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Eye of the Needle Via Feratta

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cjhaines, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. cjhaines

    cjhaines Chris

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    https://www.zionadventures.com/eotn-via-feratta.html

    Anyone have any details on this? I'm assuming it's something ZAC had installed recently but I'm wondering if anyone has any other details or knows the location. I'm assuming it's still on private land but it seems like it would be a nice way to bypass the MIA and avoid having to ascend fixed lines for their groups, though I have my own issues with it.
  2. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Funny...given that when Tom and I first explored the different forks of Oak Creek years ago, the ZAC folk were concerned that we didn't place any bolts...

    I think the idear of a VF in that area has been floated for some time.

    Hmm. Have to admit I'm curious about the details myself. Will it be available to the public? And, if not, how is that going to be indicated?

    Edit to add...

    And we (as a community) were concerned over Kelsey's use of a "g pick" in Imlay? Doesn't even compare to hacking full on foot holds in sandstone and bolting chain and staples to the walls. Wow.

    Will this spread to other venues because of this? Is that a concern?
  3. Jman

    Jman

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    ZAC has been advertising it on their FB page for the past month or so.

    Having done Eye of the Needle and the jumar at the end about 4 years ago was an amazing experience!

    (Thankfully my friend Jeff won a contest so we did it for free plus two free Kolob packpacks to boot!)

    Our guide BJ, Jeff and I ascended the route (450+ft) in less than 45mins total which was “fast”. Truth be told, we have climbing experience so no big deal.

    But BJ mentioned at the time how ascending was the worst part for the customers with one customer that was like 350 lbs climbing out at like 2am or something.

    My guess is that they had similar experiences over the year and can’t quite simply keep up.

    A via verrata is wayyy easier (and faster) then climbing a rope for a majority of people.

    That’s my guess on why they added it to the canyon. But besides that, a via Ferrata is fun! This gives customers another reason to choose ZAC now, as the nearest via ferrata is in Kanab or Waterfall Canyon in Ogden.




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  4. cjhaines

    cjhaines Chris

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    Logistics and appeal of a via feratta aside, I have to agree that hacking out footholds (and not to mention installing chunks of rebar) is usually frowned upon in the canyon community. Then again, it'll probably be a real money-maker.
    Rapterman and Jman like this.
  5. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Yeah, you got folks using fiddle sticks and rappelling on bags of sand and water to keep from changing the canyon...

    I dunno. I've done a fair number of VF's (in Europe). And, sure they're fun. But, are they appropriate in the US?
    moose droppings, stefan and Rapterman like this.
  6. John Styrnol

    John Styrnol

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    The first time we attempted Eye Of The Needle (2005), we messed up big time and came down that 350/450 ft. drop, and wondered why we missed all those rappels.:) Came back a few months later or maybe a year and did it the right way with a good friend that knew the way.
  7. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    I could be wrong, but weren't alot of the original VF's in Europe set up during war times? Not that war bars criticism from environmental protection, but driving steel in mountains to ensure your country's safety in war time is alot different than doing it for money and the convenience of customers.

    Id be lying if I said it didn't interest me (luckily the price scares me away), but when canyoneers are constantly practicing ways to minimize impact, and public interest in conservation is high, this seems like an odd move. Im sure it'll print money though...
  8. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    I saw this a few weeks back, and tried at first to be neutral about it, but after seeing a few hundred advertisements for it, I guess I'm fully in the 'hate it' category. I even made a post on their site wondering how this is supposed to mesh with their canyoneering courses which state that they teach "Leave No Trace Ethics." And of course it's not meant to be ethical. It's about being able to substantially increase the amount of traffic through the canyon so they can make more money off "owning it." And in doing so they placed more metal in that one canyon than all the bolts in Zion canyons put together. After they (or another guiding company) already added additional bolts to Birch Hollow and every. SINGLE. DROP. in Yankee. It's actually a wonderful argument for making sure guiding companies never operate inside Zion itself. Keeper potholes stopping us from guiding Heaps? Let's add a bunch of rebar ladders! :wtf: I miss the company I remember ZAC being once upon a time, but yeah, I'm no longer recommending them to folks. But I know everyone has different viewpoints on bolting. I never considering myself as extreme as some folks, but I'm in the leans-against-bolting camp. Some folks are very pro-bolting and they'll love this. The general public will love this. But I do know I don't want to ever see a lecture about not bolting from anyone affiliated with ZAC ever again, that's for sure!
  9. gajslk

    gajslk

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    I could be wrong, but aren't the Europeans more ethically flexible wrt leaving no trace?
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  10. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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  11. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    I typed up a fairly long response and then deleted it. Kind of sad that the forum is stopping people from speaking their mind in an open discussion in fear of being chastised. Not usually like me, as I don't generally care, but the drama starts to wear on you
    Jman likes this.
  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    ZAC/Jonathan has never added bolts to public canyons for guiding purposes. The atrocities in Yankee Doodle and Birch Hollow were the work of other people, though admittedly they were guides. (Just to clarify).

    Tom
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  13. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    What do you mean? How so?

    T
  14. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Don't bolt where not necessary.

    (Just wanted to get that out of the way, rather than have you waiting for it).

    Tom
  15. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    Necessary to whom? Is maximizing traffic and thereby profit something that is supposed to be considered in your question of necessity? I'm sure to the person currently running ZAC it's very necessary to do this. Everyone has to eat after all. Look, I've never placed a bolt, but I've used bolts in canyons and I haven't complained about (all of) them. I recognize some places need bolts for safety or to minimize the impact on anchors in high traffic areas. But to me I I can't see this as necessary, and once you've gone this route, it's hard to see how anything would be considered unnecessary.
  16. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    Fair enough.
  17. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    Hey, if you're going to yell at me and tell me I'm totally wrong, don't let me stop you! I'm just giving my opinion. If you love this thing, well, I doubt you'll change my mind, we might have to just agree to disagree, but I'm certainly not going to take it personally (I mean, maybe if you start saying mean things about my mom or something). I've never had issues with an honest discussion.
    Jenny and Kuenn like this.
  18. Jman

    Jman

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    I think I can understand why people could be angry (I call it faux outrage) but it would be about the hypocrisy. But at the end of the day, It’s a canyon on private property. Go capitalism! Sure, complain and boycott ZAC all you want but it’s not going to change anything.

    On the same token, are you going to stop taking the Zion shuttle or driving the roads in Zion because they blasted into the hillside to build a tunnel? I would argue, A tunnel is much more destructive to a mountain than a few 3” deep rebar rungs...and that’s just naming one thing.

    Are you going to backpack 30+ miles to Neon and Choprock instead of driving the destructive Hole in the Rock road? Many canyoneers use that road to access those canyons in Escalante. Should we be up in arms about that too? I for one am very thankful for that road and I’ll bet 99% the rest of you are too...

    Arches is ever expanding their roads and parking lots making the place bigger and bigger, overcrowding, , yet, the biggest fight we make is on a 2” deep glue-in bolt. Or nevermind that 10” deep rope groove in the sandstone due to our 30ft long webbing strands strands draped over hoodoos, arches, trees or stumps...(which of course will kill that tree eventually, just like the drive behind changing the rappel spot on Cassidy Arch from that tree to a bolted anchor).

    The climbers at SuperTOPO are perhaps right of canyoneers when we are overzealous about bolts and LNT but we skip over safety margins, use complicated (and forgettable) rigging practices, don’t practice rappelling with noobs before canyons, don’t wear helmets, wear farmer johns in Pine Creek in March, and so on...

    There are much bigger fish to fry and to lead the charge on a boycott of ZAC over a via ferrata up a sweet canyon located on Private property.



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    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  19. Taylor

    Taylor

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    Just for clarification, I really don't know the answer: Is it the canyon or the canyon access or both that's on private property?
  20. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    Okay, now we have a debate! You do make some good points. Like I said, I am not totally anti-bolt. I totally get why there are bolts in Keyhole and Cassidy Arch, and there’s many places that would be difficult if not impossible to descend safely without bolts. But this decision was not made because it was the only option, nor was it made to minimize impact. And yes, I use lots of roads. But I also do a lot of approach hikes. Lines have to be drawn somewhere, right? By your logic we should have no objection about putting in new roads to eliminate all approach and exit hikes. And why not ladders so we don’t have to carry bulky ropes like in Antelope? And how about a gondola to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with gift shops? I can’t object to any of that because I drive to Zion on a road that was built 70 years before I was born? I can’t go back and change anything that has already been done, nor I am going to argue against every change that’s made in the world, but I do think this change was done with poor intentions and sends a bad message to new canyoneers about how to deal with obstacles. But I respect that you feel otherwise and we can agree to disagree, haha!

    I too am curious about the land issues though. I guess my understanding was that the canyon itself is public but there is no way to access it except through private property, access that ZAC negotiated some time ago. Am I wrong there, then?
    Sandstoned and Deagol like this.
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