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Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
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Re: Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club

Postby MikeyC » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:04 pm

TomPierce wrote:I'd be up for that as well. I love slabs but have never been to RR. What's the general schedule/timing?
-Tom


Hey Tom,
I'd be happy to head down after work and meet you there sometime if you would like!

-Mike

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Re: Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club

Postby TomPierce » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:37 pm

Sure, cool Mike. This week is no good (might be doing that Peak T thing...) but the next couple of weeks look pretty good.
-Tom

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Re: Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:06 pm

gurlyclimber wrote:Do you guys always climb at Red Rocks? I'm the world's worst slab climber but would still make the drive to meet for some after work climbing.



I hear ya, the slabs get old. No, we don't always climb there - actually several folks are going on a road trip starting Friday. Believe it or not there are some pretty fabulous routes in the Garden. As far as basic climbing. Pro sucks. A lot of them need to be upgraded an no one's doing it. But every now and then someone falls in love with one of those beautiful routes and they get retro'ed.

Anyone who is willing to come all the way down from Denver to climb at our little place will get royal treatment! We may even show you some of the coolest routes around. : )

There are also some projects I had some time ago in the burn area that have been opened back up recently - and there's lots left to be done. Need to get up and check that out again.

There is a meetup group that does RRCOS every Wed night now, at 5:30, so that's a go for now. Mostly beginners, not a lot that can lead - so if you're new at you'll be in great company. If you've been at it a while, you can be a hero and help get ropes up.

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Re: Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:10 pm

TomPierce wrote:I'd be up for that as well. I love slabs but have never been to RR. What's the general schedule/timing?
-Tom


Tom, see above post - Wednesday's at 5:30 for the local meetup group. Run by a nice fellow named Bill, it's a great group, more geared toward beginners and intermediate climbers.

Feel free to PM me when you're coming down if you'd like to hook up. Not sure what level you climb at, but I love it all - we could even get into some of the harder stuff at the Garden if you'd like - it's only a mile from there.


Jim


Edit - there are four or five of us that often pick a spot to climb on Thursday nights as well, though the smaller group is pretty flexible and we usually figure out when we're going to climb that week on Monday's. Just PM or email and we can make a plan.

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Re: Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club

Postby Chipper » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:15 am

TomPierce wrote:Sure, cool Mike. This week is no good (might be doing that Peak T thing...) but the next couple of weeks look pretty good.
-Tom


Tom and Mike - I don't want to step on Jim's gracious invitation, but if you can't make it this week, some friends and I will be climbing this weekend at the Garden, or on Wailing Wall at Red Rocks. WW holds some nice, longer climbs - all requiring 70m rope - mostly in the 10c - 11ish range.

I also am planning to be at RR tomorrow and Thurs afternoon, but forecast looks iffy. For any afternoon climbing in the Springs, you should shoot Jim or me an email before you leave (or PM and we can exchange phone numbers) because clouds can move in fast over Pikes Peak and you don't want to spend all that time on I25 just to give your windshield wipers a workout.

Finally, Tom - I know you're a crag climber; and we do have some great crags around the Springs area - many up and around the five 10,000 ft peaks on the Eastern flank of Pikes. This includes Tenney crags, which holds a couple of intriguing-looking lines, each probably requiring a second pitch.

Collin
We make no greater mistake than when we do nothing, because we could only do a little.

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Re: Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club--Garden Bolts

Postby ClimbStewart » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:04 am

Hey Jim...hope you're doing well.

In response to your comment: "Believe it or not there are some pretty fabulous routes in the Garden. As far as basic climbing. Pro sucks. A lot of them need to be upgraded an no one's doing it. But every now and then someone falls in love with one of those beautiful routes and they get retro'ed."

There are a lot of great Garden of the Gods routes but really, the pro doesn't "suck" on most of them. Yes, some Garden routes need a bit of up-grading, with old pins pulled out and new modern stainless steel hardware installed, but all of the routes that folks regularly do are fine. They're certainly not sewn up like the routes we put up at Red Rock Canyon, but hey, they're old-school sport routes at an old-school area.

It's also a very fine line that climbers walk these days at the Garden of the Gods. The Colorado Springs Park and Rec Dept really does not want us going out and doing complete retro-fitting of climbing routes at the Garden, especially ones that aren't climbed very often. And they want us to get permission to be able to do that. If you go out these days with a drill and are working away without explicit permission, the cops will probably be called.

Brian Shelton with Front Range Climbing and myself have been working with the Park and Rec over the past few years to establish trust and get permissions for anchor work. Many belay/rappel anchors have been replaced (like Cocaine and The Fixer), with hardware courtesy of Petzl and Climbing Magazine's ARI program. We've also gone out and taken colored webbing from rappel stations when they've asked us to do that. Last winter we also replaced and beefed up all the Fire Department's rescue bolts with 3/4-inch stainless steel glue-in anchors.

I do have a list of routes that have been approved to have some anchor replacement done, but it is expensive to do proper replacement...and time-consuming since any holes left in the rock need to be filled in with an approved substance. The thing is, Jim, nowadays it is not so simple as just shouldering the drill and having at it. The P&R Dept also prefers that any drilling take place in the off-season when not so many tourists are around.

Anyway, if you want to be part of the anchor replacement in the future...and pony up some bucks for hardware!...then let me know and I will include you when something gets scheduled. At the same time we will probably schedule a climber trail day at both the Garden and Red Rock Canyon, which is needed far more than new bolts!

See ya out there sometime...Stewart Green

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Re: Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club

Postby mattpayne11 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:53 am

Keep up the good work Stewart - us lowly newbie climbers appreciate your efforts!

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Re: Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club

Postby safetyguy » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:08 am

I strongly disagree with the comments of Steward Green concerning the pro situation in the Garden.

To quote a German bolt manufacturer:
Climbers from previous generations rightly mis-trust in-situ pegs, rusting or not and anyway usually have a healthy aversion to falling off but the the modern sport and indoor climbing generation will tend to see `shiny´ and think `strong´ with the inevitable consequences.
A piton can only be trusted on the day it was placed and only the climber who placed can give an opinion on its reliability, anything else is only a guess.Reports of pitons found on the ground below climbs or being removed by hand within a few years of placing are commonplace and give a fair indication of their unreliability, as does the number of serious and often fatal accidents involvingin-situ pitons.

Conclusions
The result of producing nice corrosion resistant pitons is that climbers may blindly trust them with potentially fatal result and my feeling is that to put them on the market for permanent placements would be irresponsible and other solutions need to be found.


Cyril Shokoples, an Internationally certified mountain guide (ACMG & IFMGA) with a long history of climbing and skiing in Western Canada. member of the Alpine Club of Canada for over 30 years. certified member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides for 25 years, and a Past - President of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides said this concerning pitons:
Testing Pitons Found In Situ (Fixed Pitons)
Once pitons are in place can they be blindly trusted forever? Unfortunately, this is not the case. Rusting, chemical action, weathering and frost wedging all conspire to weaken fixed piton placements. An accident occurred in California in which a fixed anchor made of two pitons failed under only body weight. The climbers did not test the anchor before committing to it. I recently had a piton come out in my hand when I wiggled it with my fingers. The piton in this case was only in place for two years and had likely been wedged out by frost action. Pitons left in muddy cracks can often rust badly under the surface but look relatively fine on top.

The best way to test pitons is to repeat all the tests as if you were placing the piton for the first time. Visually inspect. Sound the rock. If you have no hammer, pound the rock with your fist to hear if it is hollow. Examine the crack and surrounding rock. Perform the funkness (tap) test if you have a hammer, but don’t pound on the piton. If the piton moves, remove it, then replace it in a better location or with a new piton. Clip a sling and carabiner into the eye and tug it in all directions to see if it is loose. If anything is suspicious, feel free to back it up. These simple actions may save your life.


Eli Helmuth, an AMGA Certified Rock, Alpine, and Ski Mountaineering Guide and the AMGA Alpine Discipline Coordinator since 2002 said:
Be wary of fixed gear, test it before you dangle you life from its eyelets. I’ve pulled out dozens of pitons with a firm outward yank, and removed countless old bolts with little more than a few tugs. Pitons and old bolts rust with age and the freeze/thaw cycle which takes place in many environments can cause pitons to easily pull-out, sometimes in less than a few days after being placed.


"The Mountaineer Handbook" states:
You may come across old pitons on classic climbs; they're a good opportunity to practice redundant placements.

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Re: Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club

Postby susanjoypaul » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:08 am

Which of Stewart's comments, exactly, do you "strongly disagree with?" I don't think he ever stated that old pro isn't dangerous and never needs replacing. That's kind of a no-brainer dude.

I strongly suggest you go back and read what he actually wrote. He's been putting up routes for forty years - I suspect he knows what he's talking about. And as far as "the situation in the Garden," maybe you could elaborate a little. Or at least go back and read the part about how he's been coordinating with Front Range Climbing and the Parks and Recreation department to replace hardware as needed, and in the off-season, when tourists aren't hiking and climbing around. Finally, that hardware - and the time and effort it takes to replace it - comes from people like Stewart, and other volunteers who care enough about the climbing areas around here to actively take care of them, while abiding by rules created to keep the public safe and maintain the pristine nature of the parks.

Nice work with the Googling, though, and all that copying and pasting. I'm sure that took a whole lot of effort on your part. You could at least take some credit for all that hard work by using your actual name on your post, instead of hiding behind that pseudonym. Oh right, this is the Internet. Where any jackass can publicly - yet anonymously - criticize anybody else, and not be held responsible for their ignorance Or cowardice, for that matter.

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Re: Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club--Garden Bolts

Postby safetyguy » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:48 am

ClimbStewart wrote:There are a lot of great Garden of the Gods routes but really, the pro doesn't "suck" on most of them. Yes, some Garden routes need a bit of up-grading, with old pins pulled out and new modern stainless steel hardware installed, but all of the routes that folks regularly do are fine. They're certainly not sewn up like the routes we put up at Red Rock Canyon, but hey, they're old-school sport routes at an old-school area.

At the same time we will probably schedule a climber trail day at both the Garden and Red Rock Canyon, which is needed far more than new bolts!

See ya out there sometime...Stewart Green


These are specifically the comments I have a disagree with. Most of the routes in the Garden are composed of old deteriorating pitons, and by industry standards, they absolutely do "suck". Arguing otherwise when people have already had serious injuries due to their falling out or breaking is simply putting your head in the sand and ignoring the problem that will only get worse with time. The argument that they are old school sport routes in an old-school area is rather silly. The only reason drilled angled pitons were used in the first place in the area is because the majority of routes were put up before there was any better alternative. Nobody today is putting up sport routes with pitons because everybody knows it would be bad practice and would fail considerably sooner than a proper bolt job.

Saying that its all justified because it is an old-school area is completely contrary to what Stewart Green himself has said elsewhere. To Quote:
It is important for climbers to understand that the fixed gear in the Garden of the Gods is wearing out. Many of the old Army angle pitons are 30 to 50 years ago. It's in the best interest of climbers that many of these time-bomb pieces are replaced. The Garden of the Gods is a recreational climbing area. This is not a cutting edge area by any stretch of the imagination. Lots of climbers of lots of differing abilities climb at the Garden. It is not a good thing for continuing climbing access to the Garden if climbers are being injured on popular routes or have to be rescued. Climbing in the Garden is a continuing privilege not a right.



Another aspect of this discussion that I find very disappointing is the talk of cost. How much is the life and health of fellow climbers worth? How much do you value climbing in the Garden? Rather than fixing an ailing pro situation, people are jumping at the opportunity to put up yet another 5.10 slab problem in Red Rocks Canyon Open Space. Its unfortunate that the only people that really have any reason to trust the gear at the Garden were the first ascent party a very long time ago. Everyone else after that has been climbing on gear of variable original strength which is visibly becoming weaker and weaker over time.

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Re: Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club

Postby Jim Davies » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:51 am

So, Mr. Safety, do you have any suggestions, or just complaints?
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Springs Climbers Afternoon Social Club

Postby safetyguy » Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:17 am

I am by no means the authority on bolting and route cleanup projects. I also have no interest in the silly politics of it all. I can tell you that despite whatever else be done, the gear at Garden should be recognized as being of the worst kind imaginable. Is it really so hard to build consensus in the climbing community? Do I think more should be done personally? Absolutely, but the reality is that without an agreement that nearly all the fixed pitons in the Garden are simply too old and worn to climb on safely, the solution to this problem will be too late, if ever. There is absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing a problem even though a concrete solution has not been decided upon.

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