Earlier this week, a group of climbers created a controversy at the Red River Gorge by stripping most of the fixed quickdraws at the world-famous Motherlode crag. Those involved in the quickdraw removal believe that the cliff’s fixed draws significantly contribute to the current crowding at the cliff. They feel that the fixed draws provide easy access to the climbs, which encourages too many climbers to get on routes that are beyond their abilities and experience. They also contend that the ease of access provided by fixed draws may have contributed to the three ground falls that occurred at the cliff this season. While some climbers and locals approve of the draw removal, others claim that the action will have little impact on the crowding situation. They also believe that the removal was a unilateral and heavy-handed action which makes the cleaning of steep routes more difficult. The climbers that removed the draws feel that the negative reaction from some of their detractors is motivated by a loss of convenience; climbers will now have to install their own draws if they want to climb a route.
The routes affected by the draw removal include all the climbs on the Undertow Wall.The ultra-steep Madness Cave still has fixed draws.
All the removed hardware will be re-used or returned to the individuals that originally placed it.
More details here.