Good Article re Politics of Hetch Hetchy Dam Removal


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Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Sep 14, 2012 - 01:07pm PT
Obviously climbers will have to get paid to go up there and scrub em off, new routin style. Have you seen how clean we have wiped the valleys popular lines?

Sure, the first few ascents would be gross, but thats what Jeremy, madbolter1 and those wacky Spaniards who drill wooden pegs are for. They climb crap like this already for free!

Going to be a Girdle Traverse Scrubfest folks, lets rise to the challenge.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 14, 2012 - 06:48pm PT
About those bathrub rings... I've climbed them though in a different reservoir (Donnell). The first pitch of Sirens of the Stanislaus is right out of the boat and its like 150 feet or so to the high water line, from our low water point. So a pitch on the bathtub ring, then 9 more pitches of your typical mid-elevation granite; dark grayish.

Always thought of the bathtub ring as that, a ring of bleached rock or some layer of salts or something, on top.

Nope. Nothing like that at all. The opposite - cleanest granite I ever laid hands on; anywhere, any time. Perfectly clean - like when you split open a rock of granite and look at the fresh cut stuff inside - like that only glacial and water polished.

Clean, slick, bright. When we got to the water line was when we suddenly appreciated, almost for the first time and never more powerfully - the notion of just how much of the granite we climb is vegetated and in many cases completely covered over in a way we don't even realize it. This is particularly true in lower elevations like Yosemite and Calvaras, et al.



Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Sep 14, 2012 - 06:50pm PT
Wow dingus really! I imagined it would be a grimy sediment layer.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 14, 2012 - 07:41pm PT
That might prove the case in sandstone and other muddy water environments, dunno. I expected it too, if nothing else a fine layer of silt on everything. And then I thought... silt from what? And from where? There isn't any real silt runnoff from the high Sierra. The water runs pretty clear.

Anyway, there are probably lots of exceptions but in my one case of climbing the ring in a reservoir it completely upended my expectations of it and opened my eyes to just how much lichens rule the rock world.


Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Sep 14, 2012 - 07:46pm PT
Drain it!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Sep 14, 2012 - 07:53pm PT
So check these out

Here's a reservoir in high water, filled to the brim

Pretty cool huh? Right outta da boat, gotta remember, climbing's right outta da boat.

The bathtub ring

Yo... (I was on drugs, seriously)

Love this image great times great memories

Brutus of Wyde working the line, jugging outta da boat for the morning commute. I learned to love his slab jug method of just using one aider.

Up higher you can see the difference in the rock, here it is about 100% covered in organic matter.

We built a great bivi spot. I told a story about a hummingbird visiting me on this ledge. I was on drugs then too.

Brutus of Wyde, wall cook legend.

Like I said, I was on drugs.

I had stitches in me balls!!!!!!111111111111111111111

But seriously just look at that rock!

Another greatun I just threw in for the fun of it.

Miss ya buddy!


Sport climber
A true CA girl, who landed in the desert...
Sep 14, 2012 - 08:47pm PT
I had stitches in me balls!
DMT!!!! You have ME in stitches!!

GREAT photos... and you're right about the gray streak in the mustache... it DOES look like snot. (I am trying to keep a straight face... seriously)


from SoCal
Sep 14, 2012 - 09:37pm PT
OK, so the evil, manic, fundamentalist, crazy Republicans support removing the dam, and since they never do anything right, and it is, of course, Bush's fault, therefore, we as flaming liberal commie pinko "Friscan" liberal, always-right, sandal wearing, Trader Joe's shopping Democrats must vote to deny the Republicans and keep the damn dam.

If fact, lets teach those Republicans they cannot come to our state and try to change things with their radical conservative agenda, which is controlled by the oil companies and Wall Street, so, lets raise the damn dam level another 50 feet so we can store more water!

Heck, we have gotta keep those Frisco hot tubs full.
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Oct 13, 2012 - 12:52pm PT
Dingus I looked at those walls (Donnells) back in 1975, but things happened in my life. Kudos to Brutus and you for doing what I wanted to do. I do believe I did a couple of FAs downstream. I'lll never really know. As well as at Potter's Rock with Hank Ward, Jim Keating, Claude Fiddler and one or two others.

As far as Hetch Hetchy is concerned, I also think that my best friend Brian (not really a climber/leader, more of a belayer) and I did a couple of FAs, but that place is crawling with buzzworms. We hung out there several times from 1973-75.

As an aside, obviously small critters like water and rattlers like small critters. HH is perfect. Lower altitude than the Valley, sunshine much of the time, and water.

As for draining it, well I live in Ireland now. We have some water. But if I strike it lucky (read, rich) I'd have a house in Sausalito, and Marin county is always hurting for water.

But even back in the 1970s to this day I always thought that, like John Muir (not that I am in his league), it was a shame to use that particular valley for a reservoir.

I'd be for busting the dam and draining the reservoir. Nature will eventually return it to is original (whatever that is/was) state. I'd think.

Though it may take a decade or more to see some results. I did study some natural resources/hydrology courses at Columbia College, but I am not expert.

But... that land does belong to the US citizen, not a San Franciscan. And while I consider myself a liberal, I can see why it seems a contrast that some Republican politicians want to play the 'water game' and the SF Demos will cry 'foul'.

As much as I love SF, having been raised across the Bay and working in The City, FREE HETCH HETCHY.

And Grampa, found your dentures yet?

HH is a political ball game. The liberal SFers (of which I could have counted myself one at some point in time) want their clean water, the environmentalist/naturalist say "free HH), and the conservative Republicans will jump on anything (for their benefit, not the people's, IMO) that may be divisive in the other camps.

If it means dividing and conquering you opponents, the conservative BS usually wins out most of the time. Sad, isn't it.

And the oxymoron is conservative. The right wingers are not interested in conserving the environment, IMO.

Well, feck everyone, 'dumping' the dam and water would costs far less than the stupid conflicts our country have been involved in. Let nature takes its course.

To repeat, let nature takes it course, which could also be that the neanderthals (read old repugs) are on their way out.

Return Hetch Hetchy to its original state, (at least in might take some pressure off of the Valley, nah...).
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Oct 14, 2012 - 10:35am PT
Please correct me if I am wrong. But am I to understand that only people who can vote in San Francisco will determine the fate of Hetch Hetchy?

If so, that is bull. At the very least the voters of California, if not the nation, should have a say in HH's future. I think that it is a no-brainer that most SFers will want to keep HH Reservoir. Some environmentalists and liberals they are.

I am still a die-hard liberal, but I see that sometimes people of any persuasion will only want benefits them and not others. I suppose that is human nature.


NB I remember when we had the water crisis back in the 1970s, and East Bay Mud (East Bay Municipal Utility District) traded our (Walnut Creek/Lafayette) excellent water with Contra Costa Water District. It was quite noticeable the first few months that our East Bay Mud water was far superior to CC Water, but then the taste buds got use to the CC Water mixed with EB Mud water.

Ice climber
dingy room at the Happy boulders hotel
Oct 14, 2012 - 02:39pm PT
At the very least the voters of California, if not the nation, should have a say in HH's future.


Social climber
Oct 14, 2012 - 04:03pm PT
As mentioned on another thread (what book) read Cadillac Desert and you will get a good idea of the S.F., L.A. and every other water system out west. Great read!
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Oct 14, 2012 - 06:07pm PT
I am going to keep bumping this thread. I may not have the right, or at least for the time being, of voting in my home state, but as I see it, the arguments for freeing Hetch Hetchy Valley outweigh the so-called benefits for San Franciscans (SF, a city I love and worked in and played semi-pro soccer in, and partied in, I love The City By The Bay, or as Herb Caen put it, "Baghdad By The Bay"). If SFers are going to vote in favor of keeping HH a 'prison', then these people are being selfish. There are alternatives. I have been reading just about every argument in the past few days.


In John Muir's spirit, FREE HETCH HETCHY.

Hetch Hetchy is the nation's property, not the yuppies of San Francisco. Our collective property, not a bunch of West Bay Snobs. Up East Bay Grease. Tower of Power.

FREE HETCH HETCHY, for future generations. I have hung out in the HH Valley, climbed some there, dodged the rattler on occasion, soaked in the beauty of a valley inundated by the greed of water-hungry San Franciscans.

I am getting worked up about this, even though I am about 6,000 miles away. That valley needs to be returned to whatever original 'state' it was prior to SF meddling/mudding whatever waters there was.

We had the excellent movie and screenplay (always used as an example of scriptwriting) of Chinatown (1974) about the power of water struggles in SoCal.

I am trained in scriptwriting, I have three scripts on the back burner. Anybody interested in collaborating with me on a feature or documentary (two disciplines I have also studied and worked in) on Hetch Hetchy, contact me.

Jon Beck

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 14, 2012 - 07:18pm PT
If SF does not free Hh on their own terms then there is the possibility of doing by state wide referendum. Or is that not possible because of Federal preemption?
Messages 21 - 34 of total 34 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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