Projecting Big Wall Routes

Original Post
Jordan Moore · · Berthoud, CO · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 80

I understanding the logistics of projecting big wall routes would be circumstantial. But I'm looking for some general practice advice. I'm looking at dropping into the Hallucinogen Wall this spring in the Black Canyon and working the hard pitches look possible to me. The top two pitches are moderate with 8 pitches of 5.12 - 5.13 climbing underneath to a bivy ledge at the top of pitch 6. This is the section I want fixed ropes on (pitch 6 - pitch 14).

1) How should I go about fixing lines? Should I use a really long static line and fix it to intermediate anchors and gear to follow the path of the route? Or should I be using a bunch of dynamic ropes? Pros and cons?

2) I'm planning on using the micro-trax alone to top rope solo. I know many will advise not to rely on one device, but I can't be bothered to be pulling slack through a device while I try to climb 5.13. This seems to be the general practice of projecting hard wall pitches, yes?

3) I don't think this route gets a ton of traffic where I'm going to piss any one off by fixing lines. But if there are any ethical dilemmas you foresee I would take the advice into account. On the MP route page Josh Wharton and Hayden Kennedy mention some updates to the route I would like to make. I assume I don't need the "permission" of any one else to put in a few bolts?

Bizzybush · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 5

You are asking beginner questions which is surprising for someone wanting to free 5.13r. I think you lack a ton of multi pitch/ bigwall experience. Hallucinogen is a sorta popular aid line so maybe a week long fix of ropes is too much. Have you tried tague yer time across canyon? Super rad line with good rock and stout cruxes. I dont mean to be discouraging but yer guna die. But hey maybe you can free 13 R in the black and just dont know simple climbing protocol.

Jordan Moore · · Berthoud, CO · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 80

I have been on Tague Yer Time. I've never had to fix lines to project a route. I wouldn't have much business doing so if the grade was under 5.12+. So I have to "start" some where. I don't have any intentions of freeing the 5.13 pitches if they're R rated. Only the 5.12 pitches.

Bizzybush · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 5

Use to trax devices, i like 2 micro traxs. Static is my preference so i dont get too much stretch when falling, and it seems to feed better. Crush it dawg

Jordan Moore · · Berthoud, CO · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 80

hmm...that seems like a wise choice. Thank you.

Shelton Hatfield · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 585

Regarding question #3, I'd advise that if you think there is ANY chance that climbers might try to climb the route you are projecting, that you do not leave up fixed lines. This could severely diminish the quality of the experience for those people trying to do a "ground up" ascent, and make the nature of their climbing QUITE a bit more contrived.

Which brings me to question #1. Yes on the static and the re-belays and the directionals. But please don't leave that stuff up overnight. Put it in as you rappel the route, and take it out as you climb if you plan to leave the rope up overnight. That way, if you're wrong in your assessment that no teams will be trying to say, climb the route in a day from the ground, they won't have a fixed line in their face for the entire second half of the route, begging them to clip their jugs in and blast their tired bodies to the summit.

And as far as putting in a few bolts goes, Im not familiar with the "updates" Josh Wharton and Hayden Kennedy mentioned, but are you asking about adding new bolts to the route where there weren't any before, possibly to facilitate free climbing? Or are you talking about replacing old bolts that are already on the route? Thanks

Jordan Moore · · Berthoud, CO · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 80

The proposed bolts to be put in would be two anchors intended for free climbing the route and to eliminate some hanging belays. The other bolt would be at a dangerous 5.12 section to be put in place of an old fixed piece. If the piece was to blow there are supposedly some ledges to hit.

I'm just entering this scene of projecting walls, bolting in "sensitive" areas, etc. So I realize I need the general consensus of the community to take action. I have no place in editing a route if I'm taking from the experience of many.

Eric Coomer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 5

Bolt away, even to replace those pesky fixed pieces that may (not) hold a fall, even though The Black if full of pitches like that. And hell, bolt wherever you feel like it, just don't bitch and moan when your bolt gets chopped and filled by your betters.

I've been meaning to bolt some belays on a few pitches of some Copp routes in The Black because my pee-pee shrivels simul-climbing on loose 5.10+, should be good yeah?

This post HAS to be a troll, right?

Kyle Edmondson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 20

I'll add a vote for the upgrades. I can't see a real ethical problem with upgrading already fixed gear so that it will actually hold. Leaving a suspect copper head in a bolt hole over a ledge just seems ridiculous.

Tico · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 0

Coomer? You died years ago. WTF.

Arlo F Niederer · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 460

Since this is Wilderness and in a National Park, there are rules which affect what you want to do. Here's a link to a pdf of the rules:

I suggest you speak with the climbing rangers in Black Canyon. In parks that have historically had climbing (Yosemite, Grand Teton, etc.) they have great climbing rangers who are sympathetic to climbers. Just remember that they have a job to do - protect the beauty of our National Parks.

Also, on the Mountain Project page for the Hallucinogen Wall, Mountain Project user hkennedy posted the page. He talks about working the pitches on a top rope before doing the route free. He would be a great resource.

Don't know if you have seen Josh Wharton's 7 minute video on freeing the wall. He would be a great resource too.

Eric Coomer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 5
Tico wrote:Coomer? You died years ago. WTF.
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Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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