Stop climbing after rains!


Original Post
Hobo Greg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 25

Rained hard for several hours last night in the Creek, woke up to a very damp, even wet ground, but of course there's a dozen cars at Donnelly. Am I being overzealous or are those folks putting us at all at risk vis a vis wet rock and anchors?

jgfox · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0

Given the amount of warnings on this site concerning rain and desert sandstone, I'm going go with no, you are not being overzealous.

I remember once seeing a picture on the front page showing a guy belaying on the creek in a down pour, the original poster of the image (not the guy in the picture or climbing) said that particular climb is covered from rain but he had a very difficult time arguing that.  I wish I could find that picture to figure out what route that could be.

Tim Lutz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 0

post photos of cars for proper public shamings!

bkozak · · Sterling, VA · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 20

This what you're referring to jgfox?

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/106104217

James Hicks · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined May 2012 · Points: 98

But they spent all that gas money to get there from Boulder!

You would at least think people's thoughts of self preservation would keep them off of sandstone cracks in the desert immediately after rain. But I generally give people too much credit.

jgfox · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0
bkozak wrote:

This what you're referring to jgfox?

https://www.mountainproject.com/v/106104217

Yep! Thanks!

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 511

That's a great photo.  Who took it?  

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 511

Climbing on some sandstones after rain is totally OK, such as Fountain sandstone around Boulder and Nutall sandstone at the New. Other sandstones, such as Navajo sandstone and Wingate sandstone, found in the desert southwest, are definitely not OK to climb during or after rain.

On my last trip to the creek, we climbed Saturday, it rained Saturday night, we didn't climb Sunday, it rained a little bit more Sunday night, we didn't climb Monday.  That sandstone can take a day or two or four depending on temperature humidity and sun exposure to truly dry out. Most people just think 24 hours is enough no matter what, which is not true.

Feel free to flame me for posting that photo of total strangers.  Some have suggested that photo encourages people to climb on the wrong types of sandstones in the rain. I suggest that ignorance, stupidity or selfishness are the reasons people climb on sandstone, not a photo on the Internet.  But, one benefit of the photo I posted, it has brought up a healthy conversation regarding the concerns. So at least it has added some awareness.   YMMV

Politically Correct Ball · · From WA to AZ · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

Rock damage could be reduced with one huge sign at the entrance saying:

DON'T CLIMB WET ROCK!

CLIMBING EROSION DAMAGES ROCK!

Rob Dillon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 655

Drove out of IC this morning past a couple of folks trying to rip the holds off a boulder beneath the Fringe Walls and I couldn't help thinking two things:

-WTF are they thinking?!

-with any luck they will succeed, and the plague of crypto-pounding pad people will be averted before it gets any worse. 

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 136

How well to cams hold in a wet crack?

trailridge · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 0
eli poss wrote:

How well to cams hold in a wet crack?

Actually much better.  They can really dig in, but if they are not very deep in the crack they could blow out the crack and explode the rock.  

Adam Fleming · · Moab, Utah · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 303

I'm with you, Hobo.  I convinced a friend from Boulder not to come down for the weekend.  The temptation is too strong if you traveled here and only have a few days to climb.  

Fritz N. · · Durango, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 50

Once you booty or save a fixed cam by using water, the prospect of climbing wet Wingate suddenly loses its appeal.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 136
trailridge wrote:

Actually much better.  They can really dig in, but if they are not very deep in the crack they could blow out the crack and explode the rock.  

You're right, the sandstone is weaker and the cam would have an easier time pulverizing the rock. However, if the crack is wet, there's a really good chance that the cam won't be able to achieve enough friction and it will just slip out because the water lubricates the surface.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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