Keeping walls as clean as Grand Canyon

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The user formerly known as stzzo

Trad climber
Sneaking up behind you.
Nov 21, 2007 - 05:35pm PT
Sniper rifle? How about with rubber bullets?

Load up a sh#t bomb in a catapult and send 'em back some of their own?

RE sh#t bombs: Even during the facelift, Jesse said there were people tossing them.
Festus

Mountain climber
Enron by the Sea
Nov 21, 2007 - 05:49pm PT
Maybe what the climbing community needs is their own Jose Canseco to write a self-serving book that at least serves to out the sh#tbaggers, etc. Then you could have name climbers appear before congress saying they weren't there to talk about the past, suddenly forget how to speak English, shake a resolute finger in the camera and state they have never, ever, sh#tbagged, etc. Mitchell is about done with his baseball investigation, maybe he'll tackle El Cap ledges next.

I've been up a few classic (historically speaking) if easy routes, like East Face of Whitney, Mt. Sill (okay, via the descent route) and the Durrance on Symmetry Spire (and, yeah, that's pretty much my complete resume). Since I strictly followed on each of them and have never been inspired to lead anything, I'm not really a climber, but it was absolutely awe inspiring to ascend those routes--a powerful combination of the scenery and the knowledge of (and appreciation for) those who pioneered the ways up 'em. So for me, and for the reasons just stated, El Cap Tree would be the climb of a lifetime. To sit up there actually on El Cap, as embarrassingly corny as that reads, would bring a summit euphoria I could (and would) tap forever, fused for me with my childhood memories of being in the valley and actually hearing Harding's hammer on the first ascent. I could follow to El Cap Tree (if I can talk my brother into leading it) though anything beyond that is simply never going to happen. But if I'm ever fortunate enough to get there, only to find trash, sh#t or urine, well, f#ck 'em, I consider myself ten times the climber of some prick who can free 5.12 but thinks hurling his shitbags is okay.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Nov 21, 2007 - 05:56pm PT
Forget about what high profile climbers are tossing poop bags...Which high profile climbers are providing examples of "Keeping Clean?"

I know that many top climbers really do care, and many of them make the same efforts as everyone else, in picking up litter on approaches and such. But it gets little to no publicity.

Perhaps the magazine editors might consider adding the aspect of keeping clean in their editorials and interviews.

Perhaps gear manufacturers could find a way to highlight the aspect in their photo shoots.

Perhaps the Access Fund could host an annual award to some climber or group who goes above and beyond the call, and use that to promote the issue.

Perhaps photogs and videographers can do segments on keeping clean, and add them to their galleries, as a form of public service.



tenesmus

Trad climber
slc
Nov 21, 2007 - 07:13pm PT
" Penneslyenvy,

Bullwhipped? Potentially the owners of the companies are threatened by the park service, but the guides, for the most part, take great pride in keeping the place clean. Sure I've bullwhipped a few littering clients but that is just my personality."

I've done that a few times. And my pockets constantly had trash of just about every kind in them...

"You are going to have a great time on the Grand. Remember what I said about Crystal?

Prod."

You told 'em to go LEFT didn't right? Gotta go left if you want to really say you ran Crystal. Its a crazy place to be.

A good friend of mine was a river ranger after he was a boatman and he really got off on tagging private AND commercial boaters for stealing rocks or leaving trash on a beach. Hell HE was the guy who told me to throw the leftover spaghetti into the "Back Cooler". You know, the one way back behind the boats. Not too funny when a guy catches a trout with an engorged, noodle filled stomach.

So, the only way climbing could clean up as well as the grand would be to have a ranger hovering and no one wants that. But I give my all for cleaning up.
Scrunch

Trad climber
Provo, Ut
Nov 23, 2007 - 02:42pm PT
It seems that the problem isn't generally the lifestyle user... the type of people who identify themselves as "climbers" because they care about their crags. I've noticed the trend of "weekend warriors" who practice a number of different sports when their jobs and families allow who cause a number of different problems, from litter to top-roping through the chains.
There are, of course, exceptions. However, I'd be interested to know if ledges that required a high standard of free or aid climbing (5.12 or A3, for example) had the same trash problems.
The perfect counterpoint to my argument is Pipe Dream Cave in Maple Canyon, which an a cesspool, and most of the climbs there are hard.
Despite this, I believe the way to adjust these problems is to simple let people know how you feel about it. I might be a jerk, but if someone litters in front me, I explain that I don't appreciate their actions. I also mention the possible ramifications of their conduct, and suggest they have more respect for a high use area. Sometimes I follow them back to the parking lot and let the air out of their tires. (just kidding)
jstan

climber
Nov 23, 2007 - 03:13pm PT
Happie:
I know it is counterintuitive but it seemed to me it is more important that "low profile" climbers are visibly working to protect our resources. In the 70's when we walked down the carriage road every few hundred feet you would see climbers of all sorts policing the carriage road. The impact was remarkable. People of all persuasions were out in front leading us.

It may be a symptom of the times but we all seem to look to high level leaders to make things happen. Unfortunately high level or "High profile" leaders sometimes are looking primarily for the things that will raise their profile. Not always, but sometimes. Being seen grunging around in a ditch does not necessarily elevate a person. It feels very good though being in a ditch just because one is unwilling to put up with this any longer. I find that a very good feeling.

Cheers,

John
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
New York, NY
Nov 23, 2007 - 03:27pm PT
John - I think something must have changed then.... The last 3 years I've been helping at the Gunks and though almost every single person who walks by as we do the work says "thanks" or offers an embarrassed apology/excuse for not having helped, they don't tend to show up at a later point to lend a hand.....

I have actually gotten some back-handed compliments by people, for my help. As if I'm trying to kiss someone's ass or get some perk or something. And people have said "Well, she lives in New Paltz(I don't) and that's why she can give up the Sunday climbing."

Some people seem to have the idea, at least at the Gunks, that because they pay a fee for the access, that money is, or should be, going to pay for the trail maintenance.
jstan

climber
Nov 23, 2007 - 03:42pm PT
Very sorry to hear that. The process of building support can depend upon something as simple as giving the passersby a five second explanation of why you are there. I know when we went through the needle's eye in the 70's we were hugely energized by a climbers's meeting held by the Preserve. It provided the momentum that Ken and Facelift is presently creating in Yosemite.

If I make it to the Gunks next fall I know I will be bringing plastic bags. It is the most important thing any of us can do.
The user formerly known as stzzo

Trad climber
Sneaking up behind you.
Nov 23, 2007 - 05:05pm PT
Being seen grunging around in a ditch does not necessarily elevate a person.

I'm not sure about that - I think that in general people have much more respect for someone who's willing to get their hands dirty and help society / the world than for people who aren't.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Nov 23, 2007 - 05:13pm PT
Change to our culture and behaviour has to start somewhere.
10b4me

climber
1/2way between Yos and Moab
Nov 23, 2007 - 10:09pm PT
not to sound biased, but the foreign climbers need to be educated about the environment also.
jstan

climber
Nov 24, 2007 - 04:19pm PT
When I think about how it might be if I went to some other country to climb I can easily see how I would not be tuned in at all to the local atmosphere. That was what made it so special during Facelift when I was picking up trash in C4. A young lady from Japan offered me a couple pieces of fruit as a way of expressing appreciation. The guys were over at a table doing what guys do. Even so I have a suspicion they will become aware of what people are trying to do in Yosemite. I believe there is no better way to do it.

Without a doubt there are climbers from every place who are so intent on doing some particular thing they short change things that are important. They come here and do it. We go there and do it. The only response needed is for all of us to persevere. What needs to happen - shall happen.
Wes Allen

Boulder climber
KY
Dec 2, 2007 - 09:36am PT
Saw Tommy and Beth's slide show on the trip Friday night, and WOW! Some amazing looking climbing there for sure, and climbing 13's on limestone with trad gear sounds crazy. Though the bouldering is what looks really cool to me. Too bad it is so $$$$ to take a raft trip like that.
dipper

climber
Dec 2, 2007 - 11:46pm PT
bump
tenesmus

Trad climber
slc
Dec 6, 2007 - 11:56am PT
So Wes - were they in GC? I'd love to see that show. There are 500 miles of limestone to be climbed if you can take the choss. You gotta figure its basically the same layers all around Mesquite and St George... ok, so 1000 miles of limestone.
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Dec 6, 2007 - 03:01pm PT
About those plastic bags, zip lock freezer bags one gallon size are great. they are a little thicker and glas and other sharp things don't poke though so bad.

Don't leave home without a few.

About those rivers, if there were a lot of trash and it floods, then you'll see bits of plastic bags and such up in the trees and bushes at the flood line, after the water comes back down.

If you don't see this at the canyon, then flooding is not what's keeping the beach clean.
Festus

Mountain climber
Enron by the Sea
Dec 7, 2007 - 09:03am PT
Dirt,

You don't see that. You also don't see the kind of flooding that would cause that (see the "artificial flood" article link I stuck in this thread earlier).
Wes Allen

Boulder climber
KY
Dec 8, 2007 - 03:33pm PT
Yep, in the canyon. And they did mention "scary" and "loose" more the a couple times. There are several kinds of rock the were climbing on. From what they said, there would be a article (Men's journal?) and maybe TV, or something like that. Basically, they said the big wall potential was so-so, but there were miles and miles of cragging and bouldering. Some crazy big caves, like 100 ft of roof bouldering into 100+ foot 5.13 pitches.
jewedlaw

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Dec 8, 2007 - 04:02pm PT
Haven't read all the responses so I don't know if this has been touched upon, but what about requiring permits for climbing in the valley? Or at least for big wall trips?

So you pay $20 for a lifetime permit, but if you're caught poopin' off the wall or what not, you get it revoked with some penalty maybe, but in any case, have to pay $20 again (or $40 the next time and so on). Enforcing such a permit would have it's own trouble, but it's a thought.
Brian

climber
Cali
Dec 8, 2007 - 05:06pm PT
I'm glad Chris posted this, as the issue is one that really needs to be addressed. Alas, I've come to the conclusion that climbers will not, perhaps cannot, police themselves. Thus, while I continue to support access, I do so with an eye to impact. At a certain point the environmentalist in me wins out over the climber in me.

As to the high profile climbers hucking sh!t bags. A good friend of mine has the dubious distinction of being shat on by arguable the highest profile climber out there. The culprit took a 'space-st!t', just let it all hang out there. Like Chris, I won't name names because I was not in the party victimized. Perhaps the victim will post on this thread, as I know he lurks here occasionally.

As to holding rockstars to a higher standard... I'm in favor of it as long as we hold ourselves to the same higher standard. There is no reason that the Nose can't be as clean as the Grand Canyon other than (1) selfishness and (2) laziness.

Brian
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