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.
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.