(Hello Isabelle and Avit!)avit wrote: I was up there with my daughter on Monday (hello Sherri from Washington, Isabelle says hi!), and we gave her a hip belay on the way down. As the last person, I tried using the ropes for support, but in retrospect they were anti-helpful.
It wasn't all that long ago that I was doing that traverse roped up--but I sure wasn't climbing multipitches at Isabelle's age. You've got a rockstar there!
I've had the privilege of seasonal conditions. My wife and I did the descent in a torrential downfall. We skipped the slabs and went straight into the forest, but the traverse off Broadway was no problem, even under water.
The first step down from upper broadway, St Vitus et al, is getting polished and slippery and that tree is starting to rot out.
That next sideways step is not really a big deal but there is some route finding involved. Finally you arrive at Diedre and there are no more ropes.
I am 50/50 on how I feel
I dont like seeing that crap but on the other hand if I was a visiting climber I probably would be quite happy to hand over hand those lines to the ledge...I am sure they will be gone soon.
Moreover, people who will enjoy the fixed ropes are probably beginners who do not visit this forum, so a vote here is meaningless.
Again, if you don't like them, just don't use them. Don't see why all the fuss...
Totally fine, you just walked over to this monkey slide underneath it, past Tatonka (if thats what the boulder is called these days) and popped out somewhere near cutting edge.how was the boulder trail before the fixed lines when the rock was wet?
The entire apron descent is pretty chill we dont need fixed ropes anywhere, but if your not a local I bet they are pretty handy, both as a handline and as a trail marker.
There was no rope on the lower scrambly part of the Broadway descent - from Boomstick Crack to where you start down the slabs. There was one rope (two segments from two ropes, perhaps 50 m total) at the upper scrambly bit, that coming down to the top of Diedre. I intended to simply take photos, which I did - I'll try to post some on Friday. But what I saw was rather scary.
The upper segment of rope was only 9 mm, the lower 10 or 10.5. The upper end was tied to a fairly small and not healthy tree, although there is a larger tree about a metre above. The rope went down about 15 m to a decent tree, was tied there, then went horizontally about 20 m along the 'usual' traverse crack/ledge to a tiny tree, then the last step to the ground. It would be unsafe to use as a handline, and not much help to clip into it with a sling and carabiner from a harness. The geometry and physics are such that if someone did so and fell off or even leaned on the rope (it was quite slack), and if the tree anchors held (especially the tiny one - a big if), you'd end up hanging well below the traverse, on steeper ground. That is, if you were clipped to it. The rope might be of some use at the top of the descent (the wide crack) - although it's not easy to hold a 9 mm line - but little more.
It takes little effort to belay the insecure through this area, if needed. There is decent protection. A diagonal rappel (or two short ones), ending in the tree bay right at the top of Diedre, is possible. All also options if the area is wet. Perhaps "short-roping" would be possible. The route is not inobvious. It would be hard to get to that point to begin with, without having some experience and skills. Climbers have been descending there for nearly 50 years without incident - although I'm sure a few had or wished for a belay!
In my view, the ropes as they were placed created a new hazard. I'm sure that those who placed them were well-intentioned, but the ropes do not make things safer, and may create a false sense of security for some. They would have to be substantially re-placed to be of more use.
These safety concerns add to my concerns regarding the lack of inclusive discussion before the ropes were placed, and the issues as to what if anything would be appropriate there, who should decide, and the precedent. Given this, and the coming weekend, I removed the ropes, without damaging either trees or ropes. The owners may re-claim them at their convenience - anonymously, if they wish. I hope that they will contribute to the debate about these matters. This forum doesn't necessarily represent all Squamish climbers, but may be one way for discussion to occur.
An open healthy discussion of this issue would be helpful. Should there be fixed anchors and/or lines along Broadway, and if so where and to what standard? Anything that would truly make the area safer (assuming it needs to be safer, given that 'safe' climbing' is an oxymoron anyway) may be quite involved. There are also many other similar places at the Chief, and Squamish generally - what should be done about them? My view is that important matters like this should first be discussed - they're not something for unilateral action by any climber or body. We share the park, not only with the public now, but with all those who will come after, and aren't free to do whatever we want.
I'll try to check back and post photos on Friday, as I'll be away over the weekend.
As far as I know, in decades of climbing history at Squamish, there have never been fixed anchors and/or lines on Broadway. It also seems clear that the majority of climbers do not feel they are necessary there.Should there be fixed anchors and/or lines along Broadway, and if so where and to what standard?
Maybe if conditions really changed (maybe it gets too polished or maybe a key hold breaks) then maybe fixed lines would be the answer, and even then it would be good to discuss a solution prior to implementing an ad hoc one ("tat").
In my opionion Broadway only needs to be made "safer" for only one type of person: the non-climbers who shouldn't be in class 4 terrain anyways...
Novice climbers who may feel sketched out on Broadway should be accompanied by a competent leader who can arrange a temporary but completely adequate safety system ("a belay"). Indeed any climber can, at their own discretion and in co-operation with their team, arrange a safety system on Broadway.
That's how it's always been as long as I've climbed in Squamish. And I clearly remember the first times I did the "Broadway Sketch" and the "Spacewalk". Those are parts of the Apron experience that help make Squamish what it is.
Although I have to admit the butt-scootch is not the best way to take on the Broadway/Diedre class-4 section. I tried it that way once near the beginning, and a fixed line would for sure have been a safer option. Of course, now I just hand-traverse the rail it and barely give it a second thought.
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