Jeremy - The bolted route to the right? That was the line of the 2nd ascent. I'm not sure why it was bolted. I would guess by Sketchy Andy to put up a slackline off of the Dragon's Tail. It seems like he's been bolt crazy there lately, especially with his Cottontail-Echo project. Here's a link that refers to a bolt-ladder that was established for a slackline project. She calls it the "Queenfisher" although it is on the Dragon's Tail. I guess he didn't want to climb the established A3 route on it so he just bolted upward it seems.
Who owns that tower? If Darren wants to put up a new line, good for him! That is progress. How cool would that be to get the first free ascent of a big tower. If you don't like the bolts there, don't use them! In 30 years from now, they will be historic just like the ones that were first hammered in. Where were we then to tell them to take those bolts out. If it wasn't for someone deciding to put bolts in, none of these routes would be there. And if it's the thought of having another route up that tower, why not take down all the other routes. Routes are put up to climb something new; something that no one has climbed before. Good for Darren. I'm glad that he is putting up more routes, using his time and money, to try to free the last big tower out there.
"Darren retro-bolted the line of second ascent (the second ascent team of the Kingfisher went up that gully with NO bolts eh). "
Jeremy, you are mistaken. Bill Forrest's route is about 40 feet to the right of this line. Take Crusher's photo of Bill Forrest on the 2nd ascent and you will see his line starting further up the wall. I haven't added any bolts to anyone's routes in the Fishers. Period. Darren
Its been years since I climbed the King Fisher. Without seeing the line in person, I am forced to hold my opinion. However, if this is a photo of a bolt ladder to facilitate a quick and easy ascent for slackliners and/or base jumpers I must say that it would be sad. Harvey Carter drilled a ton of bolts on the Colorado NE Ridge aka the Colorado Bolt ladder which is to the left. That route is easy enough that anybody with a little aid climbing experience can eek their way up, therfore a bolt ladder parallel to it would not be justified. I'll be in the Fishers this January perhaps I'll be able to look a little closer at this.
One thing that I find interesting is that "glue-ins" are really expensive. Whoever put these in took the time and money because they plan on repeating it or people repeating it many times. I may be jumping to conclusions, but when guide companies use certain routes or buttresses for their businesses, they tend to may a route or replace anchors on existing routes with very bomber and uniform equipment to try to minimize risk. This may be the case, this may not be the case
I still stand behind my statement. If it is an access highway...I think it would be lame. If it is not......perhaps there is a good reason for it. The word "if" is important. I may be jumping to conclusions but who gives a crap about all of that. I see a photo of a bunch of glue-ins in the FIshers being questioned by some of the most prominent figures in Fisher tower climbing. After all the new anchors that are sprouting up for the energy drink crowd, how can one not jump to conclusions?
Thanks for the video Office space is one of my favorite shows!
It is a damn shame that someone thinks it is appropriate to drill a bolt ladder to get to the top of a tower, particularly if it is for slack-lining or jumping. The Fishers are, and should remain, a place to go when one wants to experience the thrill of pushing their own limits, whether aid or free. Many of us who post on this site have spent a long time honing skills on Cutler. It takes a long time to develop that skill; and in the Fishers in particular it is hard earned. There is a long list of very strong climbers who have put up first ascents in the Fishers. To see their vision bastardized by this kind of crap is pretty infuriating. The only thing routes like this do is prove that the climbing community is being increasingly overrun limp weiners who don't take the time to really climb in an area before whipping out the drill. Everyone makes mistakes, no doubt. Hopefully it was just someone who learned how to drill, and went haywire. I sincerly hope that someone who has actually spent time in this beautiful and unique climbing area would have the decency and intelligence to avoid this atrocity. What is especially frustrating, which other posters have alluded to, is that there is a bolt ladder right next to this route. Whether adding a bolt clipping fest up a tower, or adding in new bolts to established routes; this needs to stop. Replacing old hardware is one thing, adding bolts on established lines where there were none, or putting up new entirely bolted lines is another. If any of the aforementioned limp weiners have a problem with this, I am easy to get in contact with.
Jeremy, In answer to your question... I think that your wobbler was unwarranted. I have climbed in the Fishers since the early 80's. There have been routes established fairly close to other routes for years. The finger of fate has a route 20 feet to the right, there's another one 20 or 30 feet to the right again. So on and so on all the way around the tower. This route is 20 feet to the right of Colorado NE Ridge, there's another one 30 feet to the right. You established a route 20 feet to the left of Death of American Democracy and a guy from Spain established one 20 feet to the right. I can't imagine that you guys think that they are too close since you have established routes in the same distance. Must be the bolts (glue-ins). Once again, you have placed more bolts in The Fishers than almost anyone in history only exceeded by perhaps Carter. I would imagine that you have placed over 100 by now. You have bolt ladders on your climbs as well. On Gimp Warfare you have over 15 bolts going from pitch 4 to pitch 5 and then 13 more on the next pitch. If this guy has 10 bolts and anchors on one pitch it doesn't seem excessive to me compared to other routes there. Plus, we all put in a ton of pitons when we put up or repeat a route in the Fishers, that isn't a trade or clean route. It's incredibly destructive and it's foolish to think that it is less destructive than a bolt line. All the older routes have huge holes all the way up the route, much more of an eyesore to me. Nowadays everyone seems to be placing peckers. Racks of 30 or more peckers. Some of these are being pounded straight into the wall! I read, "this guy pounded his straight into the wall." But, "I only place them in the softer rock or barely noticeable seams." Once I see 30 more more peckers on someone's gear list, I lose interest... Too much destruction to the wall in my opinion. A read that a guy from California put in over 100 new bolts on an established route on the Titan by the couple from Spain and you guys aren't bitching about that. Instead you applauded the guy on Supertopo. Perhaps that action would be a more appropriate target.
It seems like a few people have climbed this route (bolt ladder-your words) and that it goes free. Maybe even 5.10. A pretty sweet alternative to me than an aid bolt ladder.
The glue-ins aren't painted. Seems like an easy fix to me. I bet that Andy or Darren wouldn't mind painting them the next time they are up there. Hell... the next time I'm up there I'll do it.
At the risk of getting my head taken off, I'm gonna chime in with a few thoughts:
1. Unless you really don't know what you are doing, glue in bolts are placed from above... not on lead. To me this indicates someone was probably trying to make this a free climb, top down. Or they didn't know what they were doing.
2. Whoever put this route up likely didn't know how to place said bolts. They appear to not be countersunk, and all fixe glue ins should be counter sunk. This may indicate that statement 1 is wrong and they actually did it on lead, assuming waiting 4 minutes as each bolt gets a little cured is ok.
3. The machismo of having climbed D.o.A.D., or any other hard route, is not destroyed by another route. Perhaps one could argue that an ascent of the the Kingfisher is no longer impressive due to bolts, but that was done on the F.A. of the tower. If you feel your ascent of the Kingfisher is harder, and you need that for self esteem (I'm fine with that...its why we keep score), then point out HOW you climbed the Kingfisher and the rest of us can be impressed (seriously, I am by any ascent of A4 in the Fishers). But this bolt line has not suddenly made all climbing in the area "dickless". Different routes get different levels of respect.
4. Bolts are historically the most common form of protection in the Fishers. This is nothing new. And honestly, in the long run noting how many climbers there are in the world, they may be the best for the resource. Yes, the art of aid is killed by bolts, but its a quick death. The art of aid is also killed by pitons, its just a death by a thousand cuts.
5. I respect all your opinions. I do honestly worry about the way the slack lining group approaches things because of access. Leaving lines up for weeks and putting in anchor clusters that are huge (over half a dozen bolts in some spots) and aren't camo'd could have an effect access. Land managers want to group climbers and base jumpers and slack liners and canyoneers together... it could be a problem in the long run. But, there isn't much we can do about it other than ask them to take down their stuff when they are done.
1. I agree, the glue-in thing is pretty weird. Which is one of the aspects of this that concerns me. If it is someone putting up a free line, so be it. However, just to be clear guys like Stevie Haston managed to go in and free super classic lines, but did so without putting in a sport climb, nor adding new bolts to the established routes(where there weren't bolts before). If someone is coming in, and thinks it is ok to just go throw up a bolt ladder because it has been done before, I don't think that an ethos like that is what we want to promote in the Fishers. Ancient Art is bolted, and is super classic. That is awesome, and it is a sweet line, so many people have derived joy and memories from that climb. But I for one certainly hope the Fishers don't become a sport climbing destination where folks feel it is ok to put up completely bolted free climbs. There are plenty of sweet lines out there that have been aided before just waiting for strong free crushers to climb in style. And I hope they do because that is inspiring.
2. I agree.
3. I don't think that machismo was what I was trying to get at. Part of the fun of the Fishers is the challenge that it takes to get good at climbing here. I would bet that every single one of us who climbs in the Fishers has gotten our ass handed to us on any number of routes. I know I have. I have had to back down due to weather, not enough skill, or just plain crap in your pants fear. That is what makes it so fun; that one can still fail, and in doing so, get better. Everyone who climbs here has been humbled at some point, gauranteed.
As everyone has mentioned, there are tons of bolted lines in the Fishers. CO NE ridge, North Chimney on Echo, FofF etc. And even though they are are bolted lines, they are still very challenging when you are climbing at that grade. I wouldn't ever want to take that away from anyone. When I first climbed Colorado NE ridge, it was the hardest thing I could comprehend getting up. It is an achievement. I think if you ask anyone that I climb with, I am super pumped for people to get up any route in the Fishers, and that machismo and ego have little to do anymore with why I climb. But, that doesn't mean that we need more bolted lines sprouting up all over the place. It is one thing to link natural features. It is another to bolt up a blank face. Listen, if this becomes a super swanky free climb, great. But what I really worry about, particularly given how popular the Fishers are becoming, is that we are going to have this become a more and more frequent problem. The guys and girls who climb here regularly look at the Fishers as the gem it is. But I can tell you that not everyone who is climbing today sees it that way. I don't think that this should be looked at as a place to go put up your first bolt ladder or brand new 5.10 sport climb, just because the rock is shitty and no one will care. What I am trying to get across, is that there are those of us that DO care, and that we believe that this is a special place.
I agree, hammering destroys the rock, as does cleaning off the mud. However, if a hammered route over time becomes a sweet clean aid line, like sundevil or west side story, then not all is lost. And to be honest, 15 years down the road I wouldn't be surprised if routes like DoD go clean, which will be really rad. There are a number of guys who are silently starting to push the limits of clean aid.
4. Again, I agree, bolts are a necessary form of protection in the Fishers. I certainly applaud all the effort that has gone into re-fitting many of the routes, particularly the trade routes. However, what we are discussing is not replacing anchors, or old lead bolts. And I also agree, if there is a series of trenched heads versus a line of bolts, most of us would agree that head trenching is no longer a good way to put up a new route out here. But linking or getting to natural features, and drilling a new line which appears to be solely a bolt ladder are two different beasts.
5. Sam, I agree. And out of all the places I climb, I hold the fellow mud climbers in the highest regard. From the person that just climbed Ancient Art for the first time, to the group that takes a week to get up the Titan, to people pushing the limits. I have met some of my best friends climbing out here. That is why I think it IS important to make sure that people who are climbing out here understand that we don't think it is appropriate to be drilling glue-in bolt ladders in this place that we all like to climb at so much. What is so cool about climbing out here is that it isn't easy to get to the top of all the towers. It takes time, but, with enough patience and time even mediocre climbers like myself can build up enough skill to finally get to the top. I just don't want a new ethos to take that journey away from other people, because it has been one of the greatest highlights of my life to come out here, fail more than once, and then finally get to the top. I am sure in the not so distant future, we are going to have to start dealing with access/regulations climbing here. The more we do to self-regulate, I think the better are chances are of getting the freedom we want later on. These are public lands, no doubt. Everyone should have the freedom to enjoy public lands. As climbers, I just think we do it in a way that isn't going to hamstring us down the road.
Dbrown. You should read the AAJ this year. I think that several of the people who have posted here have made it very explicit how they feel about the Spaniards.
I established these two pitches ground up for an all free ascent of The Kingfisher. The first pitch went at 5.10 and the second at 5.11, maybe .11+. Evidently Andy went up the first pitch and put up his own pitch to the top of Dragontail. I don't know anything about his route. I'm at the airport leaving for Mexico for a week of climbing volcanos. So, if you have more questions, I'm not ignoring you, I won't have internet access for said week.