Big Trouble In Little Grotto (On-Topic)

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MisterE

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 20, 2013 - 11:10pm PT
Skip hiked into Echo Cliffs

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/echo-cliffs/105825729

early this last Saturday morning to do some rope-soloing. As she reached the creek-bed, she came upon an encampment on the big flat rock that is at the base of the Grotto. There were several tents and camping gear set up on the slab, and they had dragged a huge pile of branches directly onto the trail – she probably woke them up thrashing around and moving the stuff out of the way so she could actually get to Left Flank and every other area.

A Hispanic couple emerged from one of the tents. Skip greeted them in a friendly way (all the while thinking: WTF is going on here?). She continued on and started to set up at Left Flank for a while but could hear more people waking up and they were getting a bit loud and disruptive, and obviously NOT CLIMBERS. She got a bit wigged out since she was alone, so she headed down to Easy Street to do some soloing there.

About an hour later a couple of climbers showed up at Easy Street and finding Skip there, said “Did you see the campers and the CAMPFIRE that that camping group started?”
She was aghast – that is what the pile of brush was for?? It’s 100 degrees out and it hasn’t rained here in a year.
They couldn't believe it - the whole friggin’ canyon is a tinderbox death-trap.

The climbers said they had given a polite heads-up - “it isn’t a great idea to have a fire, and there are big fines involved” – that is all. Not confrontational or negative.
That’s when one of the big guys at the camp got belligerent and told her she couldn’t “tell them what they could do”, and after they left and went climbing at Java Wall (within visual proximity of the camp) The aggro-big guy continued yelling and screaming repeatedly at them as they were trying to climb. At this point they had a large dog roaming around as well.
They decided, like Skip it was time to move further away.

The fire was really the most serious issue.

Upon meeting and talking to the couple, Skip decided to hike out and call the local ranger James as soon as soon as she could get to his phone # (which was on her phone in the car). She had seen one car in the parking lot when she showed up way early, so she was going to call in the license - knowing it was the campers.

Skip was just as polite to them on the way out - told the group to "have a nice day" (fully intending to rat them out). It seemed that they had actually put most of the fire out as she left – so maybe some gravity of the situation had sunk in? At this point, she saw a number of extra people and a big pit bull running around off-leash. They weren’t packing up. It looked like the group was there to party for the weekend.


The climbers must have figured out how to get a hold of the park service, because Skip ran into James and two back-up big-guys hiking on the trail back to the parking lot, all geared up to break up the party at Camp Homeboy. She filled them in on the details. A segment of the trail conversation:

“Hi, James..uh you guys heading down to the Grotto?”

"Hi, Skip. Is there something going on I need to investigate?”

“Yup… There are some campers. They started a campfire and were belligerent and confrontational when someone said something."

“That is why I am late – I needed to wait for some back-up after I got the call - (indicates two large rangers flanking him) – is there a Boxer?”

“It’s a large Pit Bull.”

“Are you SURE it is a Pit Bull?”

“Yes”, (says the woman who grew up working at pet stores), “it is a Pit Bull.”

“Was it at least on a leash?”

“Of course not!”

Evidently things got exciting after this. James and his crew were able to sneak down, hide and watch the group for a while, observing them chopping branches to feed some future fire apparently for after those bothersome climbers left, and etching stuff on the rocks while the dog ran around unsupervised. The ranger-posse finally confronted them, and made them pack up. It was a big group of out-of shape people, so it took them over 2 hours to get them up the gully and back to the cars...during the hottest part of the day. Helicopters were buzzing the site, and the fire department was called in to make sure the fire was completely out.

Keep in mind, all of these people (including the campers) had to hike out the Backbone Trail, then some steep 4th class descending to get to the site, then do the return trip - all this in 100-degree temperatures, fully geared, with little reprieve from the sun.


I am just guessing here, but there were some unhappy people coming upon this crew besides the climbers.


The climbing-couple unfortunately overtook them on the trail when they were leaving (because they were so slow, and it was so hot) and had to deal with some angry confrontation with the campers since they knew they were the ones that called the rangers.

I can count at least five violations:

1. Illegal camping
2. Unpermitted fire
3. Off-leash dog
4. Defacing Forest Service Land
5. Illegal vegetation cutting

Additionally, I am sure a good lawyer could make a case for:

6. Reckless Endangerment (In that if the fire had spread, everyone in that canyon would be at risk of death by fire – being the only way out is past the flash-point.)

What a crazy day – how do these inner-city people find these places?
The alternate title for the thread was “Echo and the Burly Men”
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Aug 20, 2013 - 11:47pm PT
Wild story. I've seen weird stuff like this but not quite this bad.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 21, 2013 - 01:10am PT
I'll bet you they got off basically scot-free.
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Aug 21, 2013 - 01:19am PT
the end already happened.
so stop fretting.
there is no hope for progress or enlightenment.

just enjoy the inexhaustible slide unto genetic maturity.
rwedgee

Ice climber
canyon country,CA
Aug 21, 2013 - 01:23am PT
Why do you hate inner city people so much ? Do they rat you out when you go to the ghetto ? At least they were trying to enjoy the great outdoors. Facist...Eco-facist
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Aug 21, 2013 - 01:33am PT
There's a huge divide, and seemingly no way to bridge it. We lost one of the best climbing areas in Washington because a group of people couldn't accept that the world wasn't theirs to do whatever they pleased with.

In our case, what they pleased was to tear up roads, trails, and forests with their off-road vehicles.

What was weird was that they were completely unreachable. That their pleasure resulted in the destruction of watersheds and logging roads was irrelevant to them. Meetings, DNR involvement, logging company involvement... all for naught.

I suspect the people Skip met had the same mentality. From their perspective, they were just out enjoying their god-given right as Americans to do whatever the f*#k they wanted to do, and they probably can't understand why she (and the other climbers, and the Law) was upset.

How do you deal with that?
crusher

climber
Santa Monica, CA
Aug 21, 2013 - 01:34am PT
OMFG,

Rwedge do you even know what you're talking about? This area is so f&$$( dry they could have set the whole sm mountain range on fire. Had no business being in there let alone camping or starting a fire. This enrages me as well - regardless of where these ass$$@& came from it's infuriating. If I were skip or t,his other couple I would have bolted immediately but good on you guys for calling the authorities. Problem is these morons will probably go right back in there. Is the outcome of this (fines, legal action, etc.) public info? I'm curious as to how it's dealt with.

Edit- this has to do with more than just climbing access....
splitter

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Aug 21, 2013 - 09:51am PT
It's a large Pit Bull.

Are you SURE it is a Pit Bull?

Yes (...) it is a Pit Bull.

Ya sure it wasn't a Mexican Pit Bull (Chihuahua)...

Those lil' suckah's can get really Midievil on ya!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Aug 21, 2013 - 10:07am PT
That was a frightening thing for a young maid to have experienced, let alone Just the Maid.

Hispanicism has everything to do with it, typically, at least in SoCal. Nobody was playing the race card till you mentioned it--jeesoos reestos, meester.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Aug 21, 2013 - 10:17am PT
It was just a surreal situation. I wasn't really frightened.. just concerned.

I actually never would have ratted them out just for doing a little guerilla camping to hang out and party. The issue was the fire, their attitude about it and the threatening behavior and destructive tendencies that followed. (This is Federally protected wilderness).

If these guys had just stayed low key everything would have been fine and they would have had a fun weekend. I used the description "hispanic" in my story to Erik because that's what they were. They weren't "climbers" like you would expect and given the makeup of the group it just seemed odd they even found the place somehow. I'm hispanic myself BTW... There's no hate for the inner city... people have a right to be outside and have a good time....I'm just not proud of how some of my peeps feed the stereotypes.

Ghost.. it is a cultural divide. There are simply different mindsets out there and you can't do much about it. You can, however keep people from torching a mountain.

RWedgee.. you have absolutely no concept of how insanely stupid it was to start a fire in that canyon. I grew up just a few miles from there. VERY steep old-growth sagebrush, lots of hillside homes. Last time a fire burned through there 20 years ago it was totally devastating to the wildlife for years. All of those campers would have been dead if a fire got out of control.. there's just no escape on foot.

Edit to add.. I heard later the campers were un-cooperative about providing ID's. I suspect the rangers will have trouble actually prosecuting or fining any of them in the long run.
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Aug 21, 2013 - 10:28am PT
I personally called the cops/fire 3 times this summer (on illegal campfires around Tahoe).
A couple of times there was access road: fire truck arrives and blasts their big lights, it's quite a show.
It's up to $5,000 fine or jail time.
As to "Hispanic"...she's lucky she wasn't in SoCal.
Could have been taken over the border.
0.40 is a good stuff to take.

In case of "angry confrontation", I recommend to be always recording. Saying something like "I'm an NFS (or Calfire) volunteer" or "My brother works in the ranger's (or sheriff's) office" helps too. They don't want particularly angry LE to track their asses down. Another one that works: "I got your car plates already"...that one is a real downer...they get a mental image of CHP searching their car and finding a little bag of whatever.
But the best is not to confront at all, if you're not in a group, and call on them asap.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 21, 2013 - 11:14am PT
I saw this campfire high in the San Gabriels last week. Gee, what could
possibly go wrong here? And there were any number of similar ones within
a 100 yard radius.

Credit: Reilly

Anybody who goes up any of the San Gabriel drainages on a holiday weekend
can only be sickened by what they see in terms of trash, campfires, diapers
floating down the creeks, etc. And when confronted the perps either get aggro
and self-righteous or are incredulous that they are doing anything wrong.
Just talk to a ranger up there.
BJ

climber
Aug 21, 2013 - 11:16am PT
But the best is not to confront at all, if you're not in a group

What if you're a group of one?

Credit: BJ
BJ

climber
Aug 21, 2013 - 11:17am PT
Would the world end in this case?
Credit: BJ
versus
Credit: BJ
BJ

climber
Aug 21, 2013 - 11:27am PT
We lost one of the best climbing areas in Washington because a group of people couldn't accept that the world wasn't theirs to do whatever they pleased with.


Just to clarify.

The entire Reiter area was declared a non motoorized area, and the existing roads were closed. The approach now entails about an extra 800 vertical feet of road hiking. But access is open to everyone in the USA, legal or not, who is not incarcerated. These rules apply to everyone, hikers, hunters, fishermen and climbers. The Reiter climbing areas were never lost or ever in danger of being lost.

There are much larger parcels of private land and land locked public lands which are newly off limits to the general public. The owners, Hancock, Weyerhauser and some other have instituted a pay to play program. There may be some legal push-back because the timber industry receives favorable property tax rates, which some feel included free public access on the huge(hundreds of thousands of acres) lands.
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Aug 21, 2013 - 11:29am PT
BJ, even if one is extremely big, strong-looking person, if it comes to physical confrotnation the "group of one" doesn't have any witnesses, and it will be their word (with witnesses) versus yours. Not a good idea. They can have multiple people who will swear in court you assaulted one of them.
BJ

climber
Aug 21, 2013 - 11:38am PT
Lacking a sense of humor today? I've seen documentaries where Steven Seagal has saved Battleships, trains and even entire towns from terrorists or ruthless developers. Chongo and ilk would not be a concern
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Aug 21, 2013 - 11:40am PT
This had been a real life situation for me more than once, and literal question to approach or not, so I take this question seriously. I don't really know who's S. Seagull, another celebrity I guess, I dunno those.

The person who approached showed a lot of courage. People get shot in the woods, by portable meth lab owners and people disappear. I don't find anything funny about this.
BJ

climber
Aug 21, 2013 - 11:51am PT
Tweakers and pot growers do exist, and should be considered a danger. But in reality how many people are killed or disappeared because of these folks? I bet not many, but it sure makes good fodder for the media, and for Rush, the mom's at soccer, O'Reilly and anyone else who wants to be afraid.

I'm sorry my joke about movie action heroes like Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal bothered you so, and distracted you from worrying about stuff.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Aug 21, 2013 - 12:02pm PT
Credit: Global Warning III
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Aug 21, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
Egads!^^^^

I don't believe we can rely on Stephen to karate-chop any terrorists for us at present.
BJ

climber
Aug 21, 2013 - 12:47pm PT
Do dogs have to be on a leash, or do they need to be "under control"?

But it sounds like neither was the case here.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Aug 21, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
Dogs are supposed to be on a leash at all times in this particular park. Once you get a ways from the road it's difficult to enforce and a lot of people let them run loose.

The dog being off the leash conversation with the ranger was sort of funny at the time... just a week before we were chatting and he was rolling his eyes about the kazillion "OMG!!!someones dog is off the leash" phone calls he gets every weekend.

This dog owner was having to bear-hug his pit with full body weight to keep it away from me... all the while telling me how "friendly" it was.

Edit to add: in defense of a couple of the campers.. the first two I ran into were actually very polite. It was their buddies that woke up later that started rabble-rousing.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Aug 21, 2013 - 02:29pm PT
Yikes! I would not want to try my chances to outrun a fire in that terrain. Pretty much impossible, better luck trying to get in the middle of a big rock and hope for the best.

Glad you didn't get in a face-to-face showdown with the folks.

I must admit I thought this was going to be about a climbing epic on AC Devildog or something at Table Mountain near Jamestown.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Aug 21, 2013 - 04:04pm PT
Nuthing wrong with saying hispanic, it's just stating a fact. In the greater Los Angeles area the hispanic community takes full advantage of the surrounding wilderness. Some do it in a more responsible manner than others just like some white folks. The problem is cultural, I spoke with a hispanic friend of mine last week about the vast amounts of trash and literal crap in the San Gabriel River drainage and she told me it is a cultural issue, she says she was ridiculed by her cousins for throwing trash in a trashcan and for cleaning up after a picnic on the East Fork of the San Gabriel River several years ago. I used to kayak the West Fork and East Fork of the San Gabriel River and witnessed firsthand BBQ's being dumped in the river, diapers thrown in the river and kids spray painting on the rocks as I floated by. I was reluctant to speak up because frankly I'm a bit of a wuss and was an easy target floating down the river. Speaking with a ranger afterward he said that it's just the way it is and all they can do is try and educate. I have a feeling that the next generation wont treat the environment quite as bad and am hopeful it is true.
This is not just a hispanic problem, if you head over to the East Fork you will find plenty of white redneck hillbilies tossing trash in the river and digging up the river looking for gold.

As Skip stated, the fire is the main issue. We are in a critical situation in So Cal in regards to fire threat. I'm heading to the Sierras next week and the last thing I need is to be recalled back to work because some knucklehead decided to have a campfire on a 100 degree day.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
Aug 21, 2013 - 04:24pm PT
I can only add that one should assume some of these fools had firearms with them.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Aug 21, 2013 - 04:39pm PT
The fire there, together with a seemingly hostile group of people, certainly would have terrified me if I were alone. I hope that the actions of the campers arose from ignorance that gets corrected as time passes. I fear, however, that the campers will simply ascribe the incident to innate hostility of the authorities and/or the climbers.

I have to agree that certain socioeconomic strata of certain ethnic groups have a culture of outdoor use vastly different from mine. Sad to say, though, the culture of "The rules don't apply to me. I'll do what I want." transcends easy socioeconomic categorization. Reading the threads that attempt to deal with climbing ethics should convince the reader of this. If nothing else, the facts you set forth in this thread stand as a reminder of why the mountains still need LEO's.

John

chill

climber
between the flat part and the blue wobbly thing
Aug 21, 2013 - 04:41pm PT
The approach now entails about an extra 800 vertical feet of road hiking.

Horrors. Guess you'll have to buy a Segway.
crusher

climber
Santa Monica, CA
Aug 21, 2013 - 04:48pm PT
I'm not ok with them camping at Ecko - it's illegal for one thing. And Skip is right - had they started a fire they most likely would have perished there.

The mess caused by so-called "cultural differences" and/or just plain old idiots in the Angeles National Forest, San Bernardinos, San Gabriels and all over So. Cal is atrocious. Unfortunately there isn't enough money for the "authorities" to properly fight or regulate it. It's incredibly frustrating.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Aug 21, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
Have Y'all read Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle?

Not that this is the same story, but it seems relevant in this context.

Give it a try, it's a powerful novel.
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Aug 21, 2013 - 06:17pm PT
When I read the OP, Tortilla Curtain was the first thing that popped in my head.

Around here it's poor white folks and plain stupid white folks trashing the forests and creeks.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Aug 21, 2013 - 06:25pm PT
Glad it all ended well Skip. As far as them being Mexican, stupidity follows all races. This kind of thing (having a campfire during fire season on a hot day) is usually overweight white people who listen to country music. Commonly derided as "rednecks". I normally live and let live too, but sometimes you can't walk away from angry stupidity. At least they weren't slamming their empty beer bottles down on the rocks after downing them (short version: local f*#khead Russians).

They could have been nice and listened, and their day would have been much better.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Aug 21, 2013 - 06:27pm PT
I have to agree that certain socioeconomic strata of certain ethnic groups have a culture of outdoor use vastly different from mine.

John.... true but it was not always so.

I was just a kid at the time but I remember Lady Bird Johnson and her "clean up America campain" or something like that.

I think about 99% of America was tossing trash and all sorts of stuff out into the environment.

All of the PSA adds and becoming a Boy Scout helped me change my attitude about tossing trash, cleaning up after others and becoming a steward of our landscape.

I think it would be a good thing to re-start these kinds of programs....
We could start by taking $$$$$$$ from the NSA.

Oh yea.... SKIP. THX for standing up, it took guts.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Aug 21, 2013 - 06:48pm PT
I didn't actually "stand up".. it was another climber that actually spoke to them and made the call before I had a chance...

I didn't say nothin'... just gave them a polite chit chat so that I could sneak off to rat on them behind their backs.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Aug 21, 2013 - 07:03pm PT
LA has a huge immigrant population that never received the education we locals got in the 1960s. Prior to the "Crying Indian" commercial pretty much everyone was trashing everything.

These newcomers need the same program. I don't think that today's land managers have figured this out.


Also, a campaign needs to be done to redefine "camping." To some in means total anarchy and trashing the land, burning weird crap, firing weapons, getting ripping drunk, blasting amplified music.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Aug 21, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
These newcomers need the same program. I don't think that today's land managers have figured this out.

Spider... bingo.

Hawkeye

climber
State of Mine
Aug 21, 2013 - 08:32pm PT
can count at least five violations:

1. Illegal camping
2. Unpermitted fire
3. Off-leash dog
4. Defacing Forest Service Land
5. Illegal vegetation cutting

wasnt it you ewolfe, who carried a machete into a national park to help the approach out? is that not defacing? if i recall you guys had a fire in your TR, was that permitted in the North Cascades?

and god forbid a climber would let their dog run around! the horror!

OTOH if it were friends of yours camping out there and the rangers wrote them up for all this crap we would be seeing a tooling thread no doubt.

crusher

climber
Santa Monica, CA
Aug 21, 2013 - 08:39pm PT
Well,

Regardless of what some of you are pissed at E for, this is/was still a big problem.

Yes - the Iron Eyes Cody commercials. Those were pretty effective actually. A campaign is needed again and probably won't happen.

Leggs

Sport climber
Tucson, AZ
Aug 21, 2013 - 08:49pm PT
I didn't say nothin'... just gave them a polite chit chat so that I could sneak off to rat on them behind their backs


That sounds about right.



~peace
BJ

climber
Aug 21, 2013 - 08:54pm PT
wasnt it you ewolfe, who carried a machete into a national park to help the approach out? is that not defacing? if i recall you guys had a fire in your TR, was that permitted in the North Cascades?

and god forbid a climber would let their dog run around! the horror!

OTOH if it were friends of yours camping out there and the rangers wrote them up for all this crap we would be seeing a tooling thread no doubt.

Campfires are allowed in the area in question
http://www.nps.gov/noca/planyourvisit/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageID=547626

I don't think cutting Devils Club with a machete is looked on as a defacement

Your view about "tooling" may have some general validity, but probably not in this case
MisterE

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 21, 2013 - 10:35pm PT
Thanks for the considerate responses

and not so much for the others.

Hawkeye, you forgot littering

when we left the card at the top of Mox Peak.

You have remembered it before.

Gotta stay on your game, Pal - you are losing the comprehensive element of your obsession.

Joke's on you.
Joke's on you.
Credit: MisterE

Ghost, I haven't kept up on the WCC stuff for a few years...what's going on? I should have gotten a hit from Matt Perkins?

As Skip pointed out, I am married to a "Hispanic". Try being less reactive - it helps your active life.

Edit: Haha! Thanks BJ. Nicely timed - cheers. :)
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Aug 22, 2013 - 12:57am PT
The Maid is of Hispanic heritage?!

I though she was full blood muppet.
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Aug 22, 2013 - 09:34am PT
she says she was ridiculed by her cousins for throwing trash in a trashcan and for cleaning up after a picnic on the East Fork of the San Gabriel River several years ago.

Took the family to Point Dune a few months back. At the base of the cliff there was a large family with a full stock of beach picnic stuff: a cheap BBQ just out of the box, various dollar store beach toys, paper plates ... lots of stuff.

Later in the afternoon we noticed they weren't around anymore. All their stuff was just laying there, the BBQ was still there, the box was flapping in the wind. You could have filled an entire curbside garbage can with all this stuff, and they just left it right on the edge of the water on one of the most beautiful beaches.

Sure I've seen people litter, been to third world countries, but this was still a WTF moment for me.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Aug 22, 2013 - 09:38am PT
"Full blood Muppet"

Ok, that right there was funny, I don't care who you are!
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Aug 22, 2013 - 11:17am PT
Oh.. there are Hispanic Muppets. Picture of my cousin Butcho...

Credit: justthemaid

@Dave.. I've seen that a few times at Malibu Creek. Entire picnic laid out.. plates, plastic utensils, soda bottles, wrappers partially eaten food even the paper picnic blanket left behind after the family is long gone. Always a head-scratcher WTF.


bergbryce

Mountain climber
California
Aug 22, 2013 - 11:30am PT
same happens on Tahoe beaches. visitors come and leave plastic cups and all kinds of crap floating in the water. serious wtf moment if people can't realize how wrong that is.

i personally think the situation was handled about as well as possible. lack of environmental stewardship transcends ethnicities.

a buddy of mine was backpacking in one of the few wilderness areas east of the MS with his little brother and sister out on a peninsula on a reservoir one night. right about the time they went to sleep a boat pulled up about 100' away, soon, loud country music blared from boombox and shortly thereafter, a chainsaw was started and trees were felled for their gasoline fueled fire. he was trying to introduce his siblings to backpacking, didn't turn out so well.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Aug 22, 2013 - 11:35am PT
I blame the Spaniards and the catholic church ;-).

DMT
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Aug 22, 2013 - 11:58am PT
I'm glad the cool heads won the day, and things didn't escalate past conversation.

Me, whenever I'm in a situation where I'm going to drop a dime, or beat someone's ass, one thing I don't ever do is telegraph my intentions. Cop calls and ass whooping is at its effective best when it's a surprise for those on the receiving end.

Even though I come from a line of educators, my educating skills are sorely lacking, and I would only be making things worse by trying to set people straight myself. Gots to know my limitations.

Crazy Bat

Sport climber
Birmingham, AL & Seweanee, TN
Aug 22, 2013 - 12:56pm PT
With the Rim fire going this thread takes on a whole new meaning.

In 1976 I was with a group from my high school at a lakeside park here in Alabama. One of the kids said "this used to be such a nice place" as he tossed his beer can into the woods. I asked him to describe what was different. He got it and got up and started picking up trash.

In another conversation my father pointed out that when he was a kid all the trash you tossed went away. Glass broke, cans rusted and there wasn't all this disposable plastic stuff that doesn't degrade.

Glad things worked out.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Aug 22, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
I blame the Spaniards and the catholic church ;-).

Yep. This is all the result of the state doing something that should have remained privatized!

;>)

John
plasticmullet

climber
Aug 22, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
My trash camper experience.

We had my son’s fifth B-Day party at a small campsite in McCain Valley in the mountains of San Diego. We had about five families with us, including grandma whose last time camping was years and years ago. In our group are about 10-kids, most 5 to 6 some 8 or 9, including the parents.

We showed up Thursday and had the entire place for ourselves. We took a large space so our party could all fit. The next day another group of about 6 men and a young teenage boy show up and make camp directly next to us. The immediately crank-up their Sirius Radio with the comedy channel on, Raw Dog, the channel with adult language, and have it at full blast. F-bombs echo all over the campground. Many cases of beer are removed from their truck and their drinking begins. Guns come out. Within an hour there was a huge raging fire (there was a fire restriction in place), they were drunk, they were walking around with their guns, etc. Grand ma was freaked. I talked to one of the guys but I could tell it was in vain.
We all moved our camp to get away, but not far enough.

As night fell their drinking increased as was evidenced by the now larger fire, the cranked to 11 music, gunshots, and yelling. As our group was settling in to sleep around 10, it was apparent that a severe fight was occurring in their camp. I was hoping they would beat themselves senseless but got really concerned when I heard one of the men tell the teenager something like, I just beat the sh#t out of your dad, I am going to throw you in this f-en fire and kill you next. The guy was dead serious and it was not a fun thing to have to listen to. Crying and yelling ensue until I hear the kid tell the guy to get away from him or he would shoot him. My wife is now crying so I get up and go over to see what I can do to get the kid safe. I was freaking scared out of my mind. There were two guys on the ground passed out and beat senseless, one guy by the fire all bloody, one majorly drunk big dude amped up because he just destroyed his camp mates, the other guys just doing nothing, and then the kid with the gun. I beat around the bush and tried to entertain the big drunk dude. I walked up with a beer in hand hoping they would not be all pissed if I too was drinking. After some time, the drunk dude sits down and starts to forget what had just happened. I talk to the least drunk of the men and ask for them to just keep it quiet, I tell the kid to either come with me or go and hide. It all seemed to work out but my wife is still really afraid for the kid.

In the morning we find the kid hiding in a rock outcrop. We tell the kid to hide all day and we bring him food and water. This kid is scared senseless.

As I go into town to call police, I run luckily into the only BLM ranger who has to patrol all of the land out there and in the Valley. I stop him and give him the low down. He calls sheriffs and they begin to stake out their camp looking for whatever violations they can. Pretty funny seeing these guys stalk through the bush with their rifles. In meantime we go and get the kid and deliver him to the sheriff, who then takes kid back to his home. Never seen a kid so happy.

The BLM dude finally sees enough and approaches their camp with rifles aimed. I was surprised that they were not taken away but in the end they had to spill out all their beer, put out the smoldering fire, promise to be good etc. All guns were confiscated as far as I could tell. The BLM guy was pretty rookie but whatever, the kid was safe. I was concerned that they would retaliate but nothing came of it.
My wife refuses to return to that camp.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Aug 22, 2013 - 01:22pm PT
Plastic Mullet,

That is one of the reasons I own a old Land Rover, my wife refuses to camp anywhere the general public can get to easily. We typically camp several miles out in the middle of the middle of nowhere on old BLM or NFS 4x4 roads. The further off the beaten path the better.
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Aug 22, 2013 - 01:32pm PT
You wouldn't believe how many times I had to deal with LOUD campers during my time as a Fed.

I wasn't LEO. . . so my power was. . . well. . . non-existent! (although I did have a radio to call for back-up)

BUT. . . what usually worked was just quietly walking up to the noisy, unruly site and making eye contact with one person. . .then, with a BIG ASS SMILE ON MY FACE, using an index finger, I'd do that "hey. . . come here" sign. . . and usually that person would walk out into the street to see WTH the LadyRanger wanted.

As soon as they approached me, I'd slowly start walking away from the site. . . with a little nod for them to come with. . . (at this point - they're buyin' into me). . . when we'd get a little ways away from the site, I'd point at their site, c*#k my head like a little puppy and ask. . . "Hear that?"

Then I'd motion at all the other sites, full of campers quietly going about their camper stuff. . . and I'd say something to the effect of . . . "You guys are harshin' these people's mellow!"

That's usually all it took.

Sometimes. . . no. . . most of the time, we, anthropologically speaking, are so self-centered, we don't know how obnoxious we're being. . . and all it takes is a gentle awakening.

Sometimes it takes more.

:-)

justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Sep 4, 2013 - 08:34pm PT
Some pics I snapped last weekend ...

Aside from the fire danger potential, it looks like most of the destruction was random machete-chopping and carving. The trees should survive.. with a few battle scars. The huge pile of debris that was piled on the trail has been cleared to the sides. Some burned rocks were kicked down in the stream bed too.

Severed limb
Severed limb
Credit: justthemaid

Hacked tree.
Hacked tree.
Credit: justthemaid

Fire pit under low-lying trees.
Fire pit under low-lying trees.
Credit: justthemaid


Another hacked tree.
Another hacked tree.
Credit: justthemaid

A few small trees got decapitated.
A few small trees got decapitated.
Credit: justthemaid

Worst/stupidest thing is this:

Graffitied tree.
Graffitied tree.
Credit: justthemaid

Brainiacks^^^

Need I say "meh"?



Heyzeus

climber
Hollywood,Ca
Sep 4, 2013 - 08:51pm PT
I agree it's senseless, but to be fair, I've seen a lot of climbing areas where climbers have done worse.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Sep 4, 2013 - 09:13pm PT
Yup- Climbers can do worse for sure. A lot of trees and bushes were cleared at the base of the climbing cliffs. Just seemed pretty weird and random.

Speaking of destructive climbers...A buddy of mine was at Stoney Point last week and witnessed some boulderers tagging rocks with spraypaint in between projects. Don't really expect that crap from climbers. If I'd been there, their mug-shots would be plastered all over Pyro's thread so the trad-daddies could give them a beat down if they showed their faces again.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Sep 5, 2013 - 04:14pm PT
A buddy of mine was at Stoney Point last week and witnessed some boulderers tagging rocks with spraypaint in between projects



Who????

Let me know, please.... PM works.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 5, 2013 - 04:40pm PT
I saw this campfire high in the San Gabriels last week. Gee, what could possibly go wrong here? And there were any number of similar ones within a 100 yard radius.

Now that thruhiking the PCT has become so popular, there has been a big increase in the number of illegal fire pits in SoCal. More than a couple of forest fires have been started by thrus. Their alcohol stoves can be quite dangerous as they have no shutoff valves.

If you hike the PCT, you'll see these illegal fire pits in spots only PCTers would camp. The same up in the Sierra, as well.

They're also leaving big messes at the water caches, it can be quite disgusting.
kev

climber
A pile of dirt.
Sep 5, 2013 - 07:36pm PT
Brainiacks^^^

Need I say "meh"?

Sadly they may have been saying "meth"
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Nov 17, 2013 - 09:22pm PT


It happened AGAIN last week!!

This time it was f*#king climbers. Another fire, another encampment. More bushes cut and trampled to clear more space. Climbers should know better. I seriously don't get the fire-thing. They put it out when someone said something. People are so clueless. It's suicide if an ember blows into the brush down there.

Gotta rant here... there's been more destructive behavior down there this one year than I've seen in the past 10 years. Camping, fires, graffiti, and a whole pile of new random unnecessary trail-cutting causing new erosion issues. I hate to be the harpy but I'm just feeling really pissed off about all this today.


Tarheel

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
Nov 18, 2013 - 07:13pm PT
When I visited Table Rock NC in September I was shocked by the many campfire scars which littered nearly every lookout point on top of the mountain. Now my worst fears have come true:

http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/Despite-rain-upcoming-dry-warm-conditions-propose-threat-232385471.html

We have no effective systemic practices to teach people fire safety and other outdoors best practices, or even basic respect for others, for that matter.
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