The Kentucky Wall

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The Kentucky Wall

Postby Catawaba » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:14 am

Any chance the Kentucky Wall is going to be added to the online guide anytime soon?
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby :-) » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:01 am

Putting illegally bolted walls online will cause bigger problems.
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby caribe » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:19 pm

The Kentucky Wall could be published online here without repercussion. Those are traditional climbs they are not bolted.
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby DrRockso » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:35 pm

Heath said they would probably go online soon. All of the climbs are in line with the current national forest service guidelines and should not stir any pots.
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby :-) » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:43 pm

Adding new bolt anchors where there were none before is not in line with FS guidelines. And, placing webbing at the top of a crack 10 minutes before it's "rebolted" does not qualify as replacement of anchors.

I realize people want new climbs. But "Kentucky Wall," and more of its kind that would surely follow, risks return to 1990s anti-climber FS policies. Illegal development of crags is a selfish move by a few people who think their FAs are more important than everyone else's guaranty of legal FS climbing.
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby caribe » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:51 pm

:-) do you know something we don't? :-)
Do you think that Heath's development is not on the FS's radar screen? He's been quite public about his activity. I say put them out there.
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby :-) » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:35 pm

According to DBNF website:

Development of any new rock climbing, bouldering
or rappelling areas and development of any climbing routes
involving the permanent installation of new fixed anchors or
new trail construction requires prior Forest Service
authorization. 261.9.


(Link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd514248.pdf)

I have never heard of anyone actually receiving "prior Forest Service authorization," although I know a few have tried. If "Kentucky Wall" is legit, then that's awesome. Show us the authorization and put it online.
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby caribe » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:51 am

"Kentucky Wall, and more of its kind that would surely follow, risks return to 1990s anti-climber FS policies."

And ...

"I have never heard of anyone actually receiving "prior Forest Service authorization," although I know a few have tried."

So you mean current anti-climber policy?
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby caribe » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:16 am

New Trad routes have been going up in the North Gorge at a fairly steady clip for crags that old and developed.
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby :-) » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:04 am

Let’s first talk history. The anti-climbing proposal in the 1990s was not to ban bolting. It was to ban climbing, all climbing. The current “no new bolts” policy was a compromise. It was achieved because people like Shannon convinced the FS that climbers were responsible. That compromise almost collapsed a few times, such as when a climber cut down a tree and bolted an illegal line over an archaeological site. That particular area is still closed, btw.

I’ve heard the FS is open to allowing new LEGAL bolting in DBNF. I'm sure the sticking point is what impact will it have on natural resources. FS already is concerned about its 150+ miles of user defined trials and actively trying to close some of them down. I can’t imagine another “hominy hole” incident will help anything in that regard. Putting Kentucky Wall online will be as responsible as posting an Instagram picture of yourself with a power drill in Clifty Wilderness.
Last edited by :-) on Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby businessprofessional » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:37 pm

Thanks for the historical info. I've always wondered what the reason for the climbing/bolting ban was, and that's some good insight.

You mention 150+ miles of "user defined trails". What does that mean? Are those unsanctioned trails made "illegally" without the permission of the FS? Also, is that the FS's main concern - that more climbing will result in more impact issues?
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby caribe » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:30 pm

"The anti-climbing proposal in the 1990s was not to ban bolting. It was to ban climbing, all climbing"
And then the moratorium set in, in which the existing routes were okay, but no new development. However, we still do not know why the initial climbing ban was imposed. I heard it was an autocrat with an axe to grind.
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby heath » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:20 am

I love the presupposition that I havent spoken to anyone from the FS. I had a lengthy conversation with a ranger a few years back about our development. Long story short...he didnt care if we go out and establish new trad routes. Of the 100 or so routes we have
established, less than 10 have had the original anchors replaced with bolt anchors. The whole "10 minutes later" thing is bullshit. Almost all of our routes top out or end on a ledge with a tree. We seldom leave webbing unless it is required to retrieve our rope. We keep our impact to a minimum.

I was unaware that there was a ban on new traditional routes in the DBNF. I am aware that we are using a loophole in the existing anchor replacement rules. I ran this loophole by the ranger and he saw no problem with it. He did not inform me that it was illegal to walk in the woods with a rack and climb up a cliff.

As stated earlier, our development and the development of others before us is no secret to the FS. It has been published both online and in every guidebook update. Not to mention....I have taken the time to speak to a ranger with the FS. Although it is apparently illegal, backwoods trad development is not a current concern of the FS...to the best of my knowledge.

Seeing that talking about this on here will do absolutely no good; What needs to be done to have this ban lifted? Why hasnt there been any progress in 27 years? Just because you saw access threatened almost three decades ago when the park was quite ignorant to climbing, doesnt mean the relationship is as tenuous today. I do agree we need to keep the relationship healthy. Thats why I have taken the time to let folks know what we are doing. But you wouldnt know that...because you didnt take the time to ask me. Based on some of your comments, you either know me or know someone who does. Which makes me wonder why you havent taken the time to speak to me about your concerns, in lieu of posting about it on the internet.

I dont want to speak on behalf of the FS, but I think they have a lot more to worry about than a few climbers roaming the rhodos climbing dirty cracks. It's not like the lemming climbers of the Red will abandon the Southern region to descend upon the barely charted woods of the North.

To answer the Original question.... I will try to submit the routes soon. There are some seriously good routes out there!
"You're a long way from home now, Buddy" - Ted kindly pointing out a ran out mess.
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby caribe » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:57 pm

Heath I've been establishing new trad in the DBNF also; not nearly at your pace however. I celebrate your spirit of adventure while minimizing the impact. Leaving a sling on a tree on a cliff doesn't amount to any ecological impact that anyone has to worry about.
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Re: The Kentucky Wall

Postby :-) » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:45 pm

Heath, climbing [...] cracks is OK. Hiking into the woods with a rack is OK. The new bolts [...] are not. [...] Did you and the ranger discuss creation of a new trial? Did you get anything from the ranger in writing? Most importantly, can you explain why one ranger's opinion would even matter? Individual rangers do not have the authority to change FS policy. Most of those decisions aren't even made in Kentucky. Will that ranger remember the details of your discussion when 9B looks like Fortress and his boss starts asking questions? I doubt it. What happens when the next range or next superintendent wants an excuse to place new restrictions on climbing? Won't be hard to find one.

[Note: Edited by deleting unverified info]
Last edited by :-) on Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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