Tree Incident and Environmental Responsibility

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NinjaChimp

climber
someplace in-between
Oct 21, 2013 - 11:54pm PT
This thread is headed in a positive direction. Thank you all for contributing.

Stewardship is best taught face to face, mentor to pupil. Unfortunately, more and more climbers' sole background in climbing is the time (often brief) they spend in the gym. Gym climbers don't usually have experienced mentors anymore. What makes matters worse is that it is not hard for these climbers to frequent outdoor crags without ever coming into contact with seasoned wilderness veterans. They drive to the crag with their fellow gym climbers, they climb with their fellow gym climbers, and they are usually avoided by the seasoned vets because, well, they're gym climbers.

Personally, I usually try and steer clear from the crowd but in light of this event and the overall trend in climbing's changing demographics I'm going to do my best to offer a word on environmental stewardship to those that are clearly ignorant of this responsibility. I'm sure there will be times when the advice won't be welcomed but I'm not willing to sit idly pointing my finger at others or playing Monday morning quarterback with our natural resources.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Oct 22, 2013 - 01:14am PT
This thread is a worthy discussion. Thanks for starting it. The recent events in the last couple weeks have really stuck in my craw.

I'm not even clicking on the Joe thread.. beating up on him any further serves no purpose. It's good for us to open up a positive discussion about how to address stewardship issues in the future.

Climbing education is not what it was. Most climbers these days get their first experience in the gym. Face to face mentor-ship is increasingly rare. People want to show up at a crag, climb hard grades. There's often a sense of entitlement. Many climbers often have received zero education about environmental stewardship, ethics, and have not been informed of actions that can cause access issues, so they operate from a place of ignorance.

How do we eliminate this ignorance?

There have been some good suggestions mentioned.

I think gyms should actually get more involved. They could sponsor Adopt-A-Crag events, offer incentives to show up. Have a teaching-day for the kids. Some gyms do teach outdoor climbing and stewardship and ethics should be at the forefront of those classes before anyone touches real rock.

I also lay responsibility on the gear manufacturers.

Like Jim said:

It's the responsibility of sponsors to inform their "athletes"" about the environmental and stewardship aspect of the companies "brand." It makes no good business sense to do otherwise.


The gear companies are really in the best position to institute change and I feel strongly they should take the lead. I like the idea of sponsored climbers being "ambassadors", but the label is worthless without education.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Oct 22, 2013 - 06:18am PT
WB your tree polocy is correct for out west. It is a bit different here in the east. If you guys really want to get your pantys in a bunch look up those photos of route developement in the Pacific North west. Them folks take gardening to whole new levels that even I am not comfortable with..
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Oct 22, 2013 - 08:51am PT
I am skeptical that 'ethical' lines are crossed from kids coming from gyms.

Rednecks spend a lot of time outside and do a lot of damage.
Sketch

Trad climber
Langley, VA
Oct 22, 2013 - 09:05am PT
I am skeptical that 'ethical' lines are crossed from kids coming from gyms.

Rednecks spend a lot of time outside and do a lot of damage.

Even if rednecks are worse, this doesn't excuse bad behavior by climbers. We all need to be responsible for the outdoors. This includes talking to strangers about their inappropriate behavior.

Tfish

Trad climber
La Crescenta, CA
Oct 22, 2013 - 10:10am PT
I just got an email from sender one and it said offering an "off the wall" class. I got stoked and it was like they read out minds to make a course for this stuff. But then when I opened it I saw that it was $80 to teach you how do use a hang board and other crap.
locker

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Oct 22, 2013 - 10:12am PT


" But then when I opened it I saw that it was $80 to teach you how do use a hang board"...

AS we all know...

knowing how to use a Hangboard is a MUST in the climbing world...

$80.00 is a BARGAIN!!!...

justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Oct 22, 2013 - 10:21am PT
We probably can't do much to educate rednecks, but we can start with our own climbing community.

Ethics become an issue when that little kid from the gym grows up to be an adult who climbs/hikes/bikes outdoors and perhaps becomes a sponsored athlete or route developer one day. Ethics-debates between traditionally trained climbers and new/gym trained climbers are as regular as the tide so those lines are crossed all the time. Why not try to bridge the gap?
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Oct 22, 2013 - 11:03am PT
Fine idea, just as long as the tar-and-feather crowd on this hallowed site isn't involved.

The hyberbole and anger directed at JK is NOT a way to teach a lesson. Like Fire and Brimstone preaching, kids tune it out.

And what is meant by 'traditionally trained' climbers? Kids coming out of the gym overwhelming want to boulder.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Oct 22, 2013 - 11:09am PT
Spare the rod
Spoil the climber

DMT
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Oct 22, 2013 - 11:30am PT
He killed a bee hive too. This guy is little too stoked! A Good unstoking activity is picking up trash on the side of a highway with an orange suit on.
Deekaid

climber
Oct 22, 2013 - 11:31am PT
p.c P.C.
Cragar

Trad climber
MSLA - MT
Oct 22, 2013 - 11:56am PT
Great thread, or at least the intention.

Sketch(very familiar sounding name!) writes:
"Even if rednecks are worse, this doesn't excuse bad behavior by climbers. We all need to be responsible for the outdoors."

Yes, all of us. Pat, there is no reason to create a divide. Why even go there?? Leave that to partisan hacks will ya! :^) Plus, rednecks are just folks that work outside.
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Oct 22, 2013 - 12:29pm PT
The point I am making is that because someone is from a city and spends time climbing in a gym, doesn't automatically mean they are going to trash the outdoors when they get there.

Look at the upper-middle class, suburban trustifarian makeup of the average NOLS or Outward bound for evidence of responsible leave-no-trace ethics.

Conversely, go to an Indian Rez or Redneck bum-fukistan if you want to see roadside oil change spills, cases or beer cans, huge firepits with burned plastic and aluminum foil, 'muddin' all over god and creation with huge trucks, 4 wheeler 'fun', more beer cans, shell casings...

... and I have been to many redneck party sites with young trees cut 3' high from drunken ax games.
Tfish

Trad climber
La Crescenta, CA
Oct 22, 2013 - 12:52pm PT
It's not just leave no trace and all that stuff. Another huge problem is people not knowing basic stuff about climbing. I've never seen any gym teach people how to rap, clean anchors, or anything like that.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Oct 22, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
The point I am making is that because someone is from a city and spends time climbing in a gym, doesn't automatically mean they are going to trash the outdoors when they get there.

Very true my city-raised gym-bred climbing partner is an excellent steward of the wild places, for example. She doesn't chip holds, hack trees or issue professional apologies.

DMT
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Oct 22, 2013 - 01:27pm PT
The hyberbole and anger directed at JK is NOT a way to teach a lesson. Like Fire and Brimstone preaching, kids tune it out.

I can't agree more. There's ways to get people involved without making it a preachy sermon. You can't force people to participate, but you can encourage them to. Doing nothing certainly isn't in the interest of progress.

And what is meant by 'traditionally trained' climbers?


Without getting into a full paragraph description... I was just painting a very broad descriptive stroke over all climbers that were introduced to climbing outdoors, not the gym. Sorry if it was confusing.

Kids coming out of the gym overwhelming want to boulder.

So?? Boulderers, climbers, what's the difference? If you are climbing outdoors you are creating an impact. Edit for brevity.

I agree with the point that not all gym-climbers are wrecking the environment..there is just a greater likelyhood that they are going to make mistakes because they have been denied basic information.

jstan

climber
Oct 22, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
Some gyms do teach outdoor climbing and stewardship
/JTM

In JT at restoration projects run by the NPS, you see trips organized by the gyms themselves to encourage participation by their patrons. Such things go a long way to relieve the generation gap.

The old generation? Featured a solitary figure talking to a rock. Me human. You rock.

The new generation? Features ten kids hassling each other with rocks somewhere in the vicinity.

This is a heck of a gap and we need to get on with bridging it. Restoration projects are a promising start.



As to the tree

Now that the two income family has become the norm, children are raised mainly by other children. This has to be continued in cases where old children act up. This is unpleasant and it is a new social interaction. But it seems to be necessary. The crux is perhaps that of learning to carry out a correction divorced from emotion. State your objection calmly and positively, then move along. Never expect conversion.


patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Oct 22, 2013 - 01:38pm PT
So?? Boulderers, climbers, what's the difference?

I took 'traditionally trained' to mean teaching the ethics of trad climbing to boudlerers.

yes, bouldering can have a big impact. Esp since it is done at eye level.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Oct 22, 2013 - 01:41pm PT
It is shocking when people post trip reports complete with pictures that show their complete disregard for the land manager's regulations and the environment. When folks are called out for it, they use advanced deflection techniques. We have a recent discussion about folks building a fire in the mouth of the Monkey - a day use area where camping and fires are forbidden. In the local community, some people excuse this behavior since they are strong climbers.

In this celebrity crazed world, your local hero and your national hero are closely watched and receive special privileges. Those that sign up to sponsor these talented people should provide very clear guidance about their expectations for behavior and be willing to cut the cord when their informed athletes violate those principals no matter how it enhances the photo shoot, video, etc. The media needs to understand what is can or can not do to capture these moments. Whoever is paying for that visual should also be held accountable for their actions.
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