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MrGecko

Rolling Thunder

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Rolling Thunder is a fine outing for the leader but given the position of the last bolt and the belay anchors on the large ledge, if the second messes up after unclipping the last bolt the swing would be bad and into the walls and ledges just below the belay ledge. This route really should have its own top anchors somewhere just above the last bolt.

 

Since Jon Stewart is the FA does anyone know how to get ahold of him and find out if he is cool with a separate top anchor?

 

Thoughts?

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Jon Stewart here. Kevin Rauch was the First ascentionist for Rolling thunder. Not sure if I took part in the FA, but I attempted a redpoint at least a dozen times with him and we discussed this same point several times before he passed.

 

His intention and how we climbed it was to climb "Rolling" and continue up TippTopp (5.8) with gear to the anchor directly above Rolling Thunder. The two routes were done seperatly with TippTopp being done first from the ledge and around the corner which is akward. He then lowered down to the ground and Rap bolted Rolling Thunder which was FA'd during a storm. Doing them together really does make it a nice direct line. I've also seen people finish up Burrito killer. I can't speak for rope drag, but it looked ok with a couple long slings.

 

I have seen several parties cut off TippTopp and use the rope drag anchor on the ledge which looks akward and slightly unsafe.

 

I guess here's the questions.

 

Would we cut up a direct line to the top?

Would we make it safer for sport climbers?

Do we need another bolted route?

TippTopp is a great route and see's limited use, would it be done more or less?

Rolling Thunder is a great route with limited use, same question as above.

Would we be discouraging people from learning how to lead traditionally?

 

If we need an anchor........I would use Kevin's drill

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Jon Stewart here. Kevin Rauch was the First ascentionist for Rolling thunder. Not sure if I took part in the FA, but I attempted a redpoint at least a dozen times with him and we discussed this same point several times before he passed.

 

His intention and how we climbed it was to climb "Rolling" and continue up TippTopp (5.8) with gear to the anchor directly above Rolling Thunder. The two routes were done seperatly with TippTopp being done first from the ledge and around the corner which is akward. He then lowered down to the ground and Rap bolted Rolling Thunder which was FA'd during a storm. Doing them together really does make it a nice direct line. I've also seen people finish up Burrito killer. I can't speak for rope drag, but it looked ok with a couple long slings.

 

I have seen several parties cut off TippTopp and use the rope drag anchor on the ledge which looks akward and slightly unsafe.

 

I guess here's the questions.

 

Would we cut up a direct line to the top?

Would we make it safer for sport climbers?

Do we need another bolted route?

TippTopp is a great route and see's limited use, would it be done more or less?

Rolling Thunder is a great route with limited use, same question as above.

Would we be discouraging people from learning how to lead traditionally?

 

If we need an anchor........I would use Kevin's drill

 

All valid points... Thank you Jon! More input is definitely needed :)

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jesus, i must really be doing tipp topp wrong - the one route at ozone w/ a true Valley 5.8 rating :)

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TippTopp 5.8? I just threw out a rating. I don't know for sure, but I figure if I was able to lead it it must be 5.9 or less.

 

 

How do you approach TippTopp?

 

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by free soloing heavens gate - if only i could be so capable afterwards :)

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Jon thanks so much for chiming in and glad you are on these boards.

 

I have climbed TippTopp from the upper ledge and it was enjoyable to step around the corner and plug cams. Unfortunately the corner is also quite a garden and unless someone gets in there and cleans it up I don't think it will be popular and question if it even has been given the greenery. Too bad, its a fun line.

 

However, the goal here is to make Rolling Thunder a safer route especially for the second.

 

>>Would we cut up a direct line to the top?

Given how the guide book is written, it gives the impression of 2 separate routes already. It only suggests that one could continue up TippTopp after climbing Rolling Thunder. However, if one wants to link the entire line it could still be accomplished whether the anchors are added or not. The anchors only address safety for those not wanting to link the lower and upper routes because the traverse after unclipping the last bolt to the suggested stop at the large ledge is dangerous.

 

>>Would we make it safer for sport climbers?

It would be safer for any climber.

 

>>Do we need another bolted route?

I am suggesting just adding anchors in a safer location. Some climbers will do the whole thing, some won't, that won't change.

 

>>TippTopp is a great route and see's limited use, would it be done more or less?

I don't have stats but I would guess it will get the same traffic and this won't have any impact.

 

>>Rolling Thunder is a great route with limited use, same question as above.

Again, I will guess it will see the same traffic however, it will be safer and potentially save someone a lot of pain and a 911 rescue team at the crag one day in the future.

 

 

>>Would we be discouraging people from learning how to lead traditionally?

Absolutely not, there are plenty of routes and those who want to trad lead will.

 

my $0.02

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Agree. Need to get some ropes on em as I haven't been on them since ''06. Probably since it's an awkward anchor. May be it just needs a directional or movement of the rap anchor.

 

As I recall it was run out after the last bolt to the first piece of gear anyways. Also noticed that the first bolt of rolling and the first bolt of high planes drifter are only 4 ft apart on huge ledgy jugs. Maybe share 1 down there so it doesn't look like machine gun fire.

 

 

I'll chat with the third.

 

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TippTopp had some gardening done yesterday and looks more inviting. After we climbed Rolling Thunder again and discussed the options, it seems like adding one more bolt to the top of RT to protect the 2nd would be the preferred option.

 

a. it achieves the primary goal for a safer exit from RT to the ledge

b. allows Rolling Thunder and TippTopp to be combined without breaking the natural flow of the link up

c. adds an extra level of protection to the step around from the large ledge to the start of TippTopp

 

It was felt that another set of anchors would be unnecessary.

 

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I climbed Rolling Thunder with Kevin a while back. He was giving it 10.d.....I laughted at him as everyone I knew was giving it more like 11.b/c. Really hard for the grade. He did have a hard time getting to Heaven ledge saftely and also as I followed.

 

I dont think the wall needs an extra anchor. But could see another bolt going in to protect said traverse for leader or follower.

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Kevbone

 

exactly the consensus we reached as well. No additional anchor, just a single bolt.

 

That bolt will facilitate a safer follow on RT, the ability to extend RT or Jacobs Ladder on to Burrito Killer for a full sport line or extending into TippTopp nicely. If one stops at the ledge then the bolt will help with the step around for timid leaders.

 

The important thing is that as climbers we govern ourselves to make routes as safe as possible for each other in these high traffic areas and avoid the rescue teams showing up unnecessarily.

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Helm's Deep has also been retrofitted with a bolt where the gear was previously recommended. Its no longer a mixed route now. JS took care of that as well.

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Yup. I love retroing your own route. On the FA of Kung Fu the second, third and fourth bolt was not there. Came back later to make it reasonable to lead. Also retroed Dirty Jugs with two of the current bolts. And High Plains Drifter got another bolt from the FA. Plus added all three finishing bolts on Standing Ovation from the FA.

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Yesterday a bolt was added to the top of Rolling Thunder to deal with the nasty fall potential for the 2nd. This also now provides for a nice continuation into Burrito Killa for a long single pitch aka Rolling Killa.

 

We also cleaned out Ganesh and started scrubbing Wine&Cheese for some refitting.

 

 

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