A LOOK AT THE FUTURE OF FIXED ANCHORS II CONFERENCE
By SLCA WARI Committee Member, Blake Summers
April 1st – 2nd, 2016
Bonnie Springs Ranch, Red Rocks, Las Vegas
Hosted by the Access Fund
There is a war going on! War has been declared on bad bolts. This isn’t a flashback to the bolt wars of lore, but a mindful look forward to the risks posed by aging hardware.
Staged in the wild west mining town replica of Bonnie Springs Ranch, the Access Fund hosted a broad cross-section of Local Climbing Organizations (LCO), advocates, outdoor industry professionals, and climbers from all over the country who are actively developing and re-bolting America’s crags. Outside, tourists toured the gallows and inside, the Access Fund got down to business in the saloon by calling to order the dozens of concerned climbers and convening the Future of Fixed Anchors II Conference.
Hoping to outline a vision for the future of fixed anchor replacement in the United States, the Access Fund assembled panels of experts to discuss the current climate of land management policies concerning bolting, strategies to mitigate liability, and to share examples of how different LCO’s around the country are addressing the issue of aging bolts at their own crags. The issues were laid bare. Exposed as the revealing paintings that adorned the walls of the saloon the reality of aging bolts was given the third degree and a confirmation of war was declared.
The climbers of Salt Lake City were well represented by the Wasatch Anchor Replacement Initiative (WARI) committee of the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (SLCA) of which I am a new member. The heroes of the WARI committee, our Wasatch re-bolters Jonathon Knight, John Ross, Jimmy Keithley, Julia Geisler, Jason Hall, and Tyler Willcutt connected with other re-bolters and shared knowledge of techniques and stories of successes and failures. The SLCA’s Chairman, Mason Baker, presented on the current trends and challenges in liability and insurance as it relates to fixed anchor placement and replacement.
The danger posed by bad bolts has been growing and is now becoming a priority for concerned climbers everywhere. I am new to the fight and was but a student at this conference. I am humbled by the determination, the dedication, the ingenuity, and the amount of hard work of these organizations and individuals. The staggering numbers of bad bolts and the enormous task taken on by those that aim to eradicate them is awe-inspiring and motivating to say the least.
Thank you, Access Fund, for bringing the players together and adding your expertise and weight to the cause.