It was reported that Sandthrax Canyon in North Wash had acquired quite a few "retro-bolts" in the last couple of years. Sandthrax was first descended by Steve Allen and friends at some point in the 90's. No bolts were required, and it is likely they did not even leave any slings behind. Sandthrax was attempted "for our group" in 2001 by Hank Moon, Chris R. and Shane Burrows in October 2001, when they left in place one drilled angle at the Silo. For a great telling of the story, Click Here. More recently, a party of a Dad and two kids entered Sandthrax thinking they were in East Leprechaun, encouraged by finding a bolt at the first rappel. For as much as the story as is known, Click Here. Other bolts have appeared, to "bring the canyon down to the descender's level". Two bolts at the crux. One bolt at the Hueco rappel somewhat later in the canyon. Maybe a few more bolts here and there. All these are considered "retro bolts". "Retro bolts" are bolts put in after the climb or canyon is established. In Climbing there is a clear ethic that retro bolts are not cool! and represent an ethical taint on the part of the placing party. If you are not up for doing the route as originally established, then go do something else. The same ethic applies to canyoneering. Back at Freeze Fest, we rapped in at the first rappel and removed the bolt at the first rap. I puttied it up, but the temps were low so the putty may not have stuck. There are some rocks there to set up an anchor; or bring a friend to meat belay you in; or bring some rocks from up-canyon to make an anchor with. This seems really easy and straightforward, meaning - WTF??* Last weekend, John Diener, Wayne (?), Tom Collins and I went in to relieve the canyon of some of the other retrobolts. Steve Allen at one point mentioned that there was a place near the end where the lip gets close to the bottom of the canyon, and he used to go in at that point (no rope required for Steve) with friends for a 1-hour Sandthrax experience. On this occasion, we were gunning for the bolts at the crux, and for the bolt at the Hueco rappel. We found the low point and John (who was injured) gave us a meat anchor to get in. This point is between the Hueco rappel and the end, in a place where you can actually walk on the bottom of the canyon. Moving forward, we found a bolt at the next place effort is required, though it is a bit odd because this place is pretty darn easy by Sandthrax standards - heck about as hard as the hardest places in Middle Lep. WTF?? This bolt was removed and the hole puttied up. Tom C. had been in Sandthrax last fall, so he had the best memory of the place. Wayne and I climbed the rope back out and took the other rope upcanyon looking for a place to get in between the Hueco rap and the crux - with Tom C IN the canyon at the Hueco rappel to help us locate a good place to rap in. Unknown to us, Tom C's group had left a rope at the Hueco rappel, and Tom was able to upclimb with an assist from that rope, just as we rapped in a few feet upcanyon of that. Mr. Collins has a story to tell, if he chooses to do so. The bolt for the Hueco rappel is a drilled baby angle. This takes a hammer to get out, which we did not have, so we left it in place. Then the three of us, two Toms and a Wayne, scurried upcanyon to the Crux. I had forgotten, kinda, how much fun and how much work scurrying through Sandthrax could be, even in the easy parts. I have not done much of this kind of canyoneering in quite a while. We got to the crux to find two bolts there. One was up high with a shunt for a hanger, and obviously intended for making it easier for the non-leaders to jug a rope at the crux. This one was removed and filled with putty. The other was lower down, near the top of the crux climb, and sported a short chain. This one was obviously intended to make it easier to complete the crux climb, once the #6 Camalots were maxed out. I removed this bolt (which was not well-placed) but did not putty it up as we were low on putty, and the position to putty it would have been incredibly awkward. Next trip through SandThrax I will try to remedy that situation. We then installed an aluminum stepladder and a solar-powered hoist at the crux, and cut 3" deep steps on both walls for pretty much the length of the canyon... oops, just kidding. Even though I am a feeble old man, I think the canyon should be left the way Yahweh made it! Maybe by next fall, I will be up for doing it under my own power again (or at least, with a strong team to pull me along). We then shimmied downcanyon back to where John patiently held the meat anchor rope. We decided to continue downcanyon and out the end, and rapped from the drilled angle at the Hueco rappel. People have climbed UP and DOWN at this point - looks plenty burly to me! We completed the canyon, finding, at another only-slightly-challenging spot another bolt (stud, with no hanger, a bit of webbing on it as tat), which we also did not remove. (Those are hard to get out). And we went back to camp and drank beer, with chips and salsa in the afternoon sun. Perfect! Perhaps one of the others will upload some pictures. There are likely other bolts in there waiting to be removed. I hope to get them sometime. If you are needing bolts to do Sandthrax, go do something else. Please do not place bolts in established canyons. Tom Jones 3/23/2016 *for non-BG fans, that is "What The Frakk!"