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Alpinfox

URGENT - Infinite Bliss access meeting TODAY

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I think Mr. Noggin hit it on the head, it's about people not bolts, and the nature of this route is irrelevant. Pope, I think you have more to lose here than you might realize.

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Neutral Gray say:

I think Mr. Noggin hit it on the head, it's about people not bolts, and the nature of this route is irrelevant.

 

 

Pope say:

You're probably right, Dick Nog Man, that bolts aren't the issue. I'm sure it's the increased traffic (practically a corollary to low-adventure climbing) that is alarming ALPS members. But I'm just speculating.

 

Do we agree? I think we agree. It’s about people…increasing numbers of people who have greater access due to the establishment of this route. That is precisely the issue. Again, Garfield has been ascended for decades without ALPS objections. A variety of routes are thoroughly documented in Beckey’s guide. What explains all of the recent trouble? Increased traffic that has resulted DIRECTLY from changing the nature of climbing on this mountain can be the only explanation. Indirectly, then, it is about sport climbing.

 

Alpine K say:

I really don't think that ALPS gives a rats ass about beating adventure out of anything. From my understanding they are one of those groups that want to restrict all access to the wilderness.

 

I sincerely hope this isn’t the case. But if this is true, then in part I blame the creators of Infinite Bliss. I would suggest that had it not been for this route, we wouldn’t be having this discussion and there would be no ALPS objections.

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I really don't think that ALPS gives a rats ass about beating adventure out of anything. From my understanding they are one of those groups that want to restrict all access to the wilderness.

 

Like Dick said they want all of us to stay home.

 

thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

 

You're finally seeing the light, AK! ALPS was a major agitator for the upcoming Middle Fork Road closure. They also have threatened lawsuits against USFS administration to prevent the use of chainsaws to clear blowdowns on trails within The Alpine Lakes.

These guys are NOT friends of the larger climbing (or hiking) community.

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if they could just insert a tollbooth at the bottom, then i betcha they wouldn't care how many hordes of people try to kill themselves on the 4thclass terrain.

but then they would just be a form of the forestcircus.

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The Infinite Bliss route on Mount Garfield has indeed triggered the Alpine Lakes Protection Society (ALPS) to push for the Forest Service to enforce the law with respect to this one climb and to take broader action to contain climbing from Snoqualmie Pass to the Canadian border. While most existing routes would probably remain, there is a possibility that they may shut down or seriously curtail new route activity and crag maintenance, in and outside of wilderness areas, from Snoqualmie Pass to the Canadian border.

 

I don't know where this will lead, but we DO need to evaluate our practices as climbers, consider our impacts upon the environment where we climb and upon other user groups, and work with the land managers on these issues. The current focus is on bolted climbing and access trails, but I believe we need to take a closer look at a much wider list of issues: visual impact, the carrying capacity of the climbs and the roads or trails serving them, wildlife habitat, endangerd plants, user numbers, safety,interaction with other user groups, bolting practices, and user-built trails. I find it ironic that conservation groups I used to support are now battling with climbers, their traditional allies, and the the Forest Service, too, feels compelled to take us on after presiding over the government subsidized destruction and rape of the North Cascades for a hundred years.

 

After talking to the main guy representing these groups, it looks to me as if he just plain doesn't like rock climbing, and that it is popular climbs or climbing areas that he doesn't like - the concentrated use they bring about. Perhaps we shouldn't feel unduly targeted here, because he doesn't like concentrated use by hunters, fisherman, mountain bikers, or hikers either. But in any case ALPS has sued the Forest Service three times at least, and because the Infinite Bliss route turns out to be in the Wilderness (though USGS maps show it outside), they have a significant pressure point that they can use here.

 

They tell me that they next plan to specifically go after climbing in the Darrington area, and they are asking where else they should look.

 

Despite the fact that we argue between ourselves about whether bolts are good or bad, the environmental guys and the FS are pretty clear that bolts are not the real issue. The real issue is the expected user numbers. An important fact, too, is that we are engaged in an activity that has less prior history than others and is less organized than groups like hunters, fisherman or and motorized recreational users. We could be shut down because they CAN shut us down, although they agree that hikers and fisherman and shooters are actually more destructive.

 

This issue has been pending for a month, and it was only yesterday that we were able to have a direct meeting with the Forest Service and some representatives from conservation groups. Before meeting them, we had a meeting with route developer types because we wanted to inform them right away about this issue. They are the people who are probably most able to change their practices in a way that could most directly address the current issue. We wanted to see what their current support for organized planning and discussion might be, and to evaluate how much we could suggest to the USFS and the conservation people that we had a group of guys that they could expect to work with to address the issues through education, discussion, and planning efforts. Nobody has made any decisions, and all parties are still in the information-gathering stage.

 

There has been a lot of speculation about the route (Infinite Bliss) on this site, and I've been trying to steer the conversation. Following some discussion a week ago I contacted the guys who put up the route and brought back some actual information to answer some of the expressed concerns. However, we're seeing some of the usual suspects posting before they think about what they are saying, or insisting upon arguing without having any real information about what they are debating. For example, one poster tried to stir the pot a week ago and I deleted his post and sent a private message telling him that he did not know what was going on behind the scene and asking him to contact me if he had any concerns about this issue or wanted to know what was going on. He did not ask me for any further clarification or information before taking another couple of swipes.

 

Some complain that we are trying to control the information and stifle debate. However, I have in fact argued from the very beginning of this issue that we should get the word out and inform folks about what was going on - and that rancorous discussions on this bulletin board was not necessarily a bad thing. Nobody involved in this issue has said that we should prevent discussion, but several guys said that we should try to figure out what is happening before "announcing" partial information. I did agree that it was a good idea to meet with the people directly involved and find out what was going on before encouraging uninformed posters to spout off on this site.

 

As I have pointed out repeatedly in the past, I am not at all surprised that somebody would fear a senseless and distorted debate here on cc.com. The plain fact is that there are several posters here who like nothing more than to stir up controversy just for a spectator sport. Not only do we readily work each other into a frenzy over bullshit and speculation, but the Forest Service and the conservation group people read this site to find out about these issues and they may very well conclude that climbers are nothing but a bunch of raving lunatics! If everyone would take a minute to step back and think before they post, we might be able to prove such fears outdated.

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Matt,

 

I think it would be helpful to all involved if you didn't use the word "we" to describe, as near as I can tell, at least two separate groups of people:

 

"...but we DO need to evaluate our practices as climbers..."

 

"...it was only yesterday that we were able to have a direct meeting..."

 

"...we had a meeting with route developer types because we wanted..."

 

It would also be nice to know who the more selective "we" is, as that "we" seems to be speaking for the larger "we". Because, well, I didn't vote for you, and I thought this was an autonomous collective wink.gif

 

Also, you might consider that by deleting posts, you only foster the kind of external beliefs about climbers that you seek to allay.

 

Censorship and keeping people in the dark, despite alluring arguments to do so, most often bring about exactly the thing that those doing it seek to avoid.

 

Best-

 

Loren

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Loren, the "little we" was a couple of guys from the Access Fund, and two people very directly involved in access issues and publication of the guidebooks you use when you go climging in North Bend and Darrington: myself, Bryan Burdo, Andy Fitz, and Jason Keith. I know you didn't ever vote for me. Thanks for your support.

 

As far as censorship, I agree with you whoeheartedly. Even those most concerned about the prospect for a bunch of irresponsible internet spew on cc.com realize that not only will some discussion take place here anyway, but that all climbers may be affected by this.

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If you agree Matt, then who pulled crazyjz's post? He insinuated that it was you.

 

Another point: You presume that everyone here is "uninformed" when I know for a fact that there is at lease one regular poster here who is a professional in the USFS and likley has more insight into and influence within the USFS than you, your buddies, and the Access Fund combined. Not every climber out there agrees with the AF's policy or direction. To exclude these people because the AF presumes to represent all climbers is an affront to the democratic process. And yes, I understand that a united front as climbers is the preferred tact.

 

Your whole "you don't know what's going on behind the scenes, so ask me in private" attitude is frankly pompous. It's conveys an attempt to control the information and the debate by excluding people who disagree. The argument that there is not suffcient information doesn't hold water either because a simple statement of "this is what we know, this is what we don't know, this is what will happen next" is sufficient to inform people and quell the uninformed screaming and conclusion jumping.

 

I wish you luck in coming to a reasonable agreement with the USFS. And I hope at some point you recognize that by attempting to limit the people involved in the discussions you may very well hurt your own cause by excluding those with influence and insight.

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Your whole "you don't know what's going on behind the scenes, so ask me in private" attitude is frankly pompous. It's conveys an attempt to control the information and the debate by excluding people who disagree. The argument that there is not suffcient information doesn't hold water either because a simple statement of "this is what we know, this is what we don't know, this is what will happen next" is sufficient to inform people and quell the uninformed screaming and conclusion jumping.

 

what will said thumbs_up.gif

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Will, you apparently haven't read where I said that I was the one who deleted CrazyJZ's post and that I have actually been trying to talk the other folks involved in this thing into discussing the matter on cc.com.

 

I deleted three or four posts three days ago because they threatened to stir up a classic cc.com mud festival just a day before two important meetings. The first included the climbers we need to bring to the table, those who actually put up routes and are the ones that can make or break it for us in this matter. These folks are very leery of any rhetorical debate on cc.com, and they have traditionally pretty much avoided any organizational involvement. However, most of them showed up on Wednesday and they were actually quite interested in discussing the issues; morevoer they indicated that they in fact do wish to participate in ongoing discussions and that they want to be responsible about all of this. I can't stop you or anybody else from railing on sport climbers or irresponsible bolting practices, but I can tell you that the more these guys feel under personal attack, the less likely they are to want to show up for any ongoing discussion of these issues, public or private.

 

The second meeting was an information gathering meeting where we took a Forest Service and two conservation guys to go see the route. The ALPS guy was quoting things he'd read on cc.com, and indicated that he believed the guy who wrote last week that he was going to take a bolt drill and spray paint up on the mountain to "fix" the Mt. Garfield route.

 

Despite the paranoia around here, nobody has made any deals in the back room and you can in fact state your positions without fear of big brother. I'm sorry that you feel so violated by the fact that this week I did seek to delay a discussion for three days.

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Your whole "you don't know what's going on behind the scenes, so ask me in private" attitude is frankly pompous. It's conveys an attempt to control the information and the debate by excluding people who disagree. The argument that there is not suffcient information doesn't hold water either because a simple statement of "this is what we know, this is what we don't know, this is what will happen next" is sufficient to inform people and quell the uninformed screaming and conclusion jumping.

 

what will said thumbs_up.gif

 

Yeah, that may be acceptable to the founders of a climbers' website, but outside the cyber world, democracy still exits. And so do the voices behind so many of the characters who have been squelched on this otherwise stupendous climbers' net.

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Loren, the "little we" was a couple of guys from the Access Fund, and two people very directly involved in access issues and publication of the guidebooks you use when you go climging in North Bend and Darrington: myself, Bryan Burdo, Andy Fitz, and Jason Keith. I know you didn't ever vote for me. Thanks for your support.

 

As far as censorship, I agree with you whoeheartedly. Even those most concerned about the prospect for a bunch of irresponsible internet spew on cc.com realize that not only will some discussion take place here anyway, but that all climbers may be affected by this.

 

Matt, perhaps it's your attitude about this site that is causing problems then. I've been to enough non-climbing meetings to know that "irresponsible spew" takes place everywhere, it's just usually couched in more socially acceptable language.

 

Here a suggestion for starters:

 

Publish the minutes from the meeting(s). That way the big "we" can see what the little "we" is up to. The big "we" might be less suspicious and more supportive that way. And it sounds like we (big) could really be helped by some alignment on this one.

 

-Loren

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Matt I don't want to get into a pissing match with you over this. [insert your favortite lawyer joke here].

 

I have no interest in debating the route itself. My point is simply that there are people out there who could be greatly beneficial to your/our cause that may be excluded due to the information control tactics.

 

You can make all the snide comments you want and pooh-pooh the concerns as "paranoia", but that only adds to my perception of your pompous attitude. Good day and good luck.

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Hi Loren,

No one at the WCC meeting on Wednesday took any "minutes" as far as I know, but I can give you a good idea of what went on. Basically, about two dozen climbers who are actively putting up new routes in Washington got together and talked about the specific problem of Infinite Bliss and the pending meeting with the USFS and ALPS. A few people told anecdotal stories about their past interactions with land managers. We discussed the need for an organization to represent climber's interests in land use debates and to give angry/concerned land managers someone to call if they had questions/concerns about a specific climb or climbing area, or if they had questions about climbing in general. It seems that this would allow many problems to be fixed while they are still small/local problems and before the whole USFS hierarchy up to the Washington DC level has gotten involved. We discussed what a group representing Washington climbers should look like organizationally. Everyone agreed that the WCC would need to include any climber who wished to participate and should not be exclusionary at all. Obviously finding a consensus among climbers is going to be difficult, but it is probably neccesary to make a strong advocacy group and I believe there are many issues that ALL climbers can agree on. We discussed how to expand the WCC in the near future and plans were made to setup a website and emailing list to do just that. We also discussed what sort of things the WCC could do to soothe land managers fears about route development and explosive growth of a climbing area. One idea discussed was to post signs at climbing trailheads laying out some general guidelines for route development or asking for a voluntary ban on new route development/trail building or whatever is appropriate to that specific area and agreed upon in an open meeting of the WCC and other local climbers.

 

I'm sure I'm forgetting some stuff, but that is a good start of the description of the meeting. There were a lot of well known climbers there and people had some very good things to say. I was encouraged by the apparent willingness of all those folks to get together and solve a common problem.

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Alpinfox,

 

Thanks for your post.

 

I'm curious, was there any representation of climbers who have no interest in new route development (if that means bolting, clearing, and making trails)? I imagine there are quite a few climbers out there who do not really care about new crag routes (bolted or otherwise), and are primarily concerned with avoiding climber vs. land manager conflicts that might (in the worst case scenario) threaten climber access to established climbing areas.

 

I guess what I'm saying is, the folks actively creating new routes may actually not be a good representation of the interests and priorities of climbers in general. I think we also need someone to represent the "please don't rock the boat with the USFS" point of view.

 

I'm not disrespecting the hard work of new route developers, or the pioneering aspect of new routes established in a bottom-up fashion. I just worry that they are not necessarily at all representative of the "mainstream" climber. They are certainly not likely to be representative of my interests (which is to above all else, preserve access to existing climbing areas).

 

Cheers,

Steve Ramsey

Edited by Stephen_Ramsey

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I guess what I'm saying is, the folks actively creating new routes may actually not be a good representation of the interests and priorities of climbers in general. I think we also need someone to represent the "please don't rock the boat with the USFS" point of view.

 

Very well put

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I agree that a coalition representing all climbers would be a good thing. I urge one of you guys to do something about it, or failing that, make your views heard on this message board since Matt informs us that the USFS is probably reading this thread.

 

However, I think what Matt and Pax are talking about is a good thing too. If there is some organization among route developers specifically, then the USFS or whomever has a gripe, has somewhere to go to find out information, or say, "cut it out", or whatever, with respect to some new route or activity that is causing consternation.

 

Getting route developers organized into a loose group that can respond to possible problems directly or indirectly caused by their specific actions is a positive idea and a doable idea. I think Matt should be commended for working toward this, AND for telling everybody on the board about it.

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I guess what I'm saying is, the folks actively creating new routes may actually not be a good representation of the interests and priorities of climbers in general. I think we also need someone to represent the "please don't rock the boat with the USFS" point of view.

 

Well put.

 

I think we're off to a good start here. Most of the active route setters in Western Washington showed up for a meeting - the first time that I am aware of that most of these folks ever have - and they pretty much all acknowledged that need to think about what they are doing. I would think you guys would be saying that's a good thing.

 

We do hope to involve climbers of other backgrounds and other interests. This is only a start.

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We do hope to involve climbers of other backgrounds and other interests. This is only a start.

Good to know. Thanks for working to get things organized.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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What for? Seems like this thread is pretty topical with respect to access issues to me.

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mattp -

 

The climbing community consists of some pretty unique personalities. Any group claiming to represent those folks had better embrace that diversity and the freakish weirdos that lead out on sketchy gear and post bs spray, otherwise it'll end up as a bunch of perceived stiffs that don't represent anyone but themselves. As soon as that happens, the FS wins. My $.02.

 

bigdrink.gif

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What for? Seems like this thread is pretty topical with respect to access issues to me.

The thread has degenerated into the typical piss'n match,

the meeting is over , nothing good can come from it at this point.

Now it is like right and left politics both sides have an argument and both sides think theirs is right

Do we really want ALPS and the USFS useing this?

boxing_smiley.gif

left right

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Keeping the thread in this forum means the administration at this bulletin board expects a greater degree of civility around the discussion than if this was in Spray. Some folks are expressing anxiety around representation and information availability, and I think this thread provides a place to express those concerns in a considered manner, so we can move on to figuring out what we're going to do about all this. Does ANYONE here want to see Darrington shut down?

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