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That looks like a pretty good process they have going for Eldorado Canyon. What areas in the PNW would need this kind of approach? I can imagine Snow Creek Wall since its in a wilderness area. It would take quite a bit of effort (and ability to endure criticism) on someone's part to set up the process. I imagine it only happened at Eldorado Canyon because the alternative was a government imposed ban on new fixed hardware.



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Originally posted by erikn:

It would take quite a bit of effort (and ability to endure criticism) on someone's part to set up the process. I imagine it only happened at Eldorado Canyon because the alternative was a government imposed ban on new fixed hardware.

Right. It would be a lot of effort and I admitt I'm too lazy to do it. And like you say, I think the fixed anchor committee was formed because the only other option was no more anchors at all! So, it seems like the punchline is that if climbers can take care of the bolting issue themselves in a structured way (i.e. not placing bolts w/o community concensus and not wanking bolts on midnight missions....), the non-climbing governing bodies will let the climbers take care of themselves.

I think this idea could be used at ANY of the locations in WA that are under government scrutiny for climber impacts.

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I'm not into the bolt/anti-bolt scene in the PNW enough to know where bolting is an issue. So I can't answer the first question.

As to your second comment, yes, I agree. If land amnagers say "hey, this bolting thing is getting out of comtrol. They look bad and they violate the wilderness ethic, and ...blah blah blah..." and climbers have a mechanism to reduce and control fixed anchors, the land managers are more likely to say, "Ok, you folks seem to be able to take care of this yourself. Therre's a system inplace. If it's not broken, don't fix it"

But, on the other hand, if therre is no climber-controled system in place, and the land managers find themselves in need of a system, the quickest and easiest thing they can do is shut the whole thing down. A Ban on fixed anchors. And I would say that it's in the best interest of climbers of all ethical pursuations to have the control to limit fixed anchors, with exceptions for potentially awesome climbs.

But, like you say, I don't think there is enough of a fixed anchor problem in the land managers eyes (yet) to initiate action limiting fixed anchors, nor do I think there is enough unity in the climbing community in PNW to allow for a fixed anchor commision that is obeyed. There would always be rogue bolter and bolt choppers that would ruin it for the climbers trying to retain some control and limit the loss of power to governmental agencies (does this say something about those who chop anchors in defiance of public sentiment? yes. They make land owners less inclined to leave the power of bolting in the hands of the climbing community)

ok, enough. What i should FINISH w/ is simply saying PNW climbers should keep these types of groups in the back of their mind; even though it might not be a problem now, they're going to be faced with the issue in the future.

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Thanks Max. We banter about on this site and there have been some notable confrontations out on the crags, but we in Washington have had relatively little trouble over this issue compared to some other areas and I hope we can keep it that way. In general, the "traditional" crags like the Lower Wall at Index, Castle Rock, and Snow Creek wall have tended to remain that way, whereas the sport climbers have focused their efforts more at places like North Bend and Vantage (a few obvious exceptions have been duly discussed on this site). I would hope things will continue in that direction, so that there can remain opportunities for a variety of climbing experiences.

It should be noted that there is currently an oversight committee/new route approval system in place at Exit 38 and I urge all climbers to respect it. Should anyone observe a potential violation, I would suggest that you inform the person installing bolts that there is such a process and ask them if they have obtained prior approval. The Frenchmen's Coulee Climbers Association has been organized with some of these same objectives.


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