Mountain Project Logo

What is this world coming to - Part II


Original Post
James Dean Anderson · · Denver, CO · Joined May 2013 · Points: 135

I had been planning to climb the Colorado NE Ridge on the Kingfisher for the past couple weekends but weather among other predicaments prevented me from heading out there until this past weekend. What happened over the weekend not only prevented me from climbing the route, it also demonstrated an ethical dilemma related to a post I had been involved in previously:

mountainproject.com/v/what-…

I do not intend to use this post to rant online after the fact because we did actually confront the offending party to voice our opinions on the situation. With this know I am posting this to be informative and hopefully prevent this type of situation from occurring in the future. Here we go:

As we approached the base of the Colorado NE Ridge we noticed a party of two in front of us approaching the base of the route. My partner then pointed out the fixed line on the first pitch. My initial thought was, no big deal, the party of two will jug the fixed line and get a head start allowing us to follow up shortly after. With each step we took toward the base of the route another person was revealed. Holy shit, what is going on? Party of 12 waiting at the base of the Kingfisher? At this point we looked up and noticed fixed lines all the way to the summit (2 – 3 separate lines on most pitches). As we stood there is disbelief we noticed what appeared to be a guide instructing the large group on how to ascend fixed lines with Jumars and remove rivet hangers from bolts. Intro to aid climbing class on one of the most popular routes in the Fishers on a beautiful weekend day? Couldn’t be!

At this point the “leader” of the group started walking in our direction. When he approached us we asked him what was going on and what company they were with. His response was no company in particular, just the “Utah Climbing Club” from Provo, UT. He then said that they were there to upgrade bolts on the route. This seemed a little strange to us since they had such a large group, specifically seeing as most of the people seemed to have minimal to no climbing experience. When we asked him about this fact his response was that these climbers had “lots of experience” and had climbed many other towers including the Titan. This again seemed strange to us since they had to be instructed on basic aid climbing tasks. He then went on to say that he could not afford all the bolts on his own and guiding these people up the route was his way of repaying them for their donations to replace the bolts. This entire story seemed a little importable to us given the fact that Sam Lightner had replaced the bolts on this route a couple years back. Could they really all need replacing already?

We then told the leader that we had driven all the way from Colorado to climb this route and we were a little disappointed to see such a large group tying up the route for the entire day. In addition we had walked all the way to the base of the route with heavy packs only to be turned back at the base. He then went on to tell us that he had made a sign for the parking lot warning of the large group on the Kingfisher but had forgot to put it up. Not really a big deal but this would have been nice for sure.

At this point I should point out that the group leader, despite ruining our plans to climb the route, seemed like a nice guy. He went on to offer us alternatives including ascending their fixed lines (which we declined because we wanted to climb the route in “good style”). He also offered us discounts at his climbing shop in Provo, UT. Although nice gestures we were still a little annoyed that he had not posted on MP (or at least in the parking lot) to warn people of the large group on the Kingfisher.

We ran through our options and made the decision that we would fix a pitch or two when they were out of the way and wait to climb the route the following day. Shortly after making our decision the group leaders girlfriend (possibly?) informed us (in a less than pleasant tone) that they would be up there all day tomorrow as well. That was it! We packed our bags and headed to arches for the afternoon (this had wasted half of our day already).

The main point of all of this is to have some regard for others around you. If this group truly was replacing the bolts, thanks to them, however I am sure there are better ways of doing this than bringing a bunch of beginners up on a beautiful weekend. In this case being considerate may involve doing this on a weekday or with a smaller more competent group (if their mission truly was to rebolt the route). Another option would be to post on MP to warn others of the large group/ rebolting effort (Jason Haas has done a great job with this around South Platte and Eldo).

Check out the pictures - in the 3rd picture you can see people jugging the lines up the Colorado NE Ridge (on the left). I guess thats one way to get to the summit!

huge group KF 1

hige group KF 2

Huge group - KF 3

Mike Tsuji · · Boulder, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 275

Yeah, that's pretty lame. I would definitely have been pretty bummed if I had been in your position.

Scottmx426 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 0

Yikes!

Brian C. · · Longmont, CO · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 1,100

Wtf? Typically I'm a first come first serve person, but this sounds pretty jacked. Also, replacing bolts on the Kingfisher??? It already has the best gear by far on any of the trade routes there and should be left alone until actually needed. Sounds pretty stupid to me.

The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 460

Are you an elementary school teacher? If not, damn, you should be. Your patience is mind blowing.

"A pretty nice guy"? he sounds like a dipshit. His behavior is that of a dipshit, his girlfriend sounds like the most annoying person of all time. Jeez dude, that sounds like the worst Moab trip ever.

runout · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 30

Rock is a limited resource; time is a limited resource; life is a competition for limited resources. Such is life.

The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 460
Old Sag wrote:Rock is a limited resource; time is a limited resource; life is a competition for limited resources. Such is life.
C'est la fucking vie.
Anson Call · · Provo, UT · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 30

I think I know the guy you're talking about - he's always been super nice to me and, on a tangent, has bolted and maintained many a route all over so. utah, maple canyon, and the wasatch. Most of us who have climbed in Utah owe him a debt of gratitude for all the hours and dollars he's spent over the years.

I'm not saying it's excusable to gangbang a classic route on a weekend, especially without notice. That said, I think some people should reconsider the personal attacks. Everyone is inconsiderate at some point in their life, and it sounds like he at least intended to post a sign in the parking lot, so yeah. OP made a great point, but you're silly if you're on this thread calling him a dipshit.

Unless you're boone speed, he's done a lot more for climbing than you ever will in your lifetime. SO, instead of name-calling, maybe just reaffirm the OP's original point, then tell him thank you for all the hard work.

Christian · · Casa do Cacete · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 1,470

Only $300 dollah each, quite a bargain

facebook.com/groups/8379538…

Marc H · · Longmont, CO · Joined May 2007 · Points: 250
Christian wrote:Only $300 dollah each, quite a bargain facebook.com/groups/8379538…
Utah Climbing Club is limited to 60 members and Starts in January at the beginning of each year. No new members are accepted between February to November. UCC takes trips once a month to new & exciting climbing destinations, with additional helpful clinics to build skills. To join the group call Mountainworks in Provo at 801-371-0223. Everyone pays a one time donation of $300. All the Training events and All the Trips for the YEAR are FREE (NO GUIDING FEES) all you have to do is get yourself there and we'll make sure you know and have done more than most guides.

For a new climber this actually seems like a pretty good deal; if you make it to all of the trips, you're only paying $25/trip. It doesn't sound like the organizers are making a much (if any) money on the actual guiding. He most definitely makes a lot more money selling gear to the group members.

I am curious to know if they have insurance though. Also, I wonder if they're required to get permits for using public lands considering they require a "donation." Which is kind of an oxymoron.

The lack of notice is definitely pretty inconsiderate though. Someone might consider asking them to start a few threads on sites like MP.com, Taco, and even another FB notification-type group. They could be updated a week or so before each trip to help people avoid situations like James'. I would do it myself but I don't climb very frequently in UT these days.

This part is pretty over-the-top funny though:
...all you have to do is get yourself there and we'll make sure you know and have done more than most guides.
Austin Baird · · SLC, Utah · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 95

I'll second what Anson said. DK (y'all are talking about Darren Knezek) has spent countless hours and thousands of dollars developing areas and rebolting routes all over Utah. He busts his ass to make sure that new climbers who have the desire can learn any style of climbing that they want, and learn it safely.

I've never gone into Mountainworks (his shop) without spending 30 minutes longer than I planned, getting beta on some new climbs he put up or listening to him tell me about some gear he came across that he thought I'd like.

I wasn't at the Fishers and can't speak to what happened, but I do know that DK has dedicated his time and money to the climbing community and I doubt that what he was doing at the Fishers was anything different.

Darren Knezek · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 735

What is the World coming to with misleading posts.
Here is why I invited good climbing friends to the Fisher Towers:

I climbed the Colorado Northeast Ridge on Oct 4 for the 14th time with brother-in-law from California. I led the first two pitches. The third pitch was missing the first piton that's always been there so I climbed up past the missing piton and pre-clipped the rope in the second so he could start leading the third pitch safely. When he got half way up pitch 3 the second fixed piton that I had pre clipped for him pulled out under his rope tension, he continued to the anchors at the bottom of the 4th pitch. He put in some cams and as he clipped and pulled up onto the first drilled piton it exploded the rock and sent him for a 20ft fall onto a cam. The fall broke his finger badly and jacked up his hand... missing finger nails and bleeding he finished the pitch. We summited but I thought about the condition of the anchors on our way home and joked that the only good bolt in each anchor were the ones Sam had put in and now they were all spinners. (And with over 27 years bolting in the desert I have a good idea when shit is shit). The next weekend I saw a post on MP that a party did not make it past the first pulled pin so I thought I should go and add at least 1 or 2 glue-ins per anchor station and replace the pitons that blew out of the rock on my brother in law. I know Sam had replaced some of the bolts and added one to each anchor but in the 7 years almost all of them are spinners, including the ones at the anchor stations.(FYI I forgot my 1/2 socket so you can see for yourself they're still loose and spinning, I had a 9/16" socket so I was able to tighten the loose ones at the anchors).

Years back I replaced every bolt and anchor on the Oracle. Half with glue-ins $$$ and half with 1/2 studs. I have found in the desert that even my 1/2 bolts end up spinning hangers in a couple years. I saw that some studs are already spinning on the Oracle... but the glue-ins are still perfect. (FYI the Pins that pulled on my brother-in-law were sawed off to be only 1'' long!

So James finds it implausible that shit needs to be fixed sometimes over and over. Welcome to the desert dude.

Since I knew I would be replacing the tower with glue-ins, that means I have to put up fixed line because glue-ins take 24 hours to cure before they can be TOUCHED. ( Sorry Everybody I work a full time job and only get weekends too.) So I thought it would be a perfect time to show GOOD climbers how to repair things correctly and what it involves. So I told anyone in the Utah Climbing Club who had each lead an entire A2 tower the month previous could come lead some of the pitches while being on a micro tracxion to the fixed line required for the glue- ins. I can't think of a better way to repair stuff than to have climbers enjoying the day on one of my favorite towers while they learn how to maintain the places they enjoy making them future givers not takers in the climbing world. Reading about bad bolts and how to fix them in books and online is one thing but seeing how to do it is another. Few Climbers are going to give up 2 full climbing days to show people Outside this stuff... but I did and now I get shit for it!

If you ever look in the summit register, this tower is done about an average of once every two months so I did not think about posting that I would be on it with 10 people on every online climbing forum. (I did feel bad that on the first of two days I forgot the hand written sign for the parking lot.) Very few Fisher Tower climbers I know other than those looking to do Ancient Art would be mad that a party was on the climb they came to do. We would simply go do Echo Tower a 100 yards away the same grade and empty all day. Or Cottontail or one of the dozens of other towers with great routes. Climbers showing up to the base of the route and having a party on it is typical. I was on the King Fisher when the Visa commercial was being made, a whole movie crew took over Ancient Art with no note in the parking lot. I thought it was great that climbing made it to mainstream media outlet... not how dare they take over my precious desert experience with there 50+crew and copters. I went up to solo aid the Titan one day and a whole school of base jumpers spent the whole day and most of the next on it. So instead I went and put up a new route and got to watch the show from across the way all day... The next week I came back and solo aided Finger of Fate to measure the distance between all the anchor bolts. My friend TOM FROST was going to make me stainless steal cables of varying lengths to replace the gobs of ugly rotting slings with permanent inconspicuous cables. Tom said would last over 20 years. 3 weeks later, I hiked to the Titan with the new Tom Frost cables and quicklinks I had bought for all the Titan anchors... and wouldn't you know it...10 minutes before I got there a whole crew from Black Diamond in SLC was on the route!!! I did not do what James did, moaning and grumbling treating everyone there as if we were beneath him!! I could have, they took all day and only made it 3 pitches and they looked like it was the first time they had ever been outside, but I knew that's just what the first few towers do to ya in the Fishers . So, I said hi and made sure they knew I was glad to see them climbing, told them they could borrow any of the 60+ cams I had piled on the saddle, not letting them know that this was my weekend to repair the anchors. So, I went and put up another new fun tower by myself. All in all it took four trips to The Titan to actually get to replace the sunbaked slings with cables.

James came up to the 10 of us who were NOT learning how to jug as James implied in his post. Many have bolted and put up new sport routes if that's not enough all of the people with me had done lots of crevasse training, jugging ice is always harder the stone... before summiting Kautz on Mt Rainier this year. James post was full of inaccurate judgments of people calling them beginners ! There were 5 women out of the 10 of us, so I can only assume that James was being extra judgmental!!! ( Here is just one of the awesome girls I had with me WHO James is slamming... Dilynn, She may look like a skinny blond 56 year old woman but she has done multiple winter mountain accents, she has climbed the Titan and numerous towers with me and my wife, who you probably would also misjudge treat badly and call a beginner, because my wife wears a lot of makeup and treats people nice and unlike you choses not to act like she's better than the people she's standing next to at the crag. She most likely has done more towers then you would guess, she's at around 60 but she would treat you like a champion if all you'd ever climbed was Castleton.

When I first began speaking with James he was already very aggressive, I assumed he was mad that all of us were up and at um early, we walked up 1 HOUR before he arrived so we could be on and off as fast as possible. I asked him how he was planning on getting through the 3rd pitch with the missing pitons...Did he have a hammer and angles....He said he did NOT. They were back in the car, but he had a 50 foot STICK CLIP he brought to get through it! Wow...James, here is a picture of the bolt you would have clipped and jugged 40 feet, your only protection, if we had not replaced the missing angles below it. James, since you put that you wanted to climb the tower in "Good Style" for what its worth, I have NEVER brought a stick clip to a single tower and I have done over 100 now. (I do use them for sport climbing and when I'm bolting new routes or fixing old ones.)

The bolt you would have stick clipped.

Mobes Mobesely · · Granite island · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

and here we have it- you snooze, you lose. the world has always been that way, especially on towers

Brian C. · · Longmont, CO · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 1,100

First come first serve wins again! This is proof that sometimes crazy scenarios have crazy answers and there are 2 sides to each story. Thank you Darren for your work. I've been grateful to clip your bolts on several occasions in the Fishers.

England · · ? · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 260
Darren Knezek wrote:What is the World coming to with misleading posts. Here is why I invited good climbing friends to the Fisher Towers: I climbed the Colorado Northeast Ridge on Oct 4 for the 14th time with brother-in-law from California. I led the first two pitches. The third pitch was missing the first piton that's always been there so I climbed up past the missing piton and pre-clipped the rope in the second so he could start leading the third pitch safely. When he got half way up pitch 3 the second fixed piton that I had pre clipped for him pulled out under his rope tension, he continued to the anchors at the bottom of the 4th pitch. He put in some cams and as he clipped and pulled up onto the first drilled piton it exploded the rock and sent him for a 20ft fall onto a cam. The fall broke his finger badly and jacked up his hand... missing finger nails and bleeding he finished the pitch. We summited but I thought about the condition of the anchors on our way home and joked that the only good bolt in each anchor were the ones Sam had put in and now they were all spinners. (And with over 27 years bolting in the desert I have a good idea when shit is shit). The next weekend I saw a post on MP that a party did not make it past the first pulled pin so I thought I should go and add at least 1 or 2 glue-ins per anchor station and replace the pitons that blew out of the rock on my brother in law. I know Sam had replaced some of the bolts and added one to each anchor but in the 7 years almost all of them are spinners, including the ones at the anchor stations.(FYI I forgot my 1/2 socket so you can see for yourself they're still loose and spinning, I had a 9/16" socket so I was able to tighten the loose ones at the anchors). Years back I replaced every bolt and anchor on the Oracle. Half with glue-ins $$$ and half with 1/2 studs. I have found in the desert that even my 1/2 bolts end up spinning hangers in a couple years. I saw that some studs are already spinning on the Oracle... but the glue-ins are still perfect. (FYI the Pins that pulled on my brother-in-law were sawed off to be only 1'' long! So James finds it implausible that shit needs to be fixed sometimes over and over. Welcome to the desert dude. Since I knew I would be replacing the tower with glue-ins, that means I have to put up fixed line because glue-ins take 24 hours to cure before they can be TOUCHED. ( Sorry Everybody I work a full time job and only get weekends too.) So I thought it would be a perfect time to show GOOD climbers how to repair things correctly and what it involves. So I told anyone in the Utah Climbing Club who had each lead an entire A2 tower the month previous could come lead some of the pitches while being on a micro tracxion to the fixed line required for the glue- ins. I can't think of a better way to repair stuff than to have climbers enjoying the day on one of my favorite towers while they learn how to maintain the places they enjoy making them future givers not takers in the climbing world. Reading about bad bolts and how to fix them in books and online is one thing but seeing how to do it is another. Few Climbers are going to give up 2 full climbing days to show people Outside this stuff... but I did and now I get shit for it! If you ever look in the summit register, this tower is done about an average of once every two months so I did not think about posting that I would be on it with 10 people on every online climbing forum. (I did feel bad that on the first of two days I forgot the hand written sign for the parking lot.) Very few Fisher Tower climbers I know other than those looking to do Ancient Art would be mad that a party was on the climb they came to do. We would simply go do Echo Tower a 100 yards away the same grade and empty all day. Or Cottontail or one of the dozens of other towers with great routes. Climbers showing up to the base of the route and having a party on it is typical. I was on the King Fisher when the Visa commercial was being made, a whole movie crew took over Ancient Art with no note in the parking lot. I thought it was great that climbing made it to mainstream media outlet... not how dare they take over my precious desert experience with there 50+crew and copters. I went up to solo aid the Titan one day and a whole school of base jumpers spent the whole day and most of the next on it. So instead I went and put up a new route and got to watch the show from across the way all day... The next week I came back and solo aided Finger of Fate to measure the distance between all the anchor bolts. My friend TOM FROST was going to make me stainless steal cables of varying lengths to replace the gobs of ugly rotting slings with permanent inconspicuous cables. Tom said would last over 20 years. 3 weeks later, I hiked to the Titan with the new Tom Frost cables and quicklinks I had bought for all the Titan anchors... and wouldn't you know it...10 minutes before I got there a whole crew from Black Diamond in SLC was on the route!!! I did not do what James did, moaning and grumbling treating everyone there as if we were beneath him!! I could have, they took all day and only made it 3 pitches and they looked like it was the first time they had ever been outside, but I knew that's just what the first few towers do to ya in the Fishers . So, I said hi and made sure they knew I was glad to see them climbing, told them they could borrow any of the 60+ cams I had piled on the saddle, not letting them know that this was my weekend to repair the anchors. So, I went and put up another new fun tower by myself. All in all it took four trips to The Titan to actually get to replace the sunbaked slings with cables. James came up to the 10 of us who were NOT learning how to jug as James implied in his post. Many have bolted and put up new sport routes if that's not enough all of the people with me had done lots of crevasse training, jugging ice is always harder the stone... before summiting Kautz on Mt Rainier this year. James post was full of inaccurate judgments of people calling them beginners ! There were 5 women out of the 10 of us, so I can only assume that James was being extra judgmental!!! ( Here is just one of the awesome girls I had with me WHO James is slamming... Dilynn, She may look like a skinny blond 56 year old woman but she has done multiple winter mountain accents, she has climbed the Titan and numerous towers with me and my wife, who you probably would also misjudge treat badly and call a beginner, because my wife wears a lot of makeup and treats people nice and unlike you choses not to act like she's better than the people she's standing next to at the crag. She most likely has done more towers then you would guess, she's at around 60 but she would treat you like a champion if all you'd ever climbed was Castleton. When I first began speaking with James he was already very aggressive, I assumed he was mad that all of us were up and at um early, we walked up 1 HOUR before he arrived so we could be on and off as fast as possible. I asked him how he was planning on getting through the 3rd pitch with the missing pitons...Did he have a hammer and angles....He said he did NOT. They were back in the car, but he had a 50 foot STICK CLIP he brought to get through it! Wow...James, here is a picture of the bolt you would have clipped and jugged 40 feet, your only protection, if we had not replaced the missing angles below it. James, since you put that you wanted to climb the tower in "Good Style" for what its worth, I have NEVER brought a stick clip to a single tower and I have done over 100 now. (I do use them for sport climbing and when I'm bolting new routes or fixing old ones.)
and the biggest member wins. Darren forget about this guy he is not worth your time. He has first assents everywhere...or so he thinks.
eyesonice2014 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 140

We were booted off some costal cliff once for a "celebrity photoshoot". On another occasion a large guided group gang banging a crag. It really sucks when it happens. You would think a nice guy (they say) like this particular guide would have enough sense and common courtesy to announce such a large group endeavor. No matter how much good he does it does not justify that sort of behavior. He should give you some free swag!

Andy Novak · · Golden, Co · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 370

Darren, you might be best buddies with TOM FROST, climbed a thousand towers and replaced a million bolts. But that is irrelevant to this conversation.

The FACTS are that you and your "club" occupied a classic route for an entire weekend so no other parties had ANY hope of climbing it. There was another party that bailed when they heard of your shenanigans. So that's two separate parties that you guys screwed. It doesn't take a party of TWELVE to replace a few bolts.

There were people getting instruction on how to jug. The first picture clearly shows this. You say "few climbers are going to give up 2 full climbing days to show people this stuff but I did and now I get shit for it". How self-righteous of you! What do these people get for $300 per year? Do they know they are not really climbing anything if they just jug a line? We could have gotten up earlier. But, we then would have had your multiple fixed ropes in our face on every pitch. Perry lame way of climbing a tower. Again, why does it take three days, ten fixed ropes and twelve people to replace a few bolts? On a classic route, on a beautiful weekend?

Does this club have insurance? Does the BLM know about these "anchor replacement" trips?

Darren, I am willing to bet that in most other scenarios you are a nice guy and do great things for Utah climbing, but stop trying to justify this particular trip as a service to the community. Yes, we were aggressive when we saw your group, but only because what you were doing was absolute bullshit.

Anson Call · · Provo, UT · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 30

Thank goodness we have real generous people to fix up gear on the towers so the 'Radoans can show up on the weekends, take instagram photos, and leave.

Andy, give it a break. "absolute bullshit," eh? How exactly were you planning to stick clip your way through spinners and non-existent pitons?

Enjoy the glue-ins on your next Utah trip. Or - better yet - stay in Colorado.

Andy Novak · · Golden, Co · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 370

Anson, you're way off base: I dont have an Instagram account.

Marc H · · Longmont, CO · Joined May 2007 · Points: 250
Anson Call wrote:Or - better yet - stay in Colorado.
Shit like this always gives me a good laugh.

Grand Junction, CO to Moab: 113 mi
Provo, UT to Moab: 191 mi

Carry on.
SDY · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 10
Anson Call wrote:Thank goodness we have real generous people to fix up gear on the towers so the 'Radoans can show up on the weekends, take instagram photos, and leave. Andy, give it a break. "absolute bullshit," eh? How exactly were you planning to stick clip your way through spinners and non-existent pitons? Enjoy the glue-ins on your next Utah trip. Or - better yet - stay in Colorado.
Typical. When logic fails and you are not interested in responding to valid points, instead turn to generic insults one heard on the internets.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "What is this world coming to - Part II"
in the Southern Utah Deserts

Log In to Reply