Finally, fall is sort of here in MoabLandia and the days are getting a tad cooler which gets me fired up for PROJECTS! YeeHaaaaa!
But also, I get fired up to continue to establish new routes in my area. I am by no means a prolific first ascentionist, but I do pride myself in a couple of things when I establish a new route...
#1.) being quality lines on quality rock that follow a natural path, be they trad or bolted. I also take great care in striving to equip fixed-gear routes in a fashion that is accessible to all stature of climbers who will ascend that route and ensure that the equipping is both in sync with the area's style and the grade of the climber who might wish to lead the route: as in I don't run-out 5.9s just because i "can." TACKY, if you ask me! But you may have to bust moves past the bolt as the price to pay for convenient clips! (Photo 1: Drilling on lead the final pitch of Miss-Directed Arete. It is IMPERATIVE when dealing with some of the suffering of new-routing one sports a fuzzy disco bracelet!)
That being said, my primary crag has a general airy-ness to it and I try to tow that line as well, though not to the point of "botching" the route. I have seen over the years many great lines sit neglected as the bolting choices were obtuse to the point of off-putting. Or that one piece of gear required, no one has on hand.
Here is SE Utah there still remains a somewhat fierce, if sometimes head-scratchingly baffling, adherence to ground-up equipping. I am all for G.U. and that is how I learned to bolt, but sometime, when one has to rap in anyway, it seems a bit fey and forced. But actually, it can be FUN (?!?!) and teaches one some pretty cool skills! But I have come to find over the years that regardless of style, those who have the knack put up good routes. PERIOD. Thankfully, we have Noah Bigwood, Eric Decaria, Tom Gilge and Jay Smith to thanks for th super quality, never forced, never squeezed in lines at Mill Creek … but be prepared to take a deep breath as you eye the wind beneath your feet as you run-out the 5.12 sections on 5.13 routes! (Another good skill to have if you ask me … )
But my point today has nothing to do with the minutae of choice in FAs, it has to do with TOOOOLS! (DROOOOL!)(Photo 2: Jen and I drooling over our toys!)
I am eying the new-ish Bosch 36v Compact RCHD (Photo 6: The one Joey Kinder uses! ;-))—and come to find out, one website offers a second FREE battery to climbers! And what climber doesn't LOVE the word FREE?! So I'm thinking of pulling the trigger, so I can get out there and PULL THE TRIGGER! Check it out at Toolnut.com or follow the link on Joe's blog. If you want to drill on lead or in remote areas, things like weight and battery life MATTER. BIG TIME. At 6.25 lbs, drilling on lead with this baby will be a dream! And I hear that there's consensus double-digit holes to be had from one battery in moat types of rock.) (Photo 4: Tools of the trade)
And here's a community service plug: for all you who establish routes, please please please do it in a fashion that is consistent with your area's access concerns. If you don't feel comfortable establishing routes yourself, pleasepleaseplease seek out your local area developers and contribute as you can! Chop trails, buy bolts, get hangers, work on advocacy!!!! Thanks!!! (Photo 3: The Miss-Directed Arete—a work in progress … equipped so far deploying every tactic one can imagine! From hooks to hanging! Hopefully to be done SOON with our new drill!!!)
Photo 5: Done for the day and happy!