on the first ascent. Tim Wagner on the third ascent filled in holes that were deeper than 1/4" drilled by somebody. The route starts right off the trail on the south face of the tower.

P1- Climb a thin seam that diagonals up and left via beaks and aluminum heads. Climb a dihedral until a hook traverse left on cobbles is possible. Belay underneath a small roof at a fixed pin. (A3+)

P2- Continue up the crack to a left facing corner passing a possible belay. Climb this corner to a small stance and belay there. (A3)

P3- A rotten grovel leads to a horizontal crack. Climb left following this crack with thin nailing and hooking. Climb a vertical A1 crack to a spot below a small roof and set up a hanging belay there. (A4)

P4- This is the business. Climb thin cracks and seams with some hook moves to establish another hanging belay in a right facing corner. (A5)

P5- Continue up this corner at A1 to some discontinuous cracks and features. Climb this via thin nailing and hooking. The pitch ends at another hanging belay in a left facing corner under a roof. (A3+)

P6- Climb the corner above the roof to and A3 crack. Climb the crack up and left to a horn. Tension left off the horn to some hooking and then 5.6 to a large belay ledge to join Brer Rabbit. (A3, 5.6)

P7- Continue up Brer Rabbit climbing a bolt ladder to an A2 crack. Pass an old belay, climb past a hole then a 5.8 mantle and some bolts lead you to the Belay. (5.8, A2)

P8- Climb up a right facing corner to a ledge and thread a hole for pro. From there traverse right to a fixed pin and some awkward grovelling under a roof. Climb bolts and cracks above the roof to the belay. (5.8, A2)

P9- Climb a 5.8 squeeze chimney and a short A1 section on the south face of the summit blob to the summit of the tower. (5.8 A1)

Descent- Make 6 or 7 raps down Road Kill on the Northwest face of the tower.

This route takes a lot of effort and time to set up good belay anchors.

Protection 

7 beaks, 10 blades, 12 arrows, 5 baby angles, 3 3/4" angles, 2 each 1"-1 1/2" angles, 3-4 sets of cams to #4 camalot. 2 sets of stoppers, many hooks, 20-25 aluminum heads.


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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 28, 2016
By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Jul 22, 2002

"There were no holes drilled deeper than 1/4" deep on the first ascent".

Yes. Beyer told me that on this route, and on World's End, he developed the innovative technique of drilling two (or was it three?) 1/4" holes immediately above each other and then pounding in an alumihead (the old rectangular Forrest versions work best for this) into the resulting slot. Trenching for the Fishers. He also told me he did not want this printed in Bjornstad's guidebook. This gets a little weird years later when someone tries a second ascent, and the slots have degraded and eroded out ( the rock can erode really fast; I have actually seen Beyer copperheads on top of little protrusions of rock); and there is no mention of any of this in Beyer's own descriptions/topos. What's a second ascentionist to do?In the case of World's End, the second ascentionist retreated, baffled, and, after a long phone call to Beyer, returned to the fray armed with a drill, and rather more liberal attitude to using it.With Intifada, the second ascentionists, once they realized that there were lots of driled holes already on the route, figured there was no harm in deepening existing holes. I was camping in the Fishers when Tim Wagner did the third ascent of Intifada. This was a fine effort, done solo. As I recall, he told me he had no clue about who was responsible for the numerous holes all over the route. He just used the holes he could, and drilled others out deeper as needed (ie if they had degraded/flared out and were unusable).

Anyway, three points/slanderous comments:1. If a route in the Fishers employs an indeterminate number of drilled holes/slots, and the first ascentionist doesn't telll anyone, it seems quite understandable to me that folks, once they realize what was done, will drill deeper holes_and, what is far worse, if they cannot find a hole, they'll drill a new one because they will rationalize that the old hole has eroded out altogether.

2. What do other folks think of this trenching technique?"The second ascent drilled some of the holes deeper to place baby angles." If a hole was drilled by the first ascentionist, is it bad to drill it deeper? If so, why? 3. Anyone who thinks that Jim Beyer, on those A4/5 leads, was taking out his 25-foot Stanly tape and methodically limiting himself to no more than 1/4" deep probably still believes that Clinton resolutely refused to inhale.

By Joe Collins
Jul 23, 2002

To me, the whole idea of "trenching" head and hook placements in this manner sounds like pretty much the same damn thing as drilling holds (or bolting on holds) on a sport route. One is done in the name of adventure, while the other in the name of athleticism. Essentially, I see no difference. Beyer and cohorts, in employing these techniques, do have tradition on their side... but then he has the gaul to take on the role of ethics-policeman when NATURAL sport routes pop up on "his" walls near Durango. One may be able to justify this with the macho-attitude that its far more ballsy to create tenuous placements than place bolts, but with repeated ascents and thus further modification, it is the rock that suffers.

It is very possible that the Fishers will one day be designated a wilderness-type area where, much like the case of Canyonlands NP, only clean protection will be allowed. If land managers only knew (or read this page) what happens up on the walls, this outcome would be a virtual certainty. This type of route development needs to be discouraged if the rest of the climbing community still wants to climb in the Fishers.

By Andy Johnson
May 28, 2003

So let me get this straight. Did Wagner use the trenching method on his ascent? Who did the real second ascent? Also, I have a ton of respect for Jim Beyer. He is definately the ultimate aid master in my eyes, but the whole deal of trenching sounds pretty bad. I have always been told that one should never enhance a placement when heading. You might as well just put in a rivet. Both are modifications in the rock to allow upward progress. The only diference is that one is reuseable and the other is not. Sure it will lower the rating, but it will save the rock from being drilled with every ascent. Reinhold Messner called bolts "the murder of the impossible." I beg someone to tell me the difference.
By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Feb 16, 2004

The earlier comment I made reads way worse I intended. It is not meant as a personal criticism of anyone. I was (and I am still) trying to open up a debate (and this is a good forum for such a debate) on different styles of doing aid routes in the Fishers.
By Colin Coulson
Apr 15, 2004

Could it be that the land managers previously mentioned are or one day will be right? Is the elimination of climbing in the Fishers the best decision for the towers? The Fishers are possibly THE place for frightening adventure, but it is simply impossible to surmount these towers without leaving your mark. Even on the trade routes there are scars from _clean_ aid. Granted, these towers may only be around for X number more years (Geologists, help me out on this one!) due to their discontinuity of strata and weak cohesion.Likewise, the marks left by climbers weather away into oblivion as well. So why be so concerned with the damage we leave? Secondly, the history of climbing is marred by countless _epic_ climbs that dealt with the dilemma of bolting and scarring in a rather impertinent manner.Perhaps you have heard of the "Kompressor" Route on Cerro Tore or even the first ascent of El Cap_tan. These accomplishments have been met with considerable scrutiny and the results of such may be considered viable in application to the Fishers. I am not drawing conclusions here, simply stating similar cases. Granted these routes in the Fishers are under significantly less traffic and this fact is crucial in this examination.

It is here that we reach the dilemma:

Is the weathering caused by climbers significant enough to impose regulations beyond those self administered by all respectful participants? Do the natural weathering processes eliminate or lessen the problems cause by climbers? Are the benefits or climbing these towers worth problem of _defacing_ the towers- even if the towers will likely be gone in X number of years?How do we as climbers address this problem?

It is absolutely imperative that WE, the climbers who love these towers most, initiate and uphold standards here before all climbing is completely outlawed in this mysterious corner of America's most majestic dessert.

C.
By Andy Johnson
Apr 20, 2004

Colin, I honestly cannot think of another group of people who care more about these towers than the climbers who climb them. You are probably right however, that we do inflict the greatest amount of damage to them. I think most issues here boil down to style. I personally feel that once a route has gone clean, it should stay clean. I think most people agree with this logic, yet I still hear recent stories of people nailing on echo tower or the colo-northeast ridge on the king fisher when things get hairy. This is absolute bullshit! Most people who like the fishers, like them because they are scary (in a good way). These routes get nailed out fast and become even more difficult. The crux of the NE ridge on the King is a prime example of what happens with excessive nailing. As for your other comment of "they are just going to fall down anyway". I think that this is a rather rediculous comment. Some day life will cease to exist on this planet, yet despite what the current administration would leave you to believe, we probably should not just rape the planet and accelerate the inevitable. You dig it? Just a general note because I think a lot of the people that nail on the clean routes are new to the area (NOT ALWAYS), THIS IS NOT GRANITE AND THE ANCHORS DO NOT ALWAYS LOOK THAT BOMBER. I have talked to a lot of people who get the shit scared out of themselves here. The Fishers are like no ther place. Be forewarned.
By Colin Coulson
Apr 21, 2004

Andy, the comment "that they are just going to fall down anyway" does seem foolhardy. I drew attention to this argument partially due to what Layton Kor said when asked why he was climbing the Titan: "Not because it's there, but because it might not be there much longer." Just FYI.
By Stymingersfink
Nov 12, 2007

Ben,

I'm curious how you feel about your original route description when compared with the TR provided by the SA team, especially in light of the WoS discussion thread on McTopo?
By Joe Forrester
From: Palo Alto
Jan 28, 2008

Does anyone know how many ascents this has gotten and who did 'em?
Thanks,
Joe
By Jim Beyer
Jan 26, 2016

Intifada was A4+ or A5- after the second ascent.I originally climbed the route without bolts(but some drilled hooks, both bathooks and enhanced hooks)I use to think that routes that link with no bolts were the best style.I rated this route A6 close to 30 years ago.The third ascent party,Tim Wagner,called me and said that he found 2 drilled angle holes;one on the second belay and one in the middle of the crux pitch.He said that the hole must be used to progress between 2 features.I agreed and said that I drilled a hook to link the 2 features but did not drill a drilled angle hole (which is a bolt)in the middle of my crux pitch because I was trying to put in a no bolt route and more importantly trying to put in a hard(runout) route.Wagner also said that Deadmans Party is harder. The second ascent party first said that I drilled those 2 holes and then later said that I filled those holes(justifying his 2 drilled holes?) 30 years ago, seams were climbed with Rurps ,Trenched heads or bolts.We didn't use beaks because they had not been invented yet.I don't use trenched heads in the Fisher Towers anymore because I'm lazy and Zamack rivits are faster and weaker.Intifada as first ascended (no bolts) would today rate about modern(2016)A5a.It was, in that day, probably harder than any climb in Yosemite.Check out my latest route, Lone Wolf, on the Titan. It is modern A6.Any climber who does not trench heads has never done a hard El Cap route.Nail every pitch!
By Richard Jensen
Jun 28, 2016

I just came across Beyer's explanation, and I'd like to correct some significant misinformation it contains. Mark and I did the SA about a year after the FA, and we carefully documented with pictures what we encountered AS we encountered it.

Intifada was A4+ or A5- after the second ascent.

The implication here is that we drilled it down in grade. In fact, it was A4+ (old school) for one short section WHEN we did the second ascent. The route was not hard WHEN we found it, and we had no need to "dumb it down" to a lower level of difficulty than we found was already there from the FA. The original A6 grade (and the explanation of what that meant) was pure hype with exactly zero correlative climbing on the route.

I originally climbed the route without bolts(but some drilled hooks, both bathooks and enhanced hooks)

Yeah, a lot, not "some." And quite a few of them were carefully sand-packed to hide them. In several places of windswept blank rock with zero mud-flow, we initially could not figure out what Beyer had done to get across or up. Seeing a slight "dimple," we gently probed with the tip of a nail-punch (which we had learned we needed to dig out Beyer's dead heads from him leaving behind worthless blobs with snapped cables) and discovered sand-packed bat-hook holes.

Given no mud-flow in the area and windswept blank rock, the only way we could duplicate the result we found was to mix sand with spit and carefully pack the mix into one of the holes. It dried quickly, leaving the exact result we initially encountered. I see no way to explain these sand-packed bat-hook holes other than intentional hiding.

I rated this route A6 close to 30 years ago.

Yeah, we read all the hype in two issues of Climbing Magazine. We read about 30+ consecutive hook moves on the final (supposedly) A6 pitch linked to (supposedly) death anchors below. All pure hype. No death anchors anywhere, and the final pitch takes off of a bolt anchor from Brer Rabbit and heads back out onto the face for the sole purpose of a "grand" final pitch that itself wasn't A5 and had no sprees of hook moves.

We found no A6 or even A5, no death anchors, and nothing "ground-breaking" about the route in the slightest sense.

The third ascent party,Tim Wagner,called me and said that he found 2 drilled angle holes;one on the second belay and one in the middle of the crux pitch.

We did not drill anything we found larger or deeper than we found it. In fact, we were able to bypass large numbers of Beyer's holes and trenches using hooks and natural gear like slung horns. Remember that our SA was about a year after the FA, and we had the same gear available to us as Beyer used. Beyer drilled and trenched more often and more deeply than was even necessary. In one place I bypassed a deep hole by slinging a very small, very sloped "horn." The sling was slowly creeping down by millimeters the whole time I was getting beyond it.

He said that the hole must be used to progress between 2 features.

All due respect, but what one person says "must be used" does not render it impossible for another team to bypass. Mark and I have repeatedly hooked and slung things that other teams said, "No way." We have an entire route of some "impossible" looking hooking. As I said, I bypassed one deep hole with a very sketchy slung "horn," and this may have been the spot Wagner is referring to. Regardless, we neither added nor "improved" any drilling to the route. And we used far less than we found.

I agreed and said that I drilled a hook to link the 2 features but did not drill a drilled angle hole (which is a bolt)in the middle of my crux pitch because I was trying to put in a no bolt route and more importantly trying to put in a hard(runout) route.

Whatever. We documented more than two drilled angles on the route. My recollection after all these years is five. Who knows what Beyer was thinking about drilled angles then? Maybe then he didn't think of them as "bolts" and that's a more recent realization. I don't know. All I know is what we found, which was multiple drilled angle holes, which we bypassed without using them.

Wagner also said that Deadmans Party is harder. The second ascent party first said that I drilled those 2 holes and then later said that I filled those holes(justifying his 2 drilled holes?)

Nope. Our story (and pictures) has always been the same. Beyer drilled and left several drilled angle holes. These were not "filled" or sand-packed. He also drilled and filled some bat-hook holes. We are not conflating angle and bat-hook holes, and Beyer shouldn't either.

30 years ago, seams were climbed with Rurps ,Trenched heads or bolts.We didn't use beaks because they had not been invented yet.

We used the same gear that Beyer had available to him. Nothing new had been invented between the FA and SA. On the first pitch I naturally hooked past at least half of Beyer's trenched heads. He could have had a rad A5 pitch off the deck, but he so trenched it out that it was about A3 even with my hooking to bypass many of his trenches. That first pitch was when we first started to realize that the route might be a hype-job all the way up, which it was.

It was, in that day, probably harder than any climb in Yosemite.

Totally unsupported hubris. Beyer had done very little on El Cap at the point of his FA of Intifada. My recollection is that the Climbing Magazine articles mentioned two routes, neither of which was rated A5. I remember Mark and I thinking as we were prepping for Intifada, "If Climbing it so be believed, he's never done any El Cap A5, so how can he claim A6?" That question proved to be prescient.

Wings of Steel (an earlier route than Intifada) was far, far harder than Intifada, as is now widely recognized. Of course, Beyer hadn't done that, so he has no basis of comparison. We found the fifth ascent of the Sea of Dreams, as just another example I'm familiar with, to be far, far harder (and more sustained) than anything on Intifada.

It's easy to think you're doing the "hardest" stuff when you almost entirely solo new routes and do very few comparison routes.

Check out my latest route, Lone Wolf, on the Titan. It is modern A6.

We have no reason to believe that rating. Beyer also traditionally doesn't produce or publish topos, so we have no way to know where this new "A6" goes nor any details of it. So, how are we supposed to "check out" this route?

Let Beyer publish a traditional, detailed topo with gear list, and we'll give it a go.

Until then, perhaps Beyer would like to provide for us all here a rigorous definition of what "modern A6" would even mean!

Any climber who does not trench heads has never done a hard El Cap route.

That sort of ridiculous (and false) statement is why Beyer can't be taken seriously, "ultimate aid master" or no. I mean, that statement is ridiculous on the face of it.

As just one example, I would say that Steve Grossman has done a "hard El Cap route" or two. He flatly denies ever trenching a head, and I believe him. Our differences aside, I do respect Steve as a climber. To say that he's never done anything "hard" is patently ridiculous.

Nail every pitch!

Why? More ridiculousness.

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