Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Black Hills Climbing Coalition Meeting

The next meeting of the BHCC will be 7 pm Wednesday, July 14, at the Slate Creek Grill in Hill City.  We will also check over all the ropes and slings in preparation for Pinfest on Saturday, July 17th.

On June 18th BHCC members Ron Yahne, Jason McNabb, Darryl Stisser, Andrew Busse and Bruce Junek met with Mount Rushmore intern superintendent and mid-west region chief ranger Hughy Dougher about changes to the climbing boundaries at Mount Rushmore. Superintendent Dougher was eager to work together with us to insure a policy that will address security issues at Mount Rushmore, and still allow climbers access to areas that have been important historically to climbing. It was determined that because of the established routes on the White House Wall, and the tradition of climbs along the northern end of Emancipation Rockformation, that the new out-of-bounds areas will start from the top of those formations (allowing climbing to continue all along this wall as long as climbers rappel back down and DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HIKE DOWN THE BACKSIDE OF ANY OF THE EMANCIPATION ROCKFORMATION). This will enlarge the out-of-bounds area to now include Indian Camp and Green Valley, which climbers refer to as the Vale of Tranquility. THIS AREA IS NOW ALL OUT-OF-BOUNDS TO CLIMBING. The BHCC has agreed to accept these new boundaries, which has resulted from changes in security requirements after the Green Peace demonstrations last year. BHCC also expressed our gratitude to the Rushmore administrators for their willingness to adjust the boundaries so that classic routes such as Garfield Goes to Washington and Political Prowess will STILL REMAIN OPEN to climbers. The BHCC has agreed to make sure there are rappel anchors on all of the existing routes, and all of the future climbs put up along this wall.

The Falling Rock workday was a big success—20 people did a major clean-up of the entire area hauling out truckloads of garbage. The Forest Service even cut down the scary tree at the cliffs edge. In addition, nine sets of anchors were replaced over a number of days by Mike Cronin and Ron Yahne, who used 7-inch glue-in bolts in the soft limestone to insure bomber anchors with a long life expectancy.

Other repairs-
Garfield Goes to Washington – new anchors at the first pitch and at the top. There is now a two-pitch rappel straight off the top of the climb. You no longer have to hunt for the tricky rappel off the overhang roof. You still need gear to build the anchor on top of the 2nd pitch.
Mothra – new anchors
Gossamer – new top bolt. Old anchor studs have been ground off.
Tiki—Dick Laptad (the first ascensionist) okay’d an additional bolt at the bottom so long as it was put in on lead. Ron Yahne stepped up to the plate and put in the bolt with Jason McNabb belaying. They also added new anchors on top.

Don’t forget Pin Fest is July 17th. We usually get a leisurely start around 9 am in the Ten Pins area of Custer State Park. Bring a lunch and come out for a truly great day of climbing on some of the most classic routes in North America!
Beans and Biners on Sept 11th.
Devils Tower trail work/climb//barbeque is Sept 25.
Climb Hard and Climb Safe.
Bruce B. Junek – Newsletter Editor

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