Devils Tower Lifts Temporary Climbing Closure

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mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 29, 2010 - 04:38pm PT
Dustonian, would you object if they were going to close the RRG for a month. I am sure there were Native Americans living there and found that area sacred as well. I am sure that is probably true for every big rock in the lower 48. Why not advocate to close all crags on a voluntary basis out of respect. Also if I remember right the climbing ban was not voluntary when first proposed and it prohibited guiding during June and that was one of the reasons why it was faught in court. I think it is easy to advocate for this in someone elses backyard.
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jun 29, 2010 - 06:55pm PT
I personally don't mind a voluntary closure. It still means I can climb in June if I want to without getting arrested and it provides a workable compromise for all concerned. What I find laughable is that Native Americans make these claims that certain cliffs, towers, areas are sacred to their religion and then violate their own words. For instance: climbing on the Totem Pole and other towers in Monument Valley are said to be sacred and off limits to climbers but the Totem Pole and a few others have been used in commercials. What's sacred? MONEY! The Native American's are just so hypocritical in what they say and then in what they do.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 29, 2010 - 07:00pm PT
You mean they are NOT going to put a casino on the summit??
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jun 29, 2010 - 07:06pm PT
I'd disagree BoulderJac.

They're not hypocritical, just conflicted.

Some Navajos would like to see all and every bit of significant rock closed. Others, more concerned with day to day survival in our anglo society, would like to see more income and visitation.

Sometimes the more traditional Navajos win the day, other times pragmatic concerns win out. This conflict and to-and-fro is true in relation to all kinds of land use issues on the Navajo reservation, not just climbing.
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Transporter Room 2
Jun 29, 2010 - 07:14pm PT
Right on, Steve....The Voice of Reason.
Whew.
Larry

Trad climber
Bisbee
Jun 29, 2010 - 07:24pm PT
If it's a voluntary closure, there's really nothing to lift, is there?
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Jun 29, 2010 - 07:58pm PT
"I'd disagree BoulderJac.

They're not hypocritical, just conflicted.

Some Navajos would like to see all and every bit of significant rock closed. Others, more concerned with day to day survival in our anglo society, would like to see more income and visitation."

Conflicted, huh. I don't think so - whether its Devil's Tower, Cave Rock, or a little hill in the middle of Nevada or California, these things seem to only become "sacred" when money is involved or it is suddenly in the local tribe's interest for it to be sacred. Ceremonial site? Yeah, ya haven't had a ceremony there in a hundred years - now all of a sudden we see prayer baskets? BS. Cave Rock dismantled - same thing. Sacred my ass.
Matt

Trad climber
primordial soup
Jun 29, 2010 - 10:18pm PT
what's more, my understanding of the Cave Rock issue was their belief that WOMEN touching the rock somehow drained it's power...


freedom of mysogyny?
sweet...
pazreal

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 29, 2010 - 10:28pm PT
The RRG has numerous areas that are closed due to the discovery of native sites that were used for shelter and cooking due to their overhanging nature. I believe they are closed indefinitely and that's fine by me. Plenty of rock elsewhere.
onarunning

Trad climber
Duluth, MN
Jun 29, 2010 - 11:27pm PT
I had a class called "American Indian Experience: 1900-Present" a semester ago. We watched an interesting, and a little biased, film called "In the Light of Reverence." Check it out.

After the movie, our class had a discussion on why climbing is permanently banned at Mount Rushmore, but is allowed at Devils Tower. While not a perfect comparison, it was entertaining to listen to a bunch of non-climbers discuss the ban. Nobody argued that climbers should be banned, perhaps all year round. My hunch is that the discussion would be different if everyone was to be banned from the area. My professor talked about climbers "banging in hooks," no doubt talking about climbers pounding pitons.

While nothing will probably change the mind of staunch traditionalists within the tribes, climbers still need to be much more aware in general of how we are perceived in the greater world. Perhaps my young and progressive professor might have a different perspective if she was aware of what clean climbing is. Maybe the tower could have a chalk ban, like the north shore of Minnesota, too.

I personally will respect the ban, if only out of respect for a culture than has survived a genocide by our government. It's true that the Lakota and the other tribes have a political agenda, and the Devil's Tower ban plays into it. This doesn't bother me at all. Whether we want to recognize it or not, we owe them whatever we can give them, and I'll be happy to give up the month of June.
Bschmitz

Ice climber
mountain view
Jun 30, 2010 - 11:39am PT
You obviously haven’t been there. There are very few sport routes on the tower. I am not sure if I have ever been able to spot chalk from the trail or even the the base of a climb….maybe on broken tree or new wave. There is a ton of climbing all over Mount Rushmore area, you just cant climb up the faces.

What I really want to discuss is why a thousand Harleys can roll through but trying to get one day where we can use power drills to replace existing anchors can’t happen? I guess the park service thinks that if they have a policy that leads to less climbers then that is good for them???????


Bryan Schmitz
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 30, 2010 - 12:47pm PT
Bryan,
end run on the regs.

Get them to recognize routes as "steep trails". Then get erstwhile bolt replacers designated under the VIP (volunteers in the parks) program as volunteer trail builders who are permitted to use power tools in trail building.
If they whine about the drill noise let them listen to a hand drilling by comparison (orders of magnitude longer noise period).
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 30, 2010 - 02:21pm PT
When it comes to telling people who disagree with you that they shouldn't speak up, well,....













I disagree.

(There. I said it!)
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 30, 2010 - 03:36pm PT
What is the feeling about people that choose to climb during that month? I know people that have done great things for the native american communtity but still choose to climb there in June. I just feel that it is very easy for people that don't live here to be suppostive of something that affects them very little. In my case it is by far the closest trad crag and I have chose to climb there a couple of times in June in the many years that this voluntary ban has been in affect. To the park services credit I was not made to feel uncomfortable for doing so. I do feel that if the same process took place in areas with more population such as Yosemite, the Gunks, RMNP, ect. the outcry would be huge and I think the outcry was big here when this took place the first time, but there were not places tolike this forum to discuss it as easily. I think that this case will be used in the future to use as a precident to close other areas in the future. I was also asked to sign on to the court case fighting it when it was proposed as a mandatory ban and chose not to participate due to some of the language in the paper work seemed racial to me. I feel the voluntary ban is fine if that is how it stays, but I also feel a dangerous precident was set that could be used in many other climbing areas. Also I think the premice of this thread was wrong from the start I don't think the policy is stoping it is just the end of June.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Jun 30, 2010 - 04:00pm PT
As I mentioned when I went through locals told me it's voluntary and if they were driving through with it being there one chance to climb there they would. I chose not to thinking I'd be back, but that was 8 years ago LOL. But I know I'll get there some day. They also said if a guide got a client they'd climb because they would need the money.

I agree with them. I wouldn't say you are an ass if you climbed there once in a while or on a road trip, but I think if you climbed every day on the most visible routes with a ghetto blaster it would be a dick move.

I think it's a great compromise and I wouldn't mind if it's a precedent for my local areas. Much better than Cave Rock where they shut down ALL climbing, when a volutary ban at certain times would have been a good compromise IMO. As I mentioned the FS refused to include it as a possible alternative in their report even though it was suggested. I think this was because they banned climbing based on lies, saying it was about historical use / resource protection, but it was banned because some Washoe complained and they knew that wouldn't pass constitutional muster to ban climbing for religous reasons.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 30, 2010 - 04:09pm PT
A friend of mine guided there.

A poor precedent and a chilling effect on his livelihood.
I'm just not buying that the sentiment is based entirely on religion.
And even if it was how can we accommodate ALL religions on public land?
onarunning

Trad climber
Duluth, MN
Jun 30, 2010 - 09:13pm PT
Haha yes I have been there. I agree you can't see chalk from the trails around the tower. However, the natives realize you are smearing stuff that doesn't belong on the tower, and for better or worse it's them that we need to meet in the middle.

I think the comparison between Mount Rushmore and Devils Tower was meant to suggest that most Americans understand a ban on climbing on the actual faces at Mount Rushmore. They are unique and mean something. Just like Devils Tower for the natives. Saying that there is a bunch of other climbs around Mount Rushmore to do instead is counterproductive. They could suggest you find a hand crack elsewhere.
rick d

climber
ol pueblo, az
Jun 30, 2010 - 09:39pm PT
what about a January closure?

June is a prime month. I have seen a number of closures for freaking birds (Rockfellow, Summit Crags, Granite Mountain etc), non existent sheep (table mtn etc), war dead (Devil's Den), private lands (Bolus, Carefree, Governor's Stables), and simple outright like Chiracahua's.

meanwhile no one wants to claim shiatholes like Virgin River Gorge as a native american homestead.

and the prayer schmackateria showing up late in the game (at the Tower, on Babo etc) what a bunch of crap.

touchy feely BS
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jun 30, 2010 - 09:39pm PT
Thank you Frank. You have done good work.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 30, 2010 - 10:55pm PT
If it means anything I think we should be able to climb on Mt. Rushmore too. What are we going to do to it that tons of dynomite has not already done. And there are some of the biggest faces in the Needles on Mt. Rushmore. Once again the park service at Mt. Rushmore seems to be very pro climbing, but there are some of the most beautiful cracks in the needles on the part that is closed. Mt. Rushmore is the big chunk of rock in the distance.
Messages 21 - 40 of total 51 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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