Indian Creek Volunteer Day.....stewardship wins!

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Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 17, 2012 - 08:26pm PT
The point is rather that Serenity Crack WAS a highly altered crack, but nobody beats on it any more.

It is popular because it was beaten into a very user friendly form, but that was incidental rather than deliberate.

The problem in IC is more insidious in nature because it is not limited to hammer use.
The cracks continue to erode and the issue should NOT be whether it is in a user friendly form, because it would only be an interim state.

Come to IC to brainstorm and climb?
Sounds like being more part of the problem than the solution.
Perhaps brainstorm THEN go.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 17, 2012 - 09:07pm PT
Ron, the invitation is open. Nothing stays the same but if people care about a resource and take action to preserve it, abominations like Serenity Crack will be limited. Yes, the problem with change thru use in sandstone is a difficult issue but......
climbers from around the world are not going to stay away and.....
yes
we, as climbers, need to do whatever we can to mitigate any and all environmental damage we do as a result of our passion and.....
no
we aren't going to be completely successful.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 17, 2012 - 09:44pm PT
Guinea pig it is!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 17, 2012 - 09:46pm PT
Nope....I'm serving up bison burgers. However, if you have some Guinea Pigs, money is always an issue.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 17, 2012 - 10:47pm PT
Actually it is the one type of "pork" I'm allowed. (Hear its pretty good if done right.)


Look, we can each joke around, but the problem is both real and insidious because of the creeping gradual nature of the wear.
A century from now or perhaps even just a generation or two from now do you want climbers to gaze upon soft rock walls denied to them by the myopic selfishness of todays climbers who hold up as a flimsy excuse what a great job they did caring for the subtle infrastructure that enables those very exploiters?

Don't you think that the land managers are smart enough to figure that they have been conned by a dog and pony show after the walls show unmistakable visible wear and see more frequent accidents due to podding out of jams and perhaps more importantly of protection placements?

Why can't people just acquire sufficient skill and concern and just go into the soft rock and then just STFU!?

Why must they kill the very thing they love?


Oh yeah, that's right. The cat is already out of the bag (so lets lure it with buffalo/sushi and then stomp it to death and put in a bolt with an eco-link just to be sure).
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 17, 2012 - 10:55pm PT
Ron, I go to the Creek a lot, I've never seen you there. I know you are a desert sandstone artist with many first ascents, I've been there with you a time or two on subsequent ascents. The situation isn't as dire as you think, come and see.

edit: I started this thread to get people to our volunteer day. We won't solve all of the problems contingent with increased traffic in a sandstone climbing area but we will help. To do nothing is just that.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Sep 17, 2012 - 11:10pm PT
Cmon Ron. Jim's told me a few (good) stories about you. Why don't you go out on a limb and meet us there at IC? We can go to Hamburger Rock one morning and shoot off some rounds too!

Arne
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 18, 2012 - 10:49am PT
Been there, climbed that.

I may be the only climber to go to IC without using the paved road. In '81 I took Kane Springs to Hurrah Pass and spent 3 days drifting down the east side of Canyonlands. Near the top of Elephant Hill I made the FA of the Conehead, and then I drove out via the creek, after gazing upon hundreds of then pristine cracks.

Seeing what they are now would only remind me of what they are becoming.


But I can see why you guys climb there. It takes skill, strength, technique, and one shouldn't underestimate footwork either.

I can tell that you guys are really good at footwork.

Just look at the way you sidestep and dance around the inconvenient facts.
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Sep 18, 2012 - 10:54am PT
Oh Ron...you're so crusty...looks like someone needs a hug.

;-)

Jeremy


BTW EDIT...I haven't been to Indian Creek in 15 years...I don't like people so I climb elsewhere. It works for me.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Sep 18, 2012 - 10:58am PT
At least just come and tell some old stories about the place. I eat that shite up, like the one you just told of the backroads. Then you can explain in greater detail the issues that are getting sidestepped. Might not fall on deaf ears if some of the right people are there.

Arne
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Sep 18, 2012 - 11:08am PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#263791
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Sep 18, 2012 - 11:40am PT
Way Homo
10b4me

Ice climber
dingy room at the Happy boulders hotel
Sep 18, 2012 - 11:46am PT
Ron, don't be a stick in the sandstone
crunch

Social climber
CO
Sep 18, 2012 - 12:12pm PT
Good thread. Sounds like a blast, Jim. I may show up, but unlikely. I usually try to stay away from the crowds.

Ron poses a real question; there is no pro-active answer on the horizon.

BLM, like other land magers, pays attention to damage to vegetation, creeks, wildlife. Trails, damage from vehicles, feet, cows, invasive weeds and bicycles. Actual wear and tear on the rock is not of much interest to them.

Like Jim says, it's roadside access, convenience. Most climbers visit Indian Creek to climb the same few, famous climbs. They see the routes, not the place.

Maybe mentorship is part of the solution, trying to encourage climbers to look beyond their next climb....and to appreciate the amazing, unique desert that we are all privileged to have the opportunity to play in.

Stewardship? Mentorship? Donini is one of the best! (Not to mention rope gun.....)
The Larry

climber
Moab, UT
Sep 18, 2012 - 12:29pm PT
I don't always climb at Indian Creek but when I do it sure as sh#t ain't at Supercrack/Battle of the Bulge. I rarely run into other folks down there. Even Alf.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Sep 18, 2012 - 01:18pm PT
Italic TextBLM, like other land magers, pays attention to damage to vegetation, creeks, wildlife. Trails, damage from vehicles, feet, cows, invasive weeds and bicycles. Actual wear and tear on the rock is not of much interest to them.Italic Text

That's not really what Ron is saying though. It IS the wear and tear on the rock he's talking about and that the land managers DO or WILL take notice soon enough. The rest of the issues you speak of are actually somewhat better today than 20 years ago, due to better trails, outhouses and awareness, etc.

I like your ideas about increasing awareness. I too try to head out to the less popular walls but I don't know which is worse; spreading the use out or letting a few areas take the sacrifice with wear and tear.
Arne
crunch

Social climber
CO
Sep 18, 2012 - 02:17pm PT
Nice post ionlyski.

Yeah. There are ways to change our impact on the rock:

hardening agent
permanently fixed cams
softer material for the cams (plastic/resin?) and nuts
bolting the most popular lines
user fees.
permit system, perhaps with a lottery, perhaps with fees.
Camp-4-style limits on visitation/camping.

I can see problems with all these. One day we might need to try some of these but not yet.
Besides, the first area where rock wear and tear will attract attention is most likely Zion, which has all the same problems plus impacts from multi-day ascent plus high visibility to non-climbers.

One thing that can help around Indian Creek is educating people to minimise impact, both on and off the rock. Heuco Tanks enforces education, by video, for all back-country users.

The condition of the environment influences the attitude of visiting climbers. If the environment is trashed, dusty, noisy, vegetation all gone, trash laying around, dogs barking and digging, lots of other climbers, a gym atmosphere, then climbers will treat the area accordingly. If the environment is pristine or at least carefully maintained, with nice trails, no pollution, a wilder ambience, then climbers will treat the area and the climbs with more respect.

And, as climbers learn to value a wilder experience, they will make the effort to search these out, to find their own adventures in more remote places. As The Larry says, even within Indian Creek there are crags that see very few people.

And, to get back on point, if climbers disperse away from the popular crags, the damage to the rock on these same old climbs will slow down.

So, to get back to the thread point, props to donini for his efforts.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 18, 2012 - 03:14pm PT
Arne, Ron and Crusher, we all love the desert and understand what a fragile resource it is. We also are aware that a truly unique climbing resource like IC is going to become a destination for climbers worldwide. The internet has ended the days where exceptional climbing areas can stay under the radar.
My goal in setting up the volunteer day with the BLM is twofold:
1) To help preserve and restore areas that we, as climbers, impact.
2) To further develop a working relationship with the land managers (BLM) who control access to the area.
Until now, Ron is correct, that work has largely centered around the camping in IC and the access to the crags.
Climbers are, for the most part, thoughtful and intelligent people. That's the beauty of this community. Issues are constantly brought forward- mypopia is always short lived.
I plan to talk to Bob Lever from the BLM and have him make some of his pertinent staff made available for a discussion of the issue brought forward by Ron.
The projects are set for this year, but hopefully with a little brainstorming, we can intiate a special project for next Spring to help address this issue.
GOclimb

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Sep 18, 2012 - 03:38pm PT
@ Donini - I'll be there if I can. Gotta check with the wife on timing of other events.

@ Ron - I think the only solution is the one land managers have been using for the wilderness for over a century: maximize impact on a minimal area. It's the principle behind designated campsites, marked trails, etc.

How does it work in this context? Direct all prospective desert climbers to do
 the same six climbs (Binou's, Choc Corner, IHC, Supercrack, Railroad Tracks, Generic Crack)
 in the same canyon (Donnely/Supercrack)
 in the same area (IC)

So those cracks get beat up, but the other climbs in Donnelly stay healthier, and the other canyons in IC stay healthier yet, and the other desert locations stay healthier yet. Might sound cynical, but I think it's reasonable.

GO
crunch

Social climber
CO
Sep 18, 2012 - 03:58pm PT
haha!

Yeah, Goclimb. That would also work, though I wonder what "direct" means in this context.

Actual rock impacts in Indian Creek are not that significant, yet. Us crusty old timers, who saw the cracks back in the early 1980s, know how they've changed, but not most folks.

Other impacts and issues are more pressing. Ensuring climbers can work around other users and other resources, bikers, petroglyphs, ranchers, tourists, off-road enthusiasts, all the rest. Indian Creek's such a popular area.

Donini is doing awesome work here. Thanks Jim.
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