Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Hump

Blair Piggot on the Classic Upper Prow

The Hump was in great shape this weekend. Even during the sub zero temps on Monday the rock was relatively warm and friendly. As always, the Upper Prow proved to be one of the best routes on the face.

A new bolt has gotten put in on the bottom of Leaning Column. It looks to have been put in this year. It is about 15 feet below the end of the brown Dolomite. The pro is pretty thin in this area. I was jsut wondering what people's comments are about extra bolts on the hump? Any feedback would probably be appreciated. I know many people are still unsure as to who the active climbers around the south may be, and who is doing what.


At 2/22/2005 11:45:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personaly don't have a problem with bolts as long as they are put in with some thought. I don't see any problem with bolts on runout sections of gear climbs and some belay stations. Most people do this for fun so i don't have a problem with safety. If people have a problem with it then lets paint the hangers the same color as the rock, then even the climbers will have to look hard to see where they are. Even on ice climbs i would sooner see rap bolts at the top instead of seeing 'tat cord at the bottom of the climbs in the spring. That's more of an eyesore than bolts at the top of a climb that you can't see from the bottom anyway. Just my opinion.... 

Posted by Blair Piggot

At 2/22/2005 02:39:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know. I kind of like seeing pins instead of bolts. I think it just prevents a slippery slope from happening years down the road. For belay stations, I really think not having bolts on alpine climbs does make a difference for how they feel. I know down at Devil's tower there is certainly a different feel between the routes with bolt stations and those without. Now obviously traffic, and gear helps to dictate what is preferable, however i think certain areas do have specific character that one should be aware of. I guess it depends on what character people think the Hump has. I guess that is why I am interested. Is the Hump a sport crag, an semi-alpine face, or what sort of in between.

Hopefully this perspective will limit the tired anti/pro bolt arguments everyone has heard before. I think it is more a question of what do the majority of people prefer. 

Posted by chris goble

At 2/22/2005 03:45:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The long debated subject. Personally, a couple of bolts on the hump are probably welcome. Lets face it, the rock isn't all that good and it isn't all that solid. The biggest part bolts should play on the hump is belay anchors on routes where belay stations are marginal or for example cusaks crack, where two pins that look like there about to fall apart. I had a lengthy conversation with the warden back in November, I think it was Brian, anyhow the jist of our conversation was that there shouldn't be sport routes going up in the park right now and that the park was ok with fixed protection for belay stations and routes that warranted a bolt or two. So to answer the question, I agree having bolted stations and sections that do not have gear placements. Also, for the most part bolts are hard enough to find as it is without even coloring them. The only people that are going to see them are climbers that are on the face. I don't agree with bolts besides routes with natural pro.

Posted by Scott Harms

At 2/22/2005 04:14:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Harms on this subject. Just for the pure fact that safety should be the most important consideration in our sport. Belay/Rap stations are a welcome safety factor to these trad climbs, and also make life a lot easier at these stations. Bomber belay stations should put a little ease on the Rangers in that the need for a rescue may be a little less likely.

Don't consider this attitude wimpy in any way, I just believe that the popularity and reputation of our sport deserves the best chance it gets. The accidents that immediately hit the news don't help our sport much. Climbing of course is inherently dangerous but if such as small things like an belay/rap station improves our odds, cheers to those willing to put in the time and effort.

I definitely don't believe in putting up any sport routes in the Waterton area, this is the draw for trad climbers. Let all the roadside sport craggers venture a little more north for thier fix. (Nothing wrong with a little roadside crag, though! Whip up for some super nice climbing and then hop back into the car with a super big smile on your face and back to town in time for supper and a beer!)


Posted by Scott Whiteside

At 2/23/2005 02:03:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I am in the minority on this one (hence the importance of having the discussion for the area). I think most people know that Drywood has become the sport climbing area. In Waterton, Expert's choice has the potential for sport routes, but will likely never be a sport destination due to the long approach and good rock a pitch off the ground. I have a feeling new bolted routes will be going up there as much of the face has no gear. Because of this, I think bolted belays make more sense because they are in line with the general feel of the area.

On the Hump, I am not sure that the rock will ever lend itself to bolted routes. Sure there may be the odd bolt on run out sections that have ledge or groundfall potential, but what about the current stations that Scott H. mentioned? While the pins certainly are less robust than bolts would be, I don't know if they would fit in with the general character of the other routes. After all, climbing the loose rock may be much more of a risk than pins are for a belay. Plus the cusak belay can get backed up with some thin wires. I guess, I wonder that if the type of routes, the type of rock, and the general environment of the routes on the Hump don't lend themselves to the 100% safety that Scott W. suggests that maybe applying a 100% safety margin to the belays would not be in character with everything else.

Anyways that's my point of view. However, it has certainly changed since the first few times I went up the hump in the late 80's. Since then I have become a lot more confortable with what is and isn't avaiblable there. So perhaps that is something to keep in mind too. However, as I always say, this is only my opinion, and only has a applicable survey size of one.

Thanks for the comments Scott's. Are you guys going to Lussier this weekend? I am going to make some calls tonight to try and get some car pooling going. 

Posted by chris goble

At 2/25/2005 10:48:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey chris,
the whitesides and jill & i are heading up tommorow, so i guess we'll see you there.


Posted by Scott Harms


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