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Rad

Gear vs bolt to protect thin flake

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Suppose you are putting up a new route on a granitic crag and encouter a sizeable flake. This thing is 10 ft wide, 7 feet high, about 6 inches thick, and the crack behind it is about 1-2 inches wide. One must use its lower and upper edges to climb past. After stomping on it on rappel it seems pretty solid.

 

However, you are concerned that if someone were to place a cam near the far end of the flake a lead fall onto that cam would result in high forces at the end of the flake, which would apply a huge torque on the beast, potentially prying it loose. It must weigh a ton, and if it comes off it would almost certainly kill anyone in its path. :mistat:

 

To make matters worse, the flake is very sharp. The rope might get stuck and/or cut if it runs behind it. :noway:

 

The route is really great otherwise, and definitely worth climbing. You want this route to be climbed safely by lots of people (it's Renton granite, after all). sickie

 

Would you bolt the wall next to the flake to discourage cam placements behind it?

 

What about bolting the flake itself (might help keep the rope out of danger)?

 

How might you test the stability of the block without endangering anyone?

 

How might you help prevent the rope from running behind or getting cut by the flake?

 

You considered shotcreting the whole thing shut and bolting on plastic holds on to make it 5.6 instead of 5.10. However, you are hoping that some clever route setters on CC might have a better idea. ;)

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if the flake was 1 inch wide and the crack behind it was 6 inches wide, trundling it or bolting next to it might become more attractive, but a 6 inch thick flake of the dimensions you indicate with only a 1-2 inch crack behind it is bomber... (or even a 3-4 inch crack behind it)

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if the flake was 1 inch wide and the crack behind it was 6 inches wide, trundling it or bolting next to it might become more attractive, but a 6 inch thick flake of the dimensions you indicate with only a 1-2 inch crack behind it is bomber... (or even a 3-4 inch crack behind it)

 

agreed. unless it is balanced on an edge, the sheer weight of the thing is enough to hold it in place.

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I have.

____________________________________________________________

 

BTW, Sean can confirm the flake size in this story, he and I spent part of a day cleaning around a smaller version of the flake you described (basalt).

 

It made for what looked like decent pro behind it, but I never fell on it.

 

I was out there with Ujohn a while later and he noted a big assed loose block right on route.

 

I went out there later by myself, (new route) kicked that block (approx 2' x '2 x 3 feet high) off with my toe while on rappel. It hit the flake, it peeled off and went too: then the whole thing swept the face.

 

It would have killed anyone underneath.

 

If you can rap down with a crowbar.....

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Basalt is choss and this is granite Bill.

 

There's a reason the Crooked River flows around Smith... cause it's so much easier to erode the basalt than the tuff.

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I have.

____________________________________________________________

 

 

What did ya think of that undercling flake around the 13th or 14th pitch?

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Basalt is choss and this is granite Bill.

 

There's a reason the Crooked River flows around Smith... cause it's so much easier to erode the basalt than the tuff.

 

What are you talking about. Idiot....the Crooked River flows around Smith because its Crooked! AKA....not straight. Like you.

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Is there some way to put a "test load" on the flake? If one knew how much force a cam would exert if fallen on, then one could calculate the size lever necessary to test the strength of the flake.

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Thanks for the flake-chopper pic...is that my lost neutrino?!

Please drop it in the mail.

tks

 

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Basalt is choss and this is granite Bill.

 

:lmao:

 

God I love Granite.

_________________________________________________________________

 

What did ya think of that undercling flake around the 13th or 14th pitch?

 

That was my lead: I remember thinking of what a Mensch Robbins was to show up in shit (by our standards) shoes, a heavy rack of pins and a hammer, and just did it anyway.

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The rock is rhyolite, not granite.

 

The flake is supported *only* by the vertical edge wedged in the (vertical) corner, it has no support from underneath, top, or one side.

 

I'd estimate the dimensions to be 10ft wide, 15 feet high, and perhaps 3-6 inches thick. Its very impressive. Its very very scary to yard one while climbing, though I've gotten a bit way up it on TR before chickening out.

 

The pic that John posted is cool and all, but thats a slab. This is plumb vertical. You are climbing under this flake for half the route, then yarding on it directly, then doing 5.10 climbing above for the remainder of the route. If it ever came off it would kill your partner, kill you and/or chop your rope, and kill everyone else near the base of this crag.

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_________________________________________________________________

 

What did ya think of that undercling flake around the 13th or 14th pitch?

 

That was my lead: I remember thinking of what a Mensch Robbins was to show up in shit (by our standards) shoes, a heavy rack of pins and a hammer, and just did it anyway.

 

For those who don't know it fell off years ago.....

 

Anyone remember the flake on Princely Ambitions? Or the Chopper Flake on 10%?

Edited by Peter_Puget

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Maybe the best option would be to not develope a route near this particular feature if it's soooo scary then.

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You put a bolt next to that crack and some people aren't going to clip into it on principle and will use the crack anyway. In fact, some people ain't gonna like that bolt at all. Got a way to bypass the questionable obstacle? Maybe this new route isn't worth establishing if you have to compromise it by bolting next to a crack.

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So let me get this straight....

 

Very dangerous....

Currently seems stable, likely will not improve....

Can't safely protect with gear.....

Bolts are obnoxious ....

 

Sounds like a good candidate for a midnight trundle in the name of cleaning the route?

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Since you would be bolting on lead, it's your call.

How about from standing on top of the flake?

Or leave it like the Potato-Chip Flake.

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The rock is rhyolite, not granite.

 

The flake is supported *only* by the vertical edge wedged in the (vertical) corner, it has no support from underneath, top, or one side.

 

I'd estimate the dimensions to be 10ft wide, 15 feet high, and perhaps 3-6 inches thick. Its very impressive.

 

Given the size you have given and some density that I found online for rhyolite, the approx weight of the flake is over 7000 lbs... In one word, scary esp for a belayer....

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Seems like the choices are clear. You can leave it alone, take a crow bar to the flake, or throw a bolt around it. I guess another option would be to try to bolt the flake to the wall to hold it there. Know that no matter which decision you make, there will be folks who will disagree with that decision and possibly even continually voice their disagreement. My personal thought would be to take the crow bar down to it, if a crow bar is not enough then perhaps it is not as loose as you think. If a crow bar does take it down, then you may save someone’s life by getting rid of it: well worth the flack you may receive. Realistically, I don’t see any duty on your part to fix the problem that nature has provided, but nor will I judge you for whatever decision you make toward satisfying your conscience. If it was me, I would crowbar, then bolt. Just my thoughts.

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..or you could use the new "Flake Cam" developed by one of our irregular cc.commies.

 

Looking forward to the test run this summer, Bill!!!

 

:rawk:

 

:brew:Erik

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Mark Glidden was working on a route at Tieton's Oasis. There was a block near the top of the second pitch of is route The Fan. He and Yoder tried to trundle that rock using a crowbar. They couldn't get it to go. It feels loose though. Very weird sensation to use that block as a hold. You can get past without touching it, but it makes it much harder.

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