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layton

first ascent [TR] South East Mox Peak- The Devil's Club, First Ascent of the East Face 9/1/2005

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Thanks for your post!

 

We were aware that we were going into a special place. Will, the boat-driver, even told us that native artifacts have been found in the area we were going. Our intent was as little impact as possible.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few things, impact-wise.

 

1. We used the machete exactly twice: once to battle through devils club on a steep slope to escape an impassable part of the Perry Creek drainage, and second, a single branch to the fire to honor our route name.

 

2. The two fires we made were right on the creek, and will disappear at next snowmelt. That goes for our 2nd day camp as well. Our basecamp was on a flat rock in the talus field, requiring minimal clearing of stones.

 

3. We took all of our garbage out with us, except (as pointed out) the webbing and gear required to get us off the mountain. We also "cleaned" a carabiner from the 1958 party's ascent. We used no flagging on the approach or descent.

 

I feel certain negative assumptions have been made. I hope this clarifies them somewhat.

 

Sorry about dropping the permit ball.

 

Erik Wolfe

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Mike is dictating by phone to respond:

 

"1. Permit: Sorry, forgot. Realized at trailhead, too late.

 

2. Machete: Just brought for the photo, 4 devil's club branches were harmed. No bushes destroyed.

 

3. Flare: John was flying over anyways, the flare would have been useless, but we brought it anyways for psychological security. Erik would have had to been dead, hanging from a rope before it was used. We never asked Scurlock to fly for us.

 

4.Impact: Fires were small and only for hypothermia in the rain. I buried the fires after extinguishing.

 

5. Sometimes creative writing does not accurately display the true nature of the adventure.

 

6. CC.com is not neccesarily the best place to get straight facts.

 

7. Kids, don't try this at home.

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at 5 pages already, it seems like thread drift is long overdue...

 

i thought the 'chete was just for fending off overly-horny sasquatches?

 

i respect the rangers that post here - i would honestly like to understand the utility of permits. i don't see how this would have helped these boys in need of rescue at all - that far out, by the time you're overdue you're most likely dead before any rescuers would ever find you anyway (especially up a remote drainiage w/ no trail, no flagging, no obvious campsite, and no slash-track). i'd have only slightly more faith in a plane and flare - though even these guys put little stock in it. as far as fees - the more permits issued jsut increases the avarice of the governmetn to tax the use, right? not much of an incentive to sign up. again, i'm grateful for the protection of parklands, and i do hold them sacred (in the small "s" sense of the word, as far as my hard heart is capable) i just can't square in my mind the notion that those bent on celeberating freedom should first get permission from government officials. keep up the other good work that you do though.

 

as always, mike and sleazy-e, caviar-dreams and champagne-wishes!

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it seems that the extra expense spent on instituiting a permit fee and stationing a ranger, say, on the border at Depot Creek would be more than could possibly be gained from revenues from such permit fees. not to mention the impossibility of stopping Canadians from crossing over unpermitted from "other" access points.

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Sorry for this long drift, but since ivan is asking:

 

1) The utility of permits? In the big picture it is about data. Off the top of my head for example, most recently I have used or provided data (how many people go where / when) on: High Lake Fishery EIS, a grizzly bear habitat study, the USFS interest to develop the Shannon Ridge (to Shuksan) route to a trail. Wide-ranging uses that could be more about wildlife or air quality, say, than people directly, but important and required components of managing a national park.

 

2) Permits related to rescue? The earlier post was referring to the voluntary climbing register offered in Marblemount and some other NCNP stations, not the permit. The permit is about camping and is required, the climbing register is for anyone who wants to use it as a safety net while climbing or hiking and is optional. No it won’t save a fallen climber in the golden hour, but has made a lot of difference for some parties who are in trouble, can’t get out for notification or choose to stay w/ the injured. With an undecipherable cell call it can provide the complete info if we can just hear one name, then check for a register. It is often also a nice service we offer for spouses and families of climbers who have different understandings about just when so-and-so is supposed to be home. smirk.gifThen I can say – no, we won’t be starting a search cause your husband signed right here on our form when he’s coming out. (you all know who you are). But when we do start a search, have some faith - we DO find people “up a remote drainage w/o a trail, no flagging, no obvious campsite, no slash-track”.

 

3) Permits and fees? I’ll just say it – the staff at North Cascades NP for the most part, hope never to be using permits as revenue generation. This permit program is about resource protection. We were directed to put together a permit fee last spring for 06 which is now on hold until 07. This is an obtuse or over-simplified explanation of the question, but the # of people not getting permits, or for that matter, the # of people getting permits is not volume enough at this park to influence whether the powers-that-be direct Interior agencies to charge for recreation. What I can’t square in my mind, ivan, is that the 10 minute imposition on your freedom to pick up the permit (free, obtainable middle of the night even, most stations) is too much as a trade-off in support of the overall framework that will keep places like the wild Moxes wild.

 

Enough. Thanks for asking. I was actually really bothered more by the machete.

 

Kelly Bush

Wilderness District Ranger, NCNP

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...Moving on to the red flare / yellow plane part of this wilderness adventure. We know Scurlock is always in search of an excuse to fly...

 

North Cascades NP Wilderness and Climbing Rangers:

Kelly Bush, Alex Brun, Kevork Arackellian, Lin Skavdahl, Michele Blank

 

Let me clarify a couple of things -- both flights (8/31 & 9/1) were, in part, for the purpose of photographing glaciers (in this record low-snow season) for Jon Reidel, NCNP geologist. But I was fully aware of Mike & Erik's plan, I was concerned for them as any reasonable person would be, and I was anxious to get by there to check on them. I had no part in any permit/non-permit decisions. I totally respect the position the rangers are in, believe me, because they will be the ones busting their butts & risking their necks to bail the rest of us out. But I think the actual permit thing is between climbers and the NCNP, and in general I do support the permit process. I would also say here that Mike & Erik knew fully the seriousness of their undertaking, and I know they left a detailed plan with others as well as myself. By the way, I had considered loaning them an aviation-band hand-held transceiver so I could talk to them but in the end decided not to, not wanting to generate a self fulfilling prophecy. The 'red flare' was sort of a half-serious gesture, but I DID have a plan had I seen it -- climb up to ~15,000 ft & call my friend & personal guardian angel, Kelly Bush!! (I have successfully used a cell phone while in flight at that very location previously, to call Karen Nolan, my other PGA, to tell her of an alteration to the flight plan). Everybody knows, of course, that actual rescue in that situation would have basically been damn near impossible...

 

Personally, I would apply the term 'sacred' to virtually the entire NCs, in a non-religious 'conceptual' way - and I have yet to meet climbers that don't feel the same way, deep down. As mentioned by Kelly, that's the fundamental reason we have the park today.

 

and for the record, no, I don't need much of an excuse to go flying.

 

Again to both of you, congratulations for an amazing accomplishment. This is the overriding message from this TR. I feel the same about it now as I did when you called to tell me you had succeeded - totally awestruck!

 

 

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Kelly, thanks a lot for posting.

It sounds like there WILL be fees by '07 if not '06, and this will mean (it would logically seem) harsher enforcement and penalties for those without paid permits. I also realize that most of the NCNP rangers are against this, but it will invariably cause more conflict, as rangers will be obligated to force (ie Ticket) those without permits, into getting permits the next time.

 

Visitation in the NCNP has fallen since the 90s, and would fall further when it becomes costly to camp. I'm wondering where the impetus for these fees is comng from, considering the declinging use of Boston Basin, and the park as a whole. IE, where's the new permit money going to go.... I hope not just maintaining, enforcing, and self-perpetuating the permit system (a la the "trail parking pass").

A family of 5 people who come up Lake Chelan and want to camp in the Park for one night would need to pay a total of $250 for the boat, shuttle, and one overnight camp fee in the park. The boat and shuttle of course being NPS concessions, and the permit fee being $10 per-person per-trip, which is what I heard to be the likely fee system.

I know that the much (most, all?) is outside of your influence, but these costs are prohibitive.

 

I think mine (and many others) disagreement with the current permits, is that we go into the wilderness to "get away" from it all, and don't like to feel as though we need permission from the NPS to hike up a remote ridge, bivy for a night on a rock, and then climb around and hike down the next day. (example of a common trip itinerary)

The condescending and lecturing attitude of those who assign the NPS passes is also a reason for not getting them, especially by folks who have sat through the lecture so many times before. I hope this doesn't come off sounding like a personal attack, it's just some views and question I have, and my impressions of the commonly held views of others.

 

-Blake Herrington

Stehekin Cinnamon Roll Maker

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how much trail-making with a machete could someone do, carrying a 65 lb pack, crawling through brush in two days up the length of Perry creek ?

how easy would it be to actually swing a machete to any extent carrying a 65 lb pack through brush ?

maybe someone should go try it to see how much environmental damage is possible, then report back.

seems like a good research project for the NPS.

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http://climbing.com/news/

 

I always wonder, when there are two people on a climb, and its obvious who took the picture, why do they always give "Courtesy of" the person who submitted it?

 

The pic of Layton was taken by Mr.E - why is it credited "Courtesy of Mike Layton"? confused.gif I've always wondered about this, this just seems like a good time to bring it up.

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You may have a point, robo, but only to a point.

 

It is the rangers' JOB to take care of the park. They can't have everyone who wants to play Lewis and Clark head out and hack at the bush with a machete.

 

Similarly, they should not let reports like this one - even if partly made in jest - appear in a widely read public forum without comment.

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"Enough. Thanks for asking. I was actually really bothered more by the machete. "

 

hope your mind is at ease. we should have cut it with a pocket knife instead.

 

"roboboy" is right, it would be almost impossible to swing something like a machette with a backpack on.

 

i didn't fill out a permit b/c i spaced it, not for political reasons.

 

and hey Ivan, why would the rangers be irked at you? hmmmm.....????? good thing your a fictional online entity.

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http://climbing.com/news/

 

I always wonder, when there are two people on a climb, and its obvious who took the picture, why do they always give "Courtesy of" the person who submitted it?

 

The pic of Layton was taken by Mr.E - why is it credited "Courtesy of Mike Layton"? confused.gif I've always wondered about this, this just seems like a good time to bring it up.

 

The ascent was a major undertaking for both of us. The crediting does not at all minimalize either party's efforts. Ego plays no part in this type of commitment. I am stunned by the accolades, and humbled by the ascent of the 1958 party from Portland, and Fred's efforts in 1968.

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It's not about minimizing efforts or credit - I canunderstand why they do it in a case where you give them a slide or .jpeg that was taken with your camera, by one of your friends, but you aren't sure exactly who took it. Rather than put down "Photograph: unknown" they put down "Joe Blow collection" for the credit in that case. But in a case like this, where it's obvious who took the picture (I know it, you know it, Mike knows it and the magazine knows it), why not include that information?

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I see your point, but..

The photos (excluding John Scurlock's) are shared property to us, not exclusive, and it is pretty obvious that mike didn't photo himself during one of the 5.9+ ( hahaha.gif) sections, so I guess it is assumed?

 

BTW, he was glad he didn't know I took that picture... grin.gif

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in general, the copyright on a photo belongs to the owner of the camera, not the person who pushed the button. while erik and mike may feel like they are "co-owners" of the photos, i'm not certain that a publisher's legal department would necessarily agree.

 

in this case, i'm guessing that erik submitted photos from mike's camera to the paper. they put in "courtesy" to cover their butts, it's their way of saying "erik gave us the photos; he may or may not be the holder of the copyright, but we don't care because he is taking responsibility for having permission from whoever actually holds the copyright"

 

sorry for thread drift.

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Other way around - Layton submitted photos, Layton's camera, Erik took pictures. I think, anyways.

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Just wanted to throw in a congrats to the two of ya... bigdrink.gif That looks completly awesome! I noticed a link on the climbing.com page that said to refer to this site for the complete TR... Then with site delays I had to wait! Now I see how cool what you guys did is! Once again, congrats! bigdrink.gif

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i am kinda over all this. you went climbing nice! the world is no better because of it and apprently you outlined some points where you left it worse and the "TOOL" called you on it. that i find hilairous! guns and the internet the way to manage publis lands!

 

think of all the other rad people in the world who dont need to stroke themselves....if one really wanted to be a sumarai he would go through life proud but silent.

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MisterE, I can tell you're getting hooked on stardom & it's only a matter of time before you're back on some big, scary wall. You HAVE to, your legions of newly acquired cc.com fans demand it ! (just kidding). As Dru said they're all geeks anyway, so no need to bother.

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I'm grateful to those who share their routes and stories for a number of reasons - too many to cite here.

 

As far as those who don't are concerned - I think it's kind of funny and ironic to publicly praise them for the fact that they strive to avoid both publicity and praise for their routes. Unless of course the motivation hinted at in the following: "To refuse praise is to seek praise twice," is what's actually at work here.

 

Maybe the mythical, zen-like, anonymous-hardman actually exists, and spares no efforts in his zeal to conceal his talents and obscure evidence of his many first-ascents, but if such a person does exist, he would:

 

1) Never even let anyone know that he was a climber.

2) Never take the opportunity to publically remind the world that he eschewed both attention and praise by stating, over-and-over, "I climb for myself, man. For me. Not for you not the magazines - no one." Such an individual would certainly not make it a point to write letters or posts on internet sites in which he took pains to criticize the motivations of other people for letting the world know about their routes, and to remind everyone that his motivations are infinitely more pure and noble.

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