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Clean-up cautions

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by Matthew Smith, Jun 27, 2000.

  1. <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> <DIV><FONT face="Technical">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As I have been watching the dialog on cleaning up the canyons and "erasing" anchors I want to second some of the cautions that have already been mentioned.</FONT></DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face="Technical">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; An anchor is "erased" because Subject A feels that while challenging, the down climb is doable.&nbsp; A short time later Subject&nbsp;B descends the canyon.&nbsp; Having already pulled ropes several times, he cannot exit except down.&nbsp; So&nbsp;arriving at the drop in question he looks at his options.&nbsp;&nbsp;A thirty foot downclimb in the 5.8-5.9 range or a&nbsp;setting a bolt. Because the top is smooth as a baby's butt with&nbsp;oil on it, there is no option for a natural anchor.&nbsp; So he sets a bolt (Assuming that he is not a "skilled" canyoneer because of lack of down climbing abilities, we also assume he does a shoddy job of placing his bolt).&nbsp; Now the next person down the canyon will have one option more than Subject B.&nbsp; Seeing the bolt is questionable he must either replace it, or add to it by placing a secondary bolt.&nbsp; Should he choose to add another bolt rather than replacing the bad one, ( and if his skills are also lacking we now not only have a big sign that says "Rap Here!", but also two dangerous bolts.&nbsp; Isn't it better to place proper anchors (whatever that ends up being) at any "questionable" downclimb? Based not only on rating, but also height)&nbsp; Who gives us the authority or the right to say, "If you can't downclimb a 5.8 you shouldn't be here in the first place"?</FONT></DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face="Technical">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; We should also exercise caution towards families as has been expressed.&nbsp;&nbsp; What better teaching situation is there than a father descending with his kids, teaching them how to evaluate anchors, ropework, canyon ethics etc.? (Assuming the father has these skills).&nbsp; I plan to do this with my children when they are old enough to be afraid of the edge!&nbsp; </FONT></DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face="Technical">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I think example is a great way to educate.&nbsp; If novice canyoneers descend these "trade route" and see good, well placed anchors they will "assume" rightly that such is the proper way to do it.&nbsp; If we standardize the type of anchors we set as much as possible, every canyon will teach the same thing, thus furthering our efforts.&nbsp; I think this is the right approach.</FONT></DIV> <DIV>&nbsp;</DIV> <DIV><FONT face="Technical">Matt</FONT></DIV>
  2. canyonz

    canyonz Guest

    Why assume that somebody who cannot downclimb a 5.8 or 5.9 is not a "skilled canyoner"? This is a rather personal judgement with no clear boundaries, at a time when some people solo routes in the 5.13/5.14 range anyway... How do you qualify as a ''skilled canyoner''? When you can downclimb 5.10? 5.12 in a wetsuit? Head first? Any ideas on setting clear limits of exposure and risks, anyone. In Europe some people will abseil at one spot where others will jump, and others downclimb. How about providing safe belays anyway, maybe not in all canyons, maybe in a few only? I guess it's an ethical matter in the end. Another thing I'd like to know: If there is a possibility of bombproof natural anchor, but this anchor is not ideally located and creates rope drag for example or whatever other technical problem, would you guys place a bolt belay?

    Julien </td></tr></table> <table border=0 cellpadding=2 cellspacing="0"><tr><td><i>Attachment: vcard [not shown]</i>
  3. Rich Carlson

    Rich Carlson Guest

    Julien,

    I explain to all of my rock climbing students that there are two proficiencies they need to develop - (1) their ability to move efficiently on the rock so they don't fall (very often), and (2) the anchors and systems that will protect them if (when) they do fall. I have seen many climbers who can flash 5.12, but can barely tie their own figure eight knot. Others are a whiz with knots, anchors, self-rescue, etc., but struggle with 5.9. Which group constitutes the "skilled" climbers?

    The same type of question can be posed regarding canyoneers. The category of canyoneers who will downclimb 5.(whatever) because no natural anchor exists for a rappel, will also exit the canyon and bypass problems that they cannot downclimb. If someone else comes along and places an anchor so they can rappel and stay in the canyon, does it mean they are not a skilled canyoneer?

    In previous posts, the comments regarding downclimbing and skilled canyoneers had to do with bolting. Here in the U.S. there is an issue regarding accepteable practice at each drop (rating unimportant, could be 5.0 or even 4th class). One guy comes to a drop and needs, or simply wants to rappel, so he places an anchor. Along comes another guy who prefers to downclimb. If he respects the first guy's right to his own style, he will downclimb and ignore the anchor (assuming it is a good anchor). Unfortunately, some people believe that every canyon should be descended one way only - their way.

    Can you imagine arriving at a drop in a European canyon and encountering a sign that states "anchor has been removed, this drop must be jumped"? Or "if you can't downclimb this, go home"?

    The same type of issue exists in regards to what constitutes a safe anchor. Two adults alone in a canyon can make a decision for themselves that it is okay to rappel from a small sapling. But the family or scout group will insist on something more substantial. I believe that those who disdain the use of fixed anchors should ignore them and rappel from the sapling. They can brag to their friends that they descended "clean". They can also brag to their friends that they respected other people's rights to enjoy the canyon.

    There is no way to answer your question regarding fixed anchors when a stout, but inconvenient natural anchor exists. It will be discussed when we arrive at each specific spot. In each instance the decision may be different, but will reached by some sort of consensus.

    Rich
  4. ----- Original Message ----- From: canyonz info@canyonz.co.nz> To: canyons@egroups.com> Sent: Wednesday, June 28, 2000 3:01 AM Subject: Re: [canyons] Clean-up cautions

    > Why assume that somebody who cannot downclimb a 5.8 or 5.9 is not a "skilled canyoner"?

    simply for the sake of an example
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