Anchor Vandalization at Divers Wall & ASCA Lower-Off Initiative
On behalf of WMTCC, we recently notified everyone that the anchors on the Divers Wall at Rattler had been removed by an unknown person or persons. It is unclear if this was a simple act of theft or had a more vengeful purpose. Either way, it affects the whole climbing community and be assured that Western Montana Climbers Coalition has plans to replace the hardware. For now, though, if you're headed to Divers, be prepared to leave your own gear.
During the summer of 2019, a few coalition members spent many hot hours, usually after work, giving the Divers Wall a much-needed hardware update. The hardware was provided by a generous grant from the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA) and all the hardware met the current quality standards of the ASCA. Part of the hardware update was to add steel mussy hooks to all anchors for easy and safe lowering. The ASCA is undergoing and promoting a Lower-Off Initiative nationwide to prevent life threatening accidents that happen when the “system is broken:” i.e. untying to thread anchors, belay miscommunication, etc. These “user-error” accidents can and have happened to all levels of climbers, from beginners to pros, and are often easily preventable by staying tied in! Lower-offs on single pitch sport routes have become the national standard and WMTCC fully endorses the initiative. Furthermore, the original developers of the Divers Wall not only support the update, but encourage it.
WMTCC would like to take this unfortunate event and use it to direct people’s attention to the ASCA Lower-Off Initiative. Please visit the link for more information about the initiative, to donate to the cause, and to read the account from a local climber who nearly lost his life to a simple mistake that hooks would have prevented.