New routing

  • @Scole Hmmm... Yes, you are right that top-down is not the only way to establish sport climbs.

    As you say, what matters is that the pro is where you need it, and the crux should be the move, not the clip. But, while you may never have put a bolt in the wrong spot while climbing ground-up, thousands of people have...

    ...well, and so have thousands of people who put their stupid bolts in on rappel.

    I was never a sport climber, and most of my climbing -- both new and established routes -- was trad, ice, and alpine. But when my partners and I did put up new sport routes we cleaned them top to bottom, top-roped them over and over, and argued endlessly about where the bolts should go.

    Perhaps, if we were better sport climbers, and climbing well below our limit, and in an area where serious cleaning was not required, we could have started at the bottom, drills hanging from our harnesses, and made immaculate ascents. But we weren't 5.14 climbers putting up 5.9 routes. And we weren't climbing on immaculate rock.

    So we rapped in and spent days cleaning. Then, we top-roped, constantly thinking and arguing about where the pro should be. And, finally rapped in one more time with the drill, setting the bolts where we had placed the big chalked X marks.

    And put up some damn good climbs, with, as you say, the bolts in the right places.

    But I definitely agree with you that climbers who are capable of doing it right can have a better adventure, and create great routes, drilling ground up. The problem is that damn few have the experience, skill, and strength to do that.

  • I like the ground up approach. it gives me more satisfaction. Isa hates it. belay duty is arduous at best. I feel that the most important thing is to not be too set in your ways. I have messed up bolt placements with both systems and if it's not in the right place I simply move it to the right place. I over drill the hole so all you have to do is take the hanger off and pound the stud in if you are not happy with the finbished product. . Totally sucks when someone ruins what could be a great climb and then refuses to let anyone fix it.. It absolutely ridiculous to ground up drill something that has already been top roped..

  • Isa got the FA on Sat.. Beuna Vista 5.9IMG_4829.jpg
    named after the view from the top..
    cleaned up some of the trash hunters threw over the edge and foraged dinner..

  • built Isa's woody on the gable end of her garage sunday and Monday. went to our other spot repeated our climb Forbidden Fruit and watched the locals send their new route just to the right. of us.

  • Last week, my "old" climbing & rafting friend Mark & I drove up the scenic Salmon River road above Riggins, Idaho to hike to a historic silver mine. Along the way we stopped to admire a route we climbed about 1980, on one of the big granite buttresses below Manning Bridge. Mark named it: “That Crack on The Salmon," for our Washington State University sorority girl, chaste climbing groupie, Laurie. We rated it 5.9 A-1, with nine 150 foot leads, and some walking in between the upper leads. It was not just a climbing route, but an adventure, with one of the upper leads named the "Chimney of Horrors." From my 1980 journal: “Highly recommended as an unusual problem! This lead features jamming on huge flakes inside a wide and scenic chimney.

    The route! Photo from my raft in the middle of the Salmon River in 2014.
    Photo 8 That crack on the salmon.IMG_2756.jpg

    In the early 1980’s in March & April, we would drive 165 miles from Moscow, Idaho & Pullman, Washington, often bringing students from the U of I & WSU, for warm spring days of trying potential new routes, with the added adventure joys of Poison Ivy, rattlers, river views, un-crowded sandy beaches, and huge loose flakes of granite.

    What's not to like?

    However, the area has fallen out of favor with modern rock climbers. I am somewhat amazed that little climbing activity shows up on the internet under the obvious searches of Salmon River, Idaho, or Riggins.

    There is one web-site that mentions the area of our adventure, but has no details on routes.
    “The Salmon River Crags
    These crags are located alongside the Salmon River about 14 or 15 miles to the east of Riggins.

    The obvious granite outcrops tower above the north side of the road just before the second bridge
    (Manning Bridge). There are more than 30 established routes here, many of which have multiple
    pitches. There are crack climbs, bolted face climbs and mixed lines. Some of these routes have
    healthy runouts that require a cool head and a change of underwear. The difficulty ranges from
    5.8 to 5.12”.

    I took this photo from the road under the buttress last week. We used to set a top rope on that first crack pitch & considered it enjoyable 5.7. I can't imagine leading it, at age 70.

    That crack on the salmon route.jpg

    A "selfie" of me & Mark on our hike. It was perfect conditions, with lots of wild flowers on our 2.5 mile, 2,000 vertical foot jaunt. There was just a little bit of poison ivy along the way, but I did get buzzed by a hidden rattler, on our hike back down.


  • Can't compete with Ray's story, above, cuz today...

    ...well, not only did we not find the crag we thought would be the Next Great Thing, we couldn't even find the roads that led to it.

    Antiquated forestry maps.

    However, while we didn't find any incredible rock faces, we did find a new life form...

    We aren't sure, but, pending verification from whatever scientific body deals with this sort of thing, we think we found A CANOE WITH LEGS!!!!!

    Canoe head.jpg

  • That looks pretty cool Ray. I think Donini mentioned Salmon river to us at your dinner party in 2016. Didn't mention the rattlers though.. Our new find is a total heap. I did a ton of trundling Sunday.
    Its not the pacific NW but it's still pretty bad in the NE..
    rapped in from the top and made this mess on the bottom 20ft getting to the cleaner rock . My shoulder hurt just watching Isa work on the roof we have an anchor over.. I passed on that project for the moment and followed Isa up the 5.9 we established last week.
    did I mention it was freaking Cold! I traversed over and got an anchor in on top of what was supposed to be the perfect 5.7 or 8 warm up I have been looking for.... It turned out to be 10 something and lots of loose crap I had to trundle....
    the new sub compact brushless 18v Makita weighs about half of my 36v Bosch 🙂 My birthday present to myself. Seems to work well enough. It started spitting snow but my shutter speed was too slow to catch the ice pellets.
    Isa packed out some more garbage and ramps.
    Fresh change of clothes and hot mocha in the van were quite satisfying after those shenanigans.

  • The new neighborhood has some pretty good pickings, no pesky moss and dirt to scrub.

    IMG_2096 web.jpg

    IMG_1930 web.jpg

  • @terrebonne! Those are beautiful basalt crystals/columns. Thank you!

  • @terrebonne Trout Creek?

    Mari on JR Token.jpg

  • @David-Harris
    No not Trout, but one of the photos I posted is probably part of the same basalt flow as Trout creek and the other is from Newberry volcano even though it is some 60 miles from the crater.

  • @terrebonne So where is your crag? Looks great.
    And it sure does look like the columns at Trout Creek.

  • @David-Harris
    Ha-ha it's a secret, but the one that looks like Trout everyone who goes to Smith from Portland drives right by it on the highway.

  • This post is deleted!

  • Okay, moving from the local "secret crag" to something a bit further afield...

    Mt Bute from Claw Peak.jpg

    Blow the photo up a bit, and look at the peak visible in the far distance through the notch. 6,000 ft of granite. Which I didn't climb, but on which my friend (and ex-Supertopian) Bruce Kay put up a 50-pitch route he and his partners called "School of Rock".

    A bit more here:

    I took the photo looking South from just below Claw Peak in the Waddington Range in BC's Coast Mountains.

  • Thanks for the post. I followed the link & was suitably impressed. Hi to Bruce from Fritz on ST.

  • I finally got around to leading this one. its getting cleaner and easier 😉 some kind of easy 9???

  • @FritzRay said in New routing:

    Hi to Bruce from Fritz on ST.

    I passed on your greetings yesterday while we were out on a road-clearing mission with another ex-Supertopian.

    Bruce said something like "Fritz? Great guy! Loved his sense of humor!"

    Oh, yeah... Road-clearing. See, around here, before you can go new-routing, you have to new-route the road to your new route. And once you've done that, you have to re-clear the trail to your new route. Only then can you even get to the base of your new route.

  • we carried out the last load of crap from the base of the cliff. the logging road that goes in here is gated now. assuming it was open in the 70s and 80s..

  • @NickG Skeeters are hungry in your neck of the woods, eh? When are they not? Head nets are damned good to have in the bug out bag. 👍

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