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chris

Conditions Report: Static Point

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Hi folks, its been ages since I posted here last. I want to share an update with y'all about Static Point.

Thanks to the hard work started by Mark Hanna, and wrapped up by me, the Online Sector at Static Point is completely rebolted. And at the request of the FA team, Online in particular has been retrobolted to make it a little less R. Don't worry, it's still exciting!

Also, a rappel line has been added from Tombstone Ledge to the ground, roughly following the line of Epitaph. So it's possible to climb to the top of the sector and rappel with a single 60m rope. 

All the beta and topos can be found on my website. I do ask if you copy the topos, please consider making a donation in the sidebar to help me pay for the tools, gas and time I've taken to head out there, almost weekly, this summer. And a special shout out should be made to thank the ASCA and WARP for providing the hardware and the training to get the job done right. 

I'll be moving on to The Pillar Sector next summer and the trail will always need work. 

It's a magical place - where battery-powered drills were first used (on lead!) in Washington state. Check it out!

LINK to beta and topos: https://bit.ly/36ioSwQ

Edited by chris
  • Thanks 2
  • Rawk on! 2

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Thanks for the hard work! It is a magical place. I do feel a little bummed about the added bolts, that was the most memorable aspect of online for me. 
 

I hope the run out on American pie was preserved?

Edited by keenwesh

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Thanks for putting in the work out there. Still have one or two of the rusty old 1/4" Leeper numbers off of the route just left of Online ("The Fly?" or was it "American Pie"?) from when I helped some folks replace the original bolts on those routes ~15+ years ago.  

I seem to remember most of the bolts on Online being modern 3/8" expansion bolts back then, except at the anchors where there was usually a remnant Leeper in addition to a modern bolt. This was probably back in '02 or '03, so it's possible they rusted out if they weren't stainless. Also possible that my recollection is off. 

The crux pitch on Online always produced the desired/dreaded slab climbing zen state, and I'm glad I had the chance to experience the route 2-3 times in it's original state, although I'm also sure I'll also enjoy the route in its current incarnation as well if I make it back there. I'm assuming the bolts were added to the crux pitch. Anywhere else?

As an aside, I can remember that way back in the oughts in a bygone era when long, tedious arguments about retro-bolting were the coin of the realm on message boards, I'd often chide the purists by saying something to the effect of "An extra bolt only changes the character of the route if you clip it. If you're such a hardass, skip the bolt that you object to." That was more of a taunt than a serious argument, but it's sort of cosmically ironic that if there is an extra-bolt on the crux pitch I'll face the prospect of being haunted by my own taunts from yesteryear....

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Thanks for the rebolting job out there, Mark and Chris. I used to really like going there. Once I caught my leader Chuck S. coming off the On Line crux. He loved that route.

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The 3/8" bolts were definitely the victim of mixed metals - the bolts weren't stainless steel but the hangers were. This actually accelerates corrosion. I had several actually shear off when I tried to back them out. Because of the amount of rain we get here, WARP issues full stainless to help get the longest life out of our hardware.

Only Online was retro'ed, and I would still describe it as a heady-lead. The remainder of the routes were only rebolted, and there's no plans to do further retro work. It's a !@#$-ton of work to go back and forth, and I don't intend to do any more bolting than absolutely necessary! :slam:

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Aha. Thanks for investing all of the time and effort to upgrade those bolts - long runouts and rusty/mank make for a poor combination.

Incidentally - how long is the hike now? It's been ages since I've been in there, but it used to be you'd drive up the main road, take the right onto the decommissioned spur road until you couldn't drive any further, and then it was about 45 minutes from there. 

 

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You can't drive up the spur road at all anymore, so it's ~1 hour on the "road" and then 30 minutes pretty much straight uphill.

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Thanks! Bikes possible on the spur road, or is it too overgrown/log-choked to make that feasible?

 

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No, its way to overgrown for bikes. Plus, the culverts were also pulled, and the resulting gullies are the crux of the hike!

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Excellent work, Chris! It's been years since I was there, but I always enjoyed my visits and will be much more motivated to go back now. Funny, I don't even remember On Line being runout - back when I was 30 and immortal!

Noticed this troubling comment in your web summary: Long pants are strongly, strongly, STRONGLY recommended. Salmon berry bushes, Himalayan and native black berries, devils club, and a number of other prickly/spiny/thorny plants grow along this trail. Hoo boy, if those Himalaya berries get going, they will shut down foot traffic for good! Cutting them back might be as important as upgrading the bolts. Rainy day work party some time? 

 

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17 minutes ago, curtveld said:

Excellent work, Chris! It's been years since I was there, but I always enjoyed my visits and will be much more motivated to go back now. Funny, I don't even remember On Line being runout - back when I was 30 and immortal!

Noticed this troubling comment in your web summary: Long pants are strongly, strongly, STRONGLY recommended. Salmon berry bushes, Himalayan and native black berries, devils club, and a number of other prickly/spiny/thorny plants grow along this trail. Hoo boy, if those Himalaya berries get going, they will shut down foot traffic for good! Cutting them back might be as important as upgrading the bolts. Rainy day work party some time? 

 

I wonder if it is along road or the trail?  says trail but I thought the trail was in old growth forest?

 

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56 minutes ago, curtveld said:

Excellent work, Chris! It's been years since I was there, but I always enjoyed my visits and will be much more motivated to go back now. Funny, I don't even remember On Line being runout - back when I was 30 and immortal!

Noticed this troubling comment in your web summary: Long pants are strongly, strongly, STRONGLY recommended. Salmon berry bushes, Himalayan and native black berries, devils club, and a number of other prickly/spiny/thorny plants grow along this trail. Hoo boy, if those Himalaya berries get going, they will shut down foot traffic for good! Cutting them back might be as important as upgrading the bolts. Rainy day work party some time? 

 

Oh no! The Himalayan black berries have made it back that far into that watershed!? 
 

Thanks for the hard work out there. It’s too bad the walk is so far these days. 
 

I remember being out there with my then girlfriend. We backed off of the crux of online. She didn’t like the runout/crux combo. I didn’t argue. Maybe we will go back now. 
 

I too wonder exactly what pitches were retro bolted and how many new bolts were added. 

Edited by mountainsloth

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The old growth trail that Gene refers to is the last third, when the trail leaves the old road bed and begins to ascend to the rock.

It's time to stop thinking of the old logging road as a road - its not passible by any sort of wheeled conveyance, a single-track trail runs along it, and yes, there are stands of Himalayan blackberry in several spots where conditions are ripe (see what I got in there? :D). The last few years we have been hacking them back.

If anyone has a battery-powered hedge trimmer, I'd be stoked to borrow it for a few weeks instead of buying one just for this project. Email me at chris@simmonsmountain.works if you can help me out!

 

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I have fond memories of my whopping two/three(?) visits to Static Point. Very cool spot; I'm glad it's still a viable climbing area. Funny, I was not exactly all that bold, and never felt it was overly runout.... once you clipped the first bolt on P1. I do hope you left that first easy 40' slab exercise in its original unbolted state.

[Oh, and great job doing all this work!!!!]

Edited by Phil K
Kudos

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Wow.  Nice job.  I hiked up there around 2003 or so when I could still drive down the road.  It was too run out for me to climb, and now, at age 46 with a family, it would still be too run out if in the original shape.  I love to see these older routes get some love and ease the congestion of the local crags (looking at you Index), and making them safer will go a long ways to keeping the route clean and popular.

I went to Darrington over the summer and climbed two routes that had been rrebolted in the past few years (Thank you MattP and others.)   It opened up more climbing and i felt so much better above 3/8 stainless than 1/4 rusties.   Full respect out to you guys who are cleaning up these old routes and making them safer so the average person can climb them.  I don't want to have to be a 5.11 climber to safely climb a 5.10 route.  Spice is nice, death is not.

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