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UT: Zion Leisurely day down Spry and bolt placement question

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by bhalvers2002, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Instead of using ropes, folks just chopped footholds.

    Those steps date from the Anasazi, but may have been enhanced sometime else. Either way they are old and there are no rope grooves there. Actually, if you look carefully many technical slot canyons have moki steps in them. I used to not notice them until I started specifically looking for them.

    My memory maybe hazy, but, I don't recall using a rope in Davis.

    Good downclimbers can downclimb the whole slot.
    Ram likes this.
  2. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Concur anchor location is key. The fixed anchor locations for rappels in the canyons in Zion that are especially full of rope grooves were never optimized for minimizing impact to the canyon, but, for ease of getting on rappel.

    Not certain its just pulling ropes that causes the rope grooves. Crazy if it is.

    I wonder if rope construction, especially the sheath weave, contributes? Seems to me that the dynamic especially thin ice climbing ropes we used to use were pretty smooth. Some of these canyon ropes are COARSE. Coarse sheath pattern has to be more abrasive on the rock?

    The issue with "no bolt" type canyons is that an optimum location just can't easily be had. Fixed anchor locations could be optimized to reduce rope grooves. Short rap's to hanging anchors past rollovers would help. Would add rope work and rappels but would reduce rope grooves and the chances of sticking ropes.

    The fiddlestick concept is a good one for reducing rope grooves. Gotta be a double rope rappel technique that could be used in similar fashion.

    Worth poking at. Cheers.
    gajslk and darhawk like this.
  3. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Concur anchor location is key. The fixed anchor locations for rappels in the canyons in Zion that are especially full of rope grooves were never optimized for minimizing impact to the canyon, but, for ease of getting on rappel.

    I would say that there are several bolt stations in Zion that were placed that minimize rope grooves, but agree that most are for ease of getting on rappel. Specifically the one in Spry Canyon that is the original topic is an excellent placement that avoids rope grooves. There are no rope grooves the way it is placed. Same with the ones in Russell Gulch (except for maybe where you have to cross the pothole). One reason why these bolt stations minimize rope grooves is that you have to lean out or lean over to reach them. Some people are too timid to do this and thus bolts are placed that create rope grooves in places where they could have been placed to minimize the grooves.

    As an example outside Zion, I wonder who pulled the bolts at the Rock of Ages? They were placed perfectly so that the rappel would have never created rope grooves. Someone pulled them and placed others where rope grooving will now be a problem.

    Coarse sheath pattern has to be more abrasive on the rock?

    The more abrasive something is on your rappel device, the more abrasive it will be on the rock. Coarse ropes are definitely harder on rappel devices (and there are many other factors as well).
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
  4. Ram

    Ram

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    And upclimb it to at a very reasonable skill level, without real exposure
  5. Ram

    Ram

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    This implies that anti-bolt proponents applied their philosophy and it led to extensive grooving in specific places....I think that is what is implied? I don't think that has been established. If i am misunderstanding, my apologies. Grooving was a problem before the natural anchor push hit stride, on line. It took some time for it to be understood by all sides that improperly extended anchors of all kinds were the issue, not bolts or no bolts.
    Kuenn likes this.
  6. Ram

    Ram

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    This was a discussion that occurred many many times in the Yahoo archives in particular. Search it and you will see discussions that were quite personal and more often nasty, than not. Webbing can be removed said one side. Bolt reduces eyesore said the other side and in this specific case I could agree with both sides. I did neon first time in 1994 and the bolts were already chopped, I believe? Some repaired holes may have come and gone without my noticing, so this bolt war occurred before anyone was on line to rant back and forth. I have guesses on who chopped them and no idea on who placed them
    darhawk likes this.
  7. Ram

    Ram

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    The Hog 1 rap mentioned here has to be one of the easiest raps to extend, to avoid creating grooves. Deep Sigh.

    Single rope? Just not seeing it. On some super long raps over lips, a bit of sawing may happen if one bounces or leaves the fall line, both dangerous practices, more so on single rope. Experience thing mostly i guess. I think that is why a few specific places get core shot often. It just seems to me that all that rope being pulled down and sliding up is the vast majority of the grooving issue along with anchors not extended long enough
    Cameron likes this.
  8. Ram

    Ram

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    I remember a last rap in Spry up left out of the watercourse coming from a tree and then groove city over the 90 degree lip. I wondered why the route left the watercourse there. Here less impact was possible
    darhawk likes this.
  9. Ram

    Ram

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    those wet, sandy and course ropes can go through devices in a rap or two. Prime suspects. Fiddlesticking is the answer if no grooves is the question. Rapping to vertical mid stations, past bulges would also work. I am frightened to suggest either for general use. Maybe someday. Besides i think the anchors not extended far enough is by design. I think, most times in beginner canyons, that they are set short purposefully if ignorantly. Scary going over lips not weighted. Too bad the "courtesy anchor" has not become widely known and used. this would help a lot
    darhawk likes this.
  10. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Just a bit on this subject.

    I have personally observed and experienced the ultimate bounce-n-stretch on "super long" raps, i.e. > 2600'. Closely inspected the "crux lip-over point" for any visible stretch or sawing. (Believe me, you're keenly interested - especially when you're next up.) Based on my experience, the sawing just ain't there. Now, at the bottom, and midway, and gradually any distance below the lip? Absolutely! And as Ram said, would/could be a major contributor to core-shots.

    How much stretch in 2600' (11mm static), you may ask? I can tell you when ascending, it takes a good 5 minutes of jugging just to go the first 2 vertical feet.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  11. darhawk

    darhawk

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    I have been concerned that the bolt wars distracted from other human impacts in these canyons and that some naively equate no bolts with low impact. Many practices create impacts, and those impacts are context-specific. It is difficult to create covering rules for all anchor situations. I wonder if we shouldn't sometimes discuss anchor placement more as a community in prominent places. I suppose some folks just go create "facts on the ground," and thus circumvent discussion. I'm sorry to hear the last rappel station in Rock of Ages has been changed. While those "lean-to" bolts were a pain, they were better than rope grooves. Of course, one also has to account for typical human behavior at a drop. If people were avoiding the "lean-to" bolts in a way that created more impact, then perhaps it was OK to move them. I just want to discuss it all, reasonably. Perhaps we've matured enough as a community to do so, at least by the tone and content of many recent posts in this threat.
    Kuenn, gajslk, hank moon and 2 others like this.
  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    This was a pretty reasonable discussion.

    My recent bolt work in Zion Traderoutes has mostly been to relocate rappel anchors to put them in places to minimize rope grooves (which also makes pulls clean). Spry, Jacob, Lodge and Behunin come to mind. Seems like most (original) bolts are placed to back up a flimsy natural anchor (Spry and Lodge), without regard to grooving results. I remember one Zion pioneer commenting that he placed split-shank buttonheads (a low-quality bolt) because he did not think anyone would EVER do the canyon again...

    Tom
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 9:00 AM
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