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Potter Climbs Delicate Arch

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I can't think of one park or scenic area managed by the NPS that doesn't have a mega monster visitor center pedaling trinkets and a double wide asphalt hiking trails that runs a 1/4 mile from the Walmart sized parking lot to the attraction so every overweight mouth breathing red blooded 'merican can waddle up and gape at some national treasure that they are ignorantly killing with their CO2 emissions from their 40' RV w/ matching trailer that is back in the parking lot idling so the AC can run.

 

I do agree this is somewhat hypocritical. I wish more parks would go the route of Zion and just ban personal vehicles. What if Yos was completely closed off to personal traffic? Interesting.

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Do you think when Ed Abbey was living in a trailer there in the early 60's before they paved the road, that anyone cared if you climbed Delicate Arch?

 

Of course back then they couldn't free solo 5.10 so they probably would have bolted and chipped an uberdirectissima like Ottos Route.

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I wish more parks would go the route of Zion and just ban personal vehicles.

Hasn't stopped the massive construction in Zion - indeed, it generated a need for a big new visitor center and parking lot. They had proposed a similar solution for the Valley - a bigass parking lot out by El Portal and buses into the valley. Numerous people objected to the plan, including climbers. Why? Because they suck if you actually want to get out and do something and only shift the impact somewhere else.

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Just make the fawkers hike in there! They want to experience nature? Let them do so from the hiking trail and not their heated leather seats!

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I am all down for the bus program as long as us climbers are not included. I mean yose is ours and not the tourons, we have more of a right to be there then some fat camera toting t.v. nation peeps because we are climbing the rocks.

 

shit.

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Such a plan would clearly necessitate the construction of a support infrastructure. But common sense dictates the net benefit would be an overall reduction in emissions by concentrating traffic into shuttles - essentially carpooling. Would reduce congestion, noise and visual pollution, and most importantly co2 emissions - which creates smog that lingers in the valley.

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I am all down for the bus program as long as us climbers are not included. I mean yose is ours and not the tourons, we have more of a right to be there then some fat camera toting t.v. nation peeps because we are climbing the rocks.

 

 

shit.

 

In Zion, you can get a drive-in permit if you are doing a long route that requires a start or return not supported by a shuttle. So in some sense, the NPS somewhat agrees with you.

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I may be skewered for saying this, but in my opinion the Park Service generally does a pretty good job with what they have. Yes, they develop huge and high impact facilities for masses of people who are not fit or energetic enough to walk more than a hundred yards from their Winnebago. Yes, Arches would be a nicer place if it did not have a paved loop road and signs telling you where you can and cannot walk, but it is still pretty cool.

 

And, in my opinion, it is not a good idea for climbers to climb on Delicate Arch or any other feature that is going to be right in front of all those visitors for whom the 1/4 mile stroll along a wheelchair accessible nature trail is as close to nature as they are going to get. Even if you don’t use chalk and are not damaging the rock, you are not what those folks want to see and you can easily avoid any conflict by simply climbing somewhere else.

 

If you want your own private arches and towers in a wilderness setting, head to Canyonlands, across the street. If you want to drive up to some tower in your 4x4 and have a party at the base of your climb, there is plenty of BLM land for that, too. I'm not saying I like everything the Park Service does, but they generally have done a lot to preserve the scenic values, wilderness, and climbing opportunities in many of our major parks while providing drive-up experiences for many many people who I am glad are given the opportunity to see some mountains and canyons up close and maybe they will vote for more preservation of public lands.

 

It is unfortunate to see Dean Potter’s stunt presented as a cool accomplishment in that it may encourage other climbers to think “hey: why can’t I do something like that.” This could lead to an erosion of our relationship with Park managers, but on the other hand the article posted above does say a lot about minimum impact and the Rangers can say: hey-we cannot allow this and here’s why.

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And, in my opinion, it is not a good idea for climbers to climb on Delicate Arch or any other feature that is going to be right in front of all those visitors for whom the 1/4 mile stroll along a wheelchair accessible nature trail is as close to nature as they are going to get.

 

God forbid that any tourons might see a real rock climber climbing a rock! It might scare them so much that they have a heart attack! Rock climbers are scary! There are literally HUNDREDS of heart attacks at Devils Tower and Yosemite every year induced by tourons seeing a rock climber climb a rock. shocked.gif

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Even if you don’t use chalk and are not damaging the rock, you are not what those folks want to see

 

Didn't know you were for the amusement park national park system matt. Kind of contradicted by the hordes in El Cap meadows trying to see a climber...

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There is more specific information on rc.com about the old guide book to scaling the arches from way back as well as which named arches you can actually climb. I think the complete ban on "all named arches" not just ones named on the quadrangle is what has preciptated from this event. (Just look at the hoards of hikers who scramble up and walk across Double O arch.)

 

thumbs_down.gif to Potter

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He should have covered the thing in white gas and lit it on fire from the summit. That would have looked COOL on Imax Dolby THX HDV. I can't wait to read the three page pullout in the next Patagucci catalog so I can find out how truly pure the experience was for him, and how it helped him to see BEYOND...

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I agree as well, except about not climbing where visitors can see you b/c they don't want to. When I have climbed in Zion, I have woken up to throngs taking pictures of us in the portaledge and whatnot. I've had people stop me on the approach and asked to take pictures of a couple of fools so laden with gear that we look like we are ready for WW3. I think in general, people are facinated by climbers. I think its natural to be curious and intrigued by other people's activities in nature. I know that I get a thrill watching kayakers go by, even if they do scare the fish.

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Certainly, many tourists are going to be charmed to see you perform your great feats of strength, but others will not. All other things being equal, why not climb in a location where you can do your thing without risking a conflict?

 

Of course lots of people line up to watch climbers on El Cap, and climbers in the Needles used to cause traffic jams - just as much as a buffalo might. I'm not debating that point.

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Certainly, many tourists are going to be charmed to see you perform your great feats of strength, Dru, but others will not. All other things being equal, why not climb in a location where you can do your thing without risking a conflict?

This is a good point. Of course, I am usually not to happy to watch a bunch of fat fucks meandering around a good climb. But to each his own.

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harry, member when you ate that cactus at arches?

 

Now THAT was extreme. You got it on the digi, right?

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Certainly, many tourists are going to be charmed to see you perform your great feats of strength, Dru, but others will not. All other things being equal, why not climb in a location where you can do your thing without risking a conflict?

This is a good point. Of course, I am usually not to happy to watch a bunch of fat fucks meandering around a good climb. But to each his own.

 

sounds like a good segue to start another fat kid thread! hahaha.gif

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why not climb in a location where you can do your thing without risking a conflict

That's a very practical attitude Matt, but I think it's that same attitude that has lead to a marginalizing of climbers, canyoneers, practically all users who depart from the roadway in the National Parks. Should the parks be open for nondestructive recreation? Even walking causes damage.

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"What has our world come to if we cannot join nature by climbing one of nature's most beautiful features?"

 

WHAT HAS OUR WORLD COME TO???? DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND??? IT'S ALL ABOUT MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

 

apes_420.jpg

 

"Take your damn hands off me and let me join nature by climbing one of nature's most beautiful features!!!! Aaaarrrgggghhhhhhh!"

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Climbers are marginalized for a number of reasons. You may be right that, to a degree, being MORE visible might sometimes make us more of a planned for an accepted part of the management of a given park. On the whole, though, I think it is our failure to participate in public meetings, letter writing, etc., and our generally cagy attitude toward dealing with “the man” that causes us to be marginalized. Look at the recent planning process for the Middle Fork valley near North Bend. Mountain Bikers, horseriders, hikers, kayak groups, campground developers etc. all turned out and got a piece of the pie. Climbers were not involved and the new development/management plan does not address climbing.

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Climbers are marginalized for a number of reasons. You may be right that, to a degree, being MORE visible might sometimes make us more of a planned for an accepted part of the management of a given park. On the whole, though, I think it is our failure to participate in public meetings, letter writing, etc., and our generally cagy attitude toward dealing with “the man” that causes us to be marginalized. Look at the recent planning process for the Middle Fork valley near North Bend. Mountain Bikers, horseriders, hikers, kayak groups, campground developers etc. all turned out and got a piece of the pie. Climbers were not involved and the new development/management plan does not address climbing.

Does it need to be addressed in that area? Don't we kind of just make the climbing areas climb-able on our own? Mind you, I am not familiar with this plan; but I am not sure why I would need to be in order to climb there.

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I'm not sure climbing needs to be addressed at all. But what we are getting there is this:

 

1. 11 or twelve miles of new paved road.

2. gravel road leading to some great climbing opportunities gated.

3. new commercially operated campground

4. new mountain bike trail or trails

5. new hiking trail

6. designated closures for horse riders to have better opportunity to ride without mtn bikers passing by

7. kayak put-ins to be preserved

 

Some of this is definitely NOT what I'd want to see, but it some of it is OK. By being more involved, I'm not sure we would have gotten a plan any more or less favorable for climbing. But we were not there, and missed an opportunity to be part of the process and strengthen our relationship with the Forest Service and the other groups who DID participate in the process. We marginalize ourselves.

 

Right now, the National Forest Service is re-doing the recreation management plan for Okanagon, Wenatchee, and Colvillle National Forests. I've talked with a lot of climbers who are interested in climbing in those areas, and most of them see no benefit in participating in that proceess. I feel they(we) may be missing an opportunity.

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