Via Ferrata(s) Tetons, WY?

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 73 of total 73 in this topic
dave

climber
Earth
Topic Author's Original Post - May 11, 2008 - 03:28pm PT
I just read in the local paper that the forest service is reviewing the proposal on equiping routes in the Tetons with via ferratas (sp)in order to have, as the article stated, "Rock Climbing without the Risks".

Anyone know about this crrrrap!?
tooth

Mountain climber
B.C.
May 11, 2008 - 04:43pm PT
Yeah, the new forest director, Issac, from Europe. Good guy! He will be making some Euro changes...
Next up, 'climbers forum' beaches...
jstan

climber
May 11, 2008 - 05:01pm PT
After a little search:

http://www.mtexpress.com/story_printer.php?ID=2005120645

Rock climbing without risks coming to Tetons

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (MTN)—For summer visitors this year, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort hopes to offer a new feature described as rock climbing without the risk.

Called "via ferrata," the system features a steel cable that runs the length of each rock-climbing route. Participants wear a helmet and a harness with two safety lines, which are clipped into the cable. By clipping and unclipping as they ascend the face, climbers at all times remain attached to the cable by at least one safety line.

The Jackson Hole News&Guide stated that networks of via ferrata, Italian for "iron way," were installed in the Italian Dolomites and Austrian Tyrol during World War I, as soldiers for both sides of that horrific conflict affixed cables, ladders and bridges to the rock, eliminating the need for full climbing equipment.

This system allows people who haven't climbed before to "get the experience without risk," explained Jessica Milligan, chief of product, sales and service for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The routes are being reviewed by the U.S. Forest Service, which administers the property.

Whistler-Blackcomb also has via ferrata routes, as do Waterfall Canyon in Ogden, Utah, and three resorts in the East. Such systems are common in Europe, especially the Dolomites.


Then I found a map showing Bridger Teton national Forest.

http://gorp.away.com/gorp/location/wy/wy_nw.htm

From here on what I have to say is speculation, so regard it as such.

The newspapers have carried many reports of efforts leading to the rewriting of NFS rules guiding that agency’s management of public lands. This has come most visibly as regards oil drilling and the building of roads. In certain cases even the mere presence of a road materially affects whether Wilderness status can exist in an area. Past NFS rules have been changed and this change can presumably show up in a number of ways, apart from oil drilling.

So far I have not located the appropriate NFS office for receiving public input on this proposal. If input is being sought, that site will have much more information.

Once someone finds a source of real information on this proposal, they should, ASAP, make it available here so those with concerns can decide whether they need to write their members of Congress.

I have used via ferrata on and around the Tofana above Cortina d'Ampezzo. Most of it was on terrain I thought steep but sometimes exposed sidewalks. I have to say it allowed groups of thirty or forty people ready access to an area they would not otherwise see. That area is part of a WW I battlefield managed as a park. On it one can see the defenses contructed by Italy, in some places just as they existed at the end of the war. Communication lines still lay underfoot.

If we could once finish the bolt discussion, our climbers's thoughtful input to land use decisions like this could be very useful IMO.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 11, 2008 - 08:51pm PT
This is just the beginning - commercial interests and 'enthusiasts' will be pushing hard for the expansion of via ferratas in the U.S. We are now exactly where we were at the end of the '70s with sport climbing - and via ferratas are nothing but an extension of the entitlement and desire for risk-free entertainment which lie at the heart of it.

Maybe it's time for 'sport climbing' to become 'trad climbing' to make room for the new sport climbing...
dave

climber
Earth
Topic Author's Reply - May 11, 2008 - 09:46pm PT
And people here give more of a shite about some feckin rap bolts than this.
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
May 11, 2008 - 09:51pm PT
This is bull*hit of the highest order.

They'll be all like "oh, we just want to do this one route"... then once they get away with that and then it'll be "I'm tired of that one...lets put up another, and another..."

They put 'em up, I say we chop em. Blow torch and hacksaws. This is SO wrong.

Someone please find an address or something where we can send comments on this.
ralph_teh_klimber

climber
ralph town
May 11, 2008 - 09:52pm PT
I am excited about this, as we put in a bid for the fabrication and install of the ropeway!
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
May 11, 2008 - 10:09pm PT
The Via Ferrata was an outgrowth of a seminal historic event in Italy. Totaly appropriate to keep them up and even improve them given the context.


they have no provenance in an American wilderness and should be totaly unaceptable other than the few with historical roots.

The cables are the only one that comes to mind that meets that test.

There may be a few other obscure ones that have passed into disintegration. How about restoring the steps on Babo? Or the cowboy route on Devils Tower? Let's rebuild the Lowe cog railway complete with resort on top?

Bet that would go over big.
ralph_teh_klimber

climber
ralph town
May 11, 2008 - 10:14pm PT
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is not the wilderness and this installation is well within their usage rights on public land.
Mimi

climber
May 11, 2008 - 10:18pm PT
Which peak(s) would be impacted? Got link showing the layout?
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
May 11, 2008 - 10:28pm PT
So let me see if ii'nm get'in this right.

A private entity is within its "usage rights" to turn public lands into an amusement ride as a profit making enterprise, but thousands of miles of roads, some in use for 50 years or more should be removed from public non profit use?

(See Bacahar bolders thread.)


What's wrong with this picture?

ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
May 11, 2008 - 10:44pm PT
Most ski areas are on public lands. Via Ferratas are no big deal when you compare them to the average lift network.
Mimi

climber
May 11, 2008 - 10:48pm PT
Looks like their tram goes up to the base of Teewinot. The resort is down below so the cables and steps would be used in conjunction with the tram ride? There's no mention of the cable project anywhere.

http://www.jacksonhole.com/info/jh.gondola.index.asp

Take it away Ralph. Seriously!
ralph_teh_klimber

climber
ralph town
May 11, 2008 - 10:52pm PT
You are correct TGT, it all comes down to money, the ski resorts pay a permit fee, some grandfathered in at unbelievable rates and some pay out the nose. This install will be minimum impact and overseen by a third party as well as the USFS. Go to the Palm Springs Tram, when we did that upgrade spent weeks on the cliff side drilling and hammering away quite a bit of stone as the new Trams could clear the cliff into the top terminal. It's hard but awesome work.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
May 11, 2008 - 10:55pm PT
We ARE Devo! think I hear my new tail calling for love...I love my implants, grafts,'n' sh#t.... closest I can think of to really doing sh#t.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 11, 2008 - 11:07pm PT
Oh, so you're serious about doing the install. Bummer, can't believe a climber would take money to do such a thing - but then anything is for sale I suppose.
hagerty

Social climber
SLC
May 11, 2008 - 11:23pm PT
> Looks like their tram goes up to the base of Teewinot.
<
No. We're talking about Jackson Hole Mountain Resort - a ski area with multiple lifs, a gondola or two and a tram - well south of Grand Teton National Park. The proposed developments indeed are on public land (held under long term lease by the resort operators), but it's no where near Teewinot, the Grand, etc. It's probably a good idea to look at some real maps first before everyone gets their panties in a bunch.
Mimi

climber
May 11, 2008 - 11:28pm PT
The link I posted came up from a search for the resort. They must also run the tram for the ski area near the Village. This link says they're north of the park.

http://www.jacksonhole.net/mountain-resort.htm
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 11, 2008 - 11:32pm PT
Public or private lands are pretty much irrelevant - it's like saying you don't have to worry about a virus because it's on in a private home instead of a public building. Via ferratas are coming - first on private land, now leased public land, and next there will be the inevitable legal battles for regular BLM, FS, and National Park lands.
alpinerockfiend

Trad climber
Jackson, WY
May 11, 2008 - 11:45pm PT
Mimi, the resort is not north of the Park. The article says it's located "12 miles north of Jackson Hole" or something to that effect. They're referring to the town of Jackson. The north side of the resort BORDERS the south boundary of Grand Teton National Park. Also, to whoever posted that the tram runs up Teewinot... you're wrong. There are no ski lifts in the Park. You guys should try to inform yourselves a little more before jumping into this fight.

There is a very minuscule amount of rock climbing developed on the Forest Service land inside the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort lease. There's even less potential for more. More than likely, the little "via ferrata" will be on some of the small limestone and granite choss that appears at various locations in the resort.

I'm not trying to defend this at all. I'm just trying to give a more accurate picture of these faulty characterizations of JHMR.
NFB

Mountain climber
SLC UT
May 12, 2008 - 12:33am PT
Zip line from top of tram to top of gondola is also on the rumor table.

"The Village" is rather different from the wilderness of the teton park.

I'm with the guy stating the obvious... come on people, a via ferratta is far less impact than a lift network. Don't forget, it is one of the best lift networks in the lower 48. The tram access is so awesome.

So what if Connie Kemmerer wants to make the Village a little more like the alps. Hell yeah.
alpinerockfiend

Trad climber
Jackson, WY
May 12, 2008 - 12:16pm PT
Speaking of via ferratas, check this vid out! http://www.themountainculture.com/2008/05/12/el-camino-del-ray/
jstan

climber
May 12, 2008 - 12:30pm PT
Has anyone managed to find an official forest service site with information regarding this potential project? We really need to do this.
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
May 12, 2008 - 02:33pm PT
Just because a via ferrata is less of an impact than a ski resort doesn't mean you should let it in. What we should be doing is fighting off the installation of via ferratas on public land and rigorously scrutinizing ski resorts for compliance on all environmental issues.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
May 12, 2008 - 02:40pm PT
Public lands, especially FS lands, get used for far more damaging purposes than a ski area. I'll take a via ferrata over a clear cut or strip mine. If one of these does not interfere with a climbing or otherwise sensitive area I don't see what the big deal is. Why not let the common man feel the thrill of being up in the heights?

Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
May 12, 2008 - 03:10pm PT
Yes Via Ferratas are a Euro invention to facilitate the slaughter of one another.



with no American precedence whatsoever.

Hmmmmm.

I don't think a few iron ways here and there are any big deal whatsoever.

I like the one on Half Dome personally. I liked Huell Howser's show about it too.

DMT
ralph_teh_klimber

climber
ralph town
May 12, 2008 - 03:11pm PT
Impact?? How about all the feces and toilet paper around mayhem cove currently, I highly doubt some hiker is responsible. All environmental concerns are considered and rules applied in situational fashion, much like all of you live your lives. David, I hope you follow the speed limit, recycle every item possible and find ways to reduce your impact. Turn your computer off, your television, your espresso maker. Does your company work in a pious and sensitive way, I doubt it. Even the enviro's are hypocritical in every way. I have yet to see an erosion management plan implemented and succeed in 15 yrs of business, and these are written up by the enviro's, then again these are the same people who work in the clouds and have little to no experience outside of what their college professor's expounded on them. In the real world things get impacted every turn, tell me what happened to all the debris and waste material from the twin towers? What of the turbidity of the street run into the east river and the hudson? The opacity created by the complete demo of the site? The fumes and smoke from the initial incident? There are no differences from this or the impact from a Via Ferrata or a ski lift installation.

Like I always try to inform all you city dwellers, people from sea level and office workers, stay where you belong stay in the city where you need to be and feel safe and secure.
Anguish

Mountain climber
Jackson Hole Wyo.
May 12, 2008 - 03:21pm PT
Casper Bowl will get
3 climbing routes.

By Michael Pearlman
Jackson Hole News&Guide
4/30/08

Adventurous hikers with a taste for exposure will have a new option at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort this summer if the U.S. Forest Service approves a plan to install a “via ferrata” on the upper mountain.
The Jackson via ferrata is expected to consist of simple iron rungs and safety lines placed in exposed rock, allowing hikers to ascend faces that would otherwise be too dangerous without climbing equipment. A practice route is planned for a rock wall directly above the top station of the Bridger Gondola, and Phase 1 of the resort’s system includes three additional routes on rock faces in Casper Bowl, uphill and north of the lift’s terminus.
Recreators would access the routes on a hiking trail scheduled to be built this summer. Phase 2 of the system would include routes on rock faces located above Pepi’s Ridge and the Cajun couloir, a massive rock wall that would link the system to the top of the tram.
“The via ferrata fit into what we want to pursue in the summer and allows us to expand the types of activities we offer,” said Jessica Milligan, chief of product, sales and service for the resort. “People who haven’t climbed before could get the experience without the risk.”
Italian for “iron way,” the via ferrata first came into existence during World War I in the Italian Dolomites and Austrian Tyrol. Troops needing a safe and efficient way to move through the mountains and defend their country’s borders affixed fixed cables, ladders and bridges to the rock, eliminating the need for full climbing equipment.
The systems are popular in a number of European countries but most common in the Dolomites.
To date, only five other public via ferrata routes exist in North America. They are located at Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort in British Columbia, Smugglers Notch Resort in Vermont., Nelson Rocks Preserve in West Virginia, Torrent Falls in Kentucky, and Waterfall Canyon in Ogden, Utah.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort owner Connie Kemmerer, who has used the system in Europe, has supported installation of a via ferrata system on Rendezvous Mountain, viewing it as a family-friendly offering for Teton Village visitors.
“We think we’d like the system accessible for everyone,” said Milligan, adding that an age limit would likely be put into place and guides would initially be required. “If people want to get a sense of what it’s like, they can try the practice route.”
Via ferrata feature a steel cable that runs along the length of each route. Participants wear a helmet and harness featuring two safety lines, which are clipped into the cable.
As climbers ascend using the rock and iron bars, they unclip one of the lines each time they reach a bolt, clip it on the other side of the bolt and then repeat the process, always remaining attached to the system by at least one safety line.
Pending Forest Service approval of the resort’s summer operating plan, Milligan said construction of the practice route will begin in June and open to the public by July 4. Once snow melts and work on the trail accessing Casper Bowl can begin, construction of the remainder of the phase one routes will begin.
The via ferrata guiding program will operate through the Mountain Sports School, with private and group rates yet to be determined.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 12, 2008 - 03:36pm PT
Ralph: "stay where you belong in the city where you need to be and feel safe and secure"

Pretty strange words from a guy who can't wait to build a via ferrata in the Tetons for city people who 'need to be and feel safe and secure'. Now that really does seem a truly odd and self-disserving hypocrisy if ever I saw one. Build it, and they will come, dude.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 12, 2008 - 03:48pm PT
I just left a voicemail with Susan Marsh, the Recreation Officer for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and will follow that up with an email. Will keep you posted as to her response. The timeline looks pretty short to put any brakes on the whole affair. Anyone know what the Access Fund's stance or policy on Via Ferratas is? Would seem like a potential sticky wicket for them in terms of being seen working against 'access' for the masses.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
May 12, 2008 - 04:14pm PT
Have a single one of you chicken littles ever even SEEN Jackson Hole, much less BEEN up there? They want to add some cables to a choss pile next to a ski lift so the fat tourons they hoist up there will have something better to do than eat hot dogs and candy bars at the lift chalet. B. F. D. Anything to keep a few of them away from parking their RV's at Jenny Lake. I hope they build 5 of them and sell t-shirts, too!

Scared Silly

Trad climber
UT
May 12, 2008 - 05:32pm PT
Ski resorts are losing money so they are doing whatever they can to expand their summer attractions. This is another example of it. SnowTurd wanted to put in an alpine slide as an added attraction.

There are several questions to be asked, is this an appropriate usage of public lands? Are there similar opportunities available? There are impact questions that should be addressed as well increase number of people and their associated impact. Will the non paying public be displaced from areas because of the via-ferratas.

Will these routes become attractive nuisances because access will be hard to control?

This is new enough that it would seem that there are enough questions that a full EIS is required rather then a simple EA. There should be at least a scoping document at this point otherwise this is nothing more than a trial balloon.
kevin hansen

Big Wall climber
Kanab, UTAH
May 12, 2008 - 06:56pm PT
Growing up in Idaho Falls, I've spent a fair bit of time in the Tetons. I've never been to the area that is proposed to have these cables. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about leave no trace and low impact, however there must be sacraficial areas in order to keep other areas safe.

The Cables route on Halfdome was strongly opposed, yet what big waller hasn't descended them? (Proud to say I've only gone down them.) It acts as a sacrafice to the tourist Gods so El Cap, Tuolomne, and others are left for us climbers to regulate.

Angels Landing Trail with it's chain hand railings and even more damaging trail were opposed, yet what wall rat hasn't used it to get off after finishing a route. This route keeps the tourons satisfied with hiking and they leave the climbing to us.

The City of Rocks has ladder rungs made of rebar leading up the back side of Bath Rock. It's a sacraficial rock. Yellowstone has extensive boardwalks to satisfy the windshield tourists, so the backcounrty are kept less impacted. All these examples were implamented as a compromise in order to satisfy the users that pay $$ to these agancies.

The Tetons don't have areas like this. If there must be a sacraficial area, I hope its far away from the crown jewels that we climb on. I'd be sad to see cables leading up to the Lower Saddle, or on the belly roll. Its a good thing the proposal isn't even close to these areas.

Sounds like the deal is done anyway. Best to make the best of things. I hope there is as little colateral dammage as possible.
Mimi

climber
May 12, 2008 - 08:15pm PT
Spent part of the summers of 83 and 84 in the Tetons and Winds. Magical places.

Ralph, since there's such a paucity of info. on the net as I painfully found out, and you know so much about the project, why not fill us in with some of the general details please. It would go a long way in clarifying the situation. I bet most of us would likely be in support of the project if it's not near the park. I generally support the rights of private landowners.
alpinerockfiend

Trad climber
Jackson, WY
May 12, 2008 - 10:13pm PT
Listen fellows, don't you think this discussion might be getting a little out of hand? Too many people lack an understanding of the context. Like Donny, you're all out of your elements. A few misconceptions I've seen on this thread:

1) As has been pointed out, this is not a precedent-setting development.
2) This does not affect an area inside Grand Teton National Park.
3) The area affected is not private property. It's USFS land, but the land is currently leased (and has been for decades) by the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
4) These cliffs are C-H-O-S-S. Nobody climbs on them and nobody ever will. Thus, none of the non-paying public will be offset.
5) There are ski lift towers jutting into nearby cliffs.

Healyje in particular, what's your beef? Writing letters to the Bridger-Teton? There's a host of other issues that affect this amazing place on an exponentially larger scale. If you really care about this wonderful area, choose your battles more wisely.

For starters: Oil and natural gas development all over Wyoming and Montana, open season on wolves, and snowmobiling in Yellowstone and surrounding environs. If you're interested, consider joining the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. Apologies in advance if you're already a member or involved in other efforts to fight these battles.
http://www.greateryellowstone.org/

Regardless of your opinion on these issues, they are much nobler causes for which to use your voice.

All of you so vehemently opposed to this process should really try to examine both sides of the issue, especially when it's not one that affects you locally.
-Nick Stayner
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 13, 2008 - 01:09am PT

"If you really care about this wonderful area, choose your battles more wisely."

There are clearly many worthy battles - I personally believe insuring Via Ferratas in the U.S. stay contained on private lands is one of them. Under no circumstances do I want them on public lands - leased or otherwise. And that is so they don't spread [on public lands] to areas I do frequent.
Michael D

Big Wall climber
Napoli, Italy
May 13, 2008 - 04:09am PT
#1 I hated the idea of Via Ferrate when in the US
#2 I finally took a group up some in the Gran Sasso and Tofana areas
#3 It was an awesome time, with people who would otherwise never see these high mountain venues.
#4 It's steeped in Italian history, ie defensive positions
#5 We don't have that history in the US
#6 Scary to see people not using the proper rigging
Whew!
Cheers, Michael
Shingle

climber
May 13, 2008 - 07:53am PT
Threat of this is probably less to public land than to climber egos. For some, creating this system will reduce the unique nature of the existing climbing experience, and make it more difficult to clearly differentiate 'us' from the 'tourons'. That distinction is a value we cannot bear to lose.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
May 13, 2008 - 07:59am PT
What is wrong with the American public finding a new and fun way to USE THEIR OWN LANDS????

God forbid a few more valley dwellers summon themselves off the couch and go visit the mountains THEY ALREADY OWN.

I reject the extremist, Talabanish idealogues so pervalent in the boomer generation. Your chicken little reactions are funny though.

DMT
dave

climber
Earth
Topic Author's Reply - May 13, 2008 - 11:01am PT
Great! I got some info. straight, like I was hoping to understand this and now I do, and I dont give a sh#t that it is some choss heap at the resort.

Some one posted about, have anyu of you been to JH let alone been on the mounhtain. Yes and yes, kook!

And this is just rediculous,"All of you so vehemently opposed to this process should really try to examine both sides of the issue, especially when it's not one that affects you locally.
-Nick Stayner "

Well regardless of what you may think, affected locally or not? I think that is silly, these things that happen on public land set precedents and have the possibility to affect every one of us no matter where we live or who it affects first.
alpinerockfiend

Trad climber
Jackson, WY
May 13, 2008 - 11:23am PT
Just like they told you in elementary school, pay more attention Dave. Please take the time to read my whole post, as well as all the other posts on this ridiculous thread. You'll find that this ISN'T a precedent setting development.
I'm glad you've been here Dave. Now go join the GYC and fight a battle that matters. This one doesn't. From a local's perspective, it's really sad to see so many people up in arms about some choss at a ski area when this ecosystem is besieged every day by forces WAY bigger than the Kemmerers.
MZiebell

Social climber
Prescott, AZ
May 13, 2008 - 11:37am PT
Cables?? At a Ski Resort??? Good God, what next!!

Seriously, if THIS is the issue you need to rally around you're missing the boat. Please visit the web page below for information on the real issues facing the area (and what you can do to help). The concern shown for the area is laudable. Cables at the ski area are NOT the issue.

http://www.greateryellowstone.org/
FredtheRed

climber
May 13, 2008 - 12:04pm PT
once the cables are installed hold onto your hats - next thing will be an ADA legal action demanding handicapped access. It's been tried on the Appalachian Trail - and the jury's still out - but the clear ban on wheeled vehicles and horses as regards the trail have been useful - I can see it now - winches installed next to the cables so chair bound folk can have the same experiences (especially if it's on public land) that the rest of us can have ...
And in spite of the cables, you know some idiot is gonna get drunk and fall, bringing loads of legal action (perhaps they should insist on a sobriety test before allowing access).

FredTheRed
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 13, 2008 - 12:15pm PT
Well, unless someone can show me a recent, formally permitted via ferrata on federal land then it actually is a precedent setting development. Again, everyone is free to pick their own battles, keeping via ferratas contained on private land is one I'll take time out to pursue.

The issue has nothing whatsoever to do with any distinction between 'us vs. tourons' or ego - but just like several other threads, the issue is about yet another class of permanent installations on rock. They've started on private land, are attempting to jump to commercially-leased public land, and will then go after state / national parks and wilderness areas.

Thirty years later this is no different in any way from '78 and the advent of the spread of sport climbing from the EU. But via ferratas will be commercially driven, guide services will eventually jump on board, and we'll be fighting the installations of via ferratas in most major climbing venues within ten to fifteen years. Me, taliban that I am, would prefer to fight them before they can make the leap to public lands.

If you think this is just a local issue, you are sadly mistaken. If you think via ferratas couldn't make it to our main climbing venues, you are naive. If you think there are bigger issues afoot in the world, you are correct - hell, there are human disasters in China and Burma as we speak - not a word about them? There's always bigger fish to fry, but that all has little relevance to this issue in it's own scope.

ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
May 13, 2008 - 12:32pm PT
A via ferrata at ski area is the biggest environmental non-issue of the year. It actually seems a lot less lame than some of the other stuff you see at resorts. I hope folks enjoy seeing some air under their feet.

I doubt this install (or others at ski areas) will open the via ferrata flood gates.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
May 13, 2008 - 12:47pm PT
I like the via ferrata experience.
I've been to Cortina Italy and done a handful of them in the surrounding Dolomites and I could see some benefit to a bit of this type of installation in the states.
But I wouldn't say that Healyje's concerns are fringe quackery.
Anguish

Mountain climber
Jackson Hole Wyo.
May 13, 2008 - 01:02pm PT
"The Tetons don't have areas like this. If there must be a sacraficial area, I hope its far away from the crown jewels that we climb on. I'd be sad to see cables leading up to the Lower Saddle, or on the belly roll."

There already is a permanent fixed rope at the Lower Saddle and a fixed rappel anchor on the Grand Teton, both in a proposed wilderness area. Also, there's an old cable from Suprise-Ampitheater Lake to the Teton Glacier (North Face approach) that's left over from the horse packing days when they took turons up to see the ice.
Shingle

climber
May 13, 2008 - 01:21pm PT
Anguish - I think you're missing his point. Permanent anchors for his desired uses are OK, it's permanent anchors for the use of others that are a threat and must be stopped.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
May 13, 2008 - 03:48pm PT
Its a fun-da-mental religious issue. NO FUN FOR THEM! The infidels must be stopped.



The mountains are no place for fun.

DMT
alpinerockfiend

Trad climber
Jackson, WY
May 13, 2008 - 11:05pm PT
MZiebell, first of all, thanks so much for visiting the Greater Yellowstone Coalition site. In case this thread has piqued any of yall's interest in IMPORTANT land use issues facing the Jackson area, here's their site again: http://www.greateryellowstone.org/

Healy, first of all, I admire your passion. But remember that picture of the Cables Route Dingus posted? There's your precedent. Good enough?

You're going down a hell of a slippery slope saying that because of this one development, we can soon expect via ferratas popping up at all our favorite crags. THIS issue is not about someone drilling some iron and shooting "adventurous" tourists across the Cookie, the Grand, or Castleton Tower. Take a look at much of Spain, France, and Switzerland. Tons of climbing, lots of via ferratas. Show me a major conflict. (Not that I'm condoning their general approach to land use)

Ever wonder why you don't hear any LOCAL climbers opposed to this idea? If this were proposed for one of the popular sport crags around Jackson, or (god forbid) an iconic Teton summit, you can bet your ass it would never happen. Too many climbers here! To reiterate, this development does not displace climbers or affect them in any way. And I'm sorry, but I just can't give in to your doomsday theory that this will soon be happening at all of our favorite crags. This IS a local issue at heart, friendo.
Mimi

climber
May 13, 2008 - 11:33pm PT
I recall the iron rod sticking out of drilled holes and chain placed along the base of the Argentiere glacier and other places around Chamonix. Most of the work was damaged due to rockfall, ice damage, and neglect. It provided a handhold on occasion but it was mostly worth avoiding altogether.

I understand the historical sentimental acceptance of these trails in Europe, but have a harder time with the idea here in the States.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
May 13, 2008 - 11:44pm PT


Let the climber who has never hiked a trail hewn from the country rock itself cast the first stone. I call an emphatic BULLSH#T on the whole thing.



More iron ways. HOW DARE these ttttttouristssssss, these VALLEY DWELLERS, how DARE THEY come to MY hallowed mountains and foul them with their Nike clad feet???

DMT

DMT
Mimi

climber
May 13, 2008 - 11:49pm PT
DMT, I get your gist. The US does have many examples. My impression was of a modern version of the HD cables or what I saw in France.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 13, 2008 - 11:53pm PT
The HD cables route is a historic installation and was not vetted through any modern formal regulatory or administrative process. But, you are right - it is a stark precedent in that historic role, and it will be used as such in any significant fights over via ferratas on public lands. Take the cables route, add one or two new uncontested ones on public lands, and throw in the ADA and you have a recipe for a precendent which will be bulldozing any local objections to future installations.

It is politically naive in the extreme to think you can fight these one at a time based on whether you happen to like the particular [LOCAL] rock proposed to receive one. Let via ferratas on public lands go into [LOCAL] choss you don't happen to care for and all that will accomplish is allowing them to establish a successful regulatory track record. And then that track record won't be easily contested based on your [LOCAL] perceptions of rock quality or location. That's because the majority of the folks you'll be making your case to are likely to think one rock is pretty much the same as another and that higher quality must actually be better (think the HD cables route).

Off the top of my head I'd say that via ferratas on the Flatirons, in the Valley, and in Red Rock will all be easy targets sooner rather than later if commercial via ferratas on public lands are allowed to propogate uncontested. Again, this is not a local issue, it's a national one when we're talking federal lands - you might make that case for state lands, but by that time it will probably be too late...

couchmaster

climber
May 14, 2008 - 01:40am PT
Healy said: The HD cables route is a historic installation and was not vetted through any modern formal regulatory or administrative process. But, you are right - it is a stark precedent in that historic role, and it will be used as such in any significant fights over via ferratas on public lands. Take the cables route, add one or two new uncontested ones on public lands, and throw in the ADA and you have a recipe for a precendent which will be bulldozing any local objections to future installations.

It is politically naive in the extreme to think you can fight these one at a time based on whether you happen to like the particular [LOCAL] rock proposed to receive one. Let via ferratas on public lands go into [LOCAL] choss you don't happen to care for and all that will accomplish is allowing them to establish a successful regulatory track record. And then that track record won't be easily contested based on your [LOCAL] perceptions of rock quality or location. That's because the majority of the folks you'll be making your case to are likely to think one rock is pretty much the same as another and that higher quality must actually be better (think the HD cables route).

Off the top of my head I'd say that via ferratas on the Flatirons, in the Valley, and in Red Rock will all be easy targets sooner rather than later if commercial via ferratas on public lands are allowed to propogate uncontested. Again, this is not a local issue, it's a national one when we're talking federal lands - you might make that case for state lands, but by that time it will probably be too late...


So friggan what? Big friggan deal. I'm with Dingus.

Then are you going to try and ban, remove and eliminate all ski lifts and accompanying buildings and resorts on public property next? Because they are huge in size and impact. And well utilized and enjoyed by many of the very people who own the land: US. You don't want to ski, don't go there. You don't want to utilize the via Ferrata, then don't.

Then next will you try and eliminate all roads on public land? Mining? Logging? Cattle raising? The roads alone are massive installations and have massive environmental impact as well. Yet many many people benefit both directly and indirectly from those as well.



alpinerockfiend

Trad climber
Jackson, WY
May 14, 2008 - 01:59am PT
Couchmaster: I think Healy's not making an environmental impact argument so much as he's saying that the "precedent" being set by this particular via ferrata will soon spin out of control, and we can expect to see these things pop up at crags much dearer to our hearts (correct me if I'm wrong here Healy).

I just don't buy it. Call me politically naive. I probably am (I'm young!). But I've been involved in enough efforts in which a small minority of public land users stopped some form of development from taking place. Here's an example--I've helped stop oil and natural gas developers from drilling certain parts of the Wyoming Range.

True, these efforts have involved users from many sides of the spectrum, from hunters and snowmobilers to your (sorry for the stupid generalization) typical wilderness-loving Sierra Clubber.

In this case, the group of those opposing development was really diverse. However, look at what groups like the Access Fund have done to help save crags all over the country! Don't you think your proposed via ferratas on the Flatirons etc... would be met with intense opposition from the Access Fund and other more local groups of climbers? Again, call me politically naive, but I just don't see this type of development taking place on a large scale.

Dingus, sweet pics. Are those your kin from Tennessee?
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 14, 2008 - 02:05am PT
No Bill - mining, logging, cattle, and ski areas are entirely different issues with independent scope and scale of there own - they have little to nothing to do with this particular issue beyond being other uses of public resources and lands.

But, since you bring them up - the mining, timber, and cattle industries in this country have operated with some of the longest and largest federal (blue state) subsidies of any businesses in our nation's history. The mining industry in particular has essentially raped US taxpayers under the protection of antiquated 19th century law. In fact, I find it extremely amusing of late to read of the plight and indignation of wealthy republican ranchers in Wyoming having their aquifers destroyed by gas companies who just appear on their properties and start sinking injection wells.

But hey, no doubt it's all good and for the best...
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 14, 2008 - 03:59am PT
AlpineRock, you are correct. I do have an email into the policy director of the Access Fund inquiring as to their stance. However, by their very name - "Access" Fund - they will likely have a bit of a tough time taking what will seem to be a regulatory and legal stance against something which, by all appearances, would foster 'access' for more people. We'll have to see how that one shapes up, but I don't suspect it's a policy issue anyone at the AF is going to be real happy getting involved with.

As for fighting them on a case-by-case basis, it's just a much, much harder affair politically and you're only going to win a few before they establish a regulatory track record. After that they'll build enough momentum to roll over local opposition efforts when it's a matter of federal public lands.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
May 14, 2008 - 10:09am PT
I think liability insurance and ulitmately lawsuits will be a huge issue for any private via ferrata. Some overweight papa keel over, takes a 20 footer down a cable and ends up in a wheel chair - I don't think the well established ski-liability laws will apply.

I just don't think there will be lot of people or companies willing to risk their finaancial fortunes on something like that. One successful liability suit would doom this 'industry'

I still have no problem with a few public via ferratas. If they encourage folks who would otherwise go gambling or something, to scramble up in the mountains, good.

DMT
MZiebell

Social climber
Prescott, AZ
May 14, 2008 - 11:35am PT
"I just don't think there will be lot of people or companies willing to risk their finaancial fortunes on something like that. One successful liability suit would doom this 'industry'"

So there is a plus side to liability law!

I'm with you DMT - this is unlikely to go far...
Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
May 14, 2008 - 12:05pm PT
I just climbed all 3 Via Ferrata's in Waterfall Canyon, UT. It was great fun and they are very hard to find as they blend into background.
I have to laugh a bit at the nay-sayers here, wondering if these people actually climb ( or just drag pads around crushing vegatation). Anyone who has used the fixed lines going up the slabs to Half Dome would be hypocritical to oppose the via ferrata. Anyone climber who has used the cable to descend Snake Dike or any 1/2 Dome route would be hypocritical to oppose the via ferrata. Any climber who has used the fixed lines on the East Ledges descent of El Cap would be hypocritical to oppose the via ferrata.
It is highly unlikely that this will appear everywhere as they look to be a boat load of planning and work to install. If they get a few folks off their butts, out to get some exercise, and learn to appreciate the outdoors, I say it could alright.

Doug
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
May 14, 2008 - 12:39pm PT
Like I always try to inform all you city dwellers, people from sea level and office workers, stay where you belong stay in the city where you need to be and feel safe and secure.

Ralph, a bit snobbish (and sanctimonious?) for better lack of words (actually, I don’t lack the words but I do not want to insult you), aren’t you?

I do not think that many posters on this thread are opposed to such a Via Ferrata on grounds that they feared that their egos will be damaged, as one poster implied.

If there is a fear, I would think that many of the posters who are opposed, or in the least wary, of such a development may fear that it may set a precedent that could be used by some to further the use of Via Ferrata routes in many parts of the North America.

As it has already been stated, the Via Ferrata system in Italy was established for historical and (at the time) well-grounded reasons.

Those reasons are not present today in the United States.

Personally, I do not see a big threat from JHMR establishing a Via Ferrata on a choss pile near the resort, but I can understand the apprehension that posters such as Healy have about the precedent it may set.


Also, I am sure that there are bigger issues in the battle to preserve a number of parts of our environment and environmental heritage.

But it may very well be that once you start down (up? in this case) the slope, it may turn into a very slippery one.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
May 14, 2008 - 02:18pm PT
I just climbed all 3 Via Ferrata's in Waterfall Canyon, UT. It was great fun and they are very hard to find as they blend into background.

Well, they are visible to non-climbers. Had my teeth cleaned on Monday, and, my dental hygnienist is from Ogden, and asked what the heck was going on in Waterfalls Canyon, as they noticed these things whilst mountain biking up there.

I have fairly mixed feelings about them, especially here in the U.S. I guess I sorta side with the naysayers on them. I've done one in Italy (Tofana di Rozes) and it was really cool from the historical perspective, and seeing all the gun ports, barracks placements, tunnels, etc. that folks used to whack on each other back when it was in Austria.

And, yeah, I've climbed the ladder on Bath Rock at the City of Rocks (downclimbed without it too, very doable) and descended Half Dome. These are old, historical routes and I don't think its hypocritical to oppose additional via ferratas on public land. I've seen them in the Red, and near Seneca at Nelson, and, yikes, not on my public land, please!

I get the arguement that more folks should be getting out and enjoying their public land, but, that doesn't mean we should be installing big screen TV's so the kids can hike up to the upper saddle to play halo three projected on the side of the Grand.

Slippery slope I suppose. Put me down as a soft "no" to a via ferrata at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. They also wanted the public to pay for their tram, too.

As it is, folks ride up to do the bolted sport climbs up there. Hmmm...

-Brian in SLC

dave

climber
Earth
Topic Author's Reply - May 14, 2008 - 04:58pm PT
Doug, the 'fixed' lines for the slab approach to HD are not permanent installations, neither are the 'fixed' lines on the east ledges. Also the use of either of those requires some knowledge of/and technical know how.

The cables on HD again are an historical 'route' as are the Via Ferratas in Italy, a bit different than providing 'rock climbing with out the risks' for the masses in WY.

I think its the POSSIBLE flood gate that will be opened if the public land administrator (USFS) approves this, that concerns people. I said POSSIBLE!

Nelson preserve in WV is privately owned, big difference with what that guy does on HIS land v/ what the govt. allows on OUR land.

alpinerockfiend

Trad climber
Jackson, WY
May 14, 2008 - 05:06pm PT
Healy, good on you for sending an email to the AF to see what their stance on this issue is. I'd be very curious to hear what they have to say. Maybe post the email up here, or at least the gist of it? Did you ask about the specific question concerning the JHMR, or about more of their general stance?
I would guess that probably 99.9% of Access Fund members would be opposed to a via ferrata on public lands if it interfered with established climbing routes. Additionally, I doubt typical users of the via ferratas would become members of the Access Fund. One more: The AF is generally believes new fixed anchors should be added only as a last resort (which is subject to interpretation of course). For these three reasons, I doubt VERY MUCH that the organization would take a stance to support via ferratas on climber-developed crags. I think they'd be an excellent vehicle for combating this sort of development on our crags. But I certainly could be wrong!
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 14, 2008 - 05:34pm PT
I asked about their general stance while mentioning the Jackson Hole via ferrata. I'll post up if I hear back...
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
May 14, 2008 - 05:45pm PT
"Nelson preserve in WV is privately owned, big difference with what that guy does on HIS land v/ what the govt. allows on OUR land. "

Nelson Preserve, so far as I remember, is owned and operated by a lawyer who shut down all public access due to an injury lawsuit and liability concerns. The place is for sale last I heard.

DMT
Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
May 14, 2008 - 07:03pm PT
Brian,
What your dentist noticed was the "practice" via ferrata along the main trail that runs along the base of the range. I would agree that the location of this "practice" run (approx. 40' long) is somewhat misplaced. There is no way the 3 "routes up Waterfall canyon can be seen from the trail to Maylans.
The lack of permanence of the death slab lines and east ledges escapes me: as 20+ laps up the NW Face and uncountable laps down the east ledges over a very long time, and I've seen the fixed lines every time. That is rather permanent.

Doug
alpinerockfiend

Trad climber
Jackson, WY
May 14, 2008 - 07:20pm PT
Brian, I probably glossed over this, but are the via ferratas located on public land?
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
May 14, 2008 - 07:35pm PT
Jeeze, talk about elitist...

Another vote for Via Ferrattas as "ok" (as long as they're not interfering with historic or established routes).

They're super fun.
Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
May 14, 2008 - 08:05pm PT
alpinerocfiend,

yes the waterfall canyon routes are on private property, owned by a guy named Chris Peterson.

Doug
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 14, 2008 - 08:08pm PT
"(as long as they're not interfering with historic or established routes)" is the caveat and long term prospect that makes me an 'elitist' in the short term.
Dapper Dan

climber
an 89' honda accord
May 14, 2008 - 09:19pm PT
i think people just like saying "Via Ferrata" , sounds cool
Messages 1 - 73 of total 73 in this topic
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