Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Kurt's Korner - South Rim Routes

Editor's Note: Submissions from Kurt often require a little work, teasing meaning from the words, ensuring the essence of the idea is neither distorted nor lost. This is the first part of a longer piece. We expect to get another paragraph or two posted each of the next few days.

Good news on the voluntary bolting moratorium. After hearing that the route “No Drama Obama” had been named for him at the North Rim, it looks as if President Obama will issue an executive order to open the South Rim (the cliff band across the canyon from the current climbing area) for route development. As a result, we did a preliminary walk through of the potential up there and it turns out the anti-climbing group was correct about existing routes. We found five routes, only there are two things: First, the hardware dates from the 1990s, meaning, they’ve apparently been there all along and no one knew. Also, the first bolt on each route is at least 20 feet off the ground. We first thought this was due to minimizing visual impact. But the anti-climbing group was too busy stopping timber sales back then to worry about climbers and bolts, so we came to the obvious conclusion that the high first bolt was of the old-school type of climb, before crash pads, stick clips, and climbing gyms made climbers soft and lazy litterbugs. Either way, it may be one of the reasons the routes are still there since hikers and bird-watchers can’t reach the bolts to damage them.

Since climbing at the South Rim is now officially recognized (thanks to May 25 Forest Service letter), I am pleased to report the next 25 routes have been picked out and transferred to official drawings. We’ve also made a few chalk marks at the base of several to help remember where they’ll go. If you want to put one of the new routes up just stop by the Climbers Club HQ and pick one out. Remember you will have to name the climb, so the pressure is on. Important: you can pick up the secret knock for admittance to HQ at the gym’s front desk. You can find out which gym’s front desk (UM or Freestone) by asking one of the girls drawing beer at Draught Works, but only if they’re drawing the special “code” beer at the time. To find out which beer is the special code beer, well, you’ll have to figure that out for yourself. It may take a lot of trial and error, so start drinking.

On another topic, we do have a maintenance problem across the canyon at the North Rim. The ice coming over the top is getting our routes wet. Dave is leading a trip on April 1 to shovel the snow off the top of the cliff. He figures if he takes the snow off for about 10 feet that should allow things to dry off pretty nicely. If anyone thinks the climbs are a little dirty check with Dave about collecting snow in a tank up top and then run a hose down to clean the dirt off. Remember if you have a climbing problem – we’re here to help and will figure out a solution for you.

Scouting the South Rim for Routes
Aerial Vandal Patrols Also Under Consideration

Other ideas to follow...

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