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hyhuu


Dec 10, 2007, 7:21 AM
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Questions on route at Riverbend  (North_America: United_States: West_Virginia: Roped_Climbing: Seneca_Rocks_Region: The_Panhandle: Franklin_Gorge)
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Hi,
At the Riverbend area between Blowing Mud and Dig Dog Dig, there is an arch with a chimney. Does anyone know if it has been climbed before and what are the grade? Last Sat, we setup a toprope, cleaned a lot of loose rocks and debris and climbed 3 lines: two goes up from each corner and one goes up the middle.

Thanks.

hyhuu


roninthorne


Jan 2, 2008, 3:16 PM
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Re: [hyhuu] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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Hyhuu-

Sorry this took so long... holiday season and all that. As far as I know, no one has ever climbed any of that. Nice work. How was the top rope set-up?

Happy New Year!

mg/R


cvilleguide


Jan 16, 2008, 7:42 PM
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Re: [roninthorne] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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They've been done before. I bolted the route up the center last weekend. It's 5.12b or 12c. The others are easier and will be bolted soon.


hyhuu


Mar 24, 2008, 11:16 AM
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Re: [cvilleguide] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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Thanks for the info. I went there last Sunday and saw the bolted line. I supposed they must have been done quite a long time ago, especially the left corner. There were a ton of dirt, rocks, tree, branches in that corner. It took us a number of hours to get rid of them.

Hung

cvilleguide wrote:
They've been done before. I bolted the route up the center last weekend. It's 5.12b or 12c. The others are easier and will be bolted soon.


roninthorne


Mar 25, 2008, 9:17 AM
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Re: [hyhuu] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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hyhuu wrote:
Thanks for the info. I went there last Sunday and saw the bolted line. I supposed they must have been done quite a long time ago, especially the left corner. There were a ton of dirt, rocks, tree, branches in that corner. It took us a number of hours to get rid of them.

Hung



cvilleguide wrote:
They've been done before. I bolted the route up the center last weekend. It's 5.12b or 12c. The others are easier and will be bolted soon.

Well, well, well...

Hung-

Funny how many routes have "already been done"- especially when you express an interest in them and start actively climbing them- despite the total lack of documentation. Given the number of self-effacing hardpersons living in both valleys over the years before Internet hype and "dig me" sites, I'm sure any number of routes- like, say, those up on Wintergreen- had already been done long before anyone climbing or guiding up there was even thinking about climbing. I know George Powell and many of his partners used to sneak in there on a regular basis, but then they didn't have any interest in claiming routes, just putting up good ones and finding new ones. Mike Goff and Co. were climbing all over Germany Valley when most of us "old guys" were in still elementary school or just a gleam in our daddy's eye, and the 10th Mtn. Division was pounding steel on Seneca, at Champe, and up and down the North Fork in the days when there weren't even dependable roads through the Valleys around here.

If you cleaned that much stuff off of the route, then it's likely that "already been done" translates into "looked at from the ground and considered a good future project" and/or "ready to claim and bolt now that you actually put in the work of cleaning off all the detritus", since I doubt that any of the 8a.nu members who might have "already done" them was even climbing long enough ago for that much debris to have piled back up on the line... much less for a tree to have grown there.

Thanks for your hard work in prepping what I would trust your judgement in describing as a good new line. Hope we see you and your partners at the Gorge for Traildaze.

Climb on-
Ronin


hyhuu


Mar 25, 2008, 11:01 AM
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Re: [roninthorne] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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Mike,
The issue on whoever climbed it first isn't that important to me anyway. I'm more than happy to pitch in cleaning the route or trail for that matter so others can enjoy. My friend Max (he was there during last year traildaze) did most of the work.

I'm planning to be at your Traildaze this year unless my work schedule says otherwise. If you are going to do any work there before the Memorial Day weekend, please let me know. I can coral a few able bodies to come out.

Hung

roninthorne wrote:
Well, well, well...

Hung-

Funny how many routes have "already been done"- especially when you express an interest in them and start actively climbing them- despite the total lack of documentation. Given the number of self-effacing hardpersons living in both valleys over the years before Internet hype and "dig me" sites, I'm sure any number of routes- like, say, those up on Wintergreen- had already been done long before anyone climbing or guiding up there was even thinking about climbing. I know George Powell and many of his partners used to sneak in there on a regular basis, but then they didn't have any interest in claiming routes, just putting up good ones and finding new ones. Mike Goff and Co. were climbing all over Germany Valley when most of us "old guys" were in still elementary school or just a gleam in our daddy's eye, and the 10th Mtn. Division was pounding steel on Seneca, at Champe, and up and down the North Fork in the days when there weren't even dependable roads through the Valleys around here.

If you cleaned that much stuff off of the route, then it's likely that "already been done" translates into "looked at from the ground and considered a good future project" and/or "ready to claim and bolt now that you actually put in the work of cleaning off all the detritus", since I doubt that any of the 8a.nu members who might have "already done" them was even climbing long enough ago for that much debris to have piled back up on the line... much less for a tree to have grown there.

Thanks for your hard work in prepping what I would trust your judgement in describing as a good new line. Hope we see you and your partners at the Gorge for Traildaze.

Climb on-
Ronin


roninthorne


Mar 25, 2008, 7:49 PM
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Re: [hyhuu] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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Hung, to be perfectly honest, my reaction was prompted far more by the curt nature of the proprietary FA claim than anything else. There is a lot more work to be done at River's Bend than grabbing credit for another new route- like trailwork, maybe. I'd like to get your thoughts on finding the best line for the trail to that area that could still be used when the river comes up as it usually does in the winter, which of course is the best season for that wall.

And has anyone done anything about that travesty of a cable rail leading to the furthest downriver routes, yet? More work for the clean-up crew, I guess... everyone else must be too busy posting to their blogs.

I've got a group coming in for a half-day the first week in April, and am hoping to use them to shore up the erosion zone at the base of Castaways, before we lose that tree as well as the leaning monster and the dead hemlock on the trail to Aqualung. If you and some of the folks from the District could make it down, I'd be available any time that week and the next, but after that I'll be pretty tied up with work until the Traildaze event. Let me know what works for you... there's always plenty to do.

Climb on-

mg/R

p.s. you should check out the two new routes between Lunar Debris and Squeal Like a Pig on the Parking lot wall. The route R of Lunar Debris is a bouldery moderate, the line L of SLAP is harder, and it would be great to get some consensus on the grades. I don't think anyone has climbed either besides MF and myself repeating each once after the FA.

(This post was edited by roninthorne on Mar 25, 2008, 8:02 PM)


cvilleguide


Mar 26, 2008, 9:34 PM
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Re: [roninthorne] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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Sounds like my vicious plot to scour the internet chat boards for top-rope projects to steal is working perfectly. Keep em coming.


(This post was edited by cvilleguide on Mar 26, 2008, 9:36 PM)


hyhuu


Mar 27, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Re: [cvilleguide] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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cvilleguide wrote:
Sounds like my vicious plot to scour the internet chat boards for top-rope projects to steal is working perfectly. Keep em coming.

I wouldn't call them projects though, even though it did take me 2 tries to get it clean. We were going to bolt them but schedule and weather didn't work out. I didn't think the middle line is any harder than 5.11d/5.12a, but I also think the grading on some climbs are soft there though. So do you know how who put up those climbs back then??

hyhuu


cvilleguide


Mar 27, 2008, 11:33 AM
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Re: [hyhuu] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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Technically no one, they haven't been bolted. Downgrading, rants, slander, I should have known better than to use this website. Count me out of this.


(This post was edited by cvilleguide on Mar 27, 2008, 7:18 PM)


nnowinowski


Mar 27, 2008, 12:05 PM
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Re: [cvilleguide] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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imo - the tyrolean is a good way to prevent erosion at the bend and was put up with the landowners permission. Leave it alone. Also these little chats would be a lot more productive if everyone would check their ego at the door. cheers. nate


hyhuu


Mar 31, 2008, 12:18 PM
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Re: [nnowinowski] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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Common now. I did asked a genuine question. I specifically did mention that I only toproped them, even though the 2 lines in the corner look leadable on gears but can be scary. First I got a "it's been done before" and now "technically no one" because there were no bolts? That kind of crap is that? Also, I thought grading are based on consensus. Given the its proximity with Seneca, I though they ought to be consistent.

Regarding the Tyrolean traverse. I wonder how long that tree will last.


roninthorne


Apr 3, 2008, 10:53 AM
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cvilleguide wrote:
Technically no one, they haven't been bolted. Downgrading, rants, slander, I should have known better than to use this website. Count me out of this.

I'm sorry, Napolean... we didn't know this was your personal support site for small members and inflated grades... Yes, I suppose you should have known better... posing will never go unquestioned, not at Franklin, not on the Franklin/WV portion of this site... best run on over to South Street where you can talk smack about me, RC.com, and the rest of the climbing world which doesn't fall down on their knees and thank the little baby Jesu for sending you to shine down upon us all...

Here's how it works- you put up a route (or your sad version of a tyrolean... more on that in my next post), other people check it out, give their impressions of the grade/value of the added artifact, and that's called consensus, as Hung points out below. Welcome to reality... it's not just a TV show you can surf away from. Please feel to remove yourself from Franklin, as well, now and for all time. It's not like you've done a single second of trailwork to balance increasing traffic with new lines...

hyhuu wrote:
Common now. I did ask a genuine question. I specifically did mention that I only toproped them, even though the 2 lines in the corner look leadable on gear but can be scary.

Now, see, hung... words like "scary" don't look good on the "dig me" blogs at 8a.nu or in the literature for one's little guiding service...

hyhuu wrote:
First I got a "it's been done before" and now "technically no one" because there were no bolts? That kind of crap is that?

Technically, it's called "fudging the truth to snake a line" or "posing" for short.

[quote"hyhuu"]Also, I thought grading are based on consensus. Given the its proximity with Seneca, I though they ought to be consistent.
And you are correct, sir. I'd like to invite you to lead the gear crack L of Neptune, next time you're up there.. we could use some consensus there, as well...

[quote"hyhuu"]Regarding the Tyrolean traverse. I wonder how long that tree will last.
I'll address all that, and a good many more points, in my next post in this thread. Stay tuned... and don't forget to check those egos at the door... and maybe bring lots of Tucks medicated pads... this could hurt....


roninthorne


Apr 3, 2008, 8:56 PM
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Re: [roninthorne] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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In my original post concerning the cable structures at River's Bend, I was actually referencing the "safety" rail along the cliff proper, and if not for Mr. Nowinowsky's post, might have confined my remarks and analysis to that item alone. However, since he has so kindly called my attention to the tyrolean, I have further investigated the situation, and returned with an expanded analysis.

"Who is this old guy that can't dog his way up a 5.12, " you may ask, "to slander our heroes, upbraid our climbing partners, and cast aspersions on our hard work?"

Let me answer with a bit of personal history.

For the better part of 4 years, I made my living in the world of stage and theater rigging in Arizona, specifically in the city of Pheonix. I was called on to do installations by the International Association of Theatrical Stagehands and Electricians on a routine basis. I worked with the people who brought the world the first truly flying Peter Pan production, Foy, Inc, who have a patent on mechanically-driven cable-rigged flight systems. I helped design and create a cable system to safely raise and "fly" a 140lb actress across a stage 30' above the rest of the cast twice a night, every night of the week for two weeks during the ASU production of Aristophanes' "The Birds".

When the Phoenix Suns replaced all of the suspension cables and motors in the multi-ton scoreboard array that hangs over several million dollars worth of property and athletes during every game at America West Arena, I was part of that operation. I routinely worked with the house rigger and engineer installing assorted rigging for the Arena's stadium football team.

When Bank One Ballpark was built to house the Arizona Diamondbacks, I was one of the people designing and installing the suspension systems that hold a dozen 500+ lb speakers 200 feet in the directly over the heads of their fans.

I was one of the riggers employed for technical installation during Super Bowl XXX in Sun Devil Stadium, including the construction of the ESPN broadcast facilities, and the erection of the tower and suspension systems which supported the multiton Jumbotron used to project images to the nosebleed seats. I have been certified and employed by SLC, Inc (inventors and producers of most of the world's high-tech lighting gear) as a stage and theatrical rigger.

I also worked as a concert rigger in every major concert venue in and around the city of Phoenix; America West Arena, Desert Sky Pavilion, Mesa Ampitheater, Bank One Ballpark and Sun Devil Stadium. This position required me to judge, in the field and under very adverse conditions, the viability and structural integrity of suspension systems holding multi-ton lighting and sound arrays over the heads of people like Tina Turner, Bette Midler, Reba MacIntyre, Brooks and Dunn, The Who, Rod Stewart, Metallica, Black Sabbath, and the Rolling Stones, to name a very, very few. I was invited to work on Ozzfest four times, and participated in the Metallica/Black Sabbath Reunion Concert on New Year's Eve in Bank One Ball Park.

In between this rather busy schedule, I built theaters for Stagecraft, Inc, constructing, installing, repairing and inspecting the systems which raise and lower set pieces, curtains, orchestra shells, and light/sound arrays. The average 40-line-set theater contains well over 2 MILES of cables, and I personally handled every foot of that cable TWICE during the installation, first measuring and cutting, then hoisting and installing to technical specifications.

In short, who I am is a former professional stage and theatrical rigger who has built more theaters and constructed more concerts than most of you will ever see in your life. This post is not slander, but a critical structural analysis. When I comment on cable suspension systems, I know what I am talking about, have been paid rather well by folks with a great deal on the line to do so, and have performed that task, repeatedly, WITHOUT A SINGLE FAILURE.

Now, on to the task at hand.

Let me preface this critique by saying that I have no doubt that at least some of the intentions behind the construction of the tyrolean were good. Of course there is a very applicable saying about good intentions which holds doubly true in exposed mechanical safety rigging situations involving a high-profile sport which is less than popular with the local law enforcement and land management organizations.

Since my initial comment involved the cable rail on the cliff face itself, let us address that first.

You (and by "you" I mean everyone involved in the conception and creation of the cable system under discussion) have a terminus anchor consisting of a saddle-clamped cable secured around a 3/8 inch bolt by a 2" washer and a nut compressing the stranded cable against the rock beneath.

Based on the personal experience noted above, I can tell you that clamps are notoriously unreliable, and require routine inspection and retightening to assure holding strength. They are by and large made of low-quality alloys with no true guarantee of shock-loading strength or longevity in exposed conditions. If the loop of the bolt, rather than the saddle of the clamp, is in contact with the load bearing leg of the cable, their value is questionable at best in a dynamic fall/load situation involving over 100 lbs (a 150 lb climber slipping from the ledge and falling onto the cable can exert an exponential multiple of this load). You have two clamps per end, which seem to be reversed, but again, with no true guarantee of holding strength and (it is obvious) no routine inspection and maintenance, their value is not doubled. Once movement begins, the clamp can and most likely will distort and/or break/release the cable, which has itself been compromised by distortion through compression of its strands and by being bent around the bolt instead of having the load evenly distributed through the loop.

First question- why the cheap attachment? Since you were there to install routes, how much more would it have cost to have thimbled and swaged the ends, which could then have been fitted with a steel carabiner or at least a steel quick-link, installed in a bolt hanger, oriented along the line of force, at either end of the assembly? You put in several dozen stainless steel bolts with stainless steel hangers and installed half a dozen anchors, and then rigged your safety cable like an elemetary school project built by short bus riders with parts from Wal-Mart.

(Tech note: a thimble is the semi-circular metal "lining" found inside most commercial cable ends, which protects the stranded cable from seperation and spreads any load around the loop created, instead of focussing it at one point. A swage is a compressed sleeve of brass which completely encloses both portions of the looped cable and is crimped on with a special tool to engineered specs, effectively cold-welding the cable into a loop many times stronger than any clamp. This system is in fact the industry standard for load-bearing cables.)

Having disposed of my original topic, let us move on to the tyrolean cable. Here, I will begin with an admitted digression from technical details to several philosophical ones.

First, you indicate that your desire was to reduce impact. How was this accomplished by doubling the locus points of that impact to yet another back road, one which, unlike River Gap Road, is not a one-way dead end but a residential loop off the main thoroughfare, and again unlike River Gap Road, has no functional parking, at least when the cable gate is up, as it has been all of this past winter? How can the repeated presence of up to a dozen out-of-state cars inconveniencing the nearby landowners, obstructing traffic, and attracting the attention of Dept. of Natural Resources, local and state Law Enforcement officers in any way be considered constructive?

Your contention is that the cable was installed with the landowner's permission. Did this permission include the knowledge that through poor design and lack of responsible maintenance, you would in a matter of years begin to kill the tree to which the cable was rigged? Since the River's Bend portion of Franklin is almost uninhabitable during the summer months, why wasn't the cable taken down during this season?

Did the landowner further understand that, in granting said permission without a release of any kind or posted notice of non-liability (such as a No Trespassing sign like the one clearly posted at the River Gap parking lot), he was in fact opening himself to inclusion in any lawsuit resulting from failure of an improperly constructed and installed system? A system that, given the stream's average depth of 12-18" is almost completely unneccesary?

These are quesions to which I have no doubt you may reply with any number of rationalizations, but few real answers. However, as stated, I digress, and will return to the cable system and its impacts.

Since you used a plastic-coated cable, you have in fact not clamped a cable together, but rather two plastic hoses, which retain their shape by virtue of having a stranded cable filling them. Thus, the holding power of the clamps themselves would certainly be almost nil, were it not for the fact that you coiled the cable repeatedly around the tree before clamping it, without benefit of any kind of barrier/cushion to save the tree from girdling when it outgrew the diameter of the clamped cable loop. This it did in rather short order, being rooted on the banks of a steady source of water and nutrients.

The tree to which you have anchored your cable will in all probability die, from the cable attachment point up, due to constriction and the resultant loss of nutrient flow, disease, and/or parasitic insect invasion, with the rest following shortly thereafter as the decay column eats down through the trunk. Whether or not it dies immediately, its structural integrity has most certainly been compromised and it is now far more likely to break off in a future storm, most of which are funnelled down the river there with a wind tunnel-like effect. Of course there are two other trees to select for execution well within reach of the existing cable, so I doubt that presents the cable's users with much of a dilemna.

The plastic, of course, weathered off the rest of the cable and fell into the stream, exposing the cable to the elements and of course adding to the out-of-state pollution already having such a halcyon effect on WV's stream ecology. Just what the state needed- more plastic mixed into the streambeds and filling the stomachs of wildlife, waterfowl and fish. Another shining star on the reputation of climbers in the minds of the DNR, BLM, and NFS.

It is also your contention that the cable system prevented erosion. Allow me to retort.

An effectively constructed trail, leading from the parking area used for the last fifteen years by 90% of the climbers coming to this crag, would have been far more useful to everyone involved, and have achieved exactly the same ends, without compromising the more fragile ecosystem of the Bend itself.

Constant traffic, which once rarely reached the downstream ledges, is now almost inevitable, given their proximity to the terminus of the tyrolean and the rope ladder leading directly to the beautiful juniper tree there. This traffic has stripped a majority of the soil from its surface, depriving the tree there of nutrients. Additionally, the unshaded ledge, now far more exposed to the sun and wind, will retain far less moisture, also reducing the life-support of the local biome. This juniper/cedar is a tree that, given the species' incredibly slow rate of growth, was likely 50 years old or even older. It is unlikely that it will see another 50 years, even though it could have lived three or four times that long.

Congratulations... another tree added to your tally.. which, of course, is our tally in the eyes of the local governmental agencies and landowners.

All in all, the only benefit gleaned from this construction seems to have been to your reputation among those who have no technical knowledge of the systems involved, nor acquaintance with their impact or the access issues of the crag. There is of course the added bonus of being able to by and large completely avoid encountering the people who might have questioned your personal integrity for shirking the duty of improving and maintaining both avenues of approach to the River's Bend.

As a footnote, Mr. Nowinowsky states that these discussions would likely prove more productive if everyone involved checked their egos at the door. Given the tone of your assertions, the obviously erroneous assumptions that seem to have been their base and the motives which seem to have driven them, I can only surmise that you missed the hook on which your own ego should have been hung when you came into the discussion, sir. Perhaps a more impartial reflection on your own reactions would be beneficial when involved in discussions concerning your "pet crag".


cvilleguide


Apr 4, 2008, 10:43 AM
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Re: [roninthorne] Questions on route at Riverbend [In reply to]
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I answer some guys question on beta for an obscure route and you post a lame life story. That's real "self effacing" huh?

I didn't put up, or help with, the tyrolean or traverse cable and I don't have an 8a membership.

Ive done a couple 5.12's at Seneca and I still think the routes 12b or c.


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