Echo Cliffs Vandalism Easter Weekend


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Jim Henson's Basement
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 5, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
Over Easter weekend someone decided to mark the trail down to the base of Echo cliffs by spray painting giant fluorescent orange arrows all the way from the parking lot. Although most were painted on the ground (which will wear away), at least 4 big arrows were painted onto rock faces in the descent stream bed/gully. The worst one was painted directly onto the slab at the base of the Grotto.

I'll post pictures tomorrow. I didn't have my camera today.

I appears that some person or group was trying to guide other people to the cliff base. I'm guessing climbers since the hiking groups always use removable flags or tie-tags and never go down the gully to the climbing area. Who the hell can't find there way down a giant gully with an obvious cliff at the base without giant arrows pointing downhill BTW?

What jackass thought this was OK? This is an absolutely unacceptable way to mark a trail. There are half a dozen ways to mark a trail that don't involve the permanence of fluorescent spray paint. This is vandalism pure and simple.

I'm deeply troubled by this and I would very much like to contact the person or group responsible. If anyone was climbing there last weekend and has any information please relay it.

I fully intend to start graffiti removal ASAP while the paint is fresh, but it's going to involve a lot of hauling to get the supplies down there. Anyone who is willing to help sherpa please contact me.
Bad Climber

Apr 5, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
Wow, what moron would do this? I've seen some straight up graffiti puke over at the High Desert climbing area near Apple Valley. Arrrrgh.


Social climber
Apr 5, 2013 - 11:06pm PT
She was apoplectic when I talked to her on the phone today, as she was hiking out.

You have to understand, she grew up just a few miles from the trailhead - it is like her backyard.

Who brings spraypaint to mark a wilderness trail?

Probably a gym climber.

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Apr 5, 2013 - 11:12pm PT
Do you think any of the gym owners will part with any of their profit to pay for cleaning up this mess?

Apr 5, 2013 - 11:18pm PT
Bring up your own can of spray paint. Send the suckers through poison oak or off a cliff, that will take care of the problem.

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Apr 5, 2013 - 11:51pm PT
Total idiots. I can think of punishments that include massively improving our gene pool.

But speaking of idiots (this time those who don't know enough, not those who vandalize), where are you describing? Having seen you on Supertopo for years, I'm guessing these are in Arizona?

Big Wall climber
Classroom to crag to summer camp
Apr 6, 2013 - 12:12am PT
Echo Cliffs are socal right?

Jim Henson's Basement
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2013 - 12:29am PT
@MtnYoung This is Echo Cliffs near Malibu CA. We live in LA.

Yes.. "mud grubbing" indeed.. in one of the most beautiful spots in the Santa Monicas..
Choss paradise.

Totally speculating but... My spidey-senses are telling me this was some "group" or "event" choreographed by someone who is totally f*#king clueless.

Apr 6, 2013 - 01:24am PT
Ask these knuckleheads, they will be back again next Sunday:
$5 says it's them. Give them a good kick in the balls for me either way, tell them to stop spraying.
I am Sam

Social climber
232' Above Sea Level
Apr 6, 2013 - 01:27am PT
Not to condone this type of Full Throttle Dousche Bottle action in anyway, but if the paint is fluorescent orange, it sounds like an "experienced" outdoorsman who probably works for either CalTrans or a paving company hijacked a can of construction paint. While not an acceptable thing, the good news is it should be gone by the 4th of July.

the last bivy
Apr 6, 2013 - 03:17am PT
painted trail marks are routine in many other parts of the world ie mexico and south america, russia et al. So sorry to hear of this. We've done quite a bit of removal up here. Graffiti for it's own sake mostly. Must have been some large noob group to even think about spray painted arrows: church group? Meet up group? how about the boy scouts?

Apr 6, 2013 - 07:21am PT
I think I've already answered that question.

Social climber
Apr 6, 2013 - 10:04am PT
Skip(Justthemaid here).. sorry forgot to sign Erik out.

So the "construction paint" degrades? Can it be washed off?

Emails being sent to probe further. I can't find a record of last weekends events. I was aware of the Malibu Creek meet-ups. There are some Groupon-type deals floating around as well.

Regardless of whether they sprayed the paint.. at this point. I'm sick of this sh#t. I'm sending all the links to the park service. If they are charging.. they are guiding, so it's all illegal without permits and insurance according to park regulations. I doubt a team leader with "2 years climbing experience" has gone through the channels.

Captain...or Skully

Apr 6, 2013 - 10:06am PT
"Construction" paint is water based stuff.
It's still lame.

Jim Henson's Basement
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2013 - 10:27am PT
Really lame.. it's not going to rain again for like.. 8 or 9 months here... Washsable or no.. it could be there a very long time. Might stain if it gets baked on there all summer in the 100+ temps, so it still needs to be scrubbed off by hand. I'm heading out this morning. Fingers crossed that it's washable.

Edit: Looks like they aren't charging and they have a sorta-liability-release on pg.1, so they're tip-toeing around the guiding and insurance issue.

Big Wall climber
Apr 6, 2013 - 11:52am PT

i would'nt worry bout it cuzz it's been seen before.

lot's of Tri-athlete stuff goes on out there.

P.s with all the excessive bolting along with spray painting trail work I'm suprised it's not closed already!

Sport climber
Los Angeles, CA
Apr 6, 2013 - 04:08pm PT
Wow, this thread is an example of the internet at its best and worst.

Thank you so much Skip for your efforts to get a crew going for the clean up of the graffiti and to bring attention to this incident.

To answer your question, the goal of SoCal Climbing is to provide a place for friends to get together with other friends to go climbing, and to make new climbing friends in the process. There is no cost to attend the group's climbing meetups. Occasionally, money is collected ahead of time for events that cost money, like reserving a group campsite. If desired, members are free to donate money to the group to help pay the $144/year fee Meetup charges the group to exist, and/or to the event host(s) for wear and tear on their gear.

No one in SoCal Climbing is allowed to charge money to instruct people or take them climbing without having the appropriate AMGA/PCIA certification, insurance, and permits in place. I've had to have long conversations with people to defend this policy, but this is the way it has to be.

I would be shocked if anyone in my group was involved in this incident, and no actual evidence has been presented yet that would suggest this, but I am looking into it. If I find out anyone in my group was involved they will be kicked out and the appropriate authorities informed.

Coincidentally, there is an joint SCMA/NPS Rangers Stewardship clean up happening at Echo Cliffs on Saturday May 11 from 9am to 3pm. Hopefully any graffiti remaining by then could be addressed during the clean up.


Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Apr 6, 2013 - 04:23pm PT
Nice petroglyphs Locker!

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Apr 6, 2013 - 05:49pm PT
Sorry Skip (JTM), I was taking a bunch of inner city urban graffiti artists to Echo for their semi annual "Tag -a- Crag" day. I just wanted them to be able to follow the trail & thought the paint option would be most familiar to them! These kids don't know the signs of a trail so I went with something they;d recognize. ;)

Seriously, I am bothered by your news of paint on the trail. Really lame.

Oh yeah, I heard that the Overlook is now closed. Can anybody else conform this. I heard from Jeff that there are signs saying that Overlook is closed.


Apr 6, 2013 - 05:58pm PT
next time they should go with earth tones or paper plates and ink marker
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