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cam yarder

Clean Climbing, Dirty Descending

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We make a big stink about how we climb UP a route: onsight, didn't yard on gear, didn't bang in pins, day packs up a grade VI in 45 seconds c2c, blah blah blah..but we almost never talk about the cleanliness of our descent. Leaving behind tat, nuts, cams, and pins for rappel anchors seems completely okay, but isn't the "ethical" self-congratulatory jerk sesh awfully hypocritical if you leave a bunch of shit behind on your way down? shouldn't the descent be just as carefully scrutinized as the ascent? how many climbers take the time to tidy up rappel stations, leaving only a single piece of cord or well-jammed nut?

 

yeah, I understand there's often no choice, that you just have to leave behind junk if you wanna go up in the first place. But sometimes there are alternate descents that, although inconvenient (and therefore won't allow you to spray to all your buds about how fast you did a route) allow the climber to descend without leaving a trace.

Edited by cam yarder

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This came up in a discussion I was having with a friend of mine that guides in the Cascades. Not specifically clean descents but the idea of minimizing tat and plastic left on the mountain by using fixed rap anchors on popular routes. Our conversation ranged from the impacts of rap anchors on the fauna of an area and how likely critters are to chew on nylon slings to the idea of not damaging the rock and leaving things pristine.

 

We settled on the preference of using wire slings over horns or through holes that could be removed if needed, aren't appetizing to critters, are likely to last through several seasons, and they're more subtle than a piece of bright yellow webbing. Not especially convenient but better than leaving nylon in the mountains.

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" A sling for every tree!" I've said before at areas like Snow Creek Wall. the Tooth etc. It is lazy not to research and stick to the standard decent while coming down. Most dont require rapping at all, yet there they are. I like the pile of webbing that the Ranger Station had from cleaning up Triumph.

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