Tag Archives: Idaho

Is that a Horseshoe Nail?


Old Bolt on Pitch 5

Old “bolts” on The Fine Line?

What the heck is that little piece of pig iron sticking out of the rock? Topher Dabrowski, who submitted these photos, says that he’d heard that there are some very “old bolts” on the upper pitches of The Fine Line, in Idaho’s Sawtooth Range. This is what he encountered. Want a better shot? Hey, no problem. Look at thisCable Swagged Horseshoe Nail

Where exactly does one procure a cable-swagged horseshoe nail? That’s what this is, isn’t it? A horseshoe nail, with a hole drilled into it, with a cable added? No? Then you tell me what it is. It’s certainly not your standard piton, and despite what Topher was told, it’s definitely not a bolt!  My guess is that it’s probably homemade and quite old. I don’t think I’d like to fall on it.

And how about that pitch 7, eh? With some scary angle aluminum riveted to the rock, sticking out half an inch to invite your rope to a good old fashioned sheath stripping.

Scary rivet thingy want's to slice your rope.

Scary rivet thingy want’s to slice your rope.

How about a close up, so you can re-live that scary rock climbing lead moment if you like.

Scary Rivet Close Up

Scary Rivet Close Up

That also looks very, very old. Did Fred Beckey place this? Greg or Jeff Lowe? I think it’s served its time.

And hey, just for good measure since Topher was in the Sawtooths, how about some scary Leeper hangers from The Elephant’s Perch? We last encountered some of these at Indian Creek in Moab, Utah. Remember? Those hangers were recalled because they tend to break, remember?

Leepers on The Perch

Scary Leeper Hangers.

Be careful rock climbing out there kids, and support your local rebolting projects.

Location: The Sawtooth Range, Idaho, USA.


Single Point of Failure

Single Point of Failure

Single Point of Failure

This photo comes to us compliments of Jason Brabec, who witnessed this set up just a few weeks ago in Idaho’s City of Rocks. This belay station consists of two spectra double runners girth hitched together and attached to a single large (#4 Camelot) cam placed in a crack. The belayer then extended the anchor with a length of the climbing rope, apparently to reach a more comfortable belay stance. I cropped the photo to protect the belayer’s identity (Jason didn’t know her), but you can still see the top of her helmet in the photo. According to Jason she was basically laying on her belly, with her head down, belaying her second  who was quite a way off of the deck. Jason said he couldn’t believe what he was witnessing.

There are several obvious rock climbing anchor “no-nos’ here:

  1. This is a “one point” climbing anchor consisting of a single cam in a crack in the rock. So obviously there is no redundancy. If that cam pops out, both the belayer and second fall to their deaths.
  2. The two spectra slings are girth hitched together, as we’ve seen in the past (see Hot Spectra-on-Spectra Action! and Girth Hitch Death Wish). This would be safer if the slings were connected with a carabiner. Since she extended the anchor with a length of the climbing rope anyway, she also could have just extended the climbing rope further and omitted one of those Spectra slings.

Location: City of Rocks, Idaho, USA