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Partner j_ung


Jul 16, 2007, 8:00 AM
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Fake Bolts at NRG  ()
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Somewhere deep in this thread user, curator, made mention of fake bolts glued onto Easily Flakey, one of the most prominent and well-traveled moderate routes in the New River Gorge. For those who were wondering or who may have heard rumors, yes, it is true.

Two Fayetteville climbers glued fake hangers onto the route as a practical joke aimed at one individual known for his vocal stance against retrobolting, among other things. The hangers were attached with glue that was strong enough to hold the hangers, a draw and a rope, but not body weight.

Other climbers removed the fake bolts quickly and no injuries to people or damage to the rock resulted. Park police began an investigation almost immediately.

The following is the text of a letter to all of us from Head Ranger Gary Hartley.

In reply to:
July 13, 2007

An Open Letter to the Climbing Community at New River Gorge National River

Earlier this week it was reported to the park that six fake bolted hangers were glued to the cliff face near the “Easily Flakey” route at Bridge Buttress. Once discovered, the hangers were removed and an investigation was immediately initiated. Through the cooperation of the local climbing community, the individuals responsible for this act have come forward and provided detailed statements. We have been assured by these individuals that the fake hangers placed on the cliff have been removed and that this was an isolated incident. Park rangers will be conducting the follow-up investigation and I expect federal charges to be filed against the individuals involved.

While this incident is under further investigation, I have asked the Superintendent to suspend the blanket permit for bolt replacement. As of this date no bolts may be placed on any rock surface unless specific authorization is received from the National Park Service. This authorization will only be granted on a case by case basis involving identified hazards and emergency situations. This suspension shall remain in effect until further notice.

Climbers should be aware that the National Park Service does not inspect or maintain fixed protection at the New River Gorge National River. All climbers should inspect any fixed protection devices upon which they will be depending. Any fixed protection that appears to be faulty should be flagged and reported to park headquarters as soon as possible.

The National Park Service considers visitor safety a priority and we must err on the side of caution. Your cooperation in providing a safe climbing environment is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this incident, please do not hesitate to contact me at 304-465-0508 ext. 218

Sincerely,

Gary Hartley, Chief Ranger
New River Gorge National River
Gauley River National Recreation Area
Bluestone National Scenic River

And the following is my own opinion on the subject.

As you can see in the above letter, the actions of a couple individuals can affect access for the rest of us, even in an area where the relationship between climbers and land managers is long and strong. Thankfully, in this case all indications are that the affect will be temporary and limited. However, before those responsible for the glued-on bolts turned themselves in, the NPS was on the verge of shutting down all climbing in the Park until every route with fixed gear had been inspected. My information, which comes directly from an authoritative Park source, is that they were within a couple days of making this happen. It really was that close.

One of the things I've always loved about climbing at the New is the overall maturity level of the climbing community. This incident shocked me and scared me and let me know, in no uncertain terms, that we are not invulnerable to misconduct, be it malicious or, as in this case, simply an absurd lapse of judgment.

I haven't had my head in the sand, however. I know nothing is perfect, and if I can find fault with the climbing community of the NRG, myself included, it is the existence of an active rumor mill. With that in mind, I just want to thank Gary and the rest of the Park staff for taking the time to issue an official statement so that many of the facts are now established as such.

I urge every climber in every area around the world to think about the consequences of your actions. Whether you intend to bolt, chop bolts, chip holds, glue loose flakes, spread rumors without the benefit of first-hand knowledge or even just use chalk, what you are doing may affect others. For many, climbing is about freedom and personal challenge. But every day, whether we like it or not, there are more and more of us out there. There's only one way to avoid mistakes like what happened here, and that's to control emotional responses and to speak respectfully with others when conflicts arise. To do otherwise has immense potential to harm all of us, no matter what stance we take, no matter the issue.

Thanks for listening,
Jay Young
Fayetteville resident and climber

EDIT: to fix link.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jul 18, 2007, 1:04 PM)


Partner cracklover


Jul 16, 2007, 8:44 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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Thanks for the follow up, Jay. The original posts certainly had me wondering. Good to know the details, and that it's been (mostly) resolved.

GO


Partner hosh


Jul 16, 2007, 8:55 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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That's a frickin' mess! What an absurd and life threatening joke!

hosh.


caughtinside


Jul 16, 2007, 8:56 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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Those guys should issue a public apology, for nearly screwing it up for all the other nrg climbers. I'm curious as to how long the rebolting moratorium will last, it's been my experience that the wheels of government turn slowly. A local state park with access issues has taken over 4 years to develop it's new recreation use plan, and it still isn't done.

I wonder if this will pop up in the climbing mags in a couple months, seems like a big story to me.


tradmanclimbs


Jul 16, 2007, 9:11 AM
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Re: [caughtinside] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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Attempted murder is not a big streach here. Certainly any hidden sabotage of fixed climbing gear should be treated as such. Pretty crazy stuff. Nice follow up Jay. Its so easy for one or two fools to ruin things for everyone.


dingus


Jul 16, 2007, 9:24 AM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
Attempted murder is not a big streach here. Certainly any hidden sabotage of fixed climbing gear should be treated as such. Pretty crazy stuff. Nice follow up Jay. Its so easy for one or two fools to ruin things for everyone.

Ironic that their joke to tweak the /vocal local against retrobolting' backfired to the point of a bolting moratorium and potential federal charges.

But attempted murder? That's seems a stretch to me, both legally and civically. Given the stated facts I don't think such a charge would be warranted.

I'm not sure what IS appropriate - vandalism for sure. There also has to be some law regarding the creation of a hazard on public lands.

But I think I'll scratch the 'Fake Hangers' off the list of practical jokes nonetheless.

DMT


dreday3000


Jul 16, 2007, 9:32 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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Are you kidding me? That is fuct. Really. What the hell were those two thinking? If somebody played that kind of "joke" on me you better believe there would be consequences. And what if some other poor soul rocked up to the cliff? That is absolutely fuct. Those two assholes should be excommunicated.


bent_gate


Jul 16, 2007, 9:57 AM
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Re: [dingus] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:

(snip) attempted murder? That's seems a stretch to me, both legally and civically. Given the stated facts I don't think such a charge would be warranted.

I'm not sure what IS appropriate - vandalism for sure. There also has to be some law regarding the creation of a hazard on public lands.

Agreed. And if they left it unattended, then they have committed reckless endangerment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endangerment wrote:
Reckless endangerment: A person commits the crime of reckless endangerment if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. “Reckless” conduct is conduct that exhibits a culpable disregard of foreseeable consequences to others from the act or omission involved. The accused need not intentionally cause a resulting harm or know that his conduct is substantially certain to cause that result. The ultimate question is whether, under all the circumstances, the accused’s conduct was of that heedless nature that made it actually or imminently dangerous to the rights or safety of others.

This is very serious. And no climber can claim ignorance of how anything can affect access issues. There needs to be some serious apologizing and compensatory action to mitigate this damage. If the Perps aren't willing to do that, then they don't deserve to be in the community.


(This post was edited by bent_gate on Jul 16, 2007, 9:58 AM)


johnathon78


Jul 16, 2007, 10:24 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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One of the things I've always loved about climbing at the New is the overall maturity level of the climbing community.

Ditto on that Jay. The climbing community here is like none other I've experienced in any other climbing area. I would really hate to see the reputation of so many be effected by so few. I hope justice is rightfully served and the bastard learn their lesson.


Partner j_ung


Jul 16, 2007, 10:33 AM
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Re: [johnathon78] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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I want to reiterate that the guilty parties did turn themselves in and they are facing the music. IMO, the major lesson to be learned here is that a mature approach to climbing issues may not solve problems, but an immature approach definitely will not.


nnowinowski


Jul 16, 2007, 10:37 AM
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Re: [johnathon78] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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that is the most puerile and thoughtless thing that I have heard of in a long time. I sure hope the re-bolting can start up again soon the hanger on green envy appeared to be held on mostly by rust and green moss.


clausti


Jul 16, 2007, 10:39 AM
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oh my god.

thank you, jay, for putting up some concrete information on this. the thought of that put my heart in my throat; i hope the moritorium doesnt last long.


tradmanclimbs


Jul 16, 2007, 11:26 AM
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Re: [dingus] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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DMT what is such a streach about attempted murder? If you tamper with fixed gear in such a way as it looks good to climb on but with fail when weighted that certainly seems like an attempt to either seriously hurt or kill someone. If you cut the brake lines on your wifes car trying to get the insurance money wouldn't that be attempted murder? Rigging fake bolts seems mighty dangerous to me.........


dingus


Jul 16, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
DMT what is such a streach about attempted murder? If you tamper with fixed gear in such a way as it looks good to climb on but with fail when weighted that certainly seems like an attempt to either seriously hurt or kill someone. If you cut the brake lines on your wifes car trying to get the insurance money wouldn't that be attempted murder? Rigging fake bolts seems mighty dangerous to me.........

So you're saying they faux-bolted this face in an attempt to kill someone for insurance money????

DMT


hugh


Jul 16, 2007, 11:49 AM
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I appreciate the resolve to not perpetuate rumor and let the Park Service investigate this, allowing the wheels of justice to turn, but peer review is the somewhat effective medium that the climbing community airs their problems, coming to conclusion and resolution. These bone heads deserve to be pilloried in the climbing community in a very public way. Contrition and apology with a requisite amount of community service are in order.


tuna


Jul 16, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Re: [hugh] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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OK Jay let me be the first to ask

So what two NRG climbers made such an incredibly stupid and potentially deadly mistake?

Kris and I might be coming up in a couple weeks I can bring my shovel, axe and abundant supply of black plastic.

Ciao
Santana


tradmanclimbs


Jul 16, 2007, 12:17 PM
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DMT well since the motive was aparently not murder but just ball busting then your right on the murder thing. It certainly seems like reckless endangerment though.


Partner j_ung


Jul 16, 2007, 12:50 PM
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Re: [tuna] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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tuna wrote:
OK Jay let me be the first to ask

So what two NRG climbers made such an incredibly stupid and potentially deadly mistake?

Kris and I might be coming up in a couple weeks I can bring my shovel, axe and abundant supply of black plastic.

Ciao
Santana

Waddap, Tuna?

You know, I've only heard their names through the rumor mill and not from any authoritative source, so I think I'll take my own advice and not propagate. Sorry.

(Come on up! You should see the floors in the new hizzo. You're gonna shit yourself.)


markc


Jul 16, 2007, 1:38 PM
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Re: [bent_gate] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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bent_gate wrote:
And if they left it unattended, then they have committed reckless endangerment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endangerment wrote:
Reckless endangerment: A person commits the crime of reckless endangerment if the person recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. “Reckless” conduct is conduct that exhibits a culpable disregard of foreseeable consequences to others from the act or omission involved. The accused need not intentionally cause a resulting harm or know that his conduct is substantially certain to cause that result. The ultimate question is whether, under all the circumstances, the accused’s conduct was of that heedless nature that made it actually or imminently dangerous to the rights or safety of others.

That was my first thought. I'm no lawyer, but if someone actually died from a fall on fake bolts you might see involuntary manslaughter. Any reasonable person wouldn't install fake bolts on a route any more than you would install a dummy steering wheel on a car.

While it was an extremely shortsighted act, I'm happy to hear those responsible are stepping forward to claim responsibility. Unless the guys sat at the base of the route warning off every prospective climber it sounds like a bad accident waiting to happen.


markc


Jul 16, 2007, 1:41 PM
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nnowinowski wrote:
that is the most puerile and thoughtless thing that I have heard of in a long time. I sure hope the re-bolting can start up again soon the hanger on green envy appeared to be held on mostly by rust and green moss.

I'd suggest following the guidelines as stated in the letter:

"As of this date no bolts may be placed on any rock surface unless specific authorization is received from the National Park Service. This authorization will only be granted on a case by case basis involving identified hazards and emergency situations."

I'm not familiar with the hanger on Green Envy, but it certainly seems to meet the criteria.


dingus


Jul 16, 2007, 1:54 PM
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Re: [markc] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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markc wrote:
nnowinowski wrote:
that is the most puerile and thoughtless thing that I have heard of in a long time. I sure hope the re-bolting can start up again soon the hanger on green envy appeared to be held on mostly by rust and green moss.

I'd suggest following the guidelines as stated in the letter:

"As of this date no bolts may be placed on any rock surface unless specific authorization is received from the National Park Service. This authorization will only be granted on a case by case basis involving identified hazards and emergency situations."

I'm not familiar with the hanger on Green Envy, but it certainly seems to meet the criteria.

Just what any climbing area needs - government over sight.

DMT


forkliftdaddy


Jul 16, 2007, 5:58 PM
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Well, I'll be. I reckon spurt climbing could be dangerous after all. Who'd've guessed it.

Seems to me that the big shame here is that the fellas that put on the bolts used glue. The joke would've been funnier with tape. You know, rolled strips like you hung posters with in school. That is if it was obviously fake, easy to clean up, and not park-police-pissing-off.


climbsomething


Jul 16, 2007, 6:10 PM
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So, waita second- these were just hangers glued to the wall? Meaning, if you looked up close you'd see no bolt heads, just rock peeking through the hangers?

Not that that condones their behavior any. I'm just curious. Anybody have any pix?


markc


Jul 16, 2007, 7:19 PM
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Re: [dingus] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
markc wrote:
nnowinowski wrote:
that is the most puerile and thoughtless thing that I have heard of in a long time. I sure hope the re-bolting can start up again soon the hanger on green envy appeared to be held on mostly by rust and green moss.

I'd suggest following the guidelines as stated in the letter:

"As of this date no bolts may be placed on any rock surface unless specific authorization is received from the National Park Service. This authorization will only be granted on a case by case basis involving identified hazards and emergency situations."

I'm not familiar with the hanger on Green Envy, but it certainly seems to meet the criteria.

Just what any climbing area needs - government over sight.

DMT

Don't mistake me. I don't think we need or want the government involved in climbing any more than they already are. Two guys did considerable damage to a system that was working pretty well. I was just pointing out an alternative to bemoaning a bad bolt that won't screw up relations any worse.


rockguide


Jul 16, 2007, 8:13 PM
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Re: [climbsomething] Fake Bolts at NRG [In reply to]
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climbsomething wrote:
So, waita second- these were just hangers glued to the wall? Meaning, if you looked up close you'd see no bolt heads, just rock peeking through the hangers?

Not that that condones their behavior any. I'm just curious. Anybody have any pix?

Yes, one could easily tell up close that it was a fake, but if someone climbed at their limit to get there, it would be a rough introduction to down climbing.

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