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stymingersfink


Nov 13, 2007, 7:17 PM
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Bolting to Preserve the rock.
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The following is a part of a conversation I just had with a friend who had just spent the past weekend climbing at the Creek. I relay it to you all here to get some feedback and ideas about the best way to go about preserving a limited resource.

When I heard he had been climbing at the Creek, of course had to ask: What area were you climbing at?

"Way Rambo... got on a couple of off-widths, some other stuff."


"Serrator, huh... How'd that go... you lead it?"

"Well, some guy lead it, his second couldn't get up it, so I offered to clean it"


"Yeah, whaddaya think of it?"

"It's tough... Gastons, ya can't fit your knee in at the bottom, fist stacks..."

"Then I lead that .11 just right of it"


"Layaway plan?"

"Yeah, that's the one... "


"What did you think of that roof... the way the rope cuts into the edge? I've heard some guys route the rope into the crack, then the rope pushes their cams way back in there too."

"Yeah, it was crazy... like 4" deep rope cuts in the edge of the roof. My buddy had his cam pushed in there by the rope when he lead it"


"It's a damn shame the damage that happens when someone TR's or seconds some of the routes like that one down there"

"Well, yeah... the rope grooves are ugly, plus once the weathered surface of the rock is damaged, water gets into the rock, speeding up its demise"


"Hadn't thought of that... Wonder if someone shouldn't put a bolt at that corner, down on the slab, to keep the rope from wearing on that corner... You think that's something that would sit well with the community?"

"Good idea, and good question.... I dunno... it would help preserve the resource, question is, would people go for it?"



I now put this question to you, the masses:

What would the general consensus be on a LIMITED placing of bolts on established routes, positioned in order to keep the rope from WEARING in places where it has already been demonstrated that the rock suffers severe damage. Places like the far right corner of the roof on Layaway Plan, for instance*.

Would it not be prudent to at least consider placing a bolt down on the slab below the corner, such that the rope might be clipped to a QD, thereby keeping it from rubbing excessively on the corner of the roof, preventing further destruction and more unsightly rope grooves in the soft edge of the rock?


How many other routes in the Creek might benefit from such preventive maintenance? Is this something future FA'ists should keep in mind when establishing a route... the steps necessarily taken to prevent damage by future ascentionists?

NOTE: I'm NOT talking about bolting a crack for protection, I'm talking about the intelligent placement of a bolts near high-wear areas to ensure the continued longevity of those routes most likely to be loved to death.















*I've got to set up my desktop so I can access some pic's I took several years ago of the roof's edge. Once it's up and running, I'll post a pic of the edge I'm referring to in this example. Give me a day or two... I'll post them in the thread if there's any interest in discussing this issue.


Partner hosh


Nov 13, 2007, 11:57 PM
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Re: [stymingersfink] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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stymingersfink wrote:
The following is a part of a conversation I just had with a friend who had just spent the past weekend climbing at the Creek. I relay it to you all here to get some feedback and ideas about the best way to go about preserving a limited resource.

When I heard he had been climbing at the Creek, of course had to ask: What area were you climbing at?

"Way Rambo... got on a couple of off-widths, some other stuff."


"Serrator, huh... How'd that go... you lead it?"

"Well, some guy lead it, his second couldn't get up it, so I offered to clean it"


"Yeah, whaddaya think of it?"

"It's tough... Gastons, ya can't fit your knee in at the bottom, fist stacks..."

"Then I lead that .11 just right of it"


"Layaway plan?"

"Yeah, that's the one... "


"What did you think of that roof... the way the rope cuts into the edge? I've heard some guys route the rope into the crack, then the rope pushes their cams way back in there too."

"Yeah, it was crazy... like 4" deep rope cuts in the edge of the roof. My buddy had his cam pushed in there by the rope when he lead it"


"It's a damn shame the damage that happens when someone TR's or seconds some of the routes like that one down there"

"Well, yeah... the rope grooves are ugly, plus once the weathered surface of the rock is damaged, water gets into the rock, speeding up its demise"


"Hadn't thought of that... Wonder if someone shouldn't put a bolt at that corner, down on the slab, to keep the rope from wearing on that corner... You think that's something that would sit well with the community?"

"Good idea, and good question.... I dunno... it would help preserve the resource, question is, would people go for it?"



I now put this question to you, the masses:

What would the general consensus be on a LIMITED placing of bolts on established routes, positioned in order to keep the rope from WEARING in places where it has already been demonstrated that the rock suffers severe damage. Places like the far right corner of the roof on Layaway Plan, for instance*.

Would it not be prudent to at least consider placing a bolt down on the slab below the corner, such that the rope might be clipped to a QD, thereby keeping it from rubbing excessively on the corner of the roof, preventing further destruction and more unsightly rope grooves in the soft edge of the rock?


How many other routes in the Creek might benefit from such preventive maintenance? Is this something future FA'ists should keep in mind when establishing a route... the steps necessarily taken to prevent damage by future ascentionists?

NOTE: I'm NOT talking about bolting a crack for protection, I'm talking about the intelligent placement of a bolts near high-wear areas to ensure the continued longevity of those routes most likely to be loved to death.















*I've got to set up my desktop so I can access some pic's I took several years ago of the roof's edge. Once it's up and running, I'll post a pic of the edge I'm referring to in this example. Give me a day or two... I'll post them in the thread if there's any interest in discussing this issue.

A very interesting idea... I have no opinion on this matter, but am interested to see what the rest of the community thinks...

hosh.


chossmonkey


Nov 14, 2007, 4:09 AM
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Re: [stymingersfink] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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A friend of mine retroed a route of his years ago partly to save the rock. It wasn't the rope but the gear that was destroying the rock. It was already a mixed gear route anyway though.


microbarn


Nov 14, 2007, 4:18 AM
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Re: [stymingersfink] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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No one besides the bolter would ever know its use. I don't have any confidence in the general users figuring it out on their own.

Outside of that issue, I support the idea of one bolt to protect the rock.


chossmonkey


Nov 14, 2007, 5:11 AM
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Re: [microbarn] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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microbarn wrote:
No one besides the bolter would ever know its use. I don't have any confidence in the general users figuring it out on their own.

Outside of that issue, I support the idea of one bolt to protect the rock.
Perhaps at first. But if it had wide support of the community before it was done enough people would know to educate others.

That being said there are still people who still don't understand the concept of TRing or doing multiple lowers on the same anchor through their own hardware.


(This post was edited by chossmonkey on Nov 14, 2007, 5:13 AM)


wanderlustmd


Nov 14, 2007, 6:07 AM
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Re: [chossmonkey] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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Sounds perfectly legit to me.


notapplicable


Nov 14, 2007, 7:16 AM
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Re: [stymingersfink] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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Not having seen the route in question I cannot realy say for sure but if things are as you have described I would not object to a directional bolt being placed.

Is there any alternative options? Perhaps new or relocated anchors at the top. Any natural ways to redirect the rope, perhaps a tree or natural pro that can be extended with a piece of webbing or cordlette?


microbarn


Nov 14, 2007, 10:46 AM
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Re: [chossmonkey] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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chossmonkey wrote:
microbarn wrote:
No one besides the bolter would ever know its use. I don't have any confidence in the general users figuring it out on their own.

Outside of that issue, I support the idea of one bolt to protect the rock.
Perhaps at first. But if it had wide support of the community before it was done enough people would know to educate others.

That being said there are still people who still don't understand the concept of TRing or doing multiple lowers on the same anchor through their own hardware.

Every time I climb at an area that is new to me, I don't know the local ethics yet.

I doubt people new to the area would be able to figure it out before their rope is already set up. Additionally, 10 years down the road, the climbing community will be entirely different. How certain can we be that older climbers will remember to pass on the use of that bolt to all the new climbers?


stymingersfink


Nov 14, 2007, 3:08 PM
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Re: [microbarn] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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Let me describe Layaway Plan for you. Better yet, here's a picture of the roof corner that I'm speaking of; though it might be a little difficult to see the rope grooves, they are there, to the climbers right, just below the bright sunlit area.



The route goes up a right facing corner, then traverses right (where our climber is seen under the roof), then goes up in the right facing corner to the chains (about another 15-20' IIRC).

The particular bolt I'm thinking would be prudent to place would be at about the elevation of the climbers feet, approximately 18-24 inches to the right of the continuation of the right facing corner. One can see where the face angle changes just to the right of where the big roof ends. There is a little micro-roof above the black wear-marks on the rock...just to the right of that, in my mind, would be the best place to clip a draw to keep the rope away from the edge. A single bolt with a quick-linked perma-draw would probably get the point across plainly enough.

Here's another shot (with Ben Folsom climbing it?) where a couple of the rope grooves are just barely visible in the upper right corner of the frame:




The upper 1/3 of the climb, though the camera's tilted to make it look less steep than it is, one can clearly see the anchors:



Do the pictures help?


climbingaggie03


Nov 14, 2007, 3:22 PM
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Re: [stymingersfink] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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stymingersfink wrote:
Let me describe Layaway Plan for you. Better yet, here's a picture of the roof corner that I'm speaking of; though it might be a little difficult to see the rope grooves, they are there, to the climbers right, just below the bright sunlit area.

[image]http://www.rockclimbing.com/images/photos/assets/1/7381-largest_78603.jpg[/image]

The route goes up a right facing corner, then traverses right (where our climber is seen under the roof), then goes up in the right facing corner to the chains (about another 15-20' IIRC).

The particular bolt I'm thinking would be prudent to place would be at about the elevation of the climbers feet, approximately 18-24 inches to the right of the continuation of the right facing corner. One can see where the face angle changes just to the right of where the big roof ends. There is a little micro-roof above the black wear-marks on the rock...just to the right of that, in my mind, would be the best place to clip a draw to keep the rope away from the edge. A single bolt with a quick-linked perma-draw would probably get the point across plainly enough.

Here's another shot (with Ben Folsom climbing it?) where a couple of the rope grooves are just barely visible in the upper right corner of the frame:

[image]http://www.rockclimbing.com/images/photos/assets/6/48976-largest_68731.jpg[/image]


The upper 1/3 of the climb, though the camera's tilted to make it look less steep than it is, one can clearly see the anchors:

[image]http://www.rockclimbing.com/images/photos/assets/6/6756-largest_78765.jpg[/image]

Do the pictures help?


The pictures help, why not put the bolt a bit higher and to the right, I think if you put it at the climbers feet, it would be too low and not keep it off the lip. I also think that it would be unlikely to be clipped at that height. I think if it was at the level of the roof and to the right that people would clip it for the protection it offered not realizing that it was protecting the rock. If it's a bomber bolt I can't see why most people wouldn't clip it.


snowey


Nov 14, 2007, 3:41 PM
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Re: [climbingaggie03] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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Although your concerns about protecting the route are valid, you must also acknowledge that whenever you place a bolt on a route, it changes the character of the route.

Now, if somehow (in other situation) you could place a bolt that is out of reach of the leading climber and can only be clipped while lowering to protect the rock, then one could argue that the additional bolt is simply the extension of the anchor.


stymingersfink


Nov 14, 2007, 5:17 PM
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Re: [snowey] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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snowey wrote:
Although your concerns about protecting the route are valid, you must also acknowledge that whenever you place a bolt on a route, it changes the character of the route.
I am free to acknowledge this, and willingly do. The question becomes: how much are trad-tards (i'm one) willing to compromise in pursuit of preserving a limited resource?


snowey wrote:
Now, if somehow (in other situation) you could place a bolt that is out of reach of the leading climber and can only be clipped while lowering to protect the rock, <snip>

That's where the problem would come in, you see. When the leader is being lowered is when the rope abrasion begins to cut grooves into the roof edge, so by then it is too late.

Additionally, by the time the leader is being lowered, they're likely not thinking about how their rope is damaging the roof edge, so are then less likely to go to the extra work to pull the belayer-side rope away from the roof edge and clip it to a bolt already not within reach of the route itself. Here, I would imagine, is were people would look at the poor lost bolt while scratching their heads saying "WTF is that doing all the way over there?"

snowey wrote:
then one could argue that the additional bolt is simply the extension of the anchor.
Perhaps, but would it be a logical argument, as the anchor exists 15' above the roof edge to begin with. IDK... perhaps I'm not seeing your argument there.


No, I think for such a bolt placement to be useful for the purpose of its intent, that being to protect the route more than protect the climber him/herself, it must be placed within reach of the leader, such that if a short draw were fixed to it the rope would be held away from the corner of the roof edge.


ja1484


Nov 14, 2007, 5:57 PM
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Re: [stymingersfink] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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I've long been a proponent of fixed belay stations in areas of high traffic. They spare vegetation, and decrease wares (fixed soft goods/rap stations) left on the cliffside. I think this instance is similar. If there's an impact that can be lessened with a bolt, then place the bolt if the FA is ok with it.

Just be sure that, in the long run, the bolt is less impact than the alternative.


yokese


Nov 14, 2007, 7:05 PM
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stymingersfink wrote:
That's where the problem would come in, you see. When the leader is being lowered is when the rope abrasion begins to cut grooves into the roof edge, so by then it is too late.

What about rappelling instead?


caughtinside


Nov 14, 2007, 7:10 PM
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ja1484 wrote:
I've long been a proponent of fixed belay stations in areas of high traffic. They spare vegetation, and decrease wares (fixed soft goods/rap stations) left on the cliffside. I think this instance is similar. If there's an impact that can be lessened with a bolt, then place the bolt if the FA is ok with it.

Just be sure that, in the long run, the bolt is less impact than the alternative.

I'd agree with this, except to say that I don't think FA permission is necessary.

I like to respect the FA, but here we're talking a resource being damaged, which I think is more important.

But, I also think we are a long way off from any sort of agreement on this. Belays which are bolted solely to spare vegetation still gets chopped in the name of trad.


microbarn


Nov 14, 2007, 7:24 PM
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The pics helped picture the damage and route in question tremendously, but your last post is what really cleared up your idea to me.

I was thinking sort of along the lines of snowey, and I still argue that people in general won't have the forethought to clip that bolt while being lowered.

However, if a leader clips a bolt on the way up, and the rock is protected by default...I could really support that.

I still suspect this would only help the second because the third and fourth climbers up are going to be doing top rope most of the time without protecting the rock.

It still seems like the decision rests on the local community, but I can definitely see the grey in this issue now. I suppose I am still leaning away from the bolt myself though.


stymingersfink


Nov 14, 2007, 7:29 PM
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yokese wrote:
stymingersfink wrote:
That's where the problem would come in, you see. When the leader is being lowered is when the rope abrasion begins to cut grooves into the roof edge, so by then it is too late.

What about rappelling instead?
IF the leader raps, it becomes nearly impossible to recover gear from the crack, or a second to TR the route without worrying about a fair sized swing across the slab if they come off.


stymingersfink


Nov 14, 2007, 7:33 PM
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caughtinside wrote:
ja1484 wrote:
I've long been a proponent of fixed belay stations in areas of high traffic. They spare vegetation, and decrease wares (fixed soft goods/rap stations) left on the cliffside. I think this instance is similar. If there's an impact that can be lessened with a bolt, then place the bolt if the FA is ok with it.

Just be sure that, in the long run, the bolt is less impact than the alternative.

I'd agree with this, except to say that I don't think FA permission is necessary.

I like to respect the FA, but here we're talking a resource being damaged, which I think is more important.

But, I also think we are a long way off from any sort of agreement on this. Belays which are bolted solely to spare vegetation still gets chopped in the name of trad.

The belay is bolted and chained. There is no vegetation to speak of in the immediate area. I'm talking more about placing a single bolt below and outside a corner, in order that a rope will not damage the rock. As a side benefit, it would also help reduce rope wear a small amount.


caughtinside


Nov 14, 2007, 7:50 PM
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stymingersfink wrote:
caughtinside wrote:
ja1484 wrote:
I've long been a proponent of fixed belay stations in areas of high traffic. They spare vegetation, and decrease wares (fixed soft goods/rap stations) left on the cliffside. I think this instance is similar. If there's an impact that can be lessened with a bolt, then place the bolt if the FA is ok with it.

Just be sure that, in the long run, the bolt is less impact than the alternative.

I'd agree with this, except to say that I don't think FA permission is necessary.

I like to respect the FA, but here we're talking a resource being damaged, which I think is more important.

But, I also think we are a long way off from any sort of agreement on this. Belays which are bolted solely to spare vegetation still gets chopped in the name of trad.

The belay is bolted and chained. There is no vegetation to speak of in the immediate area. I'm talking more about placing a single bolt below and outside a corner, in order that a rope will not damage the rock. As a side benefit, it would also help reduce rope wear a small amount.

Yeah, sorry if I wasn't clear. I was trying to compare an analogous situation.


stymingersfink


Nov 14, 2007, 8:04 PM
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I have added a small "X" to the location I'm suggesting would provide the most benefit to the rock itself:



Does that help with understanding more what I'm suggesting? Would providing a fixed draw also help to get the point across to those who choose to climb the line? Something just short enough to keep the rope from wearing grooves in the corner.

I think those bright enough to place their own gear intelligently would also come to realize quite quickly the intent behind the bolt+draw. The question is, would they also welcome and appreciate the intent?


iamthewallress


Nov 14, 2007, 8:16 PM
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Much of the worst wear that I've seen on sandstone cracks has to do w/ people top roping them en masse with belays from below, lower offs, and massive hang dogging. Maybe we can just try to tread more lightly in areas that are getting beat up?

Edit...I see the grooves now. Still, it will compromise the degree of topropedness of the hard pull around the roof, so I bet people would ignore it...just like they do when they don't run the rope away from the edge w/ long sling.


(This post was edited by iamthewallress on Nov 14, 2007, 8:25 PM)


stymingersfink


Nov 14, 2007, 8:39 PM
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Re: [caughtinside] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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caughtinside wrote:
stymingersfink wrote:
caughtinside wrote:
ja1484 wrote:
I've long been a proponent of fixed belay stations in areas of high traffic. They spare vegetation, and decrease wares (fixed soft goods/rap stations) left on the cliffside. I think this instance is similar. If there's an impact that can be lessened with a bolt, then place the bolt if the FA is ok with it.

Just be sure that, in the long run, the bolt is less impact than the alternative.

I'd agree with this, except to say that I don't think FA permission is necessary.

I like to respect the FA, but here we're talking a resource being damaged, which I think is more important.

But, I also think we are a long way off from any sort of agreement on this. Belays which are bolted solely to spare vegetation still gets chopped in the name of trad.

The belay is bolted and chained. There is no vegetation to speak of in the immediate area. I'm talking more about placing a single bolt below and outside a corner, in order that a rope will not damage the rock. As a side benefit, it would also help reduce rope wear a small amount.

Yeah, sorry if I wasn't clear. I was trying to compare an analogous situation.
I think I was replying more to 1484's comment, as it appeared I wasn't being clear.

I suppose if I were to drag you into this, I might as well reply to your point about the FA's consent.

Provided the FA is still around and actually cares what happens, I would say yeah... get their input/consent. If you can't make a logical and convincing presentation to the FA for preserving something with their name attached to it, perhaps it's not all that logical or convincing.

OTOH, for routes where the FA has traded their rope and harness for wings or pitchforks (so to say), it will should always come down to the consensus of the community of resource users. I'm pretty sure that's not the case here. ...then again, I've not gotten that far with the whole thing yet. Let's see what shakes loose, k?


stymingersfink


Nov 14, 2007, 8:52 PM
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iamthewallress wrote:
Much of the worst wear that I've seen on sandstone cracks has to do w/ people top roping them en masse with belays from below, lower offs, and massive hang dogging. Maybe we can just try to tread more lightly in areas that are getting beat up?
As much as I might agree with you there, unfortunately we are part of the minority.Unimpressed I'm advocating here is the potential to make treading lightly something easier for those less-enlightened type folk to do in particular circumstances.



iamthewallress wrote:
Edit...I see the grooves now. Still, it will compromise the degree of topropedness of the hard pull around the roof, so I bet people would ignore it...just like they do when they don't run the rope away from the edge w/ long sling.
What do you mean here? Do you mean for the leader? For the second? I think much of the damage to the corner comes from the leader being lowered from the anchor. There's really no other way to avoid it, as letting the rope run through the crack itself will push one's gear back into the crack. The remainder (perhaps majority, in all probability) of the damage comes from TR'ing the route, or even bringing up a second from the anchors above (that never happens in this case).


microbarn


Nov 15, 2007, 5:42 AM
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Re: [stymingersfink] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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stymingersfink wrote:
I have added a small "X" to the location I'm suggesting would provide the most benefit to the rock itself:

[IMG]http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d178/daryns77/7381-largest_78603copy.jpg[/IMG]

Does that help with understanding more what I'm suggesting? Would providing a fixed draw also help to get the point across to those who choose to climb the line? Something just short enough to keep the rope from wearing grooves in the corner.

I think those bright enough to place their own gear intelligently would also come to realize quite quickly the intent behind the bolt+draw. The question is, would they also welcome and appreciate the intent?

I don't think a permanently attached draw would be clear enough. The only option that would make it clear to everyone (and this is what you need for full benefit) is to attach a dog tag to the hanger. People don't usually see a dog tag on a hanger, and they would likely stop to read the dog tag while lowering.


wanderlustmd


Nov 15, 2007, 5:45 AM
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Re: [microbarn] Bolting to Preserve the rock. [In reply to]
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I'm thinking spray paint, myself.

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