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Removing Vasodilator death block tomorrow

Original Post
Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 41

I'm going to remove the death block (between bolts 5 and 6) on Vasodilator tomorrow morning. My plan is to put a bolt in it and lower it off. If the route is messed up by the change, we can clean it up and glue it back on later (by the way, I haven't done that part before).

I'm hoping that due to the crappy weather, no one else will be up there, at least until later in the day.

Trevor stuart · · Denver · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 105

Glue it or put a huge bolt in it instead of changing the route. 

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,605
Jonathan Awerbuch wrote: I'm going to remove the death block (between bolts 5 and 6) on Vasodilator tomorrow morning. My plan is to put a bolt in it and lower it off. If the route is messed up by the change, we can clean it up and glue it back on later (by the way, I haven't done that part before).

I'm hoping that due to the crappy weather, no one else will be up there, at least until later in the day.

Does the "community" approve? Did you go through the proper channels?

Bill Schick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2019 · Points: 0

Leave it for someone else.  For starters, drilling and placing an expansion bolt into the block is likely to crack it, rendering your plan a failure.  This is a significant route in the area and you don't sound qualified for the job.  

Kris S · · Gunbarrel, CO · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 763

I've read the comments on Vaso, and some people have stated that they felt a block wiggling, but I put in a lot of time on this route and never noticed any movement. Do be absolutely sure that the block would fall out on its own before altering the route. There are lots of holds [in the canyon] that move, but would never actually come out. If you have to use any tools to remove it I'd question the necessity.

Alyosha Karamazov · · Linville Gorge, NC · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 430

don't do it. it's bomber 

Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 41

It's been wiggling every time I've climbed the route. If you haven't noticed then you aren't paying attention. It is cracked all the way around. The block is large enough that a 3/8 wedge bolt probably wont crack it.

Consensus on the route page, including the FA, is to remove it. It's "bomber" until it's not and it kills someone.

Don Ferris III · · Eldorado Springs · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 175

Obvious troll is obvious 

Gold Plated Rocket Pony · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 91

I echo what Kris says but will also add that tomorrow being Saturday with a high of 54 and sunny on a south facing crag seems less than ideal time to try and do this.

Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 41

You'd need to remove it to glue it. I could put a 12" bolt in it but there's no way to know what's behind it. How do you know it's bomber? If it doesn't come off with a small pry bar, I'll leave it.

djh860 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 110

I think this post will need video of said event

Brandon Fields · · Boulder · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 500
Jonathan Awerbuch wrote: It's been wiggling every time I've climbed the route. If you haven't noticed then you aren't paying attention. It is cracked all the way around. The block is large enough that a 3/8 wedge bolt probably wont crack it.

Consensus on the route page, including the FA, is to remove it. It's "bomber" until it's not and it kills someone.

So Mark wants it removed? Has anyone from the BCC been out to look at it? I haven’t climbed this line yet, but I have been planning on it. I’m all for removing dangerous blocks, but I find 99% of people I talk to don’t know what is safe and what is not safe in regards to rock quality. I wouldn’t trust the average climber’s opinion on the subject (ie. The comments on the route page here)

You may be very qualified to make this assessment or not. It’s probably best if you give us any info you can on your due diligence process for coming to this conclusion. People will always be up in arms about this kind of thing if you don’t first prove to them why they shouldn’t be. If Greg German popped on here and said the same thing, no one (hopefully no one) would question him because we know who he is, his history and his process.
Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 41

Thanks Brandon. I've just sent Mark a message. I didn't know BCC is the organization to deal with. Really glad to have some informed commentary here. My assessment was that folks have been complaining about it for several years, and no one has said "Oh, I know what I'm talking about, it's safe". My guess is it's just a matter of time, and I don't know how anyone could be have a life-safety level of confidence that it's solid.

I haven't found beta to avoid the block, so it seems super dangerous to me. My feeling was: no one else  has stepped up, and it's past time.

Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,829

Even if everyone's all for it, never do this sort of thing on a weekend.

Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 41
Greg Barnes wrote: Even if everyone's all for it, never do this sort of thing on a weekend.

Ok. You're right, I just didn't want to take the time off work, and I thought I could get away with it because of the snow. I've also got a lot more push back here than I was expecting -- everyone I've talked to until now has been like "great, do it asap". I don't think it's going to come off tomorrow (although it could), so I'll get this sorted before I do anything. I'm mostly glad I posted.

Not Burchey LOL · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2019 · Points: 0

Best of luck, although this is a weird way to spray that you climb 13a.  Woodson 11+, btw.

Gumby King · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 25
Jonathan Awerbuch wrote:

I've also got a lot more push back here than I was expecting -- everyone I've talked to until now has been like "great, do it asap". I don't think it's going to come off tomorrow (although it could), so I'll get this sorted before I do anything. I'm mostly glad I posted.

Eh, you asked the wrong group.  

MP users are couch climbers, bolt choppers, curmudgeons, and wants everyone to get hurt because they didn't have XYZ back in their day so we shouldn't either (even though some routes have a history of injuries).  

I don't know the area and definitely will never be able to climb a 13a... but yeah, check with any local climbing groups and maybe try to get them involved for general community support.

Make sure you take a molding of the rock so we can replace it with a plastic one to maintain the original route.  I'd hate for original routes to change because of climbers breaking holds or general erosion.  

J T · · Colorado · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 300

Two of the Front Ranges most prolific route developers and first ascensionists agree with you...

Bill Schick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2019 · Points: 0
Jim Turner wrote: Two of the Front Ranges most prolific route developers and first ascensionists agree with you...

No they don't.  Unspecific commentary was left on the route page and most of it is over 6 years old.  There is not a single informed comment that suggests the block is actually dangerous.  If it scares the OP, go find another route.  For those who have actually climbed the thing, most find that block to be key - at the very least to the quality of the moves.  Some know-nothing do-gooder going up there to "fix" thinks sounds like a disaster.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,404
Gumby King wrote:

Eh, you asked the wrong group.  
MP users are couch climbers, bolt choppers, curmudgeons, and wants everyone to get hurt because they didn't have XYZ back in their day so we shouldn't either (even though some routes have a history of injuries).  
I don't know the area and definitely will never be able to climb a 13a... but yeah, check with any local climbing groups and maybe try to get them involved for general community support.

It never occurred to you that MP users are also board members, employees, and founders of local and national climbing groups?

To the OP:
 If it can wait, I'll call Greg G. and a few other folks to see if we can get up there with me next week.
I think Mark is down south these days, but if his hip is better and he's up to it, maybe he can come out as well.

Jonathan, are you free next week during the week?  Want to come up if we do the inspection at a time that works for you?

Gumby King · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 25
Bill Schick wrote:

No they don't.  Unspecific commentary was left on the route page and most of it is over 6 years old.  There is not a single informed comment that suggests the block is actually dangerous.  If it scares the OP, go find another route.  For those who have actually climbed the thing, most find that block to be key - at the very least to the quality of the moves.  Some know-nothing do-gooder going up there to "fix" thinks sounds like a disaster.

The OP has climbed it...  Look at the route photos

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Colorado
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