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Results of The Pit Retro-Bolting Survey

The one-month public commentary period for the proposed retro-bolting of four routes at the Pit ended late last week and we appreciate all of your patience in presenting the results. The rationale behind this process was stated within the initial proposal overview. It was undertaken as a trial attempt at navigating a highly contentious topic by soliciting community input, and the commentary we received was overall quite thoughtful. The numbers ( photo #1) provide the hard data on survey responses, and if we were operating strictly on those results, all of the proposals would move forward. However, the most informative part of the survey for us came not in the votes tallied, but in the constructive criticism and oppositional views some participants shared with us. Two general sentiments stood out; deference to the wishes of the first ascent (FA) party regarding any route modification, and preservation of some lines as testament to a different ethos that guided the route’s establishment. These views go hand-in-hand, and speak to the enduring character of Flagstaff as a climbing community with strongly held traditional values. Although this may be a minority view, especially among the current demographic that frequents the Pit, these are important considerations that are currently steering our deliberation in what (if any) actions we will take on the four proposed routes.

survey results graph

As four of the five board members who crafted this proposal are active route-developers, we understand and respect the long-held ideal of respecting the wishes of the FA party. This proposal process reinforced to us just how important this ideal still is for much of the community and that due diligence requires us to make every attempt to identify FA parties on routes that have never had documented FA info. We have received FA approval from Jimmy Symans on the proposed modifications to Shock Treatment, which was the only one of the four proposed routes with a published FA. We have dug deeper, consulted long-standing community members, and are pursuing some leads on trying to identify the FA party of Don’t Feed the Agave. We are also trying to open dialogue with the FA party for Mr. Slate and Sling Fest, to share the findings of the survey. Please be patient as this process is likely to take some time.

As far as Mr. Slate goes, as most people reading this will be aware, it has already been retro-bolted (unaffiliated with NAZCC) prior to the survey period ending and there has been much heated debate concerning how to address this situation. We have spoken to several individuals, local and out-of-town, who have voiced strong desire to remove the added bolts and they have agreed to give us some time to work this out. As our last address mentioned, we strongly condemn any vigilante chopping and do not want a repeat of Ten Sleep to happen in our backyard. Again, we are currently involved in trying to obtain a definite opinion from the FA on what he would like done in light of the situation and the survey. We will update once this has occurred. We ask that anyone concerned please reach out to us and share your thoughts and suggestions. Again, we thank you for your understanding and patience through a difficult situation.

Finally, we welcomed several new re-bolters to our team this weekend and had a very successful day re-bolting the majority of the routes at the Nose Rock at the Pit. The routes re-bolted this past weekend went bolt for bolt (ie – there was no retro-bolting) and were not part of the survey. We’ll continue to gather historic information and community feedback as we work to promote the community and steward our crags!

Please feel free to reach out if you have specific questions or want more details from the survey results.