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Double Cross Discussion


Original Post
Locker · · Yucca Valley, CA · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 2,269
This post was originally a comment in Double Cross

Get this... YEsterday, I was told by one of our very own Rangers, that there have been up to five deaths per year on Doule Cross... When I tried to explain that those figures were simply not true, she/he stated that due to being a "Ranger" for the NPS, that I did not know what I was talking about. Well it got me thinking... Is it even possible that I am wrong??? I read Randys info from 2004 and see that nowhere does it state there have been ........ so on and so on... So I ask once more, for total clarification (I am pretty sure I already know the answer), what are the stats on Double Cross??? I was also "TOLD" that Double Cross has had more deaths/accidents than any other route in the USA... And yes, I was told by the same NPS Jtree ranger... Chris, Randy anyone???...HELP!!!...
Klimbien · · St.George Orem Denver Vegas · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 480

As the the original post queries....how many deaths does the route have?? any good guestimates or approximation's?

Russ Walling · · Overlord @ FishProducts · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 3,426
Klimbien wrote:As the the original post queries....how many deaths does the route have?? any good guestimates or approximation's?
I've heard the total amount of victims could be stacked like cordwood at the base..... It appears to be quite the widow_maker.
Jesse Davidson · · san diego, ca · Joined May 2007 · Points: 45

how about when you enter the park you have to sign something acknowledging the fact that Josh 5.7 isn't the same as your gym's 5.7?

Eric D · · Gnarnia · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 230

You old timers have more of a say than I do. But, I see the basic problem here being that newbies believe that all climbs in a guidebook will be well-protected and "safe." Sure, adding a bolt on the slab will keep some climbers from decking but that does not address the basic problem. Better protection will continue the myth that all climbs in a book are "safe," thus setting them up for failure in the future.

As discussed, a note in the new guidebook will help educate new climbers in a long-term way. A bolt makes DC safer but does no long-term favor to new trad climbers. The goal should be to have climbers learn to say "that's over my head, I need to do something else." It's a hard thing to say, but important. I said it just last weekend for the first time in years on Pitch 3 of Jabberwock in Cochise Stronghold.

Bryan G · · Yosemite · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 5,036
Eric D wrote:...But, I see the basic problem here being that newbies believe that all climbs in a guidebook will be well-protected and "safe."
No, the problem is that Double Cross is well-protected and safe, but people get hurt anyways. The slab is easy and not even that tall, and before the crux is a comfortable stance with enough bomber gear to hang a SUV off of.

I remember a couple years ago I had just learned how to place gear over the summer up in Yosemite and I was all ready for my first season of trad climbing in Joshua Tree. I wanted to do Double Cross but it had that infamous reputation, and I had probably only a dozen trad leads under my belt. Dogleg, the 5.8 just to the left ended up being my first trad lead in Josh. When I finally did DC a few weekends later I was baffled, it's not only easier than Dogleg, but the gear is more straightforward too.

But I do agree that if it's not Double Cross that gets them, it's just going to be something else. Placing a bolt at the crux will probably only increase the number of accidents on less popular campground moderates like Buissonier's and The Flake. So I guess the real problem is that people who don't know to handjam and don't know how to place gear are attempting to do so, on lead. Double Cross just happens to be the first climb they get in line for.
Drewsky · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 1,090

The bottom line here, as has been stated in fits and starts above, is this:

-Climbing is never 'safe'. Double Cross, despite being a popular, highly accessible, moderate climb, is also not 'safe'.

-Of two 'identical' roads, the one with more traffic will see more accidents than the other; neither is 'safe'. As stated by Randy, the number of accidents per climber is probably the same with respect to Double Cross as it is to many other routes in the park.

-Bolted climbs are not 'safe' because they are also rock climbs. Leaders have died during short sport climbing falls due to inexperienced belayers, bad rope management (feet behind the rope while falling), etc.

-The NPS knows perfectly well that climbing isn't 'safe'. Neither is backcountry hiking. Neither is stopping at the gas station on your way through Yucca Valley during a meth-induced shooting spree. Neither is...ad nauseum, ad infinitum. If the NPS really wants to restrict climbing, it will do so regardless and will find the excuse(s) necessary.

So what's the issue here? The first ascentionists aren't responsible for your own relative personal 'safety' on any climb: YOU are responsible for your own highly relative, highly subjective personal 'safety' during your whole life, including the time when, as a totally green young whippersnapper of a traditional climber, you step up to Double Cross as your first traditional lead due to its moderate reputation and proceed to get your ass handed to you properly! Few will wish you pain during your humbling experience, but you have to realize that simply by stepping out of your door, you are tacitly and/or explicitly accepting both the fact that life is NOT 'SAFE' and the fact that if you choose to participate in activities that are potentially even less 'safe' than life in general, you are even more responsible for your own 'safety'!

Ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

Locker · · Yucca Valley, CA · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 2,269

the two bolts at the start of "Double Cross" have again been replaced!!!...

PLEASE don't CHOP them!!!...

Adam Kimmerly · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2005 · Points: 355
Locker wrote:the two bolts at the start of "Double Cross" have again been replaced!!!... PLEASE don't CHOP them!!!...
It's about time! I've bailed from the route multiple times now due to inadequate protection at the start. Thank you for taking a stand against the snobbish elitism that has kept this thing a dangerous route for so long. Now the rest of the climbing community can safely enjoy taking the sharp end on this one.
Alex Whitman · · Chattanooga · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 276
Adam Kimmerly wrote: It's about time! I've bailed from the route multiple times now due to inadequate protection at the start. Thank you for taking a stand against the snobbish elitism that has kept this thing a dangerous route for so long. Now the rest of the climbing community can safely enjoy taking the sharp end on this one.
I think I just vomited in my mouth a little bit. It has been established that this route is not dangerous, it is just gangbanged by gummbies all day long. The law of large numbers tells us that eventually someone is going to make a mistake and get hurt. Place good gear and keep two pieces between you and the hospital, enough said.
J.B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 150
Jesse Davidson wrote:how about when you enter the park you have to sign something acknowledging the fact that Josh 5.7 isn't the same as your gym's 5.7?
Or any 5.7 anywhere else for that matter!

I feel as long as there is a warning that there are a high number of accidents on Double Cross, that would give the inexperienced leader a chance to re-think the idea of leading it. Something like Inexperience+Double Cross+Gravity=BAD
caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,450
Alex Whitman wrote: I think I just vomited in my mouth a little bit. It has been established that this route is not dangerous, it is just gangbanged by gummbies all day long. The law of large numbers tells us that eventually someone is going to make a mistake and get hurt. Place good gear and keep two pieces between you and the hospital, enough said.
Oh yeah? Your blatant elitism made me vomit in my mouth a little bit! How many broken bones will it take before you are happy?
Ryan Kelly · · work. · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 2,970

You really shouldn't have posted this on here Locker. Murf has an account here, so I'd assume he reads it on occasion. Word on the slabs is that he's the one that chopped the Big Moe anchors. He's probably headed out to DC right now.

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,450
Alex Whitman wrote: Infinite bones. This is not elitism, this is respect for the rock. It was here way longer humans and will be here long after we have overpopulated ourselves into extinction. Climb the rock as it is, place bolts where you don't have the huevos to do without and stay the fuck away from climbs that have been established bolt free. This is not a matter of safety, this is matter of respect. Can't climb it as it has been climbed for decades? Leave it alone, go Z-clip somewhere else. Can't take responsibilty for your own well being? Go back to The Spot and sue them when you twist your ankle. Remember bolts are forever.
The rock doesn't care if it has bolts or not you dirty idiot hippy!
Ryan Kelly · · work. · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 2,970
Alex Whitman wrote: I ride the bus. With a coexist tattoo.
With inks made from Elderberry and Beetroot?
Choss Chasin' · · Torrance, CA · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 25

I don't care either way about double cross re-bolting I haven't led it yet and probably won't for a while cause it is always gangbanged. However what really pisses me off are these bolt chopping wars. I totally agree that when natural protection is available bolts should not be placed. What I despise seeing atop and on climbs are the remnants of these bolt wars. Choppers get all pissed that some one put a bolt somewhere and they go out and remove said bolt. Next week it gets re-bolted. Week after chopped again. Now I have to look at your ugly ass ethics debate etched forever into what was once a beautiful piece of rock. You choppers are doing just as much damage to the rock as the guy putting in bolts. Unless your painstakingly gluing over and covering the old bolt with perfectly matching rock dust think REAL HARD before you chop something. Having ethics is nice but thinking that your removing an eyesore by creating another is downright foolish.

Phil Lauffen · · Innsbruck, AT · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 2,937
caughtinside wrote: The rock doesn't care if it has bolts or not you dirty idiot hippy!

True. But with the flatirons and eldo in your backyard you should realize that bolts can have impact on access.
camhead · · Vandalia, Appalachia · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,240
Phil Lauffen wrote: True. But with the flatirons and eldo in your backyard you should realize that bolts can have impact on access.
caughtinside never climbs outside the gym. He works too much.
Kevin Craig · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 325

OK, so I'm confused. Everyone jumps up and down and screams and yells about how the FA has the right, until the end of time, to determine the style of the route and how many, if any, bolts are used. Until... a member of the FA party comes on here an supports adding a bolt or two. THEN...WELL, it's community standards that are important, or "climbing is dangerous", or (my personal favorite) the FA wasn't the ***REAL*** FA (who conveniently will never be known), or some other BS.

I honestly don't give a flying flip whether the start is bolted or not, but how about a little consistency?

Can you guys really not feel good about yourselves if people don't keep getting injured or killed on some 100 foot route that you once led? (and yes, I'm from Colorado >;^D)

Tim McCabe · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 130

What is rock climbing.

A. A dangerous activity in which participants mitigate said dangers by use of safety gear and experience with said gear.

B. A gymnastic sport where all danger has been removed by the placement of permanent protection ie bolts.

C. All of the above.

Obviously in 1967 the answer was A. today it is most likely C. it shouldn't have to be only B. Though I am sure there are many who would like it to only be A. or only B.

I have lead DC twice but I was already a fairly experienced climber before I got there. As I recall the jams were pretty easy, and I was not a very good crack climber that first time. I also remember that the crack had a lip that made jamming easier but placing pro harder.

It seems to me that placing bolts at the bottom of this climb will only lead to more problems by attracting climbers with even less experience.

J.B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 150
Choss Chasin' wrote:I don't care either way about double cross re-bolting I haven't led it yet and probably won't for a while cause it is always gangbanged. However what really pisses me off are these bolt chopping wars. I totally agree that when natural protection is available bolts should not be placed. What I despise seeing atop and on climbs are the remnants of these bolt wars. Choppers get all pissed that some one put a bolt somewhere and they go out and remove said bolt. Next week it gets re-bolted. Week after chopped again. Now I have to look at your ugly ass ethics debate etched forever into what was once a beautiful piece of rock. You choppers are doing just as much damage to the rock as the guy putting in bolts. Unless your painstakingly gluing over and covering the old bolt with perfectly matching rock dust think REAL HARD before you chop something. Having ethics is nice but thinking that your removing an eyesore by creating another is downright foolish.
Well said! I'd clip the bolt if it were there, but I'd prefer it not be. If you're that opposed to the bolt then don't clip it and express your thoughts that future routes shouldn't be bolted the same way. Chopping is not the answer, at least on this popular route. That being said, I can't wait to lead Double Cross! I followed DC and Dog Leg last time I was there and can't wait to lead them! Double Cross won't be a problem, Dog Leg will be tough!
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern California
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