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Everything posted by Sol

  1. Welcome Leavenworth Climbing Rangers

    Well folks I honestly appreciate this discussion and no doubt it was to be expected. Locally, my friends and I have hashed over many of these same points. To clarify some statements: The LMA had absolutely nothing to do with the formation of a climbing ranger program in Leavenworth. The USFS applied for a grant, was awarded that grant, and have the funding now to run this program for 2 years. We were very excited, as an organization, to be solicited by the USFS to participate in their roundtable discussion (this solicitation was the first we had heard of this new program, though something inside of me had a feeling that this was coming..). I can assure you that I had many of these same reactions when I first heard about the program. If anyone has anything to lose if our access ever becames restricted I would say it would be me, the local climber, active first ascenecionest, who owns a house in town, has a full-time local career, married, with a 14 month old daughter who I take climbing 1-2/days a week in the icicle (yes at 14 months, she crushes). I'm not going anywhere and I imagine that any changes to our current freedoms would hit us locals the hardest. I can also assure you that if I noticed any negative actions by the rangers that I will be the first to address it with them (we are in active dialogue about the cairn photos, this thread, and any recent anchor modifications). I'd say individually and as as a united front the LMA, WCC, AAC, and Access Fund would be a formidable force to contend with. There is no current climbing management plan. I am not pro-ranger (I am pro-climber). Looking back, the tone of my first two posts could have been more sympathetic in understanding some of the posters in this threads apprehension to these new rangers. I totally get it, prior to the roundtable discussion, I was right there with ya. Fortunately, I liked what I heard at the roundtable. Time will tell how it goes from here. I have been 100% transparent with any and all information I have about this new program and I will continue to be so. Nonetheless, I will not be spending time and energy defending misconceptions to my statements on this thread any further. Again please email me: solwertkin(at)gmail.com or PM me here with any concerns.
  2. Welcome Leavenworth Climbing Rangers

    Clearly you misread my post in which I stated: The LMA had a number of concerns including but not limited to:. This idea came completely from the LMA. There is TONS of out of date, dangerous hardware in Ltown, complete crags are unsafe for climbing. Kurt Hicks recent rebolting efforts inspired us to at least start to think about cataloging what needs replacement (we haven't). Honestly, the FS was not that interested (they've got plenty on their plate, not their job). Overall your guy's tones seem pretty doomsday apocalyptic climbing ranger. I just got back home from the Icicle and I can assure you it is as beautiful and free as ever. There were no discussions of increasing permits use or costs at our meeting, there was absolutely nothing that came up that presented any threat to climbing access as it currently stands in Leavenworth. It was simply a group of motivated and concerned individuals looking to figure out how to minimize impact to this great resource and preserve it for future generations to come.
  3. Welcome Leavenworth Climbing Rangers

    Well folks, i gotta step up to bat for the new Ltown Climbing Rangers. This past July the Leavenworth Mountain Association (a local Wenatchee Valley non-profit dedicated to "connecting the community to the mountains to the benefit of both", of which I am currently vice president, formerly president) was invited to attend a round table discussion with the forest service, AAC, WCC, The Mountaineers, and the Northwest Mountain School concerning the new Leavenworth Climbing Ranger program. There has been a number of staffing changes in the Wenatchee Valley Ranger District so the meeting began with an introduction to the new staff. Next, was an intro to the Leavenworth Climbing Range Program in which the district has received a 2-year grant for. From there we moved on to discussing what the rangers have been up to since the creation of the program, which had mostly consisted of studying climbing related impacts, falcon surveying, large-group studying, etc. Moving on, we got into the meat of the meeting which consisted of a roundtable discussion focused on current concerns from each of the various attendee groups. Clearly, Leavenworth is seeing more climbing related traffic and impact now then ever before. The explosion of bouldering has caused unprecedented high-use impact to many zones in Leavenworth. The LMA had a number of concerns including but not limited to: The proliferation of social trails to crags and bouldering zones. Improvement of the somewhat recently dead-falled SCW climbers trail to facilitate litter rescue by SAR personnel. Improvement of the climbers trail from Castle Rock to Midnight Rock. SAR litter cache at SCW. Minimizing/slowing the impact of bouldering at Leavenworth's most popular bouldering zones Mad Meadows and Forestland. Forest Service sign at Forestland Parking lot discussing low-impact bouldering practices. Bathrooms at Forestland parking lot. A more actively assessed falcon closure of Midnight Rock/Noontime Rock. Active list of unsafe fixed climbing protection and updated protection. A Leavenworth Climbing Ranger facebook page and blog site (yes this was our suggestion), The Forest Service was extremely receptive to myself and the other groups concerns. It was an incredible meeting and the LMA felt honored to be solicited to help in the founding steps of this new program. I left the meeting feeling like I was part of a historic collaboration with the USFS and the climbing community and perhaps could be a model in the future for other districts across the US. Since the meeting the LMA has continued to be solicited for advice and collaboration on their local projects and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Adam and his volunteer rangers. With that being said, it does seem poor form to post pictures happily knocking over cairns. Cairns on climbers trails have absolutely saved my life a number of times in the hills so I to feel a twinge of bitterness when I view that picture. But, the United States has one of the most strict wilderness policies in the world. It is these strict policies that keep the cascades wilderness pristine and wild. One of these policies is that it is illegal to mark unauthorized trails in wilderness. This trail is one of these. While is seems that most often USFS rangers do not actively pursue this type of activity on actively used climbers trails, in this case they did. Clearly there are better ways to let your concerns be known to Adam and his staff then bashing them in this thread. I do wonder what the negative posters on this thread have done to personally give back to the climbing community (though i'm sure some of you have). It is through this type of personal sacrifice, charity, and hardwork that perhaps some folks could gain some insight into the complexities of resource management, and the effectiveness of proper communication channels. It is hard to imagine anyone posting on this thread having issues with any of the above bulletted concerns being addressed. As I stated earlier Adam and his staff are very receptive to feedback from climbers. I urge you to discuss your concers with Adam through facebook messaging, via telephone at (509) 548-2574, or through email at leavenworthclimbingrangers@gmail.com. I would be happy to act as a middleman between the climbing rangers is some of you folks prefer. You can message menyour concerns here or email me at solwertkin@gmail.com
  4. Let It Burn Hanger

    Hanger has been replaced, unfortunatly hand-tightened only.
  5. Let It Burn Hanger

    its official. the crux is not the crux on Let it Burn.
  6. I geuss they didn't realize that all the footholds were in.
  7. SR 20 is fawked

    East-siders time to dominate the pass!
  8. Davis Holland/Lovin' Arms

    Nice work telemarker! A few for the list: Centerfold ( can be a good approach to UTW), Golden Road, Jungle Fun to Tempichuous.
  9. Nice work!! Psyched to see folks getting on the NE Face! Your pics remind me of how stellar the rock is up there. Such an improbable line from the base. Sixth ascent I think.
  10. West Face NEWS rappel route

    Unnecessary guided-client convenience anchors
  11. Nice work guys! Looking at all that aid gear in your bivi shot makes me think you two had something else in mind up there... The Diamond?
  12. Mosquitos in the enchantments

    I fully believe that they are terrible. Worth noting though that ten days ago we encountered zero up on CBR.
  13. Mosquitos in the enchantments

    medium bad
  14. Incredible looking stone up there! Nice work!
  15. Loving the Twin Sisters psyche! One of my best solo days in the mtns was an ascent of W Ridge of N Twin, descend south gullies, up and over the N Ridge of S Twin to the Sisters Glacier, NE Ridge to the summit of S Twin, W Ridge descent. Highly recommended.
  16. Top 5 best climbing blogs?

    Samuel Johnson's Blog Alpine Essence is pretty dang awesome and he has an incredible blogroll on the sidebar.