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Retrobolted anchors on Lotta Balls descent route removed.


Original Post
kemple sr. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 95

We noticed that boltted anchors have obviously been removed from Black Magic at Red Rocks. Rappells are now from trees. I am curious why this was done. I am not local, so not aware of local politics, but it seems to me that bolted stations are far less environmentally destructive than rapping from trees. Trees are often killed this way, and anything nylon is an anchor with high visual impact, and a short expiration date. Thanks.

Dow Williams · · St. George, Utah; Canmore, AB · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 240

kind of a busy area, why would you rap this route when you can walk off?

sqwirll · · Las Vegas · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 1,365
Dow Williams wrote:kind of a busy area, why would you rap this route when you can walk off?
Dow, I think they're talking about the bolts that were added to the descent line of Black Magic/Lotta Balls.

mountainproject.com/v/bolte…

@Kemple - technically, the bolts were put in illegaly and someone felt the need to yank them. They probably should've just been left alone.
Dow Williams · · St. George, Utah; Canmore, AB · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 240

correct, there should be no bolts in the gully...most of us can down climb that gully no worries...I am shocked someone put them in there really

Daryl Allan · · Sierra Vista, AZ · Joined Sep 2006 · Points: 1,040

Because this is a man's sport and trees are dumb. Crappy old nylon is the Red Badge of the hardman so strew it proudly as to leave proof of your bold descents wherever you may climb.

Richard Dower · · Overland Park, KS · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 150

First, this gully is NOT an easy down climb. Second, only two of the three new anchors were removed. These were brand new gold colored hangers and chains that were put on the south side of the gully by the trees that were previously used. But, the bottom one is next to a rattier tree but one that was used for years to rap from. So, given these observations, if two were illegal why wasn't the third. If the third was there to save the last tree why were the first two removed.

I would love to hear from the person that felt it necessary to remove just two of the three.

Josh Janes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 9,025

I took the liberty of retitling this thread to fit the facts since the "anchors" on Black Magic were not "chopped."

Since these routes were first climbed, the descent has always been down the back of the formation and has been facilitated by three rappels from slung trees. It was only last year that someone installed a bolted rappel station right next to each of the three trees. While unnecessary (and kinda silly), because it is a separate descent route (and therefore didn't affect [the commitment level of] any of the climbs nearby) and also because it is completely hidden from view, well, it wasn't the worst thing to happen in Vegas last year. Pointless yes, but whatever.

Anyway, "removal" of these anchors merely restored the descent to how it's always been. No need to cry wolf about chopped anchors.

All placing bolts like these and then removing them does is stir the pot unnecessarily. Of course, maybe the first person was trying to save some trees and the second person just really needed the hardware for some rad new route somewhere else. In that case, kudos to both of you.

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 15,693

Have done the descent a few times over the years (never "walked off"). As long ago as '85 and as recent as last fall.

I dunno. I kinda appreciated the fixed rap anchor locations for rope pull. Their location seemed well thought out. And, the trees are pretty nice. All tatted up, not as nice, IMHO.

The immense amount of braided social trails going to and from the crags in that area are much a bigger dealio methinks.

Jim Amidon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 880

somebody pissed on the campfire and the folks down wind didn't like it...

That gully well maybe is a down climb for some, but anchors to save trees in that desert environment......

Not too hard to see the logic....

Doug Foust · · Henderson, Nevada · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 165

BADASS!!!!
I'm constantly amazed by these hardcore people in Red Rock. Feeding your rope through rap rings attached to a tree by slings and rappelling is sooooo superior to feeding your rope through rap rings attached to bolts and rappelling.

That is just hardcore descending. I hope to be such a hardcore descender someday!

TomCaldwell · · Clemson, S.C. · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 3,321

I am with rgold and killis from that thread. Commercial bolting in RR is a problem. Locals taking care of the situation is exactly what should have happened. We shouldn't be worrying about some trees that will never last as long as the rock, regardless if the rope threads the same. Slings last a long time in the desert compared to the most other wet parts of the country. The only people this could be an eye sore is to climbers which should be used to seeing slings on trees. To clean it up, feel free to cut it off and add your own. I'm pretty sure nobody will create a thread to complain about it.

Daryl Allan · · Sierra Vista, AZ · Joined Sep 2006 · Points: 1,040

Stupid trees. Truly worthless ephemeral beings.

chuffnugget · · Bolder, CO · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 0
TomCaldwell wrote: We shouldn't be worrying about some trees that will never last as long as the rock, regardless if the rope threads the same. Slings last a long time in the desert compared to the most other wet parts of the country.
Trees are alive; rock is dead. Trees are much more valuable resource in the desert than compounded sand aka red rock.

Einstein, slings degrade in the sun, not the rain. Last I heard, there is still a lot of sun in the desert.
Kevin Craig · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 325

Your answer lies within

Robert Fielding · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined May 2011 · Points: 195

Great topic for discussion with some valid points on both sides from doug, the joshs, and many others...

Some beneficial aspects I see for removal of these bolts are promoting a solid foundation of not placing bolts where natural protection is present. I see these anchors as primarily "convenience" anchors that although appear harmless may promote retrobolting in other areas where they are not warranted. A few examples of currently retrobolted routes are adventure punks and the walker spur. I personally like the variety of safe routes as well as the run out routes that RR has to offer.

The ethical dilemma of harming the tree is another interesting issue, but it brings up the point of placing retrobolted anchors at every single natural descent anchor in RR. Should all natural anchors be replaced for the ecosystem? What about cleaning routes? Should every bush not be harmed? Should we also not be hiking trampling the wildlife everyday on the approach to routes? Where do we cross the line?

Also, although it appears to be not currently regulated, it is illegal to retrobolt in the canyons. Another reason for at least minimizing unneccessary retrobolts.

I'd love to hear some rebuttles as well as some more efficient ways to communicate w the local climbers so there are not "chopping" wars. Maybe the lvlcc could be used to some effect.

Doug Foust · · Henderson, Nevada · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 165

Rob,

I think you are blurring the lines between retrobolts on routes and retrobolts on descents, in my mind a huge difference. Natural protection on routes is removed by the second. Slings on a descent are left in situ and become basically fixed gear. They may be easily removable, but in general will always be there.

Doug

TomCaldwell · · Clemson, S.C. · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 3,321
David Sahalie wrote: Einstein, slings degrade in the sun, not the rain. Last I heard, there is still a lot of sun in the desert.
Ah yes, the internet, where resorting to insults to try and make a point is so common place. This site used to be so good because you could discuss topics without unnecessary ridicule. I guess all sites eventually degrade to rc.com status. My point about water is that nylon instantly loses 70% of it's strength when wet, and is even worse if it goes through freeze thaw cycles. In a place like the SE, where there is lots of sun and moisture it is a contributing factor. I will tactfully agree that the sun is also a major contributing factor. Slings shaded by those ephemeral beings will last a long time, because in the desert moisture is not contributing to their degradation.

The rock is a finite resource. While the desert is a sensitive ecosystem, trees do grow back over time, but the formation of rock is much slower. So while I do care about living things, our sport is not LNT even if we try. Rob's argument regarding damage done from something as simple as hiking is relevant.
Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,482

I'm going up the the Vertigo rappels in Eldorado Canyon right now and chopping them! The trees were just fine for the raps, uh, that is, until one of them died. I don't care, I'm chopping those convenience bolts today.

Whoever you are, mysterious Vegas rap anchor chopper, I salute you.

Glenn Schuler · · Monument, Co. · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,320
TomCaldwell wrote: My point about water is that nylon instantly loses 70% of it's strength when wet
Wow, so if it starts raining my ropes no good? This is a good factoid to know :/
Dustin B · · Steamboat · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 1,311
thedogfather wrote:These were brand new gold colored hangers and chains that were put on the south side of the gully by the trees that were previously used.
Should've been camo painted, gold hangers are silly, and gold chains are for going around ya neck...bling.
TomCaldwell · · Clemson, S.C. · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 3,321
Glenn Schuler wrote: Wow, so if it starts raining my ropes no good? This is a good factoid to know :/
Thanks for leaving the last part of that sentence out since it was the most pertinent. The strength loss is reversible unless it freezes. Your rope may have a dry coating to slow the absorption, but I am sure you already knew this. Your just trolling like most of the content being generated here nowadays.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Nevada
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