Cat Slab - Clear Creek Canyon drilling


Original Post
Tony A. Davis · · Golden, Colorado · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 145

Really enjoy the Cat Slab area and all of the hard work put into this area, yesterday I saw these drill holes face level at the base of the climbs in front of the tree. Are these drilling practice holes?

Drilling

ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 145

I just posted to the photo under the area description - those are anchor holes for rescue that were placed a few weeks ago. Apparently enough rescues are taking place at this crag that they felt the need to drill anchor holes for a tyro.

Tony A. Davis · · Golden, Colorado · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 145

Thanks Erika, I thought there may be more to it.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 871

ErikaNW wrote:

"They are there for rescue ops. We were at the crag when a climber decked and EMS came - they have drilled the holes to set up a tyro across the creek to get climbers out. They told us they have so many calls to this crag that they felt it necessary as carry-outs on the trail are difficult and dangerous.

This is why we can't have nice things.

Earlier that day we were actually planning to come back and patch the holes with epoxy since we thought they were vandalism. Then we found out why they are there. We asked them why they didn't work with the climbing community, or at least let people know about the purpose for this and they said they wanted to be discreet.... Yeah - these six 1" holes in the rock face on the start of a route are real discreet. Pretty disappointed they felt the need to do this. "


I'm not sure what this has to do with having nice things. Because climbers get injured?

But, just out of curiosity, did they drill the holes, install bolts, use them for a rescue, then remove them? Or are they there ready for the next rescue when they would still need to install the bolts? It seems that if they are truly there for rescue, they wouldn't wait till there was an injury to install them since this could delay the rescue. It would seem better to just install the bolts and perhaps put a dog tag on them labeling them "For Rescue Tyrol" or something like that.

Are you sure these were rescue members? Something seems a bit off.

JulianG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 130

They probably use removable bolts

curt86iroc · · Golden, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 63
Greg D wrote:ErikaNW wrote: Are you sure these were rescue members? Something seems a bit off.
The holes were drilled by Alpine Rescue Team in cooperation with the CCCSO, CCFA and CCEMS. The holes are indeed for removable bolts in order to setup a tyrol and evacuate injured climbers across the creek.
ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 145

The 'nice things' comment was more just a sad commentary on the fact that there are so many accidents at this crag in particular, for whatever reason. My guess would be that most of these are preventable - the one that occurred a few weeks ago was a case of the rope being too short for the climb and no stopper knots.

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

The routes that are too tall should have secondary anchors placed below at the 30 meter mark. This would eliminate pretty much all of the accidental lowers with the rope not reaching. Then the lucky 70 and 80 meter rope owners could just skip the lower anchor and hit that bitchin' extra 20 ft. of sweet stone.

ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 145
Stich wrote:The routes that are too tall should have secondary anchors placed below at the 30 meter mark. This would eliminate pretty much all of the accidental lowers with the rope not reaching. Then the lucky 70 and 80 meter rope owners could just skip the lower anchor and hit that bitchin' extra 20 ft. of sweet stone.
We added an anchor last week on the long route that is the biggest issue - Jellicle Cats - so it can now be climbed as a long single pitch (the new anchor is at the last lead bolt) and a 70m will get you back down. You miss out on a little bit of 5.7 climbing above that, but we didn't touch the upper anchor. You will still need to go to the 1st anchor if you are on a 60m, or if you climb through to the top anchor (unless you have an 80m rope).

Pretty much all of the climbs on that crag require a 70m, so I don't think there's any reason to put in secondary anchors to accommodate the 60m ropes at that crag - 70m is pretty much the norm for many of the CCC crags at this point.
Parker Wrozek · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 83

A 70 M is just fine for every route there. Don't add anchors (shouldn't have added the one that was already mentioned, waste of a bolt).

OrganicChemistry · · Tucson · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 95

"We added an anchor last week on the long route that is the biggest issue - Jellicle Cats - so it can now be climbed as a long single pitch (the new anchor is at the last lead bolt) and a 70m will get you back down. You miss out on a little bit of 5.7 climbing above that, but we didn't touch the upper anchor. You will still need to go to the 1st anchor if you are on a 60m, or if you climb through to the top anchor (unless you have an 80m rope)."

how does this make sense?

Monty · · Golden, CO · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 3,104
OrganicChemistry wrote:"We added an anchor last week on the long route that is the biggest issue - Jellicle Cats - so it can now be climbed as a long single pitch (the new anchor is at the last lead bolt) and a 70m will get you back down. You miss out on a little bit of 5.7 climbing above that, but we didn't touch the upper anchor. You will still need to go to the 1st anchor if you are on a 60m, or if you climb through to the top anchor (unless you have an 80m rope)." how does this make sense?
She's saying:
1) if you only have a 60m rope, you still need to make a second rappel (from the anchor at roughly 55') in order to safely make it to the ground from the new anchor.
2) If you have a 70m rope, you can make it down safely from the new anchor at the 110' mark.
3) If you have an 80m rope, you can make it down from the highest anchor.

Parker Wrozek wrote:A 70 M is just fine for every route there. Don't add anchors (shouldn't have added the one that was already mentioned, waste of a bolt).
I don't think this is a waste at all as the last bit of climbing (above the new anchor) doesn't really add anything to the route. For this specific route, you can get down with a 70m (I've done it), but it requires some down climbing (read some of the comments). There have been too many accidents recently and I think the additional anchor is a great community service that keeps the route heights more consistent at the crag. Regardless, the moral of the story is knot your ends!
Parker Wrozek · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 83

Or you can just make 2 raps. Sounds like may people are just getting lowered right off the rope though.

Also Erika you should contact the page owner on MP to add the info. Your condition report post will disappear after a short time.

Monty · · Golden, CO · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 3,104

Thanks for mentioning the conditional comment Parker. I edited the page since Richard is no longer with us. RIP Richard.

OrganicChemistry · · Tucson · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 95

Is there going to be a sign at the bottom for those who don't use MP and don't have this beta?

explain how this prevents anyone from climbing to the upper most anchors with a 70. i've climbed this route a few times, using a 70m and downclimbing the bottom isn't that hard or technical.

if everyone would just knot their ends...

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470
ErikaNW wrote: We added an anchor last week on the long route that is the biggest issue - Jellicle Cats - so it can now be climbed as a long single pitch (the new anchor is at the last lead bolt) and a 70m will get you back down.
Good work! All of these routes in CC with anchors over 30 meters should be supplemented with extra anchor bolts. It's a cheap way to fix the problem and doesn't impact people who want to climb the whole pitch.
CodyG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 10

There's literally a strip mine 2 miles up the road....just sayin.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 871
CodyG wrote:

There's literally a strip mine 2 miles up the road....just sayin.

Thanks for that relevant and accurate info.  

ClimbandMine · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2001 · Points: 865
CodyG wrote:

There's literally a strip mine 2 miles up the road....just sayin.

It's called a quarry.  For specification rock.

Surface coal mines are called strip mines.  Because they are mined in a long strip.  The only strip mines in Colorado are near Craig.

Just sayin'.

teece303 · · Highlands Ranch, CO · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 598

Why not just install regular anchors with hangers?

Removable bolts are stupid expensive.  And a gaping hole is far more unattractive to me than a camouflaged hanger.

What’s the thinking?

(Genuinely curious, not criticizing).

curt86iroc · · Golden, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 63
teece303 wrote:

Why not just install regular anchors with hangers?

Removable bolts are stupid expensive.  And a gaping hole is far more unattractive to me than a camouflaged hanger.

What’s the thinking?

(Genuinely curious, not criticizing).

The main reason is climbers will cut hangers and bolts if they don't know what they're for.  It's far more common for climbers to carry hanger and bolt cutting tools than something to fill a hole.  Regarding cost, RBs are not expensive from a SAR standpoint. 

We have discussed attaching a sign to one of the holes that notifies climbers of their intent, but no decision has been reached yet.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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