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Author Topic: (Limestone) Here in SEI?  (Read 1929 times)
kevinhansen
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« on: December 19, 2011, 10:16:54 AM »

Have a bolt gun? Got some hangers burning a hole in your pocket? Ever wanted to put up a route? Nab a first ascent? Are you tired of climbing the same old Basalt? Well look no further there is a new virgin crag awaiting!
http://www.splattski.com/2011/saddle/index.html
I wish I knew details like approach, but I don't. You can contact John Platt directly through his blog or on Idahosummits.com
When you bolt a great route, let me know and we'll go do it. From the photos the limestone looks bullet proof.
Kevin
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Jerry Painter
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 10:47:48 AM »

Careful about this area. I think the BLM considers much of it as wilderness study area. Much of nearby Box Canyon was bolted and the BLM called a halt to it and had some of the bolts chopped. I think this canyon falls into the same designation. Maybe when the area's protection status is changed the BLM will allow climbing development, but my understanding is that is still in the future. The area could be huge for climbing, but only if the BLM gives us the nod.
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kevinhansen
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 11:49:24 AM »

WSA is an interesting land use to deal with. Has anyone read the code? From my understanding the legal description is "No Motorized devices" are to be used. This means no vehicle traffic, and to you and I no power drills. Hand drilling is permitted. With respect to Box Canyon bolt chopping, I understood it was because someone put up a route right next to Indian Petraglyphs. (Super bad JuJu)
Is there any way to get to the bottom of this?
Kevin
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kevinhansen
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 12:50:52 PM »

I spoke with Craig Nemeth of the BLM office in Salmon ID. He didn't know specifics about the Limhi WSA but the newest addendum to the plan is available here. http://tinyurl.com/7oxsya2
He said the person in the office that knows the most about the WSA in his office was Liz Townley (208) 756-5431 however with respect to a question of fixed anchors, (motorized or not) she would probably defer the question to Robbin Fehlau (208) 373-3825 she is the outdoor rec planner in the state office. She is the one who knows the most about the interim guidance for wilderness study areas that was drafted early in the 1980's. All agencies have been following that 1980's plan unless a change has been made. If changes were made they would appear in the document in the link above. Anyone have time/desire to read that link? I'd bet climbing anchors isn't mentioned.

When speaking to folks in these offices its important to avoid climber lingo. I say "Permanent safety anchor" instead of saying "Bolt". Also because its a WSA (from what I understand) power dills are not permitted. I explain that "in order to place a safety anchor a climber must drill it by hand. This is a 30 minute painful process for just one anchor. This forces the climber to really evaluate, 'Is this anchor really necessary?' This is a perfect way to self regulate the resource because anchors will only be placed when absolutely needed." Zion National Park has implamented this policy for several decades and as a user I was pleased to see that anchors were few and far between. If you ever go to Zion you'll see that the only bolts are at the end of the pitch. I think Zion has like 6 sport climbs. What kind of crag could / would Saddle Mountain become? Depends on who develops it. It could be a great trad area, but more likely it could be a great sport crag. No one bolts ground up anymore. So rap bolting with a hand drill would be the norm. Besides hiking in with a battery pack isn't any fun. ( and illegal if I'm right.)

I've left vague a message on Robbin's voicemail and I hope she calls me back.
Kevin
(Do I have dreams of developing this crag? No. I have other things on my tick list. But 7 years ago I would have jumped at this chance. Its funny how our climbing interests change over the years.)
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kevinhansen
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 03:29:00 PM »

Dog Gone it! I found out the answer and it isn't good.
http://www.blm.gov/ca/pa/wilderness/wilderness_pdfs/wsa/ManualTransmittalShe1.pdf
Everyone at the BLM says 'I don't know" when asked about the bolt anchor question. But I just got off the phone with Robbin and she helped me out. Turns out you can drive into the range and you can drive into WSA on existing "roads" or double tracks.
If you click on the above pdf link and scroll down to page 47 you will read sub title #10 about rockclimbing and caving.
"Rockclimbng and caving actvities will be allowed as long as these activities meet the nonimparement criteria. The use of power driven (ie fuel or electric) rock drills or perminant anchors (e.g. bolts) is not alowed. No marring, scarring, or defacing resulting in adverse impacts to the wilderness value of naturalness will be permitted, nor will perminant installations be permitted."
According to #8 feel free to pan for gold just don't sell it to the masses.
According to #5 you can camp and even RV back in there as long as you do so on an existing way.
According to #2 you can collect rocks, and fossil samples as much as you like, just don't sell them to the masses.
And lastly according to #1 No mechanical transport motorized or not such as mountain bike are allowed on trails.
Bummer.
Kevin
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Jerry Painter
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 05:13:21 PM »

After checking with a buddy, Matt TeNgaio, we think Middle Canyon is just outside of the WSA. Box Canyon is inside. That said, there have been a few people checking out Middle for sport climbing potential. There is some there. But Box Canyon has the best potential. It's also the most accessible. Perhaps in the future, when the area is taken off the WSA, Box Canyon can be turned into a bigger thing. Unfortunately, there is pictographs and other artifacts in the canyon that complicate things. Most of the recent development on limestone is at the Fins west of Howe.
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Jerry Painter
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2011, 05:10:59 PM »

I spoke with Bill Boggs of the BLM office in Idaho Falls. His office is over the southern Lemhis including Middle Canyon. He said the Middle Canyon just falls outside of the Wilderness Study Area and is not subject bolting restrictions. That could change in the future. His office, and others, are working on a draft Resource Management Plan that offers four different options with varying degrees of restrictions. He predicts that the draft plan could be out by next fall. After the plan is presented to the public, a comment period will probably change the plan and select one of the variations. That could be good or bad news for all of the canyons on the southern west end of the range. But as of now, the canyon is open for climbing and bolting. Unfortunately, it's not super appealing to sport climbers because of its access. Box Canyon, on the other hand, offers easy access and nice rock.
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Matt TeNgaio
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2011, 03:29:29 PM »

Kevin,
Middle Canyon is fantastic canyon to visit. I've been back there a handful of times over the past few years to explore it's climbing potential but never find quite what I'm looking for. As big as the main, east-facing cliff in the meadow is, the stone itself is not as consistent as I would like. Not to say there couldn't be routes there but a lot of the angles are slab and the pockets of attractive rock are spread out quite  a bit.

And as far as Box canyon goes, that canyon itself has been a topic for quite some time. Hopefully things will turn out in everyone's favor eventually.
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