rubber and rock

Here’s a screen grab while viewing a josh bouldering video. In it is a shot of Stem Gem. I’ve done this problem a few times, maybe twice, but it’s been years. The last time I saw this problem, there was 1 long shoe warn runnel and another partly warn at the start. Now it appears to be 5, and a divot. When I first came to josh in 1979, there was a small divot, or something like that. I had no idea what it was and assumed it was just the way it was. Natural. After traveling to Fontainebleau, and Gritstone, I see that this is not an isolated condition. On salt and pepper granite, it’s mostly getting counter-topped. Here, it’s volumetrically significant.

all those runnels are caused by shoes.

all those runnels are caused by shoes.

Anyways, the point is that I’m beginning to agree with others that say this is at least caused not just by heavy traffic, but also by shoes not being cleaned of dirt or gravel. So far, all the warn indents and runnels I’ve witnessed have occurred close to the ground and on easier lines that have a high friction and smearing character. In font, that carpet that has become ubiquitous with the bleausard circuiting dozens of problems, has a clear reason besides maximizing rubber friction. This problem, Stem Gem, is tried innumerable times sometimes at all hours, as it sits right in a campsite.

All rock wears down no matter what practices are used, some wears rapidly. Even if healthy practices are used, some of the rock in josh can degrade rapidly. For that reason, I do think certain lines shouldn’t be climbed. One thing we can all do is clean our feet before entering our church of stone. That amount of respect seems applicable to the temples that give us life, fear and passion.

~ by r. mulligan on 2013/03/18.

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