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Fat_Kid

Piton Replacement

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So I am having beers with my roomate, the sport climber. He goes trad climbing yesterday, gets on a hard route and proceedes to pull out the 2 pitons (by hand) that protect the crux moves. They are knife blades and there is no other protection avaliable. So he askes do I get to pound new pitons in or fire in some bolts to fix the route? Right now the route is extremely run out. What are the opinions on this subject?

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Bolt it! Pitons are not that reliable as fixed freeclimbing protection. If there is no pro, add bolts. Replacing the knifeblades will only further damage the rock. (may have pro someday if they get beaten in and out numerous times) Minimize it now and add adequate protection.

[This message has been edited by slaphappy (edited 09-30-2001).]

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Fat Guy,

On behalf of those who find this site to be a source of sound mountaineering advice and wisdom, I apologize for those who would suggest that you add bolts to any established climb. And if anybody suggests that you carve some buckets or fix an aluminum ladder to the side of the cliff, in the name of making it safer or more accessible....that is also terrible advice.

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my question is what route is it? and if buddy is a sport climber he just might be missing some tricky placements. and if it even came to putting bolts in, he better know what he is doing!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Pope, you still didn't give me an answear to my question.

Erik, the route is called Sudden Impact (11b) at Chimney Rock in the Selkirks of Idaho. (It's a quick trip for some trad climbing for the people of Spokane. Spokane is in the PNW isn't it?) There are no tricky placements. How should the route be fixed?

 

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I think you gotta ask yourself a few questions:

1. Is the route a 3-star with memorable moves, or just another line? (If it's not a GREAT route, just abandon it and leave well enough alone)

2. Have you checked out the route, preferably on rappell where you can hang out and survey the line, to see if there are alternate gear placement? (Maybe those pins were placed before there were 0.33 aliens, or maybe you could "protect" the moves with a crafty cam-hook placement).

3. What is the nature of the area (sport, trad, mixed?) and what is your skill level with respect to placing a bolt properly? (The last thing we need is more time-bomb bolts littering the crag and needing replacement or removal a few years later if they even last that long).

YMMV,

WS

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If you bolt it be prepared for some sort of criticism if it is not in good style. I think if you can protect it then don't bolt it. I don't think that you need to come get advice from this website and that most people really know when they are doing wrong they just tend to ignore it.

If you can get in a tcu or 2 then why bother. Although the quality of rock and all is a factor as well. Sure anyone can go buy a drill and push the button and drive in a bolt with a hammer. Then they have created a route but just make sure you think about the long lasting effects. Stainless hardware is a good idea that many ignore.

Also is this an established line on well travelled stone. Ask yourself questions. It really sounds like this is an established line and that this friend may want to just learn how to place pro but your details are fuzzy.

[This message has been edited by Cpt.Caveman (edited 10-01-2001).]

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Fuzzy Details?

established line-Sudden Impact 5.11b Selkirks

knifeblades protecting the crux

extremely run-out (without fixed pro)

"There are no tricky placements"

Only question is, is the route worthwhile? Might consider what the 1st ascentionist has to say too!

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quote:

Originally posted by slaphappy:

Fuzzy Details?

established line-Sudden Impact 5.11b Selkirks

knifeblades protecting the crux

extremely run-out (without fixed pro)

"There are no tricky placements"

Only question is, is the route worthwhile? Might consider what the 1st ascentionist has to say too!

huh sounds like a stiff route for sure. I would consider the last question in the quote above...

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Knifeblades - most likely a face climb/section. Keep it that way by bolting where the blades were. Go out of our way to contact the FA/FFA-ists to get permission/advice.

It is possible that knifeblades can be hand-placed but will hold falls. If the rest of the climb is gear and knifeblades are solid when hand-placed then better to inform the local community/guidebooks and add KB's to the rack.

Re: willstrickland - great comments.

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As usually with any bolting related question the answer is most unequivocally “it depends.” In general I will concurr with Will's first item which can should often be applied to new routing in general - if the route is not a trivial or easily top roped variation, I would say that a bolt is not out of line. Some comments here suggesting that bolts are difficult to place vastly overstate the difficulty of placing bolts. It is remarkable easy to place bolts correctly. This may be the cause of too many bolts. The majority of bolt failures, not associated with degradation from aging that I have personally been aware of were most likely the result of defects in the manufacturing of the bolts themselves. I can think specifically of an anchor that failed on me and the recent failures I have heard of on Town Crier. The clear exception to this is with 1/4” stainless. These guys are very easily damaged while placing. Of course I would suggest that if you are replacing a pin with a bolt the very smallest size you should consider is 3/8”. I would also note that hooks have a very real possibility of damaging the rock. I have personally witnessed a fall caused by rock breaking when a cam hook was used on the first pitch of Dana’s Arch at Index. Maybe one bolt can replace two fixed pins thus actually reducing the visible impact of fixed gear on the route.

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I agree that you should consider the style in which routes are currently being established near the route in question. Allow me to clarify. If Chimney Rock is relatively bolt-free, if it seems to be in the same noble condition it was fifty years ago, then do you really want to be the guy who initializes its demotion to "sport cliff"? Do we really want yet another piece of alpine granite to which we can escape...only to find ugly reminders of man's exploitation of nature through engineering?

On the other hand, if Chimney Rock is already sliding down that slippery slope, toward bolt infestation and "development" of artificially safe experiences, do you really want to add to this? No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

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my $0.02

here is the "chimney rock" in question:

http://www.leang.com/kam/scrapbk/chimney_rock_09_01_01/

yup, it sits up on the selkirk crest, and no, not to my knowledge is it leaning towards becoming a "bolted" crag. it's a couple mile hike and a few thousand feet up from the trailhead.

the standard route is something like a couple pitches of 5.3 or 5.4 and free routes (at least in the old school guide i have) go up to 11d or so. steep, clean granite.

hmmm... if the only protection option is to either replace knifeblades or place bolts instead in place of the extracted knifeblades, i'd lean towards bolts, but whatever. i second slaphappy regarding attempting to consult the FA.

cheers.

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FatKid,

What is your definition of "very run out." Are we talking about a 15ft, 30ft, or 60ft fall. I was just curious.

KD

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If there are no other bolts in the route, replace the pins WITH PINS. Put in LAs if needed. Leave the route the way it was.

chris

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I agree with Chris. Replace the pins.

Also worth considering, the route is extremely run out, but what are the consequences of a fall? Deck on a ledge? Or a looong ride? In other words, are we talking about percieved risk or actual risk?

Sport climbers need not reply.

We know you can't tell the difference.

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quote:

Originally posted by willstrickland:

I think you gotta ask yourself a few questions:

1. Is the route a 3-star with memorable moves, or just another line? (If it's not a GREAT route, just abandon it and leave well enough alone)

2. Have you checked out the route, preferably on rappell where you can hang out and survey the line, to see if there are alternate gear placement? (Maybe those pins were placed before there were 0.33 aliens, or maybe you could "protect" the moves with a crafty cam-hook placement).

3. What is the nature of the area (sport, trad, mixed?) and what is your skill level with respect to placing a bolt properly? (The last thing we need is more time-bomb bolts littering the crag and needing replacement or removal a few years later if they even last that long).

YMMV,

WS

Will,

Are you suggesting that cam hooks would be a viable alternative as pro for a runout free route? Sounds pretty sketchy to me...you ever whip onto a cam hook before?

Aliens don't fit in blade seems. Ball-nuts might though.

Replacing the blades would be a waste of time and money, cause some cheap ass would booty them.

 

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quote:

Originally posted by lambone:

Will,

Are you suggesting that cam hooks would be a viable alternative as pro for a runout free route? Sounds pretty sketchy to me...you ever whip onto a cam hook before?

Aliens don't fit in blade seems. Ball-nuts might though.

B]

Ay 'bone indeed I have whipped onto a camhook, in Zion's Navajo sandstone no less and...it HELD...much to my suprise I must say

No, aliens don't fit blade seams, but I don't take it for granted that a self-proclaimed sport climber (the guy's buddy)would know the difference between a blade and an LA. Also, maybe there's a pod or shallow placement somewhere adjacent to the blade placements that is not conducive to taking a pin, but would take a black alien or 00 TCU. I've got the smallest two ballnut sizes and they're more like small LA sizes. Another possibility is to use hand placed Pika Toucan cam blades (I'm not suggesting this as a long term solution, just trying to stir the mental juices for those who have the balls to go clean)In a beat out blade crack you can take two of them, one with a left-bend and one a right-bend, stack them, equalize them and eureka...pro that inspires you not to fall.

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First off this is not FAT KID typing. This is his room-mate. The crack that the pins were in were about as big as the space between the buttons and the body on your mouse. Actually it wasn't really a crack since these were the only openings pins could have been hammered into on this portion (the crux as we call it in sport climbing) of the route. I admit that I have not done a lot of trad climbing (this was my 5th trad route in 8 yrs of climbing and I had done a 5.9 and an 11b earlier that day) but I know the twang of a well placed piton. The one did not have that twang so I backed off the route in order to climb another day.

Since I am a neophyte in the "trad" climbing world I didn't know the ethics of pins. After reading the replies in this fourm I have come to a conclusion: First off a well placed and non-rusty new pin is about as good as a bolt (The First ascent party was keen to this condition). You pound both of them into a hole and call it good. So if I'm feeling lazy next time I go to Chimney, I'll just get 2 new pins, pound em' in and do the route, then leave it to decay for the next guy strong enough (probably a sport climber) to try the route. However; if I should get ambitious enough to pack the drill and batteries in, (an hour uphill) I'll sink some bolts in without the permission of the FA. He/she should have equipped the route with stainless steel pitons in the first place. Then I'll redpoint (redpoint is when you place all your protection from the ground up in a continuous ascent of a "pitch" of climbing)"Sudden Impact". Then with the left over battery power I'll bolt this brilliant arete that will be at least 12+ that only sport climbers will be able to do cause trad climbers rarely climb (or should I call it hiking) over 5.8. Thanks for the beta boys and girls! Forum closed. P.S. trad climbing is scary so you all better get fit (climbing sport routes is what I would suggest) to make those moves seem a bit less intimidating. Risking death to climb a route is far more egotistical that chasing numbers.

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