Restoration Work has been started on Old Original. Several non-original bolts have been removed and patched and remaining bolts have been camouflaged - including those on The Hideout. One belay anchor bolt was relocated (bad placement, bad position) and all remaining rappel bolts still need to be chained (to prevent build up of unsightly slings and to eliminate rope drag). The 3rd class descent gully has been restored to it's original state. [Some Bozo installed a rap route down the 3rd class gully!]
During our restoration efforts, several things were noted:
- The bolts and rappel stations added to the route demonstrated lack of research and respect for route history.
- LNT (Leave No Trace) practices were not followed: bright stainless bolts and rings visible from trail, old "historical" (i.e. useless) bolts left in place. In fact, the addition of a "rappel route" had a net negative effect on the environment.
- New, additional bolts were poorly located.
- Ring Bolt rappel stations do not work on low-angle, high friction rock.
Hangers with rap rings attached don't work well on rough low-angle like the Pinnacles. They create ~3x the friction of Chained Bolts due to the routing of the rope. Even worst, climbers add bright colored rappel slings because they fear they won't be able to pull the ropes! This defeats the whole purpose of ringed-hangers.
Note: The instructions in the Guide Book could be improved regarding the descent from the Gully to the Caves: "Continue NE from the bottom of the gully across a small meadow to the base of a rock wall (short hand traverse) until it is possible to follow boulders down to the eastern entrance to the Caves."
Still, the route can use another Restoration Day to finish off the work (adding rappel chains to anchor bolts, etc.). For now we have left the lead bolt on the first 3rd-4th class pitch as a compromise (although a knob can be slung) and one bolt at the start of the route (although #2 Camalot fits nicely 12" from it).
From what we have learned, it's clear that we must practice diligence in our research and review of each project and be certain we act everyone's behalf's when "fix" routes. Securing the services of volunteers who abide by your organizations mission statements -- "replacing unsafe bolts" (ASCA) and "preserving rock climbing and the environment" (FOP) -- is imperative. Quality (not quantity) should be emphasized - whether putting up a new route... or restoring one.