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Pin on New Wave Direct: To Replace or Not to Replace?
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By Andy Bennett
From Tucson, AZ
May 15, 2014
I've been compiling a list of bolts in need of replacement on Mt Lemmon and nearby areas and I was reminded of the old pin on New Wave Direct. I know it has taken its share of whippers over the years and it may still be fine, but who knows. I have a few spare ASCA bolts and hangers and was considering replacing the pin with one. There has been some discussion of respacing the bolts, highway construction debris modifying the climb, etc. I wanted to get the community's opinion on this. I will be asking Ray Ringle (FA) as well.

mountainproject.com/v/new-wave...

Thanks for your input,

-Andy

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By Clay Mansfield
May 16, 2014
Hey Andy,

Maybe a bit off topic:

I've never been on it, but maybe you should check if there's any manky hardware on "The Cost of Glory" down near Turret Rock. If that was upgraded with good steel, it could open up a testpiece for some hearty souls. Then again it could be a total turd, I have no idea. Thanks for all the work.

Your brother in chossy, shit-show adventures,

Clay

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By Eric Sophiea
May 16, 2014
Licking the cat with googly-eyes.
Thanks for being so thoughtful about this, Andy! Last time I was climbing on New Wave Wall, I looked longingly at the New Wave Direct line. I'll admit, that I would be hesitant to fall on that pin and that's part of what kept me off of the climb. That said, I don't personally need the climb to be made more pedestrian just so that cry-babies like me can get on it without being scared.

I'm curious if you (or anyone) thinks the crack that the pin is in could be protected with modern micro-cams? I've seen a few other climbs that used to have a fixed pin and when the pin finally came out, it was not replaced with a bolt because modern removable gear can now protect the scar and/or crack. Chiboni on Rappel Rock is an example (used to have a pin under that roof). mountainproject.com/v/chiboni/...

That's just a thought: Maybe the pin can go and no bolt is needed (for you hard-men out there).

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By "Canada" Eric Ruljancich
From Tucson, AZ / Vancouver, BC
May 16, 2014
Mt Gimli, Valhallas, BC, Canada
I feel that pin should be replaced. It looks OK, but pins are deceptive and are often weaker than expected. I see no reason not to replace it.

I have already asked Ray, and he is fine with it. Let me know when you want to go out and I will help with the replacement.

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By Alex McIntyre
From Tucson, AZ
May 16, 2014
I agree that the pin should be replaced. David and I almost did it when we were at New Wave last but weren't sure if we should move the first two bolts around to make them work better in the absence of the pin as proposed by jbak on the route description. That pin is old and I would suspect beginning to get dangerous.

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By Matt Kuehl
From the desert
May 16, 2014
Plumbers Crack
Removing a pin and drilling a bolt near by is not "replacing" the pin. Thats drilling a bolt where there was none before. Why not pull the old pin and place a modern one in it's place? That way it gets an upgrade but the route would still retain some of its original value.

Quoted from the ASCA website… "We do not add bolts to make climbs "safer." Climbing is inherently extremely dangerous."

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By Andy Bennett
From Tucson, AZ
May 16, 2014
Yeah, I hear what you're saying Matt. But you neglected to include the beginning of ASCA's statement:

The ASCA returns classic climbing routes to their original danger level by replacing deteriorating old fixed anchors, usually bolts, with modern camouflaged gear.

Now, I didn't jump on that pin 25-30 years ago to test its "danger level", so I can't say anything about that. I also don't know what the practices are up in Vegas, but in these parts it is a fairly common practice to replace old pins with new bolts-especially on very popular climbs, and that's why I suggested replacing it.

Now we're also getting into the whole "is it a "trad" route or a "sport" route and what do we about that?" debate...do we leave one gear placement on an otherwise all-bolted route? Do we replace the pin with a bolt? Or do we replace the pin with a new pin?

Thanks for the feedback and thoughtful conversation all. What else?

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By Andy Bennett
From Tucson, AZ
May 16, 2014
Yes Eric, it's interesting to note that this route was originally a gear route...I'll just throw that into the pot too...I don't know if the pin scar will take gear if/once it's exposed, but there are some gear placements nearby...Chiboni is basically a terror fest for most leaders, while New Wave hasn't been that for a while now

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By NickMartel
From Tucson, Arizona
May 16, 2014
I also have mixed feeling about replacing pins with bolts. In terms of conforming to the mental aspects of the FA then go for it. The day the pin was placed it was as solid as a bolt and the FAsentionist knew that, so replacing it does not change the "danger" or mental aspect as compared to the FA. However, in the time since the FA many people have repeated it with the pin in varying condition from Probably bomber to suspect so it is really the people who repeated it when the pin was on the "suspect" side of the spectrum who's accomplishment would possibly be degraded depending on their opinion on the matter. If you are going to replace it with a bolt then I would leave the pin in place both for history's sake and so that people have the option of clipping the bolt or skipping it and clipping the pin.

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By Eric Sophiea
May 17, 2014
Licking the cat with googly-eyes.
Ha ha ha! Just stumbled on this from facebook.com/AccidentsInNorthA...

"The failure of fixed pitons has led to numerous accidents, including these incidents reported from Ontario (bit.ly/1d4QxxH), Washington (bit.ly/1ds8aZj), and Grand Teton National Park (bit.ly/1b3btlr). Even new pitons are often less trustworthy than you might expect, according to an excellent study reported recently by the BMC. Among other conclusions, the study said it's a myth that you should drive a pin only until the rising ringing sound stops. "The maximum pull-out resistance was achieved when pegs were 'beaten to death'; either because we just couldn’t hit them any harder or they started to collapse," the report said. The study also concluded that only the leader who places a piton has any idea if it's good—all fixed pitons should be backed up! Read the full BMC story here: thebmc.co.uk/is-there-a-future...

thebmc.co.uk/is-there-a-future...

Not a favorable vote to put a new pin in place of the old one...

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By Jimbo
May 18, 2014
Lets take out the old pin, bang in a new bigger one, then pretty soon we'll have a finger lock.

Pins were never as good as a bolt. But when the pin was new at least one could assume it was relatively safe. 15 years of rain and snow later, not so much.

I always like to use The Yellow Spur in Eldo as a prime example of how silly it is to insist on leaving the old pins in. On the crux pitch there are 8 or 9 pins all in a row. Most don't look very solid so you clip them all hoping when a few zipper the others will eventually hold. They could replace that rusty line of pins with four camouflaged bolts and the climb would benefit in safety and in aesthetics.

I say replace the pin Andy. Just do a good job painting the new bolt.

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By David Adams
May 18, 2014
Trapezoid at the Beaver Wall  photo by Ryan James
Hey Andy, the way I see it there are two ways to go about this. The first being you could funk the pin out and place a new bolt in relatively the same area and the second being that you could do what Jbak and Alex proposed in again pulling the pin but also the first two bolts, moving them up and making the first bolt more useful for catching a fall. I do however think that if somebody has business being on the route, it is unlikely that they will fall in that first section. However it would be nice to have peace of mind because there is always a possibility of coming off for absolutely no reason. I know that the ASCA designates bolts for replacement and not so much for moving bolts that are not in suitable locations so I would be happy to donate a couple of stainless five pieces to the route if you decide to move the first two bolts up. Either way I am psyched that you are as psyched as I am on replacing mank and suspect hardware.

Keep fighting the good fight

-David

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By CJC
May 18, 2014
Andy Bennett wrote:
I have a few spare ASCA bolts and hangers and was considering replacing the pin with one.


A pin is not a bolt. It's not your (or anyone's) place to sanitize our crags.

Andy Bennett wrote:
I will be asking Ray Ringle (FA) as well


This is a good place to start. But even if he does give his approval, please recognize you will be altering the character of this route.

Thanks for the bolt replacement you're doing and for reaching out to the community for input. If you search the forums here I'm sure you'll find lots of pertinent discussion.

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
May 18, 2014
Matt Kuehl wrote:
Removing a pin and drilling a bolt near by is not "replacing" the pin. Thats drilling a bolt where there was none before. Why not pull the old pin and place a modern one in it's place? That way it gets an upgrade but the route would still retain some of its original value. Quoted from the ASCA website… "We do not add bolts to make climbs "safer." Climbing is inherently extremely dangerous."


I think your rhetorical question is actually a really good non-rhetorical question: replacing pins is lame because pins weather and degrade in ways that are extremely hard to predict, and might not even be that good to begin with. The experience of the first ascentionist using a pin is totally different than everyone else, because he/she KNOWS (if he/she knows how to place pins) exactly how good the pin is. Properly place a bolt using quality hardware, and it'll be a known quantity for a really long time. Place a pin, and it will be a mystery time bomb until the next time someone decides to have this discussion.

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By David Adams
May 18, 2014
Trapezoid at the Beaver Wall  photo by Ryan James
At risk of starting a completely arbitrary comment war about ethics here are my thoughts. Pins are a means of protection best left in the past. While they add character to old routes they are time bombs I don't care what some may say. There is no way of checking their condition and they have often been in place for decades. While I respect the feats of climbers before me, it is ultimately the future generations that will be climbing Mt. Lemmons routes in years to come. Who are any of us to leave something potentially unsafe for them to climb on ten or twenty years down the road. To my knowledge, Suzuki freed this route on gear back in the day. Does that mean that we should chop all the bolts on this classic? What of people who free solo routes? Does this mean that we should negate gear or bolts altogether on future ascents for it to mean something? Again I am not trying to start an argument I am merely pointing out that climbing is meant to be fun and people should do what makes them happy. Furthermore both Ray Ringle and Mike Head are awesome dudes who are totally open to having hardware upgraded on climbs that they have put up. It is not like Andy wants to place a bolt on an exclusively traditionally protected route. This route and the whole wall for that matter is covered in bolts and I think that it is completely within his rights as a climber to replace the pin and make this route safe to climb for the next 50 or 100 years. To put an end to any question of ethics Andy, I would contact Ray. I am completely sure that he will have no problem with your upgrade. It takes thick skin to do any kind of route development or upgrading. There will always be somebody who wants to give you flack but the best thing that you can do is again just try to have fun because ultimately that's what climbing is.

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By cieneguita
May 18, 2014
David-

Sounds like you have stood and fallen on hundreds of pin placements and know what you are speaking about.



right?



Does modern clean gear fit?

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By Hendrixson
Administrator
From Tucson, AZ
May 18, 2014
Enjoying 'Ground Affects'.
My vote is for the pin to be replaced. I would also move the bolt (first or second) which causes the draw to hang over the hold. I would not respace the bolts.

I have given the line multiple attempts.

Thanks Andy.

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By Alex McIntyre
From Tucson, AZ
May 19, 2014
I think an important point that many, especially the non-locals commenting in this thread, have missed is that this is a well-established sport route in a sport climbing area. It's also important to note that, while the first bolt now does little to nothing to protect the leader, it wasn't always that way. Highway construction resulted in a bunch of rock being dumped into the gully that forms the base of New Wave Wall, raising the start of the route several feet and making the first bolt more or less irrelevant. According to Eric Rhicard on the New Wave Wall area page, New Wave (not direct) used to go on gear and drilled pins, not just gear as some have said. One last thought of mine is that the pin will likely break during any removal process- the crack it is in is very thin and irregular, and it is quite old and rusty. From what I remember about the climb, it is very unlikely the pin, if successfully removed, will yield any sort of viable clean gear placement or even another pin placement. As noted above I recall the pin being of the drilled variety, but I could be wrong. I've already stated my preference for moving the bolts to more reasonable places and replacing the pin (or rendering it unnecessary by moving the first two bolts), so I'm not going to jump more into this debate other than provide some context that I think has been missed by some.

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By Eric Sophiea
May 19, 2014
Licking the cat with googly-eyes.
Yeah, but did the highway construction company consult the FA party before raising the start of the climb? Maybe we should dig out the many tons of rock that are piled at the base of New Wave Wall and get those first moves back on Holey Moley, NWD, Tsunami, and the others. Maybe some out of town climbers that have never climbed here and are chiming in can come help!

Sorry for the snark. I usually try not to use sarcasm on these threads... My point is simply that we, in Tucson, are fully aware of the ethics of not changing climbs by adding bolts where none existed. Andy is not the kind of person to "sanitize" any climb. He is posing this question because it's not a clear-cut situation. Things change. Holds break. Cracks get bigger. Boulders rip out. As Alex described: this climb has changed since it was first done. Not everything is "black and white" so please don't start ranting about how something should never be done.

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By Gregger Man
May 19, 2014
gg
I found out that folks are sometimes very sentimental about clipping old pins. If you are in the right mental state the pin will not only protect your fall, it will transport you through time. Good luck, and thank you for the hard work.

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By David Adams
May 21, 2014
Trapezoid at the Beaver Wall  photo by Ryan James
Talked to Ray Ringle today and for the record he is fine with the pin being replaced. He in fact laughed and said that he thought that it had already been replaced years ago.

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
May 23, 2014
David Adams wrote:
Talked to Ray Ringle today and for the record he is fine with the pin being replaced. He in fact laughed and said that he thought that it had already been replaced years ago.

Just curious, did you talk about replacing the pin with a bolt, and if so, what was his take on that?

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By "Canada" Eric Ruljancich
From Tucson, AZ / Vancouver, BC
May 23, 2014
Mt Gimli, Valhallas, BC, Canada
I talked to Ray months ago about this. He is totally fine with the pin being replaced by a bolt. Case closed.

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By David Adams
May 23, 2014
Trapezoid at the Beaver Wall  photo by Ryan James
Yeah he was fine with the bolt. He said in the future to not even bother asking about upgrades on any routes that he fa'd because he doesnt care.

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