Wall Water Ethics


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 20 of total 55 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 4, 2007 - 10:39pm PT
Just spent some time around Washington Column. The general trash situation was actually pretty good with only one idiot's crapbag in the forest.

The one exception was some empty water bottles here and there.

Now there's definitely a debate to be had over whether it's good to leave "fixed water" if you bail on a route. The NPS would certainly say "no" but I have a hard time pouring out water when I know some guy dying of thirst may show up in a few days and that water would be his saving grace.

But I will say this and please state your disagreement if you see it differently:

If you drink wall water, you are therefore obligated to carry out the bottle. It's lame to leave a small amount and think it's the next guy's problem. That's like leaving a sip of milk left in the carton in the fridge.

Drink Wall Water, Carry out Wall Bottles, or go thirsty. Period

(FYI, carried out three empty bottles I didn't drink from but couldn't bring myself to deal with the crap bag as our tube was full of it already)


Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 4, 2007 - 10:43pm PT
I agree.

If you're going to leave it then leave it mostly full at least.

Big Wall climber
Reno NV
Jun 4, 2007 - 10:50pm PT
Yes, only full bottles.

Man law.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 4, 2007 - 11:17pm PT
I might disagree with some of the above. If somebody leaves a gallon and you only need a quart, use a quart , leave the rest, and resolve to pick up empty trash along the way. Just don't leave a pint and call it good.

Waste not, want not



Social climber
The West
Jun 4, 2007 - 11:17pm PT
I drink it, I leave it, I always carry out the empties.
james Colborn

Trad climber
Truckee, Ca
Jun 4, 2007 - 11:19pm PT
Karl, how was the climb? Our party of three got off the Prow on Sat. There was a party of two in the trees below the summit that I never actually saw but talked to. They asked us if we were you, and if we had some xtra H2o. We brought enough to bathe in after the climb and leave a gallon. I have developed a phobia of running out. Needless to say they seemed pretty psyced that we had left the gallon to make their bivy a little more comfy. I went back to the base today to get an extra haul bag we left behind at the start, almost got clocked by someones poop tube that had fallen out of their pack at the base of the S.F. Picked up three empty crushed coke bottles at the base and a cliff bar I dropped, couldn't locate the jolly rancher I lost. bummer.

Crestline CA
Jun 4, 2007 - 11:23pm PT
Use a marker to put the date on all water bottles you haul up.. for obvious reasons

Flagstaff, AZ
Jun 4, 2007 - 11:25pm PT
james, you should know better. There is no way that jolly rancher was going to survive one night out in the cold. Not with the booty-hounds prowling the base... no sir.
Rock Hopper

Jun 4, 2007 - 11:31pm PT
Leave No Trace. After all, its only just more trash lying around. Also the water can quickly develop all sorts of bacteria and bugs, possibly giving the next guy (if there is one) the runs.

Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Jun 4, 2007 - 11:48pm PT
I'd agree with Karl's thoughts here. I've left full bottles at bivis/ledges, and even the base (in plain sight) for parties that will inevitably need it. Especially on trade routes.

I'll throw this out there too, since I've seen it a number of times. What about things like canned food? I've seen canned food, stacked in plain sight on ledges near the top and at the base of climbs, as an offering to those who may have carried less and wanted/needed more. What's the feeling on this? I'm not as much a fan of this (haven't done it myself).
Wade Icey

Big Wall climber
Indian Caves, CA
Jun 4, 2007 - 11:53pm PT
seems like good policy to always cary out more trash than you carry in.
I think the marker idea is a good one if you're leaving fixed water- but probably a better idea to take a bottle bath on top and carry the empty down. Especially on the Column where you're never really a life threatening distance from water - either on the ground or the arches spring.

Any of you supertopo scientists know what the shelf life of wall water would be before it becomes a health hazard?

Canned food edit: I think same as above should apply mark it if you're gonna leave it and probably shouldn't leave it on shorter routes - where you can be on the ground or at the deli within a few hours.

On the other hand- leaving beer for those less fortunate, anywhere in the park is an
ethical, altrustic, noble thing to do.

Jun 5, 2007 - 12:00am PT
It's less about water than just cleaning up. "Leave no trace" should mean the traces of others as well as ourselves.

Extra cached water and food, in sparing quantities, is a tool for other climbers. I've been spared a miserable time by a thoughtful cacher. I've cached small quantities as well.

Leaving all your water at a low belay when bailing (or a empties on the summit) because you're too lazy to deal with it is lame.

PS: Good work on the Prow, Karl.

PPS: Wade: Found a King Cobra on a summit once...either the ultimate gesture or ultimate laziness. Once, out of water, all I found was half a fifth of Jim Beam.
Ricardo Carlos

Trad climber
Off center, CO.
Jun 5, 2007 - 12:02am PT
Ran out of water on Pan Am Baja. found a can of soup almost at top. Gave the boost needed.
I really do not know from S+it or shinola buy doesn’t the suns UV rays keep the water drinkable for along time?
Wade Icey

Big Wall climber
Indian Caves, CA
Jun 5, 2007 - 12:23am PT
Hey Mike,

Did ya carry out the empty, leave it fixed, or carry the half of fith (a two and a half?) down to where you could add a splash of water?

Hope all's well with you and yours.

I wonder if the King Cobra was the Rummy equivalent to leaving a little for Jah?
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 5, 2007 - 12:26am PT
"Karl, how was the climb? "

It was about enjoying nature, comradeship and helping my partner get his aid chops up to speed. I'd consider it a success as he went from taking about 3 hours to lead pitch 2 of the South Face to 1.5 hours to lead a similar section of the Prow later on.

Nice weather, and good to meet Ya'll. I'm paranoid and brought too much water as well.



Jun 5, 2007 - 12:38am PT
Thanks, Wade. Back at ya.

Good Q...I did re-cache that Jim Beam. Figured someone would enjoy it--especially with it having been the onset of Winter. Hell, I didn't even carry any of my own gear down from that summit. Two weeks later I hiked up to get my gear. Bring plenty o' water!
Mick K

Northern Sierra
Jun 5, 2007 - 12:54am PT
I agree with karl. We tried to take every piec of litter/garbage on our trip up the prow this weekend. Actually the route was very clean. I recall see almost no garbage on the route. However we didI agree with Karl. We tried to take every piece of litter/garbage on our trip up the Prow this weekend. Actually the route was very clean. I recall see almost no garbage on the route. Good job everyone. However we did get a leaper cam stuck (go figure). I hate leaving anything on a wall accept by blood and sweat.

Take only memories leave only blood and sweat.

However, water can be a lifesaver. We left a gallon as James said on the top of WC which was almost immediately appreciated by a couple bivying nearby. We were happy to help out. The water stash should never be bigger than necessary to provide aid (i.e. get down) and food should be left only in very rare occasions.

I can attest that if you run out on a wall it doesn’t matter that the stash may be a little moldy. If you are on top you probably won’t get the runs until you are back on the ground.

Karl it was good to met you. I was one of the guys on the approach taking or second break after hiking only .10 of a mile. It is even greater to hear your partner has been fully indoctrinated.

Edit-mike. = bingo
Wade Icey

Big Wall climber
Indian Caves, CA
Jun 5, 2007 - 01:01am PT
Mick - have you been drinking moldy water?

Jun 5, 2007 - 01:02am PT
Damn, Mick. That was some great weed.

But I'm with ya!

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 5, 2007 - 01:09am PT
holy repeat sentence batman...

if I topped out on something and there was stash water, i would be eternaly grateful...

ok eternity is a long time, let's just say til I died.

Messages 1 - 20 of total 55 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta