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Mountain climber
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:04pm PT
Well, that's a far cry from Abe Lincoln's humble admission.

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
Wow. So Lame to do this ....

I do hope all sponsorship is revoked.

Never let these Fu#ks go to Suicide, or we might be missing a tree.


The Desert Oven
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:14pm PT
I don't think all had to be lost yet for the kid.
People are mostly fair.

If I was him I world offer 500 hours worth of time working on habitat reconstruction.
Works out to about 15 hours a day 7 days a week for 5 weeks.
Essentially a drop in the bucket of what many professionals give all over the world.

He could even blog about the work he is doing and be a really incredible example of honor to his sponsers.

That would be awesome. It would show that he takes responsibility for his actions and is willing to step-up to make it right. However, I doubt that will happen. He doesn't come across as that kind of a person in his writing. It doesn't seem like he is sorry, just sorry he got caught. I could be 100% wrong, but my guess is that as soon as this thread and the discussion on social media stops, Joe will go back to business as usual.

The Granite State.
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:16pm PT
wonder if he ever goes to the GUNKS?

He's from NH, so I'm sure he has climbed on the sweet granite that the Gunks has to offer.

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:18pm PT
I think he was at least trying. It's a true apology, and maybe a good start toward avoiding such "total-lack-of-thinking" choices in the future.

But was this really necessary:

I understand that I am a high-profile sponsored climber...

Are you really high-profile? If so, then here's one more thing to think about (and maybe learn from). Warren Harding was high-profile too. And when faced with a similar choice on the Leaning Tower, he left the "evil tree" intact.

Many or most of the posters here have since climbed past that tree, fearing as they did a splinter enema. This danger has since become a great tradition, a source of stories.

I've never met you Joe, and probably never will. I think that I am a lot older than you, so let me patronize you with a word of advice: What you've climbed in the past or will climb in the future doesn't matter. It's all quite forgettable. On the other hand, how you treat other people and things will ultimately matter much, much more.

I've met lots of "high profile" climbers over the years. And for the reasons described above, I've never forgotten Ron Kauk, who I met 20 years ago and have seen a few times since. He's a great climber. But I only remember some of his climbs and achievements.

What I really recall about Ron is how he treated me, an inexperienced little piss-ant, and how I've seen him treat other people and things. He's humble, kind and concerned, and I've never forgotten my encounters with him.

Are you that way Joe?

The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:27pm PT
He's from NH, so I'm sure he has climbed on the sweet granite that the Gunks has to offer.

Let's just start calling all rock granite. Easier that way.


The Granite State.
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
Good point.

The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:32pm PT
All trees are now officially junipers, too.

Jim Henson's Basement
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:36pm PT
Well, I guess you have to give him credit for finally responding and apologizing, although I agree with Canyoncat that he's still kinda not getting it. It's good that he put in a word about Ethan's role. Joe strikes me as immature and evidently just ignorant. Is he quite young? Doesn't know what a juniper is??? Little tree sure doesn't look dead in the pre-photo BTW so I call BS on that.

As the developer of this route, I wanted to leave behind a resource for everybody,

EVERYBODY would include EVERYBODY... hikers, bikers, the great-grandchildren of those hikers, etc... not just "me-now" sport climbers.

My main goal when it comes to putting up a new route is: Will this climb be something high-quality, something safe and something that climbers will enjoy? I try to make decisions that answer those questions as best as possible.

... and when the answer to that question was "no"... this route should have never been put up.

I DO think the sponsors should be notified. No one has bad-mouthed them.. just listed the ones that employ Joe. Sponsored climbers obviously feel pressure to perform. It's the expectation of new route development and fancy photos that nurtures the mentality behind these types of fiascoes. It seems to be happening more and more lately and the gear companies have a responsibility IMO.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:37pm PT
Public caning orta do it.


Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:39pm PT
Hey Dingus, remind me, what did you do with the "Forefathers" junipers near the base of the Forefathers Wall?

Social climber
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
We all have skeletons in our closet and done something stupid in the hills. He who is without sin can beat their chest online.

I wish I lived so tightly wrapped around dogma and principles that the world was black and white. Seems like an easy way to go about business.

Oct 20, 2013 - 04:48pm PT
Anyone know what the applicable laws regulating unauthorized tree cutting are in this area?

Fines? Possible jail time? Plea bargain for public service?

Seems like a slam dunk case given the public admission of guilt.

Social climber
So Cal
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:55pm PT
In a perfect world these two and the two goblin topplers would appear before the same magistrate at the same time and be assigned as cell mates for a month or so, then tasked together for 500 hours or so of trash picking.

It will be interesting to watch the sponsors reactions.

Collectively we WILL be paying attention.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Oct 20, 2013 - 04:58pm PT
I gave them a big hug every time I passes them, paid my reapects. :)

Seriously I did ! I'm a real tree hugger in the flesh.


Trad climber
The Range of Light
Oct 20, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
I always find it weird that a fine is used as retribution for things like this. If only consequences were crafted as if they had been directly influenced by the wrongdoing that had been committed. Instead, let's hit him/them with an arbitrary fine and call things good and dandy.

Oct 20, 2013 - 05:09pm PT

Sec. 261.6 Timber and other forest products.

The following are prohibited:
(a) Cutting or otherwise damaging any timber, tree, or other forest
product, except as authorized by a special-use authorization, timber
sale contract, or Federal law or regulation.

Sec. 261.1b Penalty.

Any violation of the prohibitions of this part (261) shall be
punished by a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more
than six months or both pursuant to title 16 U.S.C., section 551,
unless otherwise provided

$175 to $500 seems way to low to me.

Home owners can apparently be fined several tens of thousands of dollars and/or serve jail time for tree cutting to improve their view:

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Oct 20, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
I'm just glad there has been a first person account of this incident.

Now people can decide how they want to respond, based on facts presented by Joe Kinder himself.

There have been a lot of well thought-out comments from posters to this thread. This comment echoed my own views on the subject:

Time for sponsors to stop pouring resources into more "radness" and start investing in education about the natural world we share. Honestly, who gives a fuk about another 5.14a?

Or another 15a for that matter? Personally I don't pay any attention to what climbers a particular company sponsors. It's only the quality of the product that matters to me. But I certainly pay attention when climbers behave badly and threaten the natural environment that we love and as a consequence and secondarily, also threaten our access to the rock.

Social climber
Truckee, CA
Oct 20, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
wonder if he ever goes to the GUNKS? They could use a severe trimming there lol!

I was just thinking we need to send them in to cut a swath in the Poison Oak before next month's gangbang at Patterson Bluff

Trad climber
Bay Area
Oct 20, 2013 - 08:50pm PT
And from the perfectly selfish point of view.
This transgression is one more blight upon climbers' public image.
In fairness, I'm pretty certain the government land managers won't tar us all with the same brush.

It appears that we as a climbing community have some environmental outreach to do. We've hassled about bolts, trail cutting, use trails, marking works in progress, even dogs at the crag. And a dozen other things we do to the "wilderness" in our pursuits.
I never thought we'd have to be concerned with ancient Junipers. Had always thought their value was obvious and THEY would be sacrosanct.
mea culpa
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