Video by Cedar Wright - Started by the staff of Climbing magazine, the Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI) is an industry-supported program that serves the U.S. climbing community by systematically replacing worn-out or inadequate belay and rappel anchors. Since its inception in 2003, ARI has upgraded more than 500 routes and replaced thousands of aging and dangerous bolts. To find out more about ARI, and how you can get involved, please visit climbing.com/community/ari.
Anchor Replacement Initiative
The ARI is made possible by generous support from The North Face.
In 2003 Climbing, with support from The North Face, launched the Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI) to address the nationwide problem of worn out and inappropriate fixed hardware at heavily used crags. The North Face, a subsidiary of VF Corp., was founded in 1966 and opened its first retail store in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, extreme skiers, and explorers.
Special thanks to the generous support from Petzl. John Evans, Marketing Director at Petzl says of the ARI, "Replacing 300 sets of anchors is no small feat. Kudos to Climbing for organizing this important initiative."
We're excited to be part of such a great initiative like the ARI. It's encouraging to see a publication like Climbing magazine step up in such a big way. This is a program that not only benefits existing climbers but also helps encourage the growth of the climbing community as a whole. We could not think of a better way to help our fellow climbers than being a part of the ARI.
570 Routes UPGRADED - MASTER LIST Updated 7/15/13 - More than 1,000 bolts have been replaced on selected high-traffic routes at major crags across the country. The anchor work receiving Climbing's ARI treatment was performed by some of the climbing community's most experienced equippers. The ARI makes a concerted effort to enlist the help of the most qualified and capable people by requiring references to assure volunteers' experience and representation of their respective climbing community's best wishes.
The Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI) is made possible by volunteer equippers such as Micah Gentry. During the spring of 2011, Micah updated six routes at Castle Rock, Tennessee, with new hardware provided by the ARI. Updated routes include: Slingblade, Chestnutt Route, Entrance Corridor, Right of Scarlet, Scarlet Begonias, and Unfinished Business. See more ARI updates here.
When one thinks of the resplendent Flatirons rising over Boulder, Colorado, sport climbing isn’t necessarily the first discipline that pops into the mind. However, there are many classic sport routes strewn about those hills, and Boulder local Dan Levison is helping to make sure they’re safe to climb. Levison, originally from Pennsylvania, has been climbing for more than two decades.
Lazy climbers' paradise sees hard work - One of Colorado's most famous crags got its annual facelift with help from the Anchor Replacement Initiative, as bolts and anchors were replaced on 33 routes in August. Rifle Mountain Park’s roadside crags boast about 400 routes and thousands of visitors each year, emphasizing the importance of safe gear. Rifle Mountain Park Clean-Up Day started about 15 years ago as a low-key event: Everyone got a trash bag and was rewarded with a cookout.
Micah Gentry learned to climb in New Hampshire during the 1990s and now spends many of his days replacing ancient hardware on Tennessee routes. For the past few years, Gentry, 33, has helped distribute gear to bolters through the Southeast Climbers Coalition (SCC). He became involved with ARI to help the SCC save money on gear replacement. Replacing gear isn’t for everyone, Gentry says, and he notes there are other ways that climbers can get involved.
As an arborist and a serious climber, Ryan Cafferky pays more attention to the condition of his gear than most people do. So it’s no wonder that Cafferky, living in a cabin off the grid near Hood River in Oregon, keeps a close eye on the bolts at nearby Smith Rock. In addition to establishing new lines on Smith’s soft welded tuff cliffs, he’s been replacing hardware on some of the area’s most worn routes. “We need to take better care of our crags, as far as reducing our visual impact,” Cafferky says, “and make sure that if we are going to put something there, it’s really good.”
Photos by Micah Gentry of anchor upgrades in Tennessee's Foster Falls and Laurel Falls. Gentry and Brad Killough replaced hardware on 11 of the crags' sport routes. Laurel Falls is known for its high concentration of difficult sport routes on smooth, granite-like sandstone, and Foster Falls' pumpy, steep, and technical routes make the crag a must-visit while in TN.
Next time you're climbing at Rumney, be sure to mentally thank Tim Kemple, Sr., an activist who has been busy helping keep routes at this New Hampshire crag safe. “I really got involved at Rumney when it became popular,” says Kemple. “I am just one of many who have put up routes, maintained trails, and replaced aging hardware.” Kemple, 60, has been climbing for 40 years, and started bolting lines in California.
“If you see hardware that makes you think, keep thinking,” urges Kevin Daniels, 41, the knowledgeable one-man band behind the outfit Fixe Hardware/Fixe USA (fixeusa.com), the bolt-and-anchor supplier for the Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI). “That’s your survival instinct talking.” Based out of Bishop, California, Daniels has run his business since 1993, starting out of his father’s garage after a chance meeting, at Lotus Flower Tower basecamp, with a Spanish climber who worked for Fixe (Europe).