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97 Afterword The Cave Rock deis, published in 1999, suggested that the Forest Service might not be able to find anyone willing to remove the metal anchors from the rock face because it would require specialized skills found exclusively in the climbing community. The section summarizing social effects said: “Members of that community may be reluctant to be hired on for such a controversial task.”1 The deis writer had not considered the fact that there were many climbers who had honored Washoe wishes and refused to climb at the site. Presumably a number of those would want the face returned to a boltless state. In spring 2009, with the infusion of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Forest Service sought a contractor to clean up Cave Rock. Besides athleticism and the ability to climb, whoever undertook the task would need a particular set of skills including experience working at great heights, a knowledge of hand tools, the mechanical expertise to create safety and rope-and-pulley systems, and an innovative bent that would allow adaptation when new sections created problems such as extreme overhang, difficult angles, or long distances between anchors. John Dayberry, an educator and conservationist with a California contractor ’s license, talked to Darrel Cruz, the cultural preservation officer for the Washoe tribe, and, believing he could do the job, submitted a bid to the Forest Service. Dayberry had worked for the tribe in the late 1990s as an engineer—among other tasks helping to restore Meeks Creek at Meeks Bay. He had followed the Cave Rock controversy for years, all that time thinking that perhaps he might be the one to restore the site. An avid skier, he had forsaken climbing some years earlier after losing the tips of two fingers while working as a mechanic on ski lift towers at 98 cave rock   a local ski resort. Dayberry undertook the job in the spring of 2009. It would be the most difficult and challenging work of his life. On May 3, 2009, a San Francisco Chronicle headline announced “Crews Remove Climbing Bolts from Tahoe Landmark.” Although others would assist in the work of erasing graffiti and removing the cement and imported rock from the cave floor, the crew that removed the bolts consisted only of Dayberry and Bill Atkins, a friend who had formerly worked on large environmental cleanup and restoration projects. While Atkins belayed from above, Dayberry dangled on a climber’s rope, working on the rock face. Removing the anchors required overcoming technical problems . Not only did he have to remove the bolts, the metal sleeve that contained each bolt had to come out as well, and the holes then needed to be filled with native rock that would remain in place. Dayberry discarded a suggestion that he mix crushed native rock and epoxy to stuff into the holes, envisioning epoxy running down his arm while he was working on holes in the overhang. Instead he utilized a method, suggested by his wife, Jodi, prefabricating plugs using sheets of native rock collected from road construction debris. Using a drill press, his son Trey punched out ⅜-inch plugs that Dayberry carried to the rock face and glued in place using a calking adhesive.2 Dayberry began on Kona Wall, below the highway. Its overhang was less dramatic than the Lower Cave and Main Cave routes, making it an easier place to work. There, Dayberry could perfect the basic techniques he would utilize throughout the project. Wearing a climbing harness and sitting on a bosun’s chair, a five-gallon bucket of tools hanging from his belt, he descended on a static line. Once experimentation showed which tools worked best for which circumstance, the work on Kona Wall preceded in relatively smooth fashion. When Dayberry moved to Lower Cave, below the road, he had to confront the problems associated with working on the underside of overhanging rock faces. To pull himself against the face he used a cheat stick and extension that could reach as far as twenty feet. A carabineer on the end of the stick could be snapped onto another in the rock, enabling Dayberry to pull himself close. Problems with using the cheat stick in the wind while the bosun’s chair twirled caused long delays. He suspended bolt removal altogether on particularly windy days. When he worked in the main cave area above the highway, it took him an hour and a half to set up each morning...


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MARC Record
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