Keeping walls as clean as Grand Canyon

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 21 - 40 of total 60 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
jstan

climber
Nov 20, 2007 - 04:42pm PT
If the climate were normal i would hypothesize that the trash gets swept out periodically by flooding.

In any event, we really need only be thankful for our being re-energized by the sight of a clean place. So much so we all go out and make more places clean.

As to capacity to accommodate the nmber of climbers it really comes down to a choice WE have to make. Should we adapt what we do so that all who wish to participate may, or do we put a lottery in place?

Population control via lottery? Now isn't that a revolutionary concept?
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 20, 2007 - 04:57pm PT
Community self-policing will be part of any solution. Perhaps we can start by cleaning up SuperTopo.

Ok, that was a bit smart assed. We did do a good job of getting people out for the FaceLift, and other events that are occasionally advertised.

I concur with both jstan and DR - we have to lead by example. And as climbers, we're all leaders - in all ways.
Festus

Mountain climber
Enron by the Sea
Nov 20, 2007 - 05:17pm PT
Bler, far more people hike (or ride a mule) to the bottom of Grand Canyon than climb The Nose, but if you compare the numbers on a single, less-used rim to river route with those on The Nose, then you've got a pretty fair comparison--in terms of numbers anyway.

But let's go back to the original question here: Why can't The Nose ledges be as clean as much more frequently used Grand Canyon campsites? Anyone?

edit: Jstan, Grand Canyon won't flood again until Glen Canyon Dam collapses.
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Arid-zona
Nov 20, 2007 - 06:01pm PT
Maybe if there was some easier way to haul the stuff up. Some sort of pulley-and-ratchet system that climbers could utilize. Oh wai....
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Nov 20, 2007 - 06:46pm PT
It comes back to the phrase, " More access means more a$$holes.".

Sure when you make everyone get a permit and go on guided trips and the guide can be held accountable, there will be less trash, cause that's actually a controlled access deal. And there are consequences for screwing up.

The thing that has ruined several places in the south is building a road that lets just about anyone get close to the rock. Not only do more people come, and many are people who don't climb but just want the view off the top, or to party, or to see how far they can throw a beer bottle off the top, But they bring more crap with them.

The places that see few people usually have very little trash.

SO, if you limit access by any way you choose, permits, difficult hike in, or whatever, that will help.

Otherwise, you have to set an example, talk to people, and pick up a LOT of trash. Establishing an ethic takes a LONG time, and in areas where the current ethic is to trash the place, it will take even longer.

Consequences for trashing the place also help some.

I think that placing a few heads on pikes with a sign that says, "Leave trash, lose your head", in the climbing area you want to improve would help.

When you relocate those Koreans to Jtree, to handle the dog problem, you could get some head hunters from New Guinea as well, maybe, as long as they understand that open season is only on litterbugs.
Mike.

climber
Nov 20, 2007 - 06:52pm PT
Who are the "high-profile" climbers hucking sh#t bags?
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2007 - 09:27am PT
no big insights from me but i do think it helps to keep this on peoples minds so that we can move toward a new standard of clean ledges on el cap.

how do peoples perceptions of what is acceptable or not shift? until the grand canyon trip, i felt like the nose having some trash was acceptable. sure, over the 10 years ive been climbing it every once in while it would get out of hand. at that point, an alarm would go off in the climbing community and someone would do a big clean up... and then the trash would build again...

that seems to be the steady state of the route that myself and others find acceptable. i now don't think it is acceptable because it really is nice to be in a place like El Cap Tower or the Grand Canyon and not see crap. and it really isnt THAT hard to clean up after yourself.

maybe the grand canyon is not the best comparison to The Nose, but i do think The Nose route could become clean and stay that way. hopefully by the end of 2008 there will be a new higher standard of cleanliness on Yosemite ledges.
Blinny

Trad climber
NWMontana
Nov 21, 2007 - 09:35am PT
Festus . . . that's not true. . . our guides told us that there are planned floods periodically, to create sandy beaches. . . everytime we passed an "artificial flood created beach" it was pointed out to us.

I guess it's something that was done after an association of River Guides got together with the Feds requesting better beaches for camping.

I don't have all the particulars - but maybe some of our resident guides can fill in the blanks.

I was moved by how our guides said they worked so closely, and well, with the Feds. Just goes to show that IT CAN WORK!

It's TOTALLY bitchen down there. . . although I was one of 20,000+ people who paddle that thing each year, I felt special and LUCKY to have such a clean, mellow place to experience "RiverTime."

ox

eKat
bobinc

Trad climber
Portland, Or
Nov 21, 2007 - 09:59am PT
We took off a private trip in June of this year. It was my 2nd time down on a private and 4th overall. Our shuttle driver was someone who had run the Green and Colorado since the mid 50s. His comment was that the beaches and corridor are much cleaner now than back then (and this even when there were only a handful of people in the canyon).

Others have explained most of why the canyon is so clean (outfitters and private boaters are both very aware of the value of the resource, etc) but something else to consider is that the rafting trip is relatively luxurious compared to the average big wall ascent. Not to let folks on the Big STone off the hook but there it is necessary to carry everything UP rather than just load it on the boat and float to the takeout.
Festus

Mountain climber
Enron by the Sea
Nov 21, 2007 - 10:09am PT
You're right, eKat, but those aren't real floods, in the pre-dam sense, though they have clearly not been the complete failures that Piton Ron expressed. In their aftermath you could see that beaches had gotten bigger...but nowhere near what many of them were like when I first started hiking down there in the early 80s. My guess would be that you'd have to have a much, much bigger dam release to scour the near shoreline of the vegetation (tammies, etc.) and create the huge, if shifting, beaches of old--not that that is necessarily the goal. But, I couldn't agree more about the tremendous job the guides and outfitters do in conjunction with the park service. Certainly the dollars at stake made regulations easier to enforce, but the concern/care of plenty of guides and river runners also had a lot to do with it...not to mention the lasting influence of Martin Litton, Dave Brower and friends.

I, too, would love to hear from someone who knows the details, science, and overall effectiveness of the artificial flooding, future plans for it, etc.

edit: Bobinc, it's true that floating trips have a far, far easier means of removing garbage, etc., but there are more than a few beaches in GC used almost exclusively by backpackers. I can't speak to the most used 'cuz I've never been there (Phantom Ranch area) but the rest of them--which probably see similar numbers to a popular El Cap route--remain pristine. In fairness, you are encouraged to pee in the wet sand near the waterline, and bury your feces far from the river in non-sand earth (you only have to pack out the TP) which would be prodigious feats from Heart Ledge, but...
Mike.

climber
Nov 21, 2007 - 10:22am PT
Again: Who are the "high-profile" climbers hucking sh#t bags?

They need to be held to a higher standard.
Festus

Mountain climber
Enron by the Sea
Nov 21, 2007 - 10:33am PT
Artificial flooding in GC:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/science/2004-11-28-grand-canyon_x.htm
Blinny

Trad climber
NWMontana
Nov 21, 2007 - 10:37am PT
Hey. . . thanks for dredging (pun intended, I guess) that up!

GOOD ARTICLE!

ox

eKat
TradIsGood

Half fast climber
the Gunks end of the country
Nov 21, 2007 - 10:40am PT
Send that much water off the top of El Cap and it will be way cleaner even than Grand Canyon in no time!

Except maybe in the winter.


:-)
BadInfluence

Mountain climber
Dak side
Nov 21, 2007 - 10:44am PT
Did you test the water?
bobinc

Trad climber
Portland, Or
Nov 21, 2007 - 10:58am PT
That's a good point, Festus (about backpackers). I'm unsure of the numbers but there are certainly 000s of folks who make it to the river and stay overnight. In looking around some of those campsites, they seem very clean. I'm unsure what the NPS does as far as backpacker ed goes (and can't recall what we were told in '85, last time I hiked overnight vs boated the GC). My guess is some of the cleanup occurs via boaters; in fact, the newest brochure given to private boaters encourages asking backpackers if they have any trash that could be taken out on a raft.
Festus

Mountain climber
Enron by the Sea
Nov 21, 2007 - 11:46am PT
I can't speak for the more crowded areas (Hermit, Kaibab and Bright Angel trails--which "house" the overwhelming majority of GC backpackers) because I avoid 'em, and I can only speak for myself and those I've hiked with and run into down there, but I've never encountered a beach or campsite littered by backpackers. Now whether or not every one of those people follows each and every rule spelled out in detail on your hiking permit, I can't know for sure, but I suspect they do, for the same reasons we do. To haul forty or fifty pounds all the way down there (and back), only to arrive at a trashed beach would be beyond depressing. We've got the same vested interest that river guides have--we want to keep coming back...to a place that's worth coming back to.


Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2007 - 04:56pm PT
i'm not going to pass on names of "the high profile climbers" because i got the info second hand. but I was told (by some folks who spend a lot of time around el cap) that a team or two were going back to the old bag toss and clean it up later routine... bags were piling up at the base of the wall and, even worse, some bags were not making it to the base.
E.L. "One"

Big Wall climber
Lancaster, California
Nov 21, 2007 - 04:58pm PT
What brother Festus said !!! But Jaysus Festus work on the tan !!


Cracko
Festus

Mountain climber
Enron by the Sea
Nov 21, 2007 - 05:11pm PT
Hey, dammit, that isn't me in that photo, it's DiBernardo! I'm even whiter!! (As seen below, while testing to see if the AAC's new rescue service could be accessed using your torso as a signal mirror)


Messages 21 - 40 of total 60 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews