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Oak Creek Waterfall bolting problem
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Apr 29, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: zebra power
Just out of the parking area for the Oak Creek Waterfall, some climber decided to go crazy with glue-in bolts on the main approach trail which leads to the creek. Like 40+ bolts. This area shows a great example of somebody who has no authority on bolting. What a disgrace and on the main trail which thousands of visitors a year walk down to get to the creek. One route looks like an aid training traverse, and then there are bolts glued everywhere on the trail on the tops of many of the plateaus. Some are missing hangers and some of the glue-ins looked smashed down by somebody else retaliating the bolting. There is even one glue-in bolt on a separate 100 lb rock which two people can freely carry around. This creek area is the locals 5-star swimming hole, which is now being climber trashed.

Does anybody know who is creating this mess?
karabin museum
From phoenix. AZ
Joined Aug 5, 2009
677 points
Apr 29, 2013
Marty, I don't know if this was ever resolved but others are aware of the problem. See the link below. mountainproject.com/v/oak-cree... Hampton Uzzelle
From Tucson, Arizona
Joined Jul 11, 2006
15 points
Apr 29, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: zebra power
Thanks for the link but at the same time there was no effort made by other climbers to clean up the problem? The posts are from 2010. So somebody goes out and makes a joke about bolting and it is left for everybody else to see? Any anti climbing organization can use this area as an example of why bolting should be stopped.

This is a total problem!

If this was a practice area for rescue training, I would personally like to have a few words with their captain on incorrect bolting that he is promoting within a visible tourist area located just down stream from Slide Rock. Besides placing dangerous bolts for others to hang off of as practice. Whoever did this has no respect for nature. There are bolts F'n everywhere, and many for no reason and on the main trail! The bolts were placed with no thought, directionals are incorrect, many bolts are too close to the rock tops which are expansion on sandstone, all on short 15' creek bed walls. There are however a few large Petzl glue-in bolts which are not commonly seen and were purchased possibly directly through the Manufacturer. Any climber can see how ugly this situation looks for all climbers.

This is not a slack line set up or film shoot or anything like that. Just somebody that decided that they were going to create their vision of climbing. Start with power drill, get big ego, create a mess for all, and then read the "how to climb" and "climbing ethics" books.

The climbers in Phoenix would have proudly chopped this problem away once it got started. It would be deemed "unacceptable" by all Phoenix climbing organizations.
What are the Northern AZ climbers doing about the problem……………..nothing……………really? Just letting the problem get worse?

Rock Climbing Photo: Oak Creek Waterfall area
Oak Creek Waterfall area

Rock Climbing Photo: Oak Creek Waterfall area
Oak Creek Waterfall area

Rock Climbing Photo: Sponsored!
Sponsored!

Rock Climbing Photo: "unbolted" rock face, Oak Creek
"unbolted" rock face, Oak Creek
karabin museum
From phoenix. AZ
Joined Aug 5, 2009
677 points
Apr 29, 2013
The attrocity is there with the permission of the land managers. It's used for search and rescue training. Believe me I have wanted to remove them often. john crawley
From flagstaff, az
Joined Feb 3, 2011
415 points
Apr 29, 2013
The attrocity is there with the permission of the land managers. It's used for search and rescue training. Believe me I have wanted to remove them often. john crawley
From flagstaff, az
Joined Feb 3, 2011
415 points
Apr 29, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: me
That area is used by a few rope access training groups and Sedona Fire rescue for training. I dislike it as well, but chopping it would not be a good move for relations with other groups. Also, myself and the climbers I know try to keep the area clean by picking up trash around the swimming hole. Climbers from Flag do not leave trash on the approach or near the swimming hole, it is other tourists and non-climbing swimmers. Joel Unema
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Nov 30, 2009
930 points
Apr 29, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Me
As mentioned in the previous thread, these are land-manager approved bolts placed by Ropes That Rescue. They're obviously unnecessary and a mess. Rescue could be practiced and kids could go top roping at literally dozens of other places in the Sedona/Flagstaff/Prescott areas.
This does indeed show what plenty of money and a cozy relationship with land managers will get you. It reminds me of Pink Jeep Tours being tacitly allowed to leave tire tracks all over the slickrock, or getting an unnecessary berm installed at the entrance to Dry Creek Road so they don't look stupid when people pass pink jeeps in passenger cars. Or a certain bike tour company in the area constructing an illegal bike trail out their back door with no consequences due to a 'personal' relationship with a land manager...gotta love that Red Rock Ranger District.
As much of an eyesore as it is, please leave the bolts alone. Chopping these 'legal' bolts will only create problems for the N. AZ. climbing community.
Zack S.
From Prescott, AZ
Joined Mar 8, 2010
48 points
Apr 29, 2013
I'd hate to see this area get caught up in a chopping controversy. My work is in public land management and it seems like there might be solutions esp. given the amount of visitors in the area. If it'd be helpful to have someone talk with people from Coconino SAR, Sedona Fire, and the Red Rock Ranger district, about potential solutions (hard to believe we couldn't come up with a less visible alternative location for rescue training), I'd be happy to give it a shot. Agreed with Joel and John about the need to keep relations good esp. in an area as special as the waterfall. -Anne Mariah- AMT
Joined Mar 2, 2009
3 points
Apr 29, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Jumping across the mace gap with a PBR
As Chris Kalous once said regarding bolts; "If you clip them, you own them" Robbie Brown
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Apr 1, 2012
364 points
Apr 29, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: yup...
I haven't been to the waterfall area yet but I noticed a similar atrocity near grasshopper point, and even at the anvil boulders. Grasshopper point is littered with funky anchors in weird spots and hanger-less bolts on boulders. The same can be said about the anvil boulders. I can see adding a bolt to the top of some of the taller faces of the boulders but to have 5 or 6 is stupid....not to mention most are missing hangers or are improperly placed glue-ins.

Going from CT to Sedona was like a vegan first witnessing the results of the atkins diet.
guy bon
Joined Mar 8, 2010
2,522 points
Apr 29, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: zebra power
This is the worst bolting I have ever seen, and it was done by a company that may rescue somebody some day. Nice! My hat is off to all rescue guys out there since there are a lot of uneducated climbers climbing the rocks. But out of all of the rock in Oak Creek canyon, the mouth of a popular trailhead was chosen to deface and in a low budget way. To me this looks like a training ground opportunity that was taken too far. karabin museum
From phoenix. AZ
Joined Aug 5, 2009
677 points
Apr 29, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: yup...
Rock Climbing Photo: atop a 10ft. boulder
atop a 10ft. boulder
guy bon
Joined Mar 8, 2010
2,522 points
Apr 30, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Whitney portal.....bony fingers
Dont have a problem with Search n Rescue throwing some bolts around to practice... might not be pretty.. but I think most people understand the need... they tend to use more anchors for their setups than climbers would.. all sorts of backups..directionals... etc.. we may all need them oneday when we get busted up.... the best can get broken. I would like to see whoever put the rebar ladder at the pond given a talk to!! Now ever pedestrian goes up to the crags... spray paint yay.... hello

cheers
lou
lou
Joined Feb 13, 2006
80 points
Apr 30, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Closing in on my one and only .12 send on gear!
Anne MT, hats off for talking solution. Let's all be careful: we've just lost our parking privileges at the pit, lord knows what could happen to our beloved waterfall if we piss the wrong people off. JMo
From Tucson, AZ
Joined Jan 12, 2009
1,105 points
Apr 30, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Cobra Kai
lou wrote:
I would like to see whoever put the rebar ladder at the pond given a talk to!! Now ever pedestrian goes up to the crags... spray paint yay.... hello

Grab your popcorn everybody.
Red
From Tacoma, Toyota
Joined Sep 11, 2008
1,586 points
Apr 30, 2013
lou wrote:
I would like to see whoever put the rebar ladder at the pond given a talk to!! Now ever pedestrian goes up to the crags... spray paint yay.... hello


Don't forget the Dots, Milk Duds, and Coke . . . get ready for the movie; something to do with Pots, Kettles, and a Blacksmith as I once heard it told . . .

10 . . . 9 . . . 8 . . . ?

There might also be a short cartoonish lampooning before the film about some interesting "historical" activity at Pinnacle Peak and in the McDowells . . .

7 . . . 6 . . .

Fred
Fred AmRhein
Joined Feb 15, 2007
183 points
Apr 30, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: twister roof, Flagstaff, AZ
Comparing the bolt ladder to the waterfall bolting disgrace in Sedona is invalid, personally I have seen many Gipsy-esk hoodlums come up the steep west side of the pond and only find the ladder upon watching climbers come up that way, or maybe you are referencing all the graffiti at the pond that has shown up after the installation of the ladder? Graffiti that I have still yet to see/find in my years of climbing at the pond. Given a free afternoon I wouldn't hesitate to chop some bolts if I could see it keeping some novice climber from getting injured. Nicholas Oxentenko
Joined Sep 19, 2009
20 points
Apr 30, 2013
Nicholas Oxentenko wrote:
Comparing the bolt ladder to the waterfall bolting disgrace in Sedona is invalid


Quite true; the glued-in rebar ladder at The Pond area is anything but a "bolt" ladder, there are literally no bolts and it's quite a bit more than that. Most comments over the years surrounded who was responsible for it not so much in advocating to actually chop it; thus the Pot, Kettle, and Blacksmith riddle.

Regardless, there it is and my guess is that it's not going anywhere soon.

Fred
Fred AmRhein
Joined Feb 15, 2007
183 points
Apr 30, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: twister roof, Flagstaff, AZ
Miss typed bolt ladder when I meant rebar ladder FYI Nicholas Oxentenko
Joined Sep 19, 2009
20 points
Administrator
Apr 30, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: JJ turning the lip of the roof on the FA of Rusted...
Hey KM I was obviously upset when these bolts first appeared for so many reasons. The hangers have been removed, hammered, and otherwise mangled many times over by unknown parties. However fresh bolts just keep sprouting up... And after a few years watching the process and pondering the situation all I can really tell you is this guy really wants bolts there for whatever reasons. However, these short sandstone walls along Oak Creek just below the parking area for the Waterfall are not a crag, and the bolts placed here are not to protect rock climbs. It is unfortunate to say the least, but as I have learned, yelling and screaming about it on the Internet isn't going to solve anything. I mean hell, even chopping the bolts didn't solve the problem. So the issue is more complex than we would like to imagine, and the solution might need to be more involved than mere sabotage. JJ Schlick
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined May 28, 2006
11,885 points
Apr 30, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: night ice
Nicholas Oxentenko wrote:
Comparing the bolt ladder to the waterfall bolting disgrace in Sedona is invalid..


Calling the comparison invalid, doesn't make it invalid. There were plenty of climbers who thought the rebar ladder was unnecessary and self serving at the time it was put up. This is similar to how climbers feel about the subject of this thread and it is an issue that pops up regularly - not just in climbing.

In boating it came about when someone (can't remember who, but he was eventually caught) blew up a rapid on the Salt River so as to make guiding trips easier and portages less frequent.

Coming to consensus is difficult at best but if something shows up suddenly and (relatively) anonymously it likely means there should have been more discussion.
BGBingham
Joined May 20, 2007
62 points
Apr 30, 2013
JJ Schlick wrote:
So the issue is more complex than we would like to imagine, and the solution might need to be more involved than mere sabotage.


I think the issue is less complex. If it's not affecting access, we should leave it alone. Especially if it's there with express permission.

It is an eyesore though!
Jeff Kent
From Sedona, Az
Joined Oct 10, 2012
5 points
May 1, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, h...
I sent a polite email to Ropes that Rescue and their reply is below. It looks like they did not place the bolts.

"Thanks for the email. I am wondering where you got this information. We (RTR) do not require bolts to do what we do (training in rope rescue and rope access) except on the vertical wall where we have done an aid climb. As I understand by the person who did them, those Fixe glue-ins were placed with painstaking care to camouflage them. Dirt was used along with epoxy to insure the finish remained unobtrusive. We (RTR) use natural anchors for rescue work and those placed at the Waterfall parking lot appear to be used by multiple climbing groups to teach rappelling and so forth. Also, the Coconino County Sheriff's SAR team and Sedona Fire District TRT teams train there regularly. Perhaps they placed some of them? (There is another place where this has occurred on the Casner Canyon Trail coming from 89A just by the 60kv power line. We have used that area for years with bolts and glue ins galore and no one has ever complained). I have personally removed several messy looking bolts and glue ins on the top of the rock at the Waterfall area. We bent them over and then used a huge bar to twist them off. Again, we do not need bolts or glue-ins for what we do.

I am in favor of preserving the area without bolts of any kind. Some times they are necessary and if we have to place them, we do so discretely and try and camo them. Any bolt I place in a visible spot is done precisely with this consideration. I just got another email from some person named [ommitted] who's tone is very offensive and accusatory. I will not even bother to answer it because the guy sounds like a nut.

Thanks for sending this email."
Eric D
From Gnarnia
Joined Nov 29, 2006
242 points
May 1, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, h...
No worries Dean. They actually seemed to know who placed them but didn't want to say who. My email to them was respectful and we had a good interaction, so no harm done. Eric D
From Gnarnia
Joined Nov 29, 2006
242 points
May 2, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Moving into Pabst Trap on the One Wall.
I say let them have their practice area, and maybe they will think the same for us. Colin Cox
Joined May 13, 2008
2,658 points
May 3, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: zebra power
Rock Climbing Photo: Oak Creek
Oak Creek

Yesterday I returned to the Oak Creek Waterfall area to get a better understanding of this new climbing area being developed. 50' from the parking area is the river which is flowing down Oak Creek Canyon. To get to the creek you hike down to the top of a short cliff wall and follow a trail that stair steps down a rock corridor to the creek. The Waterfall climbing area is 1/2 mile uphill from the creek. The new climbing area being developed is the rock corridor at the creek, (the tourists main trail).


Rock Climbing Photo: Cody
Cody

I brought along quest monkey "Cody" who is an accomplished V10 climber, but is bolt clueless. The Waterfall climbing area is shown above Cody's head, awesome basalt walls.


Rock Climbing Photo: Aid traverse
Aid traverse

We started with the aid bolt traverse in the corridor. From the standpoint of an instructor, this aid line is an awesome training route because it has easy top and bottom access for instructor and climber. A dozen or so bolts go around a short bulge which almost lead to the top. If two more glue-ins were added going up at the finish, this would be a 5 star training aid route.


Rock Climbing Photo: Cody on aid trav
Cody on aid trav

Cody decided to do the route ropeless, but still on slings. Cody's comments were that the route was totally awesome! A great learning experience. But the route just ends and then you have to be lowered, or back climb a few bolts to a secondary anchor higher above.


Rock Climbing Photo: loose hangers
loose hangers

The secondary aid anchor is down and out of reach from the plateau top and trail. I am amazed that I can unscrew each bolt by hand like they were never tightened in the first place. Notice how short the studs are like the anchors were never seated. On soft sandstone most studs raise 1/4 to 1/2 inch past the nuts when tightened.
I replaced the bolts but they still are loose since I have no tools with me to torque them down. Observing in the area, all of the bolts on the walls are spinning loose. You can remove most of the nuts by hand since the studs installed are stainless steel Fixe studs which have perfect machined SS nuts.


Rock Climbing Photo: Cody tyroleon
Cody tyroleon

Since bolts are on both sides of the corridor, Cody had an opportunity to learn the tyroleon traverse.


Rock Climbing Photo: Interesting bolt placement
Interesting bolt placement

Cody is on one side of the main trail corridor pointing out my favorite anchor so far. These anchors are extremely rare to find since they are so dangerous.


Rock Climbing Photo: Moveable bolt
Moveable bolt

This is a beautiful 120 pound rock with a glue-in bolt on it located on the top of the cliff edge overlooking the tourist trail. This anchor I call the "moveable bolt."


Rock Climbing Photo: Time to Rap!
Time to Rap!

OK time to rappel! The ratings on this Fixe glue-in bolt claims to hold over 8000lbs, so this should be totally safe! This rappel situation has death written all over it, but will the traveling beginner climber or hiker know that?


Rock Climbing Photo: Close to top
Close to top

Placing expansion bolts within 10" of soft sandstone rock tops is pushing the safety limit. This bolt is within 2" of the rock top, and then probably was expanded to 200+ foot pounds of outward torque.


Rock Climbing Photo: Total protection
Total protection


These five anchors all lead to a ledge 7' below. The next four photos show a few examples of the many bolts presently on the trail. Smashed glue-in bolts and smashed hangers by retaliating hikers or climbers. Bolt studs missing hangers all over the place.
Rock Climbing Photo: Smashed glue-ins
Smashed glue-ins

Rock Climbing Photo: smashed hangers
smashed hangers

Rock Climbing Photo: Clips on trail
Clips on trail

Rock Climbing Photo: bolt studs, in line anchors?
bolt studs, in line anchors?



It is unfortunate that somebody or somebody's decided to create a climbing area in a well known tourist area. There are more outdoor activists that dislike climbing bolts than there are climbers, so this ugliness kinda attacks everybody. The cliff walls continue in both directions so now with the new bolts suggesting development, might as well stitch up the entire area!

Solution: Remove the climbing bolts from the trails. At the tops use trees as main anchors to reach climbing bolts just below the top lip of walls. Place a small sign informing people that this is a climbing training area. Inform climbers not to further develop walls within 50" of mouth of trailhead. In tourist areas only use glue-in bolts, not hex expansion, and definitely not stud style bolts. Most people keep a crescent wrench in their vehicle and can easily attempt to remove a bolt to make a statement. Most organizations educate climbers to not develop routes within view of high traffic tourist areas. Whoever is spreading these bolts around, please understand that another human some day may be trusting their life in your work. Understand the impact you are creating for all before placing an anchor.

I do not believe that this bolting was created by a Rescue company. Most rescue companies do not train on climbing bolts, especially bolts which are within an area of public tampering. I am not here to chop these bolts, just raising awareness.

Cody's final statement: "Pleasant peaceful area which looks like somebody was trying to F... up."
karabin museum
From phoenix. AZ
Joined Aug 5, 2009
677 points


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