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Sean C

My recent, not so good, experience at Index

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The break-ins didn't happen when his cams were stolen. I wonder if there is some way the climbing community could discourage this kind of theft and vandalism. The cameras seem like a good idea, even if the police won't get involved. We'd know who to look out for at least.

 

If the window breaking happens only when a train comes by, then someone needs to check the place only when a train comes by, which isn't very often.

 

Another thing one can do when there are few cars in the lot is to park up at the campsites, where the parking is right off the road, and presumably safer. There is a trail from there through the old gun range, making the trek to the Country and UTW about the same as that from the LTW parking.

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WA Climbing Coalition needs to talk to local businesses and local cops. The same exact sheit was happening about 10 years ago or so. It's in local businesses best interest not to have high theft. Usually cops have a pretty good knowledge about the identity of purps.

BTW, there is no safe area at Index. In the past car theft and vandalism occurred even in town, camps sites up the road are not any safer at all. Smash and grab of 10 cars requires more then one person, most likely 2-3 people. So any attempts to guard your cars when a train is passing by must be done by at least a few people.

If the cops do nothing the only remedy will be hiding in the bushes and using golf clubs.

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The WCC is discussing what it can do to help reduce car theft and vandalism. In short there isn’t a simple easy effective solution to this problem. I would encourage everyone to report all break ins to the sheriff’s department.

 

Back in the good old days I once left my pack in the parking lot when I left for the day and a fast driving climber who I barely knew dropped it off at my parents’ house before I got home. Index turned sucky later that summer when someone stole my pack loaded with all my gear.

 

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Back in the good old days I once left my pack in the parking lot when I left for the day and a fast driving climber who I barely knew dropped it off at my parents’ house before I got home.

 

RIP John

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Trail cams hidden but able to cover the parking lot?

 

there we go, take all your retired cams and put them on the trail as "dummy" gear. then they take the useless cams and leave the new shiny ones.

 

genius.

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If the window breaking happens only when a train comes by, then someone needs to check the place only when a train comes by, which isn't very often.

 

 

But that's when I'm always at the crux.

 

Seriously though, all of the cars got windows smashed again? Lame, and every time I go there I say it hasn't happened to me "YET" (yet being the key word). Sad you have to speak as if it is only a matter of time. Maybe I should report a gun got stolen from my car or something - maybe the cops will get involved then.

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Your point about the location is spot on. How anyone can become very upset about a couple of bolts there is almost beyond logic. It is hundred yards from a several hundred foot high quarried wall. Near a 4 meter diameter tunnel and a dozen or so huge stabilizing bolts, the two new bolts seem minor. In any event the film crew seems to have been receptive to climber concerns and stopped bolting.

 

I think you are wrong about climbers not being good stewards.

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It´s such a bummer this guy had a bad experience in Index. When I lived in the NW I have many good memories of the place and the people. I guess times changes or you can always run into the token asshole. I always heard of people getting things stolen but it never happened to me. I hope this guy gives the place a second chance. I´ll be back in the NW this summer and psyched to climb at Index after a good 5 years. Any good new lines put up over the past years?

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OMG! Somebody added two bolts to a cliff at Index?! Isn't that sort of like right underneath Angora Grotto? We should all be very incessed as climbers have been such an amazing steward of the rocks there.

It's not about bolts itself, but about the whole idea of commercial entity going there for profit and working without securing proper permits in the first place. 2 bolts were added in the middle of 5.7 slab above the tunnel, and only because climbers stepped in, more bolts in Zoom area did not go in the very same day. I think this can open floodgates to commercial activity in the future, something most of us would rather not see.

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It's been a bizarre week at Index. The same day of the break-ins, Matthew Van Biene, Dave Elder, and I came upon a rigging crew for a major film hanging off a new 2-bolt anchor right in the middle of the easiest route in the Country, SS UltraBrutal. The crew had installed the anchor about 30 feet off the ground, and explained they were planning to do the same in the middle of Little Jupiter / Big Science, and close to Wham.

After talking it out, it became evident that while the crew did have proper permitting for that, they have no interest in further marring any other routes. They promised to remove the two bolts they placed, and patch the holes. As a compromise, instead of installing new bolts, they also agreed to use pre-existing anchors, replacing old bolts where they deemed it necessary. All in all, the whole production team was very amenable to working with the Index climbing community to minimize their impact as much as possible. They've even talked about making a donation to the WCC - or possibly, in light of the break-ins (which some of their cars fell victim to) looking into the possibility of establishing security cameras and signage. Below are some details about the film.

The Project: "Captain Fantastic" is an independent feature film that will be shooting throughout western Washington the summer of 2014. It tells the story of "Ben", an idealistic father who is raising his family off the grid deep in the Washington wilderness. When tragedy strikes, Ben and his children must emerge from the wild and travel to visit family in the American southwest. Along the way Ben is forced to reevaluate many of his positions and find a way to help his children reconnect with society.

As an independent film, we do not have secured distribution nor are we working with a studio. The film has a modest budget by the standards of typical Hollywood films.

The Scene: A scene in the film involves Ben and six children of various ages engaged in climbing a granite face. We will be filming this scene at the Country. We will be low to the ground, but will use a variety of techniques and effects to imply that they are climbing higher on the face. Separately, a group of professional climbers/stuntmen may climb higher in order to double for the family.

The Filming Day: Filming would take place over just one day, starting very early and continuing for 10-12 hours onsite. We are tentatively scheduled for Thursday, July 17th. On the day, we'd have a crew of approximately 75 people in the vicinity of the Wall. Not all would necessarily be right at the filming location, with some vehicles and personnel staged in the town of Index or otherwise nearby. But there would still be a large contingent on site.

On the day, we'd request use of the parking lot at the Lower Town Wall for production trucks and other vehicles. Climbers would be welcome to climb other areas of Index that are not in the immediate vicinity of our shooting area, but I would hope to generally discourage folks from coming up that day if that is possible. The "nuttiness quotient" will be very high while we're on site, with lots of people, noise and vehicles that may make recreational climbing difficult. We'd hope to communicate in advance with as many area climbers as possible, through you guys or other climbing organizations, to try to minimize the number of folks that come up to climb on that particular day.

Contracts, Permits, Insurance, Fees: The production is fully bonded and would provide insurance coverage for all relevant entities associated with the Wall. We will also permit with State Parks and sign a contract that limits liability for everyone associated with the area. We'd also be happy to make a donation to the coalition as a thank you for helping us out.

Anyone with questions can contact Dave Drummond via his website www.drummondmedia.com . Dave is local to the PNW, and will answer any questions you might have.

cheers yall,

Chris Kalman

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There is more discussion by WCC representatives over on Facebook too. Its too bad the discussion is taking place there instead of a forum like this, were you can view stuff without having to be a logged in Facebook user. Hopefully some of those people can comment here.

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Here's what Chris Kalman has to say:

Hey Everyone,

As someone who was there from the start of this whole thing, and who has been talking with essentially all parties involved, I'd like to share my take on the situation. And people can feel free to decry and defame all they like - that is standard fair. I've had people criticize my efforts to fix old anchors by putting in new ones, so I'm not worried about a little flak. Sadly, it seems that humans in general are always quicker to hate, than to love. Climbers, in general, do not seem to escape that sad phenomenon.

For those raising shovels and pitchforks and asking for heads on platters and the like, I'd suggest a little bit of patience, and circumspection. I consider myself a fairly critical thinker, and I don't believe I am just getting rainbows blown up my ass by anyone involved here. Rather, I tend to believe that people are less prone to be diabolical, and more prone to ignorance. In the case of the bolts on Ultrabrutal, and the conduct of the film crew, I think the latter holds true.

As far as I can tell, the film crew attempted to go through all the right channels to do the shooting not just properly, but respectfully. They dropped the ball, admittedly, and have apologized. Instead of blowing the Index climbing community off, they've made every effort in retrospect to involve us in their planning and decision making process. I simply don't believe that we're dealing with a bunch of rogues or ass-holes. And that's coming from someone who suspected the opposite when I first walked up and saw bolts in the middle of Ultrabrutal - and implored the rigging crew not to put in any more bolts - promising that in the past the climbing community has responded to actions like that by slashing tires, destroying equipment, shitting in backpacks, etc.

The ball was definitely dropped somewhere. Whether it was dropped as it got tossed between WCC and state parks, or state parks and the film crew, or just clumsily fumbled from the hands of the film crew - I don't think really matters. No act here has been incredibly egregious in my opinion. As for precedent, I think the precedent being set here is that of a large-scale hollywood operation apologizing for stepping on the toes of a really small interest group; and trying hard to take that small interest group into consideration with further actions - which I see as a good precedent.

In closing, I'd like to summon up one of my muses, Ernest Hemingway. One of my favorite Hemingway quotes is as follows: "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." I often feel we can apply a similar sentiment to the age of social media: "Always see in person what you feel like saying on the internet. That will keep you from putting your foot in your mouth." While I'm as prone to "foot->mouth"ing as the next guy, I think all of us can benefit from taking a step back from time to time, and waiting for more information to emerge before we jump to conclusions.

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Thanks for info. Facebook is lame as a public discussion forum -- why do they need my info so badly? Not that anybody cares what I think but here's my vote to have such a discussion somewhere like CascadeClimbers instead.

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I'm ok with a big production crew filming a scene at The Country as long as it's a porno called "Cunning Stunt."

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