BETA PHOTO: Mass Murder Wall 1 ex-Albert Fish's Hot Dog Stand ...
This west-facing limestone wall has one bolted sport route, and two “ex-routes”. On the two former routes the studs are still in the rock but the hangers, washers, and nuts are gone.
The wall looks fairly different from most of the rest of the Rock Canyon limestone in that the whole wall has white inclusions among the more common gray limestone. The rock is fairly suspect; the entire wall looks like it is exfoliating.
Located on the north side of the canyon after an approximately 20 minute walk from the parking lot.
About 150 to 200 feet after the third bridge there is a rock outcropping on the left that meets the trail. Follow a trail that leads uphill (north) on the west side of this outcropping another 200 feet or so to Mass Murder Wall.
Two of the routes on Mass Murder Wall that appear in the Ruckman Guide are missing all of their hangers, although the wedge bolts are all there. Although I can’t tell you why they originally disappeared, I can tell you why they weren’t replaced.
I had bought hangers, washers, and nuts with the intention of replacing the missing hardware on the routes. In the early afternoon I dragged myself up the steep, loose gully to the east of the crag and so up and around to the top of the wall. I spent a fair amount of time deciding on the best way to safely get to the top of the routes (the anchors are not easily accessible from the top). In the end, I scrambled down some loose and scary stuff to a somewhat precarious perch about ten feet above the chains and put in a couple of work bolts and hangers. I then rapped down to the chains.
Unfortunately my 150' static rope was about ten feet short of the ground when doubled over, so I pulled it from the work bolts and fixed it to the chains. I started to rap down to get rid of some weight and also to rest (I had about 30 lbs of re-bolting gear with me, in addition to the replacement hangers). Looking up at the rusty old chains I thought, “Those look kind of scary; I think I’ll replace them with the double-ring anchors I brought along just in case”. So, I jugged the twenty feet back up and put in a new, stainless steel, double-ring anchor. I then replaced one of the old chains with another new anchor and removed the other old chain. (After examining the removed bolts, it turns out both chains probably would have been fine for another twenty years).
Finally I rapped to the ground, rested a bit and drank my water (it was hot in the sun). I left the drill, backpack, and extra bolts at the bottom to get rid of some weight, and started jugging back up with the intention of replacing the hangers.
About a year and half earlier, when I’d first mentioned replacing the hangers to Darren Knezek, he had said that he remembered one of the bolts on the .10a was in a scary, detached-looking block and that it probably ought to be moved. So on my way up, I found the bolt he was talking about and banged on the rock around it with my hammer. Definitely hollow sounding and not somewhere I’d want to put a bolt.
So, I started banging around, looking for some solid rock. I kept banging and banging, and, as it happens, the entire middle section of both of those routes reverberates like a drum head. In fact, the majority of the rock on those routes is hollow-sounding, from just above the first bolt until just below the anchors.
I hung and pondered for a minute. I decided that I just didn’t want to be responsible for re-equipping that scary pile of choss. Perhaps whoever swiped the hangers in the first place knew what they were doing.
To make an already long story short(er), in the now-early evening, I jugged up, unfixed my rope, rapped down, dragged my by-now-dehydrated and sorry carcass back around to the top, retrieved my new, expensive, stainless steel anchors, my work bolt hangers, and gave up.
Ah yes...when the bolting bug bites...it can leave quite a trail of blood eh Perin. We have been there my friend. We have been there. There are 2 sets of chains lower down in the canyon that we have not goten back yet because we were too lazy to go get back on top again. We will eventually, but boy, sometimes you gotta wonder why we keep doing all the work!