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Need Tips on How to Develop New Bouldering Routes


Original Post
Max S · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 0

Hello all,

I recently discovered a new potential bouldering area and want to understand what it takes to develop this area and eventually add routes to Mountain Project.

It is known that climbers are welcome to this area, but it has an extremely small crowd and most of the routes are mossy.

Any advice besides pathetically brushing away moss for the next few years?

Thanks

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,610

oh this should be fun; go to it...

Tim McGivern · · Medford, ma · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 10,602

In order to get the best advice, shoot me a private message with the exact location....

maybe you’re serious and not a troll? Go climb the boulders. Bring a brush. If you’re not having fun, stop. 


Max S · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 0

Wait I'm definitely serious haha. Didn't realize my message sounded like that, I'll shoot you a PM. 

I've been climbing outdoors for over 8 years and finally excited to develop an area!


ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 240


Tim McGivern · · Medford, ma · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 10,602
Max S wrote:

Wait I'm definitely serious haha. Didn't realize my message sounded like that, I'll shoot you a PM. 

I've been climbing outdoors for over 8 years and finally excited to develop an area!


Just replied to you. Ignore most of these guys and have fun!

Dan Knisell · · Townsend, MA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 2,237
Max S wrote:

Hello all,

I recently discovered a new potential bouldering area and want to understand what it takes to develop this area and eventually add routes to Mountain Project.

It is known that climbers are welcome to this area, but it has an extremely small crowd and most of the routes are mossy.

Any advice besides pathetically brushing away moss for the next few years?

Thanks

There’s nothing pathetic about brushing up boulder routes. You’ll hear differently from the trolls on here. Ignore that noise. Sometimes you’ll come across a line that’s really awesome and all that scrubbing is worth it. Tim will have some good advice. Feel free to PM me as well if you want another perspective. 

Michael Schneider · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 973

Years ago,  my son went to nursery school at a house in a residential neighborhood..                                                                                                                                                                        Back then I took advantage of the back yard access to clean & climb an amazing boulder,

wait - whats that?
Now that the house where the school was, is vacant & for sale - I made a return
Gray & 'grainy'; there are water drops on some pix,  It was during a late spring snow storm
No - Not the small block, A white whale breaches beyond . . . It also made it
 hard to make out
A "come,hither look" it was snowing,Classic Access issue `But across the yard and then some. .. 

They just built the addition,a kids trampoline, around the corner, fills the yard

110%Lean,No Longer Clean

 I've climbed the easy stuff, to.11b???          

another house sized boulder
in 'the real' southern Ct
Do Ya Have To Ask?

Looking the other way: different, more substantial house, this shows the steep angle
In need of a wire brush Re-scrubbing
theses show the plums, that criss-cross the holds
Steeper than it looks
never got the sit-start
Sit- Start detail , & ground hog hole ,   click on it,
SO GOOD ! ,

Jake G. · · Maryland · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 0

I've been working on a spot my self. I took a push broom out of the dumpster at work and sawed the sides off of it so it's basically just a scrub brush on a stick. And than I sawed the back half off of a broken step ladder. I've been going around basically trying to completely work out a sequence before brushing the rock off and only brushing those holds that way I'm not disturbing the natural state of things too much. Than I dip my brush in my chalk and do it once more. Basically you do anything you want. That's the fun of it. Those are your routes now. But the one thing I see way to much is boulders coming in and fing the whole area up breaking down saplings, scaring off wildlife living under the boulders, brushing every last living thing off the rock, and so on. Makes me terrified to tell anyone where I've been climbing as there is a huge community of climbers here in Maryland but not many places for them to go. And this is in what I think might be the last simi-wild area near baltimore (occasional bears, bobcats, old growth hemlocks, all that good stuff) I'm just hoping that if I can be the first to climb each boulder that then people will respect the ethical approach that I set forth. 

Paul Trendler · · Bend, Oregon · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 113

"Brush, send, then brush again."

 Only brush the holds you intend on grabbing and/or standing on. Generally I would avoid using wire brushes at all costs, as it can polish and wear down the texture. A stiff nylon brush can get moss off just as well, but won't damage the rock. 

Tim McGivern · · Medford, ma · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 10,602
Jake G. wrote:...Basically you do anything you want. That's the fun of it. Those are your routes now. But the one thing I see way to much is boulders coming in and fing the whole area up breaking down saplings, scaring off wildlife living under the boulders, brushing every last living thing off the rock, and so on. Makes me terrified to tell anyone where I've been climbing as there is a huge community of climbers here in Maryland but not many places for them to go. And this is in what I think might be the last simi-wild area near baltimore (occasional bears, bobcats, old growth hemlocks, all that good stuff) I'm just hoping that if I can be the first to climb each boulder that then people will respect the ethical approach that I set forth. 

You can't really do anything you want, and I'm not sure about "...your routes now..." is quite right.....

You basically gave away the location of this area you are trying to protect from "over-cleaning". Don't worry about it so much. Routes and problems get pretty clean if they are popular. The lichens will be fine. They can lose a few brothers and they will march on.

Most of my experience cleaning off boulders is on hard granite. Sometimes steel or brass might need to be used to get old, hard lichens out from between crystals in hard granite. Rotten rock can be cleaned out a bit better with a metal brush on granite. Of course, you take care not to damage the good, underlying rock. I don't think metal brushes are appropriate for anything but hard hard rock such as a granite with a high amount of quartz etc. that isn't damaged by a pass of a steel bristle. After the initial cleaning though, only medium stiffness bristles should be needed. Just enough to dust it.

 
Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,610

Not sure you can see the brushes in the photo, from R&I #249, page 62. Those in the center are called 'corn brushes' (really?) and are VERY STIFF metal (i won't say steel). I develop numerous routes, and have partners who do the same, some who have developed 500+ and we ALL use the corn brush. On granite, limestone, volcanic, schist, etc. OK, iv'e not put up routes on sandstone, but does it ever need scrubbing?
If we are worried about the eco disaster of scrubbing, we are in the wrong game. If worried about the impact, visual or visceral, go easy on the elbow grease. BUT, the corn brush rocks!
Scrub on!
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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