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North America, United States, California, American Safe Climbing Association, Activity Report

American Safe Climbing Association, Activity Report. With a huge lift from the American Alpine Club, the American Safe Climbing Association started off its first year with a bang. During 1998, we reached our goal of replacing 1,000 bolts on popular climbs in Yosemite, Indian Creek, Zion and Calaveras Dome.

The ASC A is a non-profit organization dedicated to making the sport of rock climbing safer by replacing unsafe bolts and anchors and by educating climbers, land managers and the public about climbing and anchor safety. The replacements were made possible through generous contributions from more than 100 climbers, hardware donations from industry leaders and, especially, the $2,000 Lyman Spitzer Award from the AAC. More than a quarter of the ASCA’s projects in 1998 were funded by this generous bequest.

In Yosemite, Erik Sloan, Jim Herson and I led the efforts to replace bolts on numerous free and wall routes. Included, among many others, were the bolts on Salathé, Nose, Mescalito, Sons of Yesterday and Serenity Crack. Of special note were the routes Larking Fear, Prow, Zodiac, Shaky Flakes and Rambler. Each received more than 35 replacement bolts, leaving these walls and multi-pitch routes with some of the most bomber anchors in the Valley. They should be solid for decades to come. Many routes were also replaced in Tuolumne Meadows last summer by numerous Search and Rescue team members, chiefly James Selvidge and Greg Barnes. Greg also replaced a number of bolts on Calaveras Dome and Hammer Dome.

Yosemite was the site of the ASCA’s first rebolting clinics. About ten climbers learned the art of pulling and placing bolts, and many more will have the opportunity to take a clinic in 1999. If interested in learning to rebolt, e-mail Chris McNamara: .

It’s hard to spend much time on El Cap without feeling the need to do something about the trash that is strewn on the ledges, approaches and summits of popular climbs. In November, Erik Sloan joined me on a mission to rappel Lurking Fear and clean up all the trash from summit to base, including manky bolts. We expected to find some weird stuff, but we had no idea that at the end of the day we would have a two-gallon motor oil container, an old portaledge, seven belay seats and a large boom box! We also replaced every remaining quarter-inch bolt and dowel on the route, leaving Lurking Fear with the most bomber bolts of any El Cap route.

In April, the ASCA broadened its efforts to Indian Creek, Utah. John Wason led the effort to replace most of the popular climbs on the Super Crack Buttress and Battle of the Bulge Buttress, and in Donnelly Canyon. In addition to replacing terrifying anchor bolts (John pulled one out with his fingers!), unsightly clusters of bleached webbing were removed and replaced with camouflaged chains. The project was funded with money raised by John and Patagonia at the Phoenix Bouldering Contest and with gear donations from Metolius, Petzl and Fixe.

The ASCA also replaced anchors in Zion, Utah, where Jason Stevens organized the replacement of crucial anchors and bolt ladders on the classics Spaceshot and Prodigal Son.

Leading members of the industry that provided help included Black Diamond, Blue Water, Climbing magazine, Fixe Hardware, Hurricane Mountain Works, Kinnaloa, Leeper, Metolius, Misty Mountain, MK Productions, New England Ropes, Patagonia, Petzl, Rock and Ice, The North Face and Touchstone Climbing. For this year, our goal is to replace 2,000 bolts in Yosemite, Zion, Indian Creek and the Calaveras area, among others. Anybody willing to help in the effort or wanting to learn more about the ASCA can check out our web site, , or contact us at 1622 Hopkins St./Berkeley, CA 94707. Phone: (510) 558-6919; Fax: (415) 389-8595.

Chris McNamara