Mt Watkins: a question of ethics

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crackfiend

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 27, 2006 - 11:21pm PT
About three weeks ago me and two friends went and climbed the south face of Mt. Watkins.. It was spectacular climbing with a definate remote and oldschool feel.. cmacs somewhat misleading topo added to the adventure of the climb..our experience was detracted from due to the condition we found the route.. at the base there was a few old rotten drybags filled with even more rotten and mildewed gear and a bunch of manky empty dromadary bags hanging in the tree... we could see a bunch of fixed lines up the whole route..once at sheraton watkins ledge we could see that the next pitch (a SWEET 5.10 finger crack) filled with a buch of cams and clipped as directionals.. this was definately one of the best free pitches on the route and we were unable to place any of our own gear because the cracked was filled with cams, many of which were rusted and pretty haggered....the pitch does traverse but not so many directionals were needed to safely jug these fixed lines...the condition of the route got worse after this...at belay 12 we found a bag filled with rotten power bars and gu with expiration dates from 04 and 05..obvoiouslly pretty old and abandoned... two pitches later my partner just finished the 5.9 variation around the 10.d pitch (which has NO bolts contrary to the 3 listed on the topo) my partner was run out about 70 feet and a little sketched and was about to clip the anchors but there was another tote bagclipped to the achor which he had to move (it ironically said "do not touch") as he went to move it a a huge nest of silverfish came out of the thing and swarmed him and were all over his face and in his mouth..he pushed the thing away and a bottle of rotten juice inside the bag exploded all over him and he was covered in a rancid slime...he almost vomited and nearly pitched off the thing... we tried to work around the lines and were sympathetic to whoever had them there since we assumed someone was trying to free the route but at this point were were pretty effin pissed about the situation.... as it stands right now there is about 2000 feet of manky to somewhat decent fixed lines on the route which obviouslly had been there a long time... afterwards we tried to find out who the lines and gear belonged to and were wondering what should be done about this.... we feel that the condition the route was left in is a travesty and the gear was rumored to belong to a certain high profile yosemite climber who ironically is sponsored by patagonia... the words of chouinard "respect the creation, travel light, and face yourself" became somewhat of a mantra to us during this climb and we felt the legacy that chouinard helped create on this climb was being shat upon.. I am posting this to get some input from the climbing community as to what should be done about this situation... if the gear is abandoned i dont feel that the nps should be responsible for the removal or any other climbers or organization for that matter... I feel that whoever left this mess should be held accountable for the cleanup and removal of at very least the gear on route..so climbers what do you think... sorry for the wordiness but I feel some light should be shed upon this matter... peace to all and happy climbing

sincerely,
Kerlib Kubbler
Mr_T

Trad climber
Somewhere, CA
Jul 27, 2006 - 11:36pm PT
If the owner can be identified, then do it. Post their name here, report them to NPS - have them cited, fined, and let their sponsor know. They're a disgrace to the climbing community. [EDIT - strike the NPS part. Their sponsor should be held liable here. THE SPONSOR should be reported to NPS. Patagonia's got deeper pockets than some rat in camp 4. Make Patagonoia send someone up there and clean that crap up. No sponsor = no piles of gear to leave.]

Since South Face went free at 5.12, there's zero justification for any 'extreme' measures. It's an effing 12!? People have been sending 12's in Tenaya Cyn since the 80's - Half Dome, Qtr. Dome, etc.

(Or am I getting trolled here? Waiting to hear that this is for real... if it is, it's pretty serious.)
crackfiend

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 27, 2006 - 11:56pm PT
definately not a troll...was wondering if anyone else had do deal with this mess as well
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Jul 28, 2006 - 12:09am PT
That silverfish story has to be a Top Ten.

What a total drag. I've a feelin' who you're fingerin' here...Prominent or not, people should clean up their garbage.

Fixed lines suck.

There should be a Via Ferrata up to Heart and a zip line down from ELedges.

Fixed lines suck.
DixieGal

Trad climber
NC
Jul 28, 2006 - 12:13am PT
Let us know the name of the climber whose crap is up there.
crackfiend

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 28, 2006 - 12:17am PT
I do not want to acuse or point fingers at anyone untill it is verified who is responsible for the mess...dont think it is right to start rumors untill the truth is know....anybody have any info who wants to chime in....

I will say that there was a lot of patagucci gear, prototype c4's, and other blackdiamond gear... definately reeks of the sponsored type...
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Jul 28, 2006 - 12:34am PT
Apparently, the Latest Craze (freeing long Valley routes) is getting out of hand. Sport bolts four feet from an aid crack on Dihedral? And now this?

Maybe we can petition whoever controls Hoover Dam to let these jokers glue bondo holds up that thing, so they'll leave the rock alone.
yo

climber
I'm so over it
Jul 28, 2006 - 12:41am PT
Dibs on that Gu. That crap ain't cheap.
Ben Wah

Social climber
Jul 28, 2006 - 12:42am PT
If the garbage offends you, clean it up. But do it without raising a stink, and if you would do climbing a favor, do NOT involve the NPS in any way. They are not anybody's friend. Abandoned fixed lines are one of my biggest peeves; they should be removed as soon as they are noticed, but to raise a big hullaballoo about them creates more bad press for climbers than the lines themselves. Just get rid of all offending fixed gear with the minimum amount of fuss.
Ben Wah
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jul 28, 2006 - 12:42am PT
Given your report, I suspect the situation will clean itself up quickly - it sounds like one or two guys with some jumars could clean it all up and pocket the cams as their reward.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jul 28, 2006 - 12:57am PT
What a bummer.

I agree that not making a big fuss over it is a good idea, at least in terms of involving NPS and authorities.

This usually just draws a fire toward us climbers as a community and the powers that be do not distinguish their opinions and ideologies of climbers between good climbers and bad climbers.

Photos and a letter to potential sponsors is a great idea.
Best of luck with this,
Thanks for Posting.

Cheers,
Roy McClenahan
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Jul 28, 2006 - 01:05am PT
so, you are saying that you left it more or less as you found it, w/ the cams etc. still in place?
Mr_T

Trad climber
Somewhere, CA
Jul 28, 2006 - 01:10am PT
Agreed - NO NPS (yet). Light a fire under the sponsor with the ~threat~ of NPS action. Sponsors have to learn from this - we won't let them turn kids loose with tons of free gear to leave (as trash) all over the place.

If the person had a prototype C4, well... how many people can that be? BD will probably know who did this.

The only cam that I've found that got wintered over in the snow was rusted solid. Most of that 'booty' is going to be 'garbage'. And hauling your butt up to Watkins aint no fun to begin with. [Edit: Pulling a big pile of fixed lines and crap off Watkins isn't like cutting a fixed line loose from the Stove Legs. Sounds like there's a significant quantity, and it's going to suck pulling that mess down with all of your other gear... especially in 100 degree heat.]

As for "keep this quiet" - that's BS - the person behind this has had months go back and clean up their little mess. It's mid-July.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Jul 28, 2006 - 01:35am PT
"...and pocket the cams as their reward."

I can just picture Clint's eyes lighting up...

OOOOOOOoooooooooooooooo


:)
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 28, 2006 - 01:45am PT
This is one of those things Supertopo can be good for. Working out issues without having to hassle the NPS and getting our act together on our own.

Sounds like this kind of Big Wall rehearsal expedition is becoming a problem that needs some ethical discussion and concensus so the few don't spoil things for the many.

Here's another if the same thing giving us a black eye.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=215295

Of course, there's still time for the folks who put the stuff up there to make right with everyone. We all need a wake-up call once in awhile

Peace

Karl
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Jul 28, 2006 - 01:49am PT
Didn't Max and Mark almost totally free the S. Face of Mt. Watkins twenty or so years ago? Couldn't be more than a couple of short sections that need to be freed anyway . . .
crackfiend

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 28, 2006 - 12:09pm PT
HMMMMMMMM "If the garbage offends you, clean it up." "Just get rid of all offending fixed gear with the minimum amount of fuss" so what you are saying is that if this offends me I should personally haul all this crap off the route... ummmmmmm no.. unless bd or patagucci wants to sponsor ME and reimburse me for the cleanup... this is not going to be some simple cleanup.. there is 2000+ feet of lines up there plus a bunch of other gear... and yes EVERYTHING (besides one msr fuel canisterwhich we bootied) was left there because we didnt feel right about taking a few items without a full fledged effort to get the stuff out.. I want to hold someone accountable for their actions.. there is about a full double set of cams up there or maybe more (most pretty rusted and effed up) plus a bibler bivy, sleeping bag, belay parka, rain gear, about 15 msr drom bags, cooking gear, three or four pairs of climbing shoes, a stick clip, poop tube, two dry bags, and sleeping pads... oh yeah and it seemed like it may have been a male/female duo at there was a few pairs of large sized anasazi velcros and a pair of small sized ones (with smiley faces drawn on them) left behind... so if anyone wants to jump on it go ahead.. I live in oregon and dont have the extra time to go out and clean up others crap..I predict two or three haul bags full of gear would be removed with a pretty significant hike out with it..not necessarily a walk in the park... I appreciate the input and hope this dialouge continues
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Jul 28, 2006 - 12:22pm PT
Out the rats! I get the feeling that because they are sponsored and well known that there is a hesitancy to name names. A little peer pressure on the climbers themselves and unwanted press for the sponsors can go a long way to stop this kind of crap from happening in the future. I am sure St. Shoonard would not approve of his stuff littering the walls.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Jul 28, 2006 - 12:23pm PT
Have great respect for Watkins in the summer. Bridwell, Schmitz, Kauk and I almost perished on a new route there (August). The place gets like an oven. There is no excuse for having lines fixed top to bottom on a forty year old wilderness wall, but striping all that stuff off in the summer will be rugged duty. I suggest two parties going up. One climbs the thing in one day and just cuts all that shite loose, and the other party retrieves the stuff and packs it out. Two fit groups could pull that off in a day given a super early start and knowledge of the approach (essential).

JL
Ben Rumsen

Social climber
No Name City ( and it sure ain't pretty )
Jul 28, 2006 - 12:26pm PT
" If the garbage offends you, clean it up. But do it without raising a stink, and if you would do climbing a favor, do NOT involve the NPS in any way. They are not anybody's friend. Abandoned fixed lines are one of my biggest peeves; they should be removed as soon as they are noticed, but to raise a big hullaballoo about them creates more bad press for climbers than the lines themselves. Just get rid of all offending fixed gear with the minimum amount of fuss.
Ben Wah " -

That is total bullsh#t. These guys should be fined and kicked out of Yosemite for the next 2 years. They are littering the wilderness - plain and simple. Might as well dump a pick up truck worth of trash in T. Meadows while your at it. If it was me I'd just jettison everything to the base and complain to the Park Service.
Mr_T

Trad climber
Somewhere, CA
Jul 28, 2006 - 12:48pm PT
Patagonia:

Phone
1-800-638-6464

Address
Patagonia Mail Order
8550 White Fir St.
P.O. Box 32050
Reno, NV 89523-2050

Web form
http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/contribution/patagonia.go?assetid=2782

Black Diamond:

2084 East 3900 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84124
p: 801.278.5552
f: 801.278.5544
bdmo@bdel.com

Sure, these two may not have sponsored the culprit, but they'll probably put in some work to prove it one way or another. [Edit: These Co's will do a lot more for Watkins, and less for F'ing up climbing up in Yos, than the NPS will. Push on these Co's first. I'm sure that with even a small amount of publicity, BD and Patagucci will get that route clean real fast. NPS doesn't clean routes, they institue bans and issue permits.

Also, anyone here have contact at BD or Patagonia? Perhaps you could rattle a cage or two.]
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Jul 28, 2006 - 12:55pm PT
"That is total bullsh#t. These guys should be fined and kicked out of Yosemite for the next 2 years. They are littering the wilderness - plain and simple."


werd
name some names, biatch
how many climbers have that particular sponsor?

perpetually fixed lines to pre-rehearse free cruxes of a trade route that's a few hundred yards from the road are bad enough, and seem to be more of an elitist insult to fellow climbers that an overt and blatant littering of wilderness, but leaving yer crap on watkins for seasons to change, that really bites. maybe these people really do need some federal regulation?


if it were me, i woould want to know who was responsible to compensate me for my wasted time in planning and executing the effort to get to and climb watkins- not everyone has every week of every season to get out and climb! why should any "community" be sticking up for or in any way protecting any "special" climbers who would knowingly impact another's experience like that? F'em.
BrentA

Gym climber
estes park
Jul 28, 2006 - 01:21pm PT
Hmmmmmm...how many cross-sponsored male/female duos are there on the Patgucci/BD program?

So it sounds like to me that we are talking about Dean and Steph. I'm not scared to mention the golden goats names.

To be quite frank, doesn't this seem like waaaaaaaaaaay too easy an objective for Deano to attempt in this style? Dude just hucked 3rd class laps on Seperate Reality and is being whispered about as a El Cap soloist candidate.

Fuq whoever did it. Sorry crackfiend that that trash harshed your mellow.

I'm all for a good witch hunt. With the direct pipeline to the Valley on this board we should be able to get this sorted out in short order. You KNOW for a fact there are people in the caf EVERY morning on laptops in the corner. I doubt they are checking stock prices.

Just out of curiosity...how would you know a BD prototype from a production one? My cousin engineered them. I saw the protos at our Grandpas funeral and I detected minimal change from production. That was a year and half before they hit the shelves?
Derek

climber
Jul 28, 2006 - 01:31pm PT
Name names, then let the community deal with its own.
nate

Trad climber
virginia
Jul 28, 2006 - 01:49pm PT
is that a flower bomb? I never thought i'd see the day?? and now its gone just like that nature is so amazing!
Mr_T

Trad climber
Somewhere, CA
Jul 28, 2006 - 01:49pm PT
Here are some people sponsored by thise companies:

http://www.bdel.com/scene/athletes/index.php
http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/product/landing.jsp?OPTION=COLLECTIONS_LANDING_PAGE_HANDLER&catcode=SPORTS.SPORTS_WE_LOVE.ROCK_CLIMBING

[Removed names, cuz I can't do a simple search myself.]
There are probably other people who get free BD and Patagonia gear.

That's a lot of fixed lines to ditch if you're footing the bill. Add in the value of those cams, and well... unless you've got an injury/rescue happening, it's probably reasonable to guess that this person had a sponsor covering gear costs.
Trashman

Trad climber
SLC
Jul 28, 2006 - 02:11pm PT
hate to bring facts to the lynch mob, but everyone's favorite scapegoat isn't on the BD page you referenced.
handsome B

Gym climber
Saskatoon, Saskatchawan
Jul 28, 2006 - 02:16pm PT
Damn it Trashman, this isn't the time for "facts" and "logic" it's the time for irrational, violent action!









Now where is my torch?
BrentA

Gym climber
Las Vizzle, on the rizzle
Jul 28, 2006 - 02:21pm PT
Im not advocating any of that. In fact, I trying to say (from what I've read here) that it doesn't sound like Dean.

I also think the Valley can be a petty little sewing circle and it oughta be pretty easy to find out who's stuff this is.

It could quite easily be someone we wouldn't even think. Some guy from Alabama who trained in the gym for a year to free Watkins, left all his jive up there for his hero's return. Went back to bama and forgot all about big wall dreams...

...or a hundred scenarios in between that and Dean.

Or some valley semi-heavy prick who knows better, or a new Chongo...etc,etc,etc...
crackfiend

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 28, 2006 - 02:31pm PT
Well what makes me thing it may be a sponsored climber rather than some joe shmoe is the presence of prototype c4 cams... I would assume that a limited number of individualy would have acess to these...btw I knew they were prototypes because they saied "prototype" on the side of them....I think I will shoot an e-mail over to bd and get some input from them about this....
BrentA

Gym climber
Las Vizzle, on the rizzle
Jul 28, 2006 - 02:35pm PT
Hang em high then? Let us know how this pans out.

Just a side thought. If this does turn out to be someone high profile, how fuqin dumb do you have to be to leave gear stamped "prototype" fixed on a route. I'm sure the product design department would like to know gear that is suppossed to be field tested is instead being fixed.

How dumb, just another sad tale from the climbing world.

Cheers
BrentA

Gym climber
Las Vizzle, on the rizzle
Jul 28, 2006 - 03:03pm PT
We obviously need a duck, to see if she's a witch!

Anyway, this sucks. Sometimes climbers suck. I'd like more info before I expound my philosophical thoughts on the matter.

Hurry up with those emails...lol.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 28, 2006 - 03:20pm PT
If the climbing community cannot act responsibly in its treatment of the vertical wilderness in Yosemite National Park (YNP),

and if the climbing community requests that the National Park Service (NPS) get involved in this matter,

then the NPS will certainly step in and exercise its authority to regulate climbing activities in YNP.

The climbing community is the prime user of this vertical wilderness, it is important that our actions in that wilderness respect all of the other users. This is both true from the standpoint of not trashing the place as well as the implicit requirement that we try to help clean up after each other. Complaining to the NPS will result in action, but once that is done, the climbing community cannot guide the nature of that action.

Adherence to the regulations, and cooperation between the climbing community and the NPS has allowed a lightly regulated climbing scene in YNP. If you don't think so, look at the history BASE jumping and hang gliding. A few in that community who would not follow regulations (which were strict) essentially caused the NPS to forbid that activity.

I think that if I were to come across the same scene at reported in the Mt. Watkins TR above, I'd try to contact the people I knew or suspected of being responsible and ask them to clean up their act.

If they refused, or if they denied that they were responsible, I'd bring the act to the attention of the climbing community, without naming names. Hopefully someone in the community might be able to recognize who is reponsible and convince them to go and clean up.

If that didn't work, I'd try to organize responsible members of the community to go and clean up, like John suggested.

While it may be unfair that the mess makers weren't found out, it is a lot less desirable to have the NPS regulate our house keeping habits. It is a priviledge to be able to climb in the YNP, I'd be willing to work a bit for that. If the mess makers can't curb their habits, they will eventually be found out.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Jul 28, 2006 - 03:47pm PT
The main thing is not who did it or why, but the trash hanging all over a classic adventure wall. You can lynch folks later, if you're so inclined. But that trash has to go. An organized two day effort, a crack wall team and a couple three strong backs at the base and it's done. I'd almost pitch in myself, if Karl will join me.

While folks harp and complain that trash still hangs there . . .

JL
Ben Rumsen

Social climber
No Name City ( and it sure ain't pretty )
Jul 28, 2006 - 03:49pm PT
" While it may be unfair that the mess makers weren't found out, it is a lot less desirable to have the NPS regulate our house keeping habits. It is a priviledge to be able to climb in the YNP, I'd be willing to work a bit for that. If the mess makers can't curb their habits, they will eventually be found out " -

It is a priviledge and these arrogant clowns are going to ruin it for everyone. The NPS will find out. Hey Jesse, chime in when you read this thread. Then go kick these people's rear ends.
BrentA

Gym climber
Las Vizzle, on the rizzle
Jul 28, 2006 - 04:01pm PT
I am due, strike that, overdue for an adventure. I'd be psyched to climb Watkins. I can be in the Valley Monday night if "we" can come together to take proactive action.

I've never seen a topo for Watkins, but have a feeling I can be a solid partner, or a weak ropegun for said project. My sherpa skills are lacking as I have a bad foot, but I can carry my share off...albeit slower than your average dirtbag.

Someone else stand up to help out and Ill dish all my contact info. Cheers,
Brent
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 28, 2006 - 04:01pm PT
While my back ain't as strong as it used to be I'm ready to serve in what ever capacity to help clean up...
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Jul 28, 2006 - 04:29pm PT
"An organized two day effort, a crack wall team and a couple three strong backs at the base and it's done. I'd almost pitch in myself, if Karl will join me"



i will go help gather the abandoned crap and hump it out if, as largo suggested, a quick team goes up and cuts it all loose. weekend would be better for me, but i might be available mid week for a rush mission.
WBraun

climber
Jul 28, 2006 - 04:32pm PT
Why not just tell the guy who left his stuff up there to get it down?

Why should all you folks have to do all his work?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jul 28, 2006 - 04:34pm PT
I agree, Werner, but if they won't then it is better for us to do it then just sit on our asses complaining on SuperTopo Forum....
piquaclimber

Trad climber
Durango
Jul 28, 2006 - 04:39pm PT
I agree that telling the NPS is a bad idea. They do not need to be involved. It will only lead to more regulating. My take would be to remove what you can when you can.

I also doubt that this was Dean based on the difficulty of the climb. That being said, I am not even remotely close to forgiving him for f*#king up the access in Arches for the rest of us.

Maybe this is an opportunity for him to start atoning to the climbing community for letting his ego/wallet screw us all out of FAs and two dozen existing routes in Arches.

my .02
Brad
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Jul 28, 2006 - 04:42pm PT
what's the speed record on watkins anyway?
(hint hint)
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jul 28, 2006 - 04:54pm PT
"I also doubt that this was Dean based on the difficulty of the climb."

If you don't think that most walls that get freed aren't getting fixed and worked on the 5.12 pitches just because the heros that tick them have climbed 'harder' elsewhere, you are very naive. Plenty of potentially worthy contenders get shut down on the walls that are "only 5.12". Besides, sometimes the goal isn't just to free the pitch, it's to do it in a certain time or a certain style. Wiring stuff that a person has already redpointed is still part of that 'process'.

I wish that folks that manage to do these climbs 'as free as can be' and get really damn close got more hooplah so that others might be more inspired to move on with their lives and take their trash with them after a few honest attempts rather than staking out lines as their own personal playground/place of employment for a year a time.

Ben...although I appreciate your sentiment about cleaning things up on the down low, if the party that saw the mess wasn't local and already had all that the could carry when they encountered the mess, they wouldn't really be in a position to clean it up...Better that someone else be alerted to do the job, and better that the rangers read about climbers cleaning up after each other than that they find a mess for themselves when they go to do the route.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Jul 28, 2006 - 05:13pm PT
I'll help. And I'll document the whole damn mess, pointing fingers where ever necessary. How long do they have to clean up their own mess?

Are the fixed ropes good/safe enough to jug or rappel? Do they go to the top? Could this be done top-down? (=less work?)
BrentA

Gym climber
Las Vizzle, on the rizzle
Jul 28, 2006 - 06:39pm PT
Jerry, Ed,

I'm for real. My only caveat would be that I would want to climb the route. From the bottom(lol). I would prefer that hauling all this crap to the top is NOT included in the project (email alpinestylist) but if it looks like chucking the stuff off as we go is a bad option leading to more litter then so be it.(at hotmail.com).

I am in the airport as I write. Would be availible to stage beginning Monday in the Valley, and would prefer to be as quick as possible in terms of days.

Cheers, and get ahold of me.
Brent

PS- it seems to me that they have had long enuff to clean up their mess, if all the facts presented are true. The fact that they have been outed in semi-public should not buy them more time. They know who they are (I don't at this point) and they have to live with how they live their lives on Planet Earth. I know SCORES of "sponsored" athletes in tons of activities. They shouldn't get cut any sort of pass, if anything they should lead from the front. Just my thoughts.
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Jul 28, 2006 - 07:03pm PT
well ok i am outta here for the weekend and my plans are in the meadows, so i'll offer this up-

if anyone wants to plan around going in there mid week or later to climb/clean, i could be there as early as thursday pm, to hike in on friday and retrieve whatever gets airmailed to (or toward) the base.

whomever wants to join? see you then.
whomever wants to climb/clean/airmail w/ brent (or?), best of luck, please keep me posted here or via email as to the schedule you decide on, and if it's possible to give any direction to locate the piles of corporate mess, i'm sure that would be of help.

Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Jul 28, 2006 - 07:21pm PT
Caleb Padgett, or "Sincerely, Kerlib Kubbler?" Which is it, and why did you take three weeks to post this if its for real? Who were your two partners?

Not to doubt your here, but we're talkin' some serioushit here and a lot of work. Let's see some photos of your trip if this isn't a troll. Why the bogus name? Your home phone and address are easily available from google. (G St.) Needing some assurance before I roll up my sleeves.

---


I was about to post this, but changed directions:

Ample time has passed. I have Tuesday and Wednesday free. I'm not concerned with style when it comes to cleaning this up. Having put up and taken down thousands of feet of my own rope in the past, I have no interest in pulling it all up either. Way too much work, too hot, too slow. Dropping it will get messy. The traverses and ledges complicate things. Not a clean drop. Hard to retrieve stuff. Needs to be done though.

These guys really need to do it themselves. I'd rather spend the energy holding their feet to the fire. We need facts and names. Who knows these guys?
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Jul 28, 2006 - 10:44pm PT
Crackfiend? Mr. Padgett? Kerlib? Hello?

I sincerely hope you are not trolling. Please respond, and accept my apologies if I'm off base. Your accusations are significant, potentially having severe repercussions. If indeed true, action is needed. If false, your karma is deeply in negative numbers. Prove me wrong.



-Jerry
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
Jul 28, 2006 - 11:06pm PT
I was there a year ago to rap down and take photo's of a couple of friends who where climbing the route in a half of a day, and the ropes were fixed then. As Werner said "the person responsible for the mess should clean it up." And he probably will.
Chez
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Arid-zona
Jul 28, 2006 - 11:14pm PT
Telling the offended party to 'just clean it up' seems pretty rediculous considering that we all, as climbers, make great attempts to respect each other's stashes and projects. Crackfiend and his nauseous partner didn't want to touch the gear because they had respect for other climber's property. Crackfiend and his puky compadre should be commended for their restraint and discretion. Many climbers, myself included, would have been tempted to start snagging gear on the way up once it became clear that they hadn't been there in a long time and the stuff was just litter.

It is one thing to rig up a route to free it and another to completely disfigure it. It is one thing to set yourself up to project a big route and another to essentially abandon your gear on such a large scale. We can all forgive a couple fixed pitches but for such a large amount of stuff to be fixed you had better be sleeping at the base getting ready to clean it up the day after.

I'm of the opinion that someone who does such a thing should be publicly scolded. The NPS doesn't need to be involved, but a public shaming is certainly in order. Once the NPS gets involved it is a loss for all of us. If the offending party doesn't hightail back up there clean up their mess then a cleanup crew is definitely in order, with booty split between the laborers.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Jul 28, 2006 - 11:16pm PT
Okay. Thanks Chaz.

CrackFiend, please accept my apology, and I'm sorry your climb wasn't ideal because of these guys. Thanks for posting the information here. I hope it prompts the perpetrators to clean up their disaster ASAP. If not I'll chip in to help.

-Jerry

Dirk

climber
Jul 28, 2006 - 11:36pm PT
I did the South Face with Dan Op last August 2005. It was fixed from base to summit. The stuff sack stashes were in place at the time while the many fixed cams were not (dammit!). If I could do it again I would cut every one of those ropes. That same season in the spring the WFLT was fixed, (also big wall pitches in Hetch Hetchy 2004!!!) and I am getting fed up. We are not better climbers, we climb harder because of modern technology. Myself included. Fast and light? Is climbing still a "progressive" sport? Talk is cheap and this is crap.

We asked around after our Watkins ascent and the Lodge crew, I don't remember a name to quote but the Cedar/Scotty/Zack/Bernie/Wah table crew credited Potter for those ropes. I am not quoting any one of those individuals, I don't remember, so flame away. But there was a definite feeling they were Dean's ropes. I don't hate Dean, I want to respect him, but this is total bullsh#t.

I am stuck in Leadville, CO for another month. Somebody please go cut those ropes and booty those cams ASAP. Or I will do it come fall. Others are right, let's solve this ourselves before NPS does. To do anything else is disrespect a grand tradition greater than any one of us individually
Dirk

climber
Jul 28, 2006 - 11:43pm PT
I am so ticked about this I had to post twice. If you want to fix, don't do it on walls in the world's most popular climbing destination. I couldn't climb the NA Wall this June because some f*#kers had fixed lines to the ground as they continued to lead about halfway up the wall. Guess I could have led through their spaghetti but it wouldn't have been climbing.

How can we self-police more effectively???
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Arid-zona
Jul 29, 2006 - 12:05am PT
Public shame is the only thing that works as cultural pressure is very real and very effective. Companies sponsor climbers beacuse of how it looks and when their climbers aren't making them look good.....
GoMZ

Trad climber
Paradise
Jul 29, 2006 - 01:29pm PT
It is amazing to me that anyone would even think it is ok to leave a route in this condition just for the purpose of freeing (probably only a few sections) the route. This route isn't that hard, (I was thinking of doing it in a push) wasn't it done as a linkup w/reg route and nose in a day (maybe not but I think it was). It's a shame that a climber that has the ability to free this route would have to do it in such bad style. I realize that these tactics are commonly deployed on free walls and that this is nothing new, but is it really good style leaving a route fixed top to bottom for this long? Pottentially ruining the route for anyone who wants to climb it just for the sake of their project, that is weak. I agree that the person who did this should be the one to go clean it up, but when will this happen? I, like a few others who have posted would be willing to put forth the effort to get it done. It sounds like a pretty large undertaking especially in the heat right now (thats probably why Mr./Mrs. free wall superstar hasn't come back to do it themselves) but maybe it would make a statement to whoever that this is not cool and that the climbing community doesn't approve of these incredibly selfish tactics. It may also make a statement to NPS that climbers are willing to take care of these issues without getting them involved.

Steve Gomez
bringmedeath

climber
la la land
Jul 29, 2006 - 02:00pm PT
What a motherf*#king bullshit way to climb routes. A 5.10 crack full of cams? I'd have stripped them and kept them, left a big note on top, saying... Have some motherf*#king respect for others as#@&%e!

I don't believe freeing a route gives you one bit of justification for ruining others experiances. I don't care who you are or what you've done. Even if you only climb 4th class, you still have just as much right to anything as I do or anyone.

Why is it that many of us look up to the "greats", yet when you start to become more aware of what is going on, you realize how stupid many of them our. I'll maintain a view that climbing is "stupid" in itself as it doesn't really better anyone but yourself.

I don't look up to those that climb better than me these days like I used to. I look up to those who are out there having fun. This could mean your limit is 5.4 but if you are super stoked, you are my hero.
john hansen

climber
Jul 29, 2006 - 02:06pm PT
You mentioned the trifecta of the nose ,half dome,and watkins in a day. Would this be easier with a fixed rope up Watkins. From what I've heard "any thing goes" on these speed acents... French free or maybe they just jugged the ropes. I think it was Potter and Timmy Oniell. Pure speculation
BrentA

Gym climber
Las Vizzle, on the rizzle
Jul 29, 2006 - 02:15pm PT
SO whats the word? Go, wait, spray some more?
Voltzwgn

Trad climber
Sac CA
Jul 29, 2006 - 02:54pm PT
I too would be willing to help. I'm not sure how much help I'd be up on the wall but I can at least help pack sh!t out. My work schedule is fairly flexible so if I can work it out count me in as a sherpa at least.
BrentA

Gym climber
Las Vizzle, on the rizzle
Jul 29, 2006 - 03:04pm PT
I wonder if the fixed ropes have any mythical "raven" dung on them. How natural, how free, how in tune.
JesseM

Social climber
Yosemite
Jul 29, 2006 - 04:24pm PT
HOLY CRAP!!!!

I've been hearing about this crap since day 2 of my new job here. I havenít had 100% confirmation that these fixed lines and other associated garbage was still up there until now. I wanted to check it out myself, but high waters in Tenaya Creek and now 100 degree plus temps have been my excuses. The story that I heard was this was the ultimate training route using MINI TRAXION top-rope soloing techniques. Locals have said that they have been there possibly since the Fall of 2004!

I hate to say it, but I'm psyched to hear everyone getting so irate about this. You guys are right, itís up to climbers to be the stewards of their own garden if everyone wants to continue to have the freedoms Yosemite climbers have enjoyed for years (or to have more freedoms). Currently climbers still don't need permits for bivying overnight, there is only one Climbing Ranger...and I'm just a seasonal, and so on...

Earlier this season, with the help of another Ranger, I cleaned up the mess of another apparent sponsored free climber project. See the following topic:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=215295

Interestingly enough there was lots of brand new BD, 5.10, and Patagonia equipment in this lot as well. I attempted to contact the person I was told was the owner by several locals, but so far he has not come forward to claim his gear. If it is in fact the same person, someone who knows him well needs to have a heart to heart with him, and figure out what the problem is. However, if he or she cleans this up on their own, I think we should respect the person for turning over a new leaf. Public embarrassment is probably a factor in their reluctance to deal at this point. Those of you who want to help could still help
and it would be finished in a day or two.


You folks are also right that the less we(The NPS) have to step in and clean up these areas the better it will be for climbers here in the Valley. The YCA "Yosemite facelift," happening again in late September, is a huge reputation booster for climbers. Ken Yeager was suggesting that Maybe we can get the NPS to offer free camping throughout the year for folks who want to do volunteer work on special projects, like cleaning up the SF of Watkins. I think that is a great idea.

Tomorrow I'm embarking on operation Kleenex...Wipe the Nose...with Link, Parker Davis, and Brent Gordon. We are taking an extra Haul Bag and some other tools to clean up Camp 6 and everything else up there. Hopefully we won't be bouted by the hot garbage or sizzling temps, but we'll get as much as we can down.

So, the next 4 days Iíll be on the Nose, but Iíll be down on Wednesday Aug. 2nd. As the NPS ambassador to the climbing community I would like to be involved. If folks want to clean this up as early as next week, let me know. I can help facilitate possible camping options, directly help in the operation, and carry on the message that climbers are proactively taking care of their own business.

Later,

Jesse

209-372-0354
jesse_mcgahey@nps.gov
Tom

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Jul 30, 2006 - 01:53am PT
Why not just tell the guy who left his stuff up there to get it down?

Why should all you folks have to do all his work?



The booty cams is reason enough to clean it up. The weight-cost to carry out the trash ropes is minimal.

Lincoln Else taught us to "Link Our Descents", which is to grab all the garbage with us and take it down. I suppose this applies to Linking on Ascent, too.


When PTPP and I did Bermuda Dunes, we came upon a HUGE trashpile at the Alcove (Salathe Wall) that we collected and carried up with us. We didn't get all of it (most was far down the chimney crack below) but we put a huge dent in the mess.
stonemonkey32

climber
Jul 30, 2006 - 07:08pm PT
so this is not the first time we have had to deal with abandoned gear in the valley. ever year more and more stuff is left everywhere. who here hasent toped out the captin only to find trash and abandoned food and other crap strewn all over the summit. or found random cans or bottels of crap shoved in cracks because somone was too lazy to take it out. i dont think that abandoning a project and not cleaning up the mess is cool, but this is a climber issure and should be taken care of by climbers. please dont involve the park service. there is no need. lets keep it in the comunity the more they are aware of issues like this the more freedom we lose in the valley. if no one else dose anything about it this summer ill try and get somthing done with it this fall, ill be there for the season.
thanks and lets keep it in the family.
stonemonkey32

climber
Jul 30, 2006 - 07:08pm PT
so this is not the first time we have had to deal with abandoned gear in the valley. ever year more and more stuff is left everywhere. who here hasent toped out the captin only to find trash and abandoned food and other crap strewn all over the summit. or found random cans or bottels of crap shoved in cracks because somone was too lazy to take it out. i dont think that abandoning a project and not cleaning up the mess is cool, but this is a climber issure and should be taken care of by climbers. please dont involve the park service. there is no need. lets keep it in the comunity the more they are aware of issues like this the more freedom we lose in the valley. if no one else dose anything about it this summer ill try and get somthing done with it this fall, ill be there for the season.
thanks and lets keep it in the family.
stonemonkey32

climber
Jul 30, 2006 - 07:08pm PT
so this is not the first time we have had to deal with abandoned gear in the valley. ever year more and more stuff is left everywhere. who here hasent toped out the captin only to find trash and abandoned food and other crap strewn all over the summit. or found random cans or bottels of crap shoved in cracks because somone was too lazy to take it out. i dont think that abandoning a project and not cleaning up the mess is cool, but this is a climber issure and should be taken care of by climbers. please dont involve the park service. there is no need. lets keep it in the comunity the more they are aware of issues like this the more freedom we lose in the valley. if no one else dose anything about it this summer ill try and get somthing done with it this fall, ill be there for the season.
thanks and lets keep it in the family.
BoKu

Trad climber
Douglas Flat, CA
Jul 31, 2006 - 08:37pm PT
http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/product/patagonia.go?assetid=1875

"I also believe that climbers have an impact on the environment and they should be more aware of their impact. You go to climbing areas and the bases are trashed, there's trash on the walls Ė it stays for decades. At bouldering areas there's cigarette butts. You go to the alpine climbing areas and there are hundreds of pounds of trash. Climbers need to be better about cracking down on ourselves."
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Jul 31, 2006 - 09:10pm PT
"He also made the first free ascent of Mount Watkins, Yosemite's other Grade VI wall, in a day"

from same site.
Dragon with Matches

climber
Bamboo Grove
Aug 1, 2006 - 01:27am PT
Just finished my wall clean-up.

My kitchen wall, that is. Used to be some trash on there.

A picture I used to think was rad, from Climbing mag a few years back, that I taped up by the doorway. Some "famous" dude soloing Astroman. The image faded a bit after a recent event in Utah, but I thought it still looked okay. Today I realized how bad my kitchen looks with trash on the wall.

Now the trash is gone and my wall looks better.

Mucho props to anyone working on that Watkins cleanup.
Anguish

Mountain climber
Jackson Hole Wyo.
Aug 1, 2006 - 02:44pm PT
YC, Pratt and Harding did the FA. Read Pratt's account in the AAJ, one of possibly only three published pieces by this great writer. He talks about the Tenaya Canyon eagle serving as their guardian. The three roped a tree to reduce the number of bolts required. When they were done (they were counting how many raisins they had left, ran out of food, water) Pratt noted the eagle passing below and likened their ascent to that of the bird's shadow sweeping across the face (plus a few bolts). Mike Munger, Steve Larson and I, with help from Rich Perch, did the second route - Hook Line and Sinker - and were proud to have used fewer bolts than on the original line. Largo, Schmitz et al appear to have maintained the tradition on their route, as is expected of these mature gentlemen.
Learn from Pratt, the master. Worship the Tenaya Canyon eagle.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 1, 2006 - 04:39pm PT
Oh! Angus Thuermer! Welcome aboard, eh?

It's just plain wrong to leave all this junk hanging off of a wall. It must have been a huge disappointment to Caleb and crew to find such a mess. I understand the approach to Watkins is quite epic, and to go to so much work to climb a wall, only to find it in such a condition, must have really sucked.

I think the solution to this problem should be approached this way:

1. Identify the climber[s] who made the mess.

2. Approach him [them] directly and ask them to remove the stuff, and get a commitment to do so and a timeframe.

3. Report that here, and wait and see.

4. If the climber doesn't clean up the wall, THEN approach the sponsors, but if you approach the sponsors, go with all guns blazing.

How would you feel if you gave someone a whole bunch of expensive gear, only to learn that the gift was so trivialized that it was just left hanging to rot? I'd be furious if I were a manufacturer, and would give my ambassador a severe talking-to.

But keep the park service out of it. Jesse is aware, that's plenty. No use irking the Powers That Be.
David

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
Aug 1, 2006 - 04:55pm PT
re. Ben Wah: "If the garbage offends you, clean it up. But do it without raising a stink,"


Are you fricking kidding me! As if the garabe should not offend someone? Why on earth shoul crackfiend be responsible for cleaning this mess?

What a strange response to the problem. I can't see any reason why the offending parties name should be kept a secret. Especially if sponsor dollars are involved.
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Aug 1, 2006 - 07:38pm PT
This kind of news from the climbing world makes me sick. A couple climbers out seeking adventure run into ropes strung up the wall, sh#t strewn across the rock. It seems like climbers gunning for an all free ascent are sometimes forgetting something, a leave no trace ethic that used to be important.

Another thing they are forgetting, working a route is aid. If they are working the route by stringing fixed ropes the whole way they are in essence taking the lowest style of aid to a new level. Does the end justify the means? Is the end goal (a big free route) more important than the path followed to get there? I dont think so but I dont really care what others do as long as what they do does not affect my experience. Unfortunately, many of the big wall "free climbers" (and I use that term loosely) are affecting the experience of others.

While I applaud the gestures of those of you who offer and are serious about cleaning this crap up, I personally would like to take all that trash and confront the ignorant SOB's who left it there. Unfortunately, the climbing rags seem to really get off on the Big Wall Freed articles and seem to forget about the transgressions used to acheive such lofty goals. I think it was the latest CLIMBING that had a letter to the editor of someone complaining about fixed ropes. Their "masto bator" replied that fixed ropes up the whole cliff was acceptable and STFU to the guy complaining. It may have been tongue and cheek but I left that rag on the shelf and promised not to buy another one.

I dont climb as much as I used to. But when I do get to Yos next time, and if there are fixed ropes strung the whole way up the cliff, my knife will be handy. No regrets. I will clean what I can and not turn that sh#t in except to trash. So long as we the climbers dont act this type of activity will be getting worse and worse.
mark_s

climber
Aug 1, 2006 - 07:43pm PT
dirk....you can thank Korean Sean for those ropes and his sh#t f*#k route "sea Horse"

he'll fix all the way to the last 200 feet on that side and probally top out in 2008. until then either chop his ropes, karate chop him, or whatever else.....
crackfiend

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 1, 2006 - 08:56pm PT
Thank everyone soooooo much for the response and consolidated effort to clean this mess up... I am in nova scotia canada right now for a wedding and have not checked in lateley.... and to all yes the fixed lines are decent enough to jug.. we actually jugged then for a few pitches as we had a party of three.. no this is not a troll and I have photos to verify if anyone wants to see... well unfortuanatly I do not have time to deal with this BUT I will be in the valey from september 23rd to the 2nd climbing the shield.. if a cleanup goes down I would be willing to sponsor a keg party YES A KEG!!!!!!!!! to give props to those involved... I live in bend and maybe a mirror pond pale ale from deschutes brewery... now that oughta get some takers... hell maybe we could even get a sponsor for the suds.. anyhow thanks everyone for this dialouge and keep it going..
warpath

Gym climber
Sedona, AZ
Aug 2, 2006 - 01:06pm PT
I posted some info on this mt watkins mess last year. It seems like every year someone, or group of people have to go around and pick up after Dean Potter fk-up. Climbing arches, high lines left up, leaving bags and bags of sh#t at the base of half dome, and fixed lines on watkins. I would bet he has tons of st on top of the El Cap.

Just knowing he is the enviormental embassator to patagonia makes me sick. He must make patagonia a lot of money!! The guy is a great climber but has no right to trash yosemite, or any other great climbing area.
Go clean up your own s**t Dean.
Josh

It must be nice to have tons of free gear to leave all over the planet. Commited to the core?????????
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 2, 2006 - 05:54pm PT
Bump to keep this on the front page, and to hopefully bring some accountability to this issue, and to get the person[s] who put the stuff up there to take it back down.

Until such time as anyone comes forward who KNOWS who the ropes belong to, and they are willing to stand behind their assertion, it might be better not to name names, until such time as this person is contacted.
warpath

Gym climber
Sedona, AZ
Aug 3, 2006 - 03:22pm PT
pete

sorry to name names, but who would mini traxion a grade IV? and has ties to BD & Patagonia? of course no one will take responsibility for this would you
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Aug 3, 2006 - 03:48pm PT
I have received third party (garbled message on a cell phone) verification (for what it's worth), that positively identifies the culprits. Apparently they will be retrieving their gear "soon." More as things develop. Sorry about vagueness, no hard facts yet.

Crackfiend, Thanks for your post, and for doing the right thing. It seems to putting things into motion. I apologize again for my earlier skepticism.

-Jerry
crackfiend

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 4, 2006 - 01:18am PT
I appreciate the discussion that has taken place since the initial post... I dont know if there is even a need to name any names as long as the route gets cleaned up..
Mr_T

Trad climber
Somewhere, CA
Aug 7, 2006 - 02:47pm PT
It's a week later - is the route clean?
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Aug 8, 2006 - 12:15am PT
It's my understanding the our hero is in Europe, and his friends will be cleaning up the mess next week. Wish I had friends like that. Will post here if I hear anything. There are others here with more of an inside track if they feel like speaking up. I have some free time in a couple weeks if nothing has happened by then.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Aug 8, 2006 - 01:59am PT
no way?!

this intertardweb thing really works?!
woodcraft

Trad climber
Fairfax, CA
Aug 9, 2006 - 02:57am PT
In Climbing mag, March '05, there's a story about Dean Potter sending a valley boulder crack. " ....one of last great problems... no, not the South face of Mount Watkins- he's trying to keep that ascent a secret...."
Nefarius

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Aug 9, 2006 - 04:05am PT
Jerry-- Should you end up heading up and want some help, send me an email. If I'm not at work, I'll help you out.

Cheers!
cjain

Mountain climber
Lake Forest, CA
Aug 9, 2006 - 04:33am PT
So, who are the culprits?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 10, 2006 - 08:01am PT
Daily bump to keep this on the front page, to promote accountability and cleanup.
elcapfool

Big Wall climber
hiding in plain sight
Aug 10, 2006 - 08:24am PT
Pete,
So you are around.
I am troubled that you haven't weighed in on the apology thread.

I am incredulous that you are at a loss for words.

"I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart."
JesseM

Social climber
Yosemite
Aug 14, 2006 - 02:11pm PT
I just got back from a little jaunt to the East Coast. This morning I found out from a reliable source that the ropes are gone from Mt. Watkins. Tomorrow I'll be hiking up to the base to make sure the associated trash/crap is gone as well.

It seems that Supertopo forum has served us perty darn good this time. These ropes have been at Watkins supposedly for a couple years or more, and in less than three weeks after the initial post they have disappeared. Hot Dawg! Hopefully the labor was carried out by the original party leaving the gear...thatís a boat load to carry out...!

Is it possible that we can look forward to fall season without dangling ropes on some of favorite walls?

Last week our Nose Clean up went pretty well. We filled up a whole haul bag full of garbage (50 extra lbs), 90% of it coming from our beloved Camp 6. Unfortunately we just took off the first couple of layers. Maybe we can get another team to take care of the rest during the annual YCA Yosemite Facelift from Sept. 27th-October 1st. Hopefully many of you will be coming out for the event. Checkout the website at www.yosemiteclimbing.org or call Chicken Skinner aka Ken Yager at yager@inreach.com. He is the man with the plan.

If anyone knows of any other gross violations of our wilderness rights post it here or contact me. Also let Ken know of any trashed areas of the park that need special attention for the Facelift.

Thanks,

Jesse McGahey
jesse_mcgahey@nps.gov
209-372-0354
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 14, 2006 - 06:52pm PT
Great news. Do you think this forum had anything to do with it, and if so why?

Christian, I liked your apology to Mark and Richard very much. I didn't say anything because so far as I am aware, I don't owe them any apology, nor anyone else. However if I *do* owe someone an apology - like you [and I would love to bury the hatchet once and for all if any issues remain unresolved] - then please contact me via email, and we will try to work it out, eh? Best in person in Yosemite in September if you're around.

I believe in [url="http://www.srcfc.org/pitonpete.asp"]forgiveness and reconciliation.[/url]

In Him,
Pete
JesseM

Social climber
Yosemite
Aug 14, 2006 - 07:36pm PT
Pete,

I do think this Forum had a lot to do with the "relatively" fast removal of these ropes. Enough people read and participate on these Supertopo threads that the word gets out fast when something is up. Its as close to up to date news as we can get.

In this case climbers on the forum were very ticked off about the ethics ignored and the general disregard for wilderness. The pressure was on for anyone involved with leaving the ropes and other crap on the route to act fast, or potentially suffer further damages to their reputation and Karma.

I think its ironic that after Chouinard, Pratt, and Harding did the FA, Royal Robbins claimed that the impressive climb marked the end of siege climbing because of the ground up style they climbed it in. (Roper-Camp 4) Of course that wasn't totally true, but, Harding, at least had made a huge leap forward. This reaction shows that (Yosemite) climbers still don't really approve of long term seige tactics for climbing routes...regardless of how bad-asss of a free climber you think you are.

Jesse



'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 14, 2006 - 10:12pm PT
That is precisely how Dihedral Wall was free climbed - with fixed ropes all the way to the ground.

Which brings us to the next question, and possibly deserving of its own thread, along with photos:

The once-proud Dihedral Wall has been turned into a bolt-protected clip-up, with numerous free climbing protection bolts placed only about fourteen inches from legit A3 placements, the bolts being spaced less than six feet apart.

How do we get the wanker who placed those to remove them?
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Aug 14, 2006 - 11:46pm PT
proof that a whole lot of ranting does something? Myself included of course. But glad to hear it!
Gene

climber
Aug 15, 2006 - 12:21am PT
Pete,

Re: DW Tell me it ain't true.
Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Aug 15, 2006 - 12:33am PT
Ironic indeed. Thanks for the update Jesse. Glad to hear its done. It's sad that for some of the elite the Valley is now just a climbing gym. I offer no thanks to the culprits, but to any others who hauled it all out, I raise my glass in appreciation.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 15, 2006 - 01:02am PT
Glad to hear that the route was cleaned up by the people who were working the project.

I don't have any problem with the "elite" rigging to work problems in the Valley, it's an important way of making progress. The Valley is used by all of us with no preference or prejudice.

It is great that once the "issue" became public that the correct response, to clean it up, was the one that happened. Props to all on this, I don't see how it could have happened in a better way.

We should give the benefit of doubt to the project team that they were acting in good faith, just taking much more time then they had originally intended. Once that was apparent, they cleared the route for others to enjoy.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Aug 15, 2006 - 01:06pm PT
Ed, are you joking? If a 'project' that amounts to one of the classic moderate walls of the Valley takes 3 summers, perhaps even the elitist of elite elite who gets paid to climb full time and who is capable of rehanging the ropes over the course of a day should clear their snacks and gear off the rock when they plan to be away for extended periods, like, let's say, winter or trips abroad. It seems like a no-brainer to me, and shouldn't require an internet forum to help the owner of the gear see the problem with the arrangement.

How elite is elite enough for fixing a wall for a season or three?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 15, 2006 - 01:16pm PT
Ed writes,

"Glad to hear that the route was cleaned up by the people who were working the project."

Is this true? Nowhere above does it say who cleaned everything up. Does anybody know if it was indeed the people who left it there, or did someone else remove the stuff?

Jesse, you said you were hiking back up. How does it look now?
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 15, 2006 - 01:23pm PT
my $.02- if there is going to be any general acceptance of "fixing" a project (and i thnk that itself is up for debate), that project needs to be basically the sole significant climbing activity of whomever has left their gear in everyone else's way.

i was up at phobos/deimos the other day, and their is a minitraxion set up on goldfinger, one line w/ directionals and another for rapping. i've heard that has become common (wasn't new dimensions fixed this past winter?).

now i had no plans to get on it, but still, i think that sucks- i'd say it's not at all cool of *any* local to make a local's workout circut convenient at the possible expense of any out of town (or other local?) user(s) that might arrive to find fixed lines draped across the line they've been planning to climb. i say if you want the convenience of climbing w/out humping gear or waiting for your partner to get off work, you either boulder or solo, just like the rest of us, and if you want to self belay, pull your ropes at the end of your session. what's your opinion?
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Aug 15, 2006 - 01:28pm PT
"what's your opinion?"

WWWD?

DMT
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 15, 2006 - 03:36pm PT
Melissa, et al.
the fact that the climb was fixed for three years seems excessive, but we didn't really get a report that this was inhibiting others' use of the route until this year...

...and it was cleaned up. How often does S.Face of Mt Watkins get done? Seems that the fixed lines did not even deter the party that complained.

So what's the issue if someone wants to work a route for a very long time that rarely gets done as long as the stuff gets cleared.

Just trying to be positive. I'd hate to impose strict time limits on projects.... what about all those bolts around Tilted Mitten area with red slings tied to them? how long should that be allowed to happen.

Also, should all the mini-traxion ropes get pulled down?

roslyn

Trad climber
washington
Aug 15, 2006 - 03:49pm PT
garbage is garbage
Ben Rumsen

Social climber
No Name City ( and it sure ain't pretty )
Aug 15, 2006 - 04:18pm PT
If gear and ropes are there more than 1 week, salvage rights should apply to the next party that comes along.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Aug 15, 2006 - 04:30pm PT
I don't know about Tilted Mitten bolts or the slings of which you write. Are they bail slings or some kind of "stay off" marker? The only routes that I've put up or been involved in putting up in the area have no fixed gear other than slings around trees (all pre-existing stations, IIRC).

Apparently the rangers did get word of complaints on Watkins over the last couple of years...and that's a problem for all of us. I knew about the ropes 3 summers back, and was surpised to learn that they were still there, although it's possible that they've come and gone in the interval.

A lot of times people don't want to put these things on the Supertopo radar because the people putting the stuff up are friends or friends of frineds, have rockstar clout, or, most importantly, because people don't want to alert the powers that be to the issue.

To me "progress" just isn't interesting enough to justify the garbage.

"...and it was cleaned up. How often does S.Face of Mt Watkins get done? Seems that the fixed lines did not even deter the party that complained."

I know many who have done it. J said that it was his most difficult wall experience (in light of his experience level at the time) because the complications associated with its location where far greater than they anticipated. Had it been fixed, it would have been a whole different experience if for no other reason than that they'd have had the knowledge that in making the choice to continue on their dwindling water supplies wasn't really that much of a commitment. I'm sure missing out on placing their own gear and free climbing the nice 5.10 crack, as happened to the OP, would have been a pisser too. What constitutes an inappropriate level of deterence? Do you actually have to be blockaded from passage by someone's left gear for it to be overly obnoxious?

Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Aug 15, 2006 - 04:45pm PT
Ed, I appreciate your positive perspective, but feel it may be a bit overly positive.

"So what's the issue if someone wants to work a route for a very long time that rarely gets done as long as the stuff gets cleared."

A very long time in my mind is a season, or a few months, but three years? Let's not forget that this is a wilderness area. On the above logic, it's ok that somebody left all the crap on half dome because in the end it was cleaned up. Never mind that the cleanup crew were rangers concerned about bears who were eating cans of tuna and WD-40. If a trend starts where rangers keep picking up after climbers, or they have to patrol remote walls to make sure messes are cleaned up, climber friendly policies are going to shift and fixed lines will be banned all together.

I understand time slipping away, and also assume the gear wasn't intentionally abandoned, but we have to be responsible for our actions and inaction.
Matt

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 15, 2006 - 04:57pm PT
ed- i couldn't disagree w/ you more on this, on many levels.

the ditch ain't some garage gym, it's wilderness. whether it's wilderness right by the road and across from the meadow, or wilderness that's out of sight by most people, leaving unused gear hanging on the rock is the same to me as littering it, dumping in/on it, or otherwise disrespecting it.

should there be a fixed slackline on the lost arrow?

what if i can find a route on el cap that hasn't seen traffic for a year or 3, can i fix the whole thing and return in a few more years?

and what about the idea that this sort of behavior can and will diminish the standing of climbers in general, in the eyes of land managers and the NC (non-climbing) public? if we expect to be awarded the right to act as stewards of the land and to make or contribute to decisions that impact wilderness and the conceptual aesthetics therein (and not only in the minds of climbers, but significantly, in the minds of land managers and NC public), we need to collectively demonstrate that we are responsible group that takes those values seriously, rather than some mountain dew drinking BASE jumping Xterra driving teenagers that are out to bolt every buttress and lay perpetual seige to every rock face.

there is an ongoing real-time conversation going on these days about the future of (new) fixed anchors in wilderness areas, and these anticdotes do not further the pro-access agenda.



EDIT-
regardless of access concerns, i just find this crap offensive. what about the ethic of "leave no trace"? what about leaving the park (that we all claim to love so much!) cleaner than it was when we found it? are we comparing ourselves to littering, generator dependent, constantly self propogating RV drivers, or are we measuring ourselves by john muir's standards? this is exactly the same attitude that allows the stuffing of inconvenient trash into defacto garbage pits behind the ledges on el cap, is it not?
Ben Rumsen

Social climber
No Name City ( and it sure ain't pretty )
Aug 15, 2006 - 04:57pm PT
If you aren't actively using the gear, and are going to be gone for more than 1 or 2 weeks, it shouldn't be there. None of us own this real estate. IMO, if you leave gear for more than 2 weeks it should be fair game for anyone to take, unless you had an accident. Quite frankly, it's arrogant to treat public land like you own it. I'm sick of it.
hobo

climber
PDX
Aug 15, 2006 - 04:57pm PT
If your only reading a few posts, read Jerry Dodrill's a couple above this one. Well written, valuable thoughts.

Alex

Edit:

I think this line is key:

"If a trend starts where rangers keep picking up after climbers, or they have to patrol remote walls to make sure messes are cleaned up, climber friendly policies are going to shift and fixed lines will be banned all together. "
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 15, 2006 - 06:04pm PT
Fixed lines are banned altogether! We just "get away with it" in a few places, like the fixed ropes going up to the base of the Heart on the SW Face of El Cap, and also on the East Ledges descent.

Those ropes are all illegal. It's illegal to leave a rope fixed for more than 24 hours - that's the LETTER of the law. Linc and others have always enforced the SPIRIT of the law, whereby if it was obvious that the route was being worked, or the guys would be back next weekend or whatever, then the gear was left intact.

A few days or possibly even a week is reasonable - what happened on Mt. Watkins [or what Chongo did on Sea of Dreams] was very UNreasonable, and buggers it up for the rest of us.

Who removed the ropes from Mt. Watkins?
hobo

climber
PDX
Aug 15, 2006 - 06:10pm PT
What Pete says here is completely true. We are walking on the good side of a fine line and only respect can keep us there.
Mr_T

Trad climber
Somewhere, CA
Aug 15, 2006 - 06:19pm PT
Scott Burke did the same sh#t on the Nose - pissed me off big time. I'm trying to lead a pitch and there's a line fixed real tight in front of me. Just bring a sharp serated blade and cut that choss loose.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 16, 2006 - 12:23am PT
fixed lines to Mamoth ledge = good idea
fixed rap lines on the El Cap East ledges = good idea
fixed lines on the "death slabs" approach to Half Dome = good idea
fixed lines on the El Cap West Butt. approach = good idea
fixed lines on the approach to "Absolutely Free" = good idea


all of these are illegal.

mini-traxion ropes at the Cookie = ?

fixed lines on the Middle Brother?
fixed lines on the Lost Brother?

other projects? unknown and far away in places no one has been. In principle, these are all bad ideas. But no one is injured, no climb is compromised, often we fix lines to help a situation, and the lack of fixed lines are seen by the community as a problem.

Melissa, wasn't talking about any of your climbs, but there are a set of climbs over there that are "projects" with red-tape on the first bolts to indicate that they are "under construction" but how long is too long? whose are they? probably not an issue... though the "rules" would indicate that other climbers should stay away. Those lines are claimed.

I'm not advocating that fixing an entire big wall to practice freeing the pitches is "good style" or acceptable to me, just saying that it's a big park and if someone has some idea to do something, it is probably going to get done as most climbs are not climbed in the Valley.

I liked the fact that discussions on the Forum seemed to matter, the initial poster was injured and complained here, and that caused enough noise to have the stuff removed.
WBraun

climber
Aug 16, 2006 - 12:40am PT
In the old days there were not enough people around where any of this mattered.

Now, ..... there are to many people around who bitch to much about everything ...........
Loom

climber
back--limbo-Siberia-left-field-nowhere-purgatory
Aug 16, 2006 - 01:10am PT
Exactly.

Too many people enjoy feeling their panties in a bunch.

They just sit at their computers, far away, imagining the mess and inconvenience while getting themselves worked into some big self-righteous-anti-elitist furor; it feels good--like you're doing something--almost.

Jerry Dodrill

climber
Bodega, CA
Aug 16, 2006 - 02:06am PT
Whatever Fruit of the Loom. Believe it or not some of of us actually ARE out climbing AND happen to have some computer time while at work. Crackfiend sure wasn't sitting on his ass when he encountered the ropes/gear in question.
Loom

climber
The White-Board Jungle
Aug 16, 2006 - 09:39am PT
whatever -- the favorite riposte of bored/boring/uncreative teenagers

Fruit of the Loom -- a lame/weak/unimaginative insult when it was first used by Jody a long time ago; it hasn't gotten any funnier or less lame. Notice that I'm not doing anything funny with your name, although the temptation is great.




The truth is, that little or no permanent damage is done by this sort of thing. It is more of a style issue than an ethical one. When the mess is as bad as the one on Watkins or HD then it does head over into ethical territory, and could cause the NPS to overreact and punish us all. So get out, find the culprit(s), talk to them directly, or clean it up yourself if you want, but all the endless bitchin' just for bitching's sake--just because you like the sound of yourself bitchin'-blah blah blah blah--it's tiresome, pathetic, divisive . . .

Scott
waddell

Trad climber
Reno, NV
Aug 16, 2006 - 11:06am PT
I keep gravitating back to supertopo every few days just to read this post.

Simply put everyone chiming in seems to talk of this code of climbing ethics that was broken. Yet no one will reveal the culpret who broke the code.

Who left the gear up?
AND
Who Cleaned it up?

A number of you on this forum know the answers...............
JesseM

Social climber
Yosemite
Aug 17, 2006 - 09:05pm PT

One more post for this thread...I hope. I went up to Watkins today (I know I said I'd go on Tuesday, but something else came up...slacker) with another Wilderness Ranger to check out the Bivy ledge above the approach slabs. I wanted to make sure the ropes and other stuff had not been stashed or dropped during the shadow clean up.

I only found one short fixed line that is usually fixed to avoid an awkward 5.8 squeeze that is wet early in the season. Sorry guys, I took it down. I also removed lots of old mankey slings that cover the 700-800 feet of the 4th-5th class approach. I left the good anchors, and there is still plenty to do the approach slabs easily. Everything else associated with the fixed ropes was gone as well.

Itís really awesome out there, and you don't have to close your eyes and plug your ears to really feel like you are in wilderness! I think the remote walls like these are arguably the most important to keep clean. Maybe only 10 parties do the route a year, and those guys/gals shouldn't have to bust there asss getting out there only to find a bunch of ropes and other junk.

As Ed mentioned all fixed lines unattended for more than 24 hours are illegal. Of course we (the NPS) don't stand over every fixed line with a stop watch and then race up them to pull them down. Like Link and my boss Mark Fincher have said for years "itís more about the spirit of the law than the letter of the law." The problem is; if climbers start to routinely abuse this law, leaving open projects fixed for months or even seasons and years on end, the NPS may start to be stricter about fixed lines.

I have mentioned it before, and I still think itís a good idea. If you have an open project with a fixed line, put a contact number or something else on it so I know the ropes are actively being used. In that case I'll definitely call you before I remove the rope(s).

Thanks again guys for the concern. Once again, I hope you guys all show up to the Yose Facelift. It will be a great time for all of us to put our money where our mouths have been, and work together for a good solid cause. Ken Yager has been busting his buttt on the event, getting all kinds of cool raffle prizes, a film tour, and a good party as well.

yager@inreach.com or visit the website at www.yosemiteclimbing.org.

Climb it,

JesseM

andanother

climber
Aug 17, 2006 - 09:13pm PT
good to hear that it is cleaned up. But it sounds like Dean didn't do the cleaning. He just had someone else do it for him? Is this correct?
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Aug 18, 2006 - 05:34am PT
I realize that some of you may find this thread a whole lot of bitching. But having a climber leave a bunch of garbage all over any rock for three years, all for the sake of "advancing" our sport, is pretty messed up. Glad it got cleaned up.
Wild Bill

climber
Ca
Apr 27, 2007 - 12:58pm PT
bump on a boring friday
Mike Dahlquist

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
May 28, 2009 - 10:53pm PT
Climbed the South Face of Watkins over Memorial Day Weekend. The Scruffy Buttress had some fixed lines on it that seemed relatively new. On the bivy ledge at the base of the route proper, we found a haulbag that has probably been there since before the winter. Inside were clothes, sleeping bags, 4 pairs of 5.10 climbing shoes, some gear, nasty food, and filled dromedary water bags, all covered with a thick layer of white moldy crap. The thing smelled like a combination of a sewer, 2-month-old leftover lasagna and my climbing partners' feet. The climbing gear was all BD and DMM. I would suspect whoever the stuff belongs to are free climbers trying to work the route based on the 4 pairs of shoes. I wonder if this is related to the fixed ropes from a couple of years ago? Whoever owns this trash should go clean up after themselves.
Dapper Dan

climber
Menlo Park
May 29, 2009 - 01:50am PT
Awesome the trash is back !

Dude tell me you kept the gear ?!
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
Lake Oswego, Oregon
May 29, 2009 - 02:08am PT
This whole thread is one of the more stunning I have encountered. Call me an arse, but if I find gear that is more than a few days old... it is coming down. I'll cut it AND pack it out. Littering a route is just that: littering. Advancing the sport? Bite me! Advancing the ego, more like. There was a time (and a few climbers) who believed that a single slip on the lead was reason enough not to attempt the route again. I never advocated that, but I do believe that climbing, like life, is about style.

Back on the SFHD thread I asked the question of what's next on this slippery slope? Is it okay to glue holds on the Shield so it can be done "free"? If someone is too fat for the Narrows can they enlarge the slot at will? Seriously, what IS acceptable? I know some of you are callin' me names right now and saying the old guys are all self-righteous but, Fuk with Ditch and you are not a climber. You are an as#@&%e.

We don't know who you are. We don't know what you want. If you are looking for fame, We can tell you, you won't get it. But what you will get is our very particular set of skills; skills we have acquired over a very long career of living in the dirt. Skills that make us a nightmare for people like you. If you clean up your act now, that'll be the end of it. We will not look for you, We will not pursue you. But if you don't, we will look for you, we will find you, and we will hurt you.

THE VALLEY IS NOT A SPORT GYM!
Mike Dahlquist

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
May 29, 2009 - 02:11am PT
We considered the gear abandoned and bootied what we considered to be of value.
sac

Trad climber
spuzzum
May 29, 2009 - 11:37am PT
Hey, I H P
Yer an arse!
Who's "we"?
Prick.

A. Durie
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
Lake Oswego, Oregon
May 29, 2009 - 11:57am PT
Liam and me.

Moreover, sir, which indeed is not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me an ass. I beseech you, let it be remembered in his punishment.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Dec 5, 2012 - 12:18am PT
Bump in appreciation for those who hike out other people's trash!
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