The inaugural Shelf Road Anchor Replacement Weekend was a big hit. We had a lot of volunteers and a lot of fun. We replaced tons of mank hardware at The Bank and Cactus Cliff, and built a fence at the Bank Campground for the BLM. Anything we can do to maintain positive relations with landmanagers like the BLM is time well spent, but the main objective was hardware replacement.
Much of the hardware at Shelf is getting to be 30 years old, so I think its really important that we take a pro-active approach to upgrading hardware whenever we can. Fortunately there are guys like Bob D’Antonio and the American Safe Climbing Association working to make that happen. In addition to Bob, Bruno Hanche and Derek Lawrence were instrumental in pulling off the event, providing hardware, and upgrading anchors. Bruno in particular has spent several consecutive weekends at Shelf with Bob, working their way around the area, replacing hardware.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to present a slideshow on Saturday night. “Untapped: The New Wave of Shelf Road Free Climbing” detailed my efforts over the last few years to push the upper end of difficulty at Shelf Road. It was an interesting logistical challenge, since the show was at the Bank Campground, where there is no power and basically no facilities of any kind. Trango lent me their projector, which I was able to run using a beefy Black and Decker 500 Watt inverter hot-wired directly to my car battery. I built a movie screen by stapling a white bedsheet from Goodwill to a rectangle constructed from four 2×4’s. It gets really windy at Shelf, so I was worried about the screen. I brought a pile of rope and stakes to rig up the screen, but we found we could mount it quite nicely with a few screws to the new fence we constructed that morning 🙂
Once we got all the construction completed the show went off without a hitch. There was a great crowd, and I got a lot of good questions and compliments after. Unfortunately I was too distracted to get any pictures of the show. If anyone has any, please let me know!
The next morning the heads of state were already planning next year’s event. I’d love to see this turn into an annual affair, and considering the massive number of routes at Shelf, it will realistically take many years to completely upgrade all the sketchy hardware.