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Partner pedro_burrito


Nov 29, 2006, 9:03 AM
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Nelson Rocks Preserve
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Nelson Rocks Preserve is up for sale. They shut down most climbing access last year except with a certified guide.

http://www.nelsonrocks.org/sell.pdf


vector


Nov 29, 2006, 9:13 AM
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Re: [pedro_burrito] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Perhaps the state can buy it and name it Byrd Rocks Park. Of course if the bill to change the state's name to Byrdland passes, this would be redundant.

Seriously, though, does WV have much of a public land purchasing program? Is there a group that might buy this like the CCC did with Laurel Knob?

Henry


rockgoat


Nov 29, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Does anyone know how much they are asking?


Partner pedro_burrito


Dec 5, 2006, 2:20 PM
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The owner, Stu Hammett, told me that he is asking $950,000. That's an excellent price. I've got the urge to liquidate everything I own and go for it.


(This post was edited by pedro_burrito on Dec 5, 2006, 4:42 PM)


yekcir


Dec 6, 2006, 9:45 AM
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Re: [pedro_burrito] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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I'd do the same, but the 30 grand I could maybe get together would make me the proud owner of a climb or two... so when do we start a WVCC?


rockgoat


Dec 6, 2006, 10:50 AM
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Re: [yekcir] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Does the Access Fund know about this issue?


ontherocks


Dec 6, 2006, 11:24 AM
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Re: [rockgoat] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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rockgoat wrote:
Does the Access Fund know about this issue?
They know, but I am not sure if there is any action in any particular direction
?


yekcir


Dec 6, 2006, 7:59 PM
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I got an email out to Gene at Waterstone (in Fayetteville). Looks like he's the regional Access Fund point person. Anyway, I'm thinking we can get something rolling here by way of a fund raiser. I can definitely garner some support locally (in central VA) by way of the gym, friends, etc. I'm thinking that Access could help coordinate some efforts and maybe make an acquisition possible.


meatball


Dec 8, 2006, 7:09 AM
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Re: [yekcir] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Any news on this?
Those of you experienced in dealing with the Access Fund or active in the West Virginia community, please let the rest of us know what we can be doing. Writing letters to the AF? Raising money? Etc?
I've only been to the area once...climbing was closed, but it looked like a great place. Sounds like we could be on the verge of a major gain or a major loss with this deal.


dbrayack


Dec 8, 2006, 7:25 AM
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Re: [meatball] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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To be honest, I'm kind of scared of the place. Its quite dangerous and I've had several bad experiences there (broke a hold while lead, carried out someone who muffed themselves, watched someone chunk off a block the size of a table almost onto someone below....)

Its a cool place, but I don't know if we could really get the funds to purchase it. Its not like Boat Rock or whatever they bought.


yekcir


Dec 8, 2006, 9:42 AM
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Gene is working on getting this on the NPS radar, thinking that it may be best in the hands of the national forest (I believe Seneca is located on national forest land). My personal thinking is that it is a fairly dangerous place depending on your comfort level with dubious rock, but also holds some stellar lines and is an excellent training ground for anyone who is working toward bigger and better things.

That said, I'll post anything that develops on that front and will see about opportunities as far as community involvement to get Nelson in the right hands.


nnowinowski


Dec 8, 2006, 10:15 AM
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Re: [yekcir] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Yeah it is a great training ground for climbing on chossy rock alpine stuff. Defenitely a neat place but i think the reason it failed as a climbing area was that people wanted it to be a more moderate seneca with bolts and it just is not a very good beginner area?


dbrayack


Dec 8, 2006, 10:32 AM
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I thought that the actual climbing was perfect for beginners, its just that it was quite dangerous, and a lot of the sport routes were really run out for the grade. (You should not be running it out 20 feet on a 5.7 sport climb).

Not necessarily a biggie, I'm suprised it didn't work out as a climbing area, overall, I liked the place, I was just a little iffy about bringing beginners there.

I think they're selling it because someone died there on the Via Faratta right? I could be totally wrong on that though.


Partner pedro_burrito


Dec 8, 2006, 12:11 PM
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Re: [dbrayack] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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I don't know why Stu is selling but someone did die there in September, 2006.

http://www.dnronline.com/...thor=&channelid=

http://www.rockclimbing.com/.../gforum.cgi?t=120050

I've climbed the Via Ferrata twice, both times with my daughter. One of the guides there told me that my daughter was the second youngest person to ever complete the Via Ferrata (she had just turned 8 years old). It's the safest place I could find to get some serious exposure. It's not foolproof, however.

There is lots of falling rock along the Via Ferrata, particularly when you are following an entire Boy Scout troop who aren't supervised sufficiently. We were almost hit many times by rocks up to the size of basketballs.

With liability issues, I don't know how any non-governmental organization can afford to run a climbing site.


braaaaaaaadley


Dec 8, 2006, 1:33 PM
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Re: [dbrayack] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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dbrayack wrote:
I thought that the actual climbing was perfect for beginners, its just that it was quite dangerous, and a lot of the sport routes were really run out for the grade. (You should not be running it out 20 feet on a 5.7 sport climb).

And why not?... its standard procedure at many areas.


naitch


Dec 8, 2006, 1:59 PM
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Nelson has plenty of routes that were not run out. I guess it depends upon what definition of run out is used. If you want bolts every 5-6 feet, then yes, it probably was run out as is most other sport climbing places that I've been to. They had climbs in the 5.5-5.7 range that I considered to be perfect for learning leaders.

Of the easier climbs I can only think of a couple that were "run out" and usually it was on easier terrain.


roninthorne


Dec 20, 2006, 8:34 PM
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Re: [braaaaaaaadley] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Bold lines and HARD moves made Nelson what it once was, back when there were no cabins, and the place was covered in greenbriar and poison ivy and rarely visited by anyolne outside the circle of maniacs who put up lines there. Lucky enough to have been friends with one or two of those folks and to have climbed there in the day.

Nelson was a place of scattered hard routes and a few moderate lines. Not much "beginner" ground, not the horn o' plenty that Seneca is, nor the overwhelming parallel reality of champe, or Judy Gap. In Nelson, you were a long way from anything, on sometimes challenging terrain, moving in the footsteps and sometimes the shadows of giants. You went there humble, and you went there strong, you climbed smart and you backed off when you had to, and went for it when you could, or had no other choice.

You either got your head handed to you, a balance statement on your reality checking account, or the incredible feeling of standing atop a lost world, hiding in plain sight in the middle of one of the most travelled valleys in Eastern America.

Nelson is a place like no other. I would like to think that any climber with any inkling of the importance of this place in the history of West Virginia, Eastern, and North American rock climbing would chip in to keep it from becoming just another Future Generations string of private mansions dominating a public landscape.

So tell me, organizers... anyone really think we could put together a plan to buy one of the legendary hardplaces of the Southeast?


(This post was edited by roninthorne on Dec 21, 2006, 2:48 AM)


vector


Dec 29, 2006, 2:07 PM
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Re: [roninthorne] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Just bumping this up to get a few more eyeballs on it.

Like many have said, I would be happy to help any way I can in an effort to make Nelson public land. I think it has far more value to the public than an private use.

Question for those with experience there, would Nelson ever become "safer" over time with more cleaning and perhaps a well-thought-out bolting plan? Or is it always going to be too chossy? Is it that much worse than Seneca?

~Henry


roninthorne


Dec 30, 2006, 1:17 PM
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Thanks for the bump, V.

Nelson would, no doubt, be better as public land. Anyone want to start the process of lobbying for redesignation? That shouldn't take long.


As far as becoming safer, Nelson will become cleaner, with the passage of many hands and bodies, but safety lies more with the climber than the climb. Like Seneca, Nelson is a wild place, with rock that varies from stellar to incredibly, unbelievably rotten and loose, from bomber if thin holds on Carved in Stone to delicate wind-carved ears of stone on Iroquois League. The old bolts were few and bold, the newer ones less-well-thought-out, perhaps.

Long reply short (I know, too late), Nelson will become more casual, but never entirely lose than wild something special.


Partner j_ung


Dec 30, 2006, 1:40 PM
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Re: [dbrayack] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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dbrayack wrote:
(You should not be running it out 20 feet on a 5.7 sport climb).

Wouldn't that just make it something other than a sport climb? Tongue


lofstromc


Dec 30, 2006, 4:23 PM
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Excellent point.
I would rather see Nelson not become full of easy sport climbs and stay as is...except for the closed to climbing part.


notapplicable


Jan 1, 2007, 12:02 PM
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The first time I visited Nelson I was very green and was sucked in by the bolt magnet but after my second visit I wrote it off as chossy, scary and not worth my time. Now I am a completely different climber and I understand that at the time Nelson was just over my head. Im physicaly and mentally stronger now and it is disappointing that I cant revisit Nelson. It would be nice to have another resource in the area with adventure and commitment levels similar to Seneca and Old Rag. If any headway is made towards re-opening Nelson I would be happy to donate time and money. If you have the now how, connections or resources to persue access please do.


roninthorne


Jan 5, 2007, 8:54 PM
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Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Just in the email box from Thomson Ling, The AF guy-

What: Access Workshop/Roundtable to discuss saving climbing access at Nelson Rocks Preserve
Where: REI, Bailey's Crossroads
When: 5-7pm on Saturday, January 27th
Why: Learn about the options for preserving climbing access at Nelson Rocks Preserve and climbing on other private lands in the area.

Hello everyone,
As you may be aware, Nelson Rocks Preserve http://www.nelsonrocks.org has recently been put on the market for sale (see below for links to the listing). Nelson Rocks Preserve is a privately owned outdoor recreation area in West Virginia. The land features many climbing routes, via ferrata climbing, hiking, and camping.
http://www.property4u.com/...gs/3039datasheet.htm
http://www.nelsonrocks.org/sell.pdf

In response to this sale announcement, many climbers have raised the question of "what can we do?" While many of us say "let's just buy it", there are many options out there to preserve climbing access in perpetuity ( e.g., buying the land, easement, getting NPS to buy the land, etc). With so many factors that going into acquiring and managing land (or simply preserving climbing), I have arranged an access workshop/roundtable where you can learn about:

-Different tools that can be used to preserve climbing areas in perpetuity
-The pros and cons of fee simple acquisition (i.e., buying the land)
-Conservation easements
-Liability of owning, managing, or holding an easement on land
-Fundraising and how other groups have done it
-Partnerships that have worked in the past for Access Fund and local climbing organizations.

This meeting will also provide a forum where climbers can get involved and organized about preserving climbing access to Nelson Rocks.

This meeting will take place from 5-7pm on Saturday, Jan 27th at the Bailey's Crossroads REI ( http://www.rei.com/stores/baileyscrossroads/index.html ).

If you would like to be involved in saving climbing at Nelson Rocks, please consider attending.

(This post was edited by roninthorne on Jan 5, 2007, 9:59 PM)


roninthorne


Jan 15, 2007, 2:34 AM
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reminder bump


pornstarr


Jan 15, 2007, 5:21 PM
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so....what's the latest Mike??

-Phyllus A. Bowl


roninthorne


Jan 21, 2007, 5:42 PM
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Yo, Troy... life's been too busy to get together, so far... sorry about losing you guys so sudden the other pm... dropped phone in closing car door... very handy when you're miles from all your hardcopy phone numbers... thanks for the info.


srhammett


Feb 4, 2007, 6:34 AM
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Hi folks. I hadn't been on RC.com in some time, although the powers that be were kind enough to reinstate my privileges last year.

When I saw that there was a thread, I expected some harsh commentary, which obviously hasn't been the case. I really appreciate everyone's courtesy and openmindedness.

I think that everyone who knows us well understands the reasons behind our decision to sell. Please be aware that the future of Nelson as an exemplary climbing area continues to be one of our primary motivations. We have put a great deal of effort into site development directed toward enhancing NRP from a climbing perspective - great minds may differ as to whether we've succeeded - and it's always been my hope that the closure would be temporary.

So, did the meeting take place? If there are any questions for us or information we can provide, please feel free to call us at 304-567-3169, or email me at nelsonrockspreserve@yahoo.com, an account I just set up for this purpose. Also check out the fact sheet on our website at http://www.nelsonrocks.org/sell.pdf.

Best regards and thanks for your interest,

Stu Hammett
Nelson Rocks Preserve, Inc.


notapplicable


Mar 16, 2008, 3:35 PM
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Where to start?

OK, I talked to Stu the other day about the status of the sale because I had a number of questions and wanted to start a dialogue that will hopefully lead to a purchase of the land.

My first question to him was about converting the land from privately to publicly held. He said that shortly after the land was put up or sale he and several others contacted all of the logical public land management agencies (park systems, Access Fund, etc...) and nothing materialized, actually no real interest was expressed at all. I for one would like to see the land publicly held and managed to avoid any future issues concerning open, public access. It appears however, that will not be the case.

I have a number of questions that I would like the input of the climbing community on. Both locals who have climbed at Nelson for a long time and may even currently have access and local or nonlocal climbers who have been unable to climb because of the closure. Even if your not effected by the closure because you live in Alaska, I would still like your input. Feel free to address the questions individually or just rant away.

I have tried to keep my personal opinions out of this particular post so as not to effect replies one way or the other.

1. Given the proximity of clean safe climbing at Franklin and the unparalleled grandeur of Seneca does anybody really care very much if Nelson gets open back up? Is this a real loss to the climbing community or would it just be kinda nice if public access was renewed?

2. How big of a deal is it to pay to play? Do you mind paying $5.00 to climb if that had to happen for access to be reopened?

3. If you had to pay to play, would a membership program with annual fees that included camping and cabins (depending on the level you choose) be better than a simple entry fee that was open to the whole public? Is membership only, really public access?

4. If climbing was free would you be willing to donate time to trail work and anchor maintenance to help the climber portion of Nelson be self sustaining?


I am a bit ambivalent about some of this. If Nelson is going to be privately owned I would like it to be by someone who would open it back up to climbing but is that really the lesser of the two evils. Unfortunately I am not exactly wealthy and the Via Ferrata at a minimum would still have to be charged for so that the place was self sustaining. I would simply be operating it as a second business but wouldnt mind at all if it never generated any profits and simply payed for itself. As I understand it, some climbers (mostly the local community) has access to climbing. Is everyone happy with the current situation? Has an ideal balance been achieved? Would I be doing more harm than good purchasing the land in order to reopen it to the public?


Thanks in advance for the input.


lofstromc


Mar 16, 2008, 4:37 PM
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1. I've only climbed at Franklin a few times and never at Nelson. It's my understanding that Nelson offers multi-pitch and gear placement potential. Franklin offers no multi-pitch and is almost all sport climbing. I would like to be able to see for myself.

2. I wouldn't mind a pay to play approach.

3. It seems that once you introduce different levels of membership, camping, access to cabins, etc. you automatically need to have staff and the like. Is the overhead for that going to reduce or even eat into profit?? Simple is always easier, I think. A daily fee that allows for one night of camping would be my preference.

4. I am always willing to contribute time to give back to climbing areas and the community at-large.


sween345


Mar 16, 2008, 5:51 PM
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  Bryan,

Maybe if you researched how the Mohonk Preserve
operates at the Gunks it would be helpful to you. As far as I know it is lands "held in public trust", basically meaning they must allow access. As far as being privately owned and administered, I have no idea of the legal intricacies involved.

Hope this helps.

Jim


notapplicable


Mar 16, 2008, 8:31 PM
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lofstromc wrote:
1. I've only climbed at Franklin a few times and never at Nelson. It's my understanding that Nelson offers multi-pitch and gear placement potential.

Nelson is well developed and has an interesting blend of trad, mixed and sport climbing. A unique venue in the midatlantic to be certain.

lofstromc wrote:
3. It seems that once you introduce different levels of membership, camping, access to cabins, etc. you automatically need to have staff and the like.

You are correct, all of that would entail maintenance and additional over head. The cabins are already inplace and will be available for rent if not exclusively reserved for a membership program. To some extent it is 'six of one, half dozen of another'. The memberships was actually Stu's (the current owner) idea and given his history with the place I thought the idea should at least be put on the scale with everything else.

Personally you and I are of the same mind on the subject but I want to know everyones feelings on this.

lofstromc wrote:
4. I am always willing to contribute time to give back to climbing areas and the community at-large.

Thank you.


roninthorne


Mar 16, 2008, 8:43 PM
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notapplicable wrote:

[Stu] said that shortly after the land was put up or sale he and several others contacted all of the logical public land management agencies (park systems, Access Fund, etc...) and nothing materialized, actually no real interest was expressed at all.

Now that's hard to believe [sarcasm]... since it took the owners of the Southern Pillar at Seneca almost turning that end of the formation into a logging project and then a housing development for the NFS to finally, grudgingly buy it for something like 2 million dollars... I mean, there are formations like that just laying around on convenience store shelves all over the place, right?

If you think that the NFS under our war happy idiot Commander-in-Denial has either the resources or motivation to purchase another strategically-unimportant chunk of rock (in other words, one that won't put a Republican in the White House), you're not paying attention. NOTHING not having to do with the elections or the War (which I think Dubya announced as a Vikt'ry about 2 yrs and several thousand deaths ago) is gonna get any money or support. And by the time the dollar finishes going into the toilet (no, no... don't look at the markets... just keep supporting the TROOPS, fergawdsakes!), and Hillary and Barak finish making races and genders hate each other, who's gonna care about another climbing area in poor ol' redneck heaven West-by-God?

As for the Access Fund... oh, never mind.. I'd still like to try to get some swag out of them, even if Thomson didn't mention word one about Franklin in his teary-eyed little goodbye email about DC-area spring Adopt-a-crags and how he's leaving to make some money elsewhere...

Sorry, but you did invite a rant and that's my take on the national pulse at the moment. Hell... I can't even get any regular, dependable support to keep "clean, safe" Franklin from sliding off the hill and right out of the climbing scene... and you expect the climbing "community" (snicker) to come up with a plan?

Was that a pig that just flew by.....?

notapplicable wrote:
1. Given the proximity of clean safe climbing at Franklin and the unparalleled grandeur of Seneca does anybody really care very much if Nelson gets open back up? Is this a real loss to the climbing community or would it just be kinda nice if public access was renewed?

If something doesn't happen soon to change climber attitudes towards each and every day being a trailday and clean-up opportunity, and to foster the realization that while you may have the freedom to do many things, that freedom is inextricably joined to the responsibility for dealing with the impact of those actions, then Franklin will likely be closed in the next few years. The two warm, friendly old grandpa types who have been so kindly overlooking our impact have handed over control to their kids, and they don't like us all that much.

As for Seneca... well, the guides on both sides of the road there think they're pretty cool when they sneak down the creek and across the river to Champe Rocks... because they are too stupid to realize that the same family owns the land on the OTHER side of the river, too. They've pulled the same stunt at a handful of other places around Germany Valley and pissed off a fair share of the landowners there (I know because I've been trying to get climber access to those places to relieve some of the strain elsewhere), all while sending people to Franklin (where they NEVER do trailwork or contribute to maintenance) to reduce crowding at the crag where they make their money. And correct me if I'm wrong.. wasn't there a flurry of bolting and chopping somewhere around the Burn not too long ago? Hmmm... wonder who might have been doing that...

How long do you think it's going to stay fee-free to climb at Seneca, with this kind of impressive record of conscientious climbers treating landowners and resources with dignity and respect?

Don't count on either of the nearest crags as a fallback reason to let Nelson go, kiddies... Anything you take for granted will sooner or later be taken away.

notapplicable wrote:
2. How big of a deal is it to pay to play? Do you mind paying $5.00 to climb if that had to happen for access to be reopened?

I would happily pay $5.00/day to climb at Nelson.


notapplicable wrote:
3. If you had to pay to play, would a membership program with annual fees that included camping and cabins (depending on the level you choose) be better than a simple entry fee that was open to the whole public? Is membership only, really public access?

Who cares if it's public access? It's Access to a great crag and a piece of WV climbing history. And Judy Gap (not to mention 20-some miles of the North Fork cliffs) can be found by going right over <<<<< there, for all the cheapskates.

You pay to get in.

You pay for a parking pass. Don't want to? That's your right (know how fond you pet owners are of those rights). If, after buying several hundred dollars worth of climbing gear and Eric Horst's unauthorized guidebook, you're too cheap to pony up for a parking pass, you can always hitchhike, or take a bus and then backpack down from Petersburg... it's only a 30 mile hike to Nelson from there... think of it as a reaaaaally long warm-up. Oops... is it Monday again, already?

You want to stay? You pay to rent a cabin or camp by the river, if you're a premium member you pay less, and if you're a Platinum member (with say the income of a lawyer or investment banker) your $1,000 a year guarantees you first dibs on an uninsulated cabin with no plumbing and bunk beds! (Reservations at least 90 days in advance, first come, first served.)

notapplicable wrote:
4. If climbing was free would you be willing to donate time to trail work and anchor maintenance to help the climber portion of Nelson be self sustaining?

Oh, you mean like they do at Franklin........

Sorry... ya had to see that one coming...

But, honestly, since I've already done a decade at Franklin pretty much out of my own pocket and on my own time, would I get any credit for that? How 'bout just giving me carte blanche to drop rocks on anyone I saw off trail or whose dog I caught digging pits at the base of the cliff, with the right to either adopt, sell, or eat the dog?

Regardless, I'd be willing to pledge four full days a month to trails and crag maintenance and clean-up, minimum. Hell, I'd even guide for ya or just cook and tell no-shit-there-I-was stories around the premium members' campfires.


Look, n/a... the liability of the Via Ferrata is gonna eat you alive, mate... Just chop the damned thing down and that's that. We got along fine without it for YEARS.

And yer never gonna come up with a solution that everyone likes... not even God has managed that, and S/he's had a long, long time to work on it....

But I'd be first in line to help in any way I could... short of stopping color commentary like this in RC.com discussions, of course.... or agreeing that anyone has a RIGHT to bring their dog to the crag... or leaving poor Eric alone for selling out to Falcon Press... or not taking the piss out of for-profit groups who use private crags but don't give back or teach ethics... or-

-well, anyway, I'd be willing to help.


notapplicable


Mar 16, 2008, 9:15 PM
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sween345 wrote:
Bryan,

Maybe if you researched how the Mohonk Preserve
operates at the Gunks it would be helpful to you. As far as I know it is lands "held in public trust", basically meaning they must allow access. As far as being privately owned and administered, I have no idea of the legal intricacies involved.

Hope this helps.

Jim

I am currently looking in to the option of a land trust but there are some things on the financing end that I have yet to sort out and the two may be in conflict with one another.

There certianly are tax and other benifits, time will tell on that front.


notapplicable


Mar 16, 2008, 10:28 PM
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roninthorne wrote:
Was that a pig that just flew by.....?

Yes, please rant on. I freely admit that work has kept me far from the climbing and community of the area I grew up in. The main reason myself and my family are considering this purchase is because we want to move back to Harrisonburg. If I were to stay in Richmond this would not be feasible but I need to get back to the mountains and get my hands dirty.

roninthorne wrote:
Don't count on either of the nearest crags as a fallback reason to let Nelson go, kiddies... Anything you take for granted will sooner or later be taken away.

Dont get me wrong, the current situation at Neslon is upsetting. The phrasing of that question wasnt designed to reflect my personal views of the situation.

Although I dont see access at Seneca as being tenuous but I completely take your word for whats happening Franklin. It seems you have been keeping that place tethered to a slippery slope for some time now.

roninthorne wrote:
Who cares if it's public access? It's Access to a great crag and a piece of WV climbing history. And Judy Gap (not to mention 20-some miles of the North Fork cliffs) can be found by going right over <<<<< there, for all the cheapskates.

I do see what your saying but I struggle with the idea that limited or highly restricted access is close enough to the ideal to be worth doing. It certainly is a start but again, the Via will pay the mortgage on the place and you will limit a great number of people with the membership program.

I do see how that would not be all bad. Climbers would hopfully feel more inclined to care for the resource if they new access was restricted to those who really had a vested interest in the rock and access to it.

Perhaps this is not the time to be an idealist. Some access is certainly better than none.

roninthorne wrote:
Oh, you mean like they do at Franklin........

Sorry... ya had to see that one coming...

Yes I suppose I did.Unimpressed

roninthorne wrote:
Look, n/a... the liability of the Via Ferrata is gonna eat you alive, mate... Just chop the damned thing down and that's that. We got along fine without it for YEARS.
.

All other things aside, this really is the crux of the matter. In order to make this purchase possible I will be using a portion (a large one) of the operating capital from the small, family owned, residential development company I run here in Richmond. The best I can do is 20%-25% down so the rest will be financed. The Via Farrata has to pay the mortgage as we are talking $55,000.00+ grand a year not including overhead. I dont see any way around it honestly.

To keep the honesty rolling, this aint the Red River. I just dont see that kind of money being raised on an annual basis for a place as wild and bold as Nelson. I'm not telling you anything you dont know but its a different kind of scene and I for one am thankful for that.

Concerning the liability, I am comming out to the valley in two weeks to meet with Stu and get into some numbers with him. Based on what I know so far this thing really seems possible and the insurance is just overhead.

If you have other ideas I'm all ears. I would just hate to see the place get into the hands of someone with no plans for climbing access. I see it happening, I really do.



On a personal note: I know you take most thank you's as lip service but I'm gonna say it anyway you grumpy bastard.Tongue

Thanks for the personal sacrafices you make to preserve and enable access for the rest of us.

There, that wasnt so bad was it?


pornstarr


Mar 17, 2008, 7:42 AM
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what's the asking price these days for Nelson Rocks purchase?


notapplicable


Mar 17, 2008, 8:14 AM
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pornstarr wrote:
what's the asking price these days for Nelson Rocks purchase?

A very reasonable $750,000.00


gimmeslack


Mar 17, 2008, 10:56 AM
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notapplicable wrote:

1. Given the proximity of clean safe climbing at Franklin and the unparalleled grandeur of Seneca does anybody really care very much if Nelson gets open back up? Is this a real loss to the climbing community or would it just be kinda nice if public access was renewed?

This gumby sez it is crazy to let ANY quality rock slip away. Nelson should be seen as a compliment to Seneca.

2. How big of a deal is it to pay to play? Do you mind paying $5.00 to climb if that had to happen for access to be reopened?

Not a problem. You buy it I'll gladly pay $5 to climb. Sheesh, that's not even a good lunch at Fatboy's...


Thanks in advance for the input.


forkliftdaddy


Mar 17, 2008, 11:54 AM
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1. I was sad to not have gotten a chance to explore Nelson Rocks. So I'd love to see it open again.

2. I'd gladly pay $5.

3. Simple fee would be best for me as I do not live in the area. Member only is not public access, but it is a compromise we must sometimes make. For example the best the CCC can do with Asheboro is member only access. We'd love to open it to all, but the landowner made the rule.

4. Honestly, I probably would not as I live too many hours away.


pornstarr


Mar 17, 2008, 1:55 PM
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having been there many times, i'd gladly pony up
for continued access.

i believe there may be ways of mitigating risk depending on how you charge/how much you charge
in the state of WV, or so I've been told. I don't know the specifics.

i think it was feasable (fee area access) at the purchase price the NRP folks paid....not sure about it at 750k.

If I had that much expendable cash I'd proabably buy it, nonetheless.


notapplicable


Mar 17, 2008, 2:38 PM
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pornstarr wrote:
i believe there may be ways of mitigating risk depending on how you charge/how much you charge
in the state of WV, or so I've been told. I don't know the specifics.


Some argue that liability is less if things are on a "donation" basis but I dont think that really makes much of a difference in the real world. A good question for an attorney.


elvislegs


Mar 17, 2008, 4:08 PM
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notapplicable wrote:

2. How big of a deal is it to pay to play? Do you mind paying $5.00 to climb if that had to happen for access to be reopened?

i'm not from the area and i've only been there once, so, grain of salt and all that.
i think it was a cool area, but i'm not positive i'd pay to climb there... not with free climbing nearby.
i had a great weekend with those folks, but i didn't love the climbing.

i know that's not very helpful to you n/a, but it thought it might help you see it from an outsider's perspective and ask yourself something like: "if i sink all my money into this place, is it enough cooler than the other nearby areas that people will pass them by to come here and pay?"

what sets nelson apart?
is it enough to keep it running?

your dedication to saving this place you love is admirable, but i don't think anyone would want to watch you go broke.

for what it's worth.
-sean


pornstarr


Mar 17, 2008, 4:45 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
pornstarr wrote:
i believe there may be ways of mitigating risk depending on how you charge/how much you charge
in the state of WV, or so I've been told. I don't know the specifics.


Some argue that liability is less if things are on a "donation" basis but I dont think that really makes much of a difference in the real world. A good question for an attorney.

an attorney already owns the place, FWIW.


notapplicable


Mar 17, 2008, 7:05 PM
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elvislegs wrote:
i know that's not very helpful to you n/a, but it thought it might help you see it from an outsider's perspective and ask yourself something like: "if i sink all my money into this place, is it enough cooler than the other nearby areas that people will pass them by to come here and pay?"

what sets nelson apart?
is it enough to keep it running?

-sean

Thats exactly the kind of input I want man, thanks.

The climbing will never pay the bills on this place and quite frankly I dont want it to. The via farrata is going to be the way that climbing access is maintained. It just has to pay for itself so we can have a place to play, if it cannot do that I (unfortunately) I wont be able to pursue it.

Beyond the simple principle that access is important, Seneca is a cluster fuck most weekends and even week days. Your not wrong that Nelson will never parallel Seneca but it would be nice to have a place to go with a little elbow room. What I am trying to get a feel for is what people think the ideal level of access would be given the circumstances.


lofstromc


Mar 17, 2008, 7:31 PM
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I've been thinking about something and initially thought I should keep it to myself, but...
Not applicable, since you are in land development, are you familiar with the idea of cohousing, or intentional communities?
My hairbrain idea is that if you could find a group of people - like-minded, climbing people - to pony up and invest in the land in return for partial ownership. That may be a way to make this happen.
I know there would be alot of stuff to work out, but this knuckleheaded scheme may be a way to ensure that Nelson remains open to climbing and you don't have to take on a mortgage that may sink you.
Just some thoughts.


(This post was edited by lofstromc on Mar 17, 2008, 7:32 PM)


pornstarr


Mar 17, 2008, 8:41 PM
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additionally......

although beautifully done, the via ferrata will need maintenance soon enough!!!!

i'd get on it no problem, even in five years, but all that steel ain't gonna last forever, And there's alot of it......and alot of work went into putting that stuff up!

something else to think about.

please buy it.

I'll show you around the place..... haha, J/k.

don't forget about the fins/rock across the road...


notapplicable


Mar 18, 2008, 5:34 AM
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lofstromc wrote:
I've been thinking about something and initially thought I should keep it to myself, but...
Not applicable, since you are in land development, are you familiar with the idea of cohousing, or intentional communities?
My hairbrain idea is that if you could find a group of people - like-minded, climbing people - to pony up and invest in the land in return for partial ownership. That may be a way to make this happen.
I know there would be alot of stuff to work out, but this knuckleheaded scheme may be a way to ensure that Nelson remains open to climbing and you don't have to take on a mortgage that may sink you.
Just some thoughts.


Hippie communes!?!Shocked Everybody run...

Just kidding. Thats a good idea if something more simple and straight forward cannot be worked out.

One discussion I have already had with several people is if they would be interested in buying a small 3-5 acre parcel that would be situated nicely for a vacation cabin. Some thing that would have a nice view but be apart form the "commercial" activities of the place, they could access it year round as a weekend get away for friends and family. The land would be privately owned by them and simply have an easement across the existing parcel. Although selling any of it would be less than ideal, if it helped off set the down payment by half or even a third it would be a big help.


I have been strongly considering the creation of a public trust to hold the land. Operating as a nonprofit has a lot of advantages in the direction of conservation and tax benefits.

With what little research I have done it looks like two forms of nonprofits could work for what your talking about. The first being a "Social and Recreation Club" where the land owned by a group of people with equal access but not subdivided into individual parcels. After its established people can sell (at a profit if they want) their share of ownership but original goals of the place are contractually held to protect the place. One disadvantage here is you cannot advertise publicly for "members" so getting the right people together could be tricky.

The other is a simple "Private Land Trust", to which all donations are tax deductible.

There is a bunch of info. here - http://www.ic.org/...r/1995/27butcher.php - as well as other places.


It seems that a simple purchase of the land by one or two parties is the most straight forward and expeditious. To be honest, one of the reasons I lean that direction is because I am not a "get involved, fund raising, rally the troops" kind of person. When I'm out climbing, I'm usually the guy at the far end of the cliff climbing with just one person or off by himself soloing. I'm not a social animal so I dont think I have it in myself to organize something like this. Now if there are some others who are as equally interested in getting our hands on this place while its available I will get involved but somebody else is gonna have to be the "tip of the spear" on this thing.


notapplicable


Mar 18, 2008, 5:50 AM
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pornstarr wrote:
additionally......

although beautifully done, the via ferrata will need maintenance soon enough!!!!

i'd get on it no problem, even in five years, but all that steel ain't gonna last forever, And there's alot of it......and alot of work went into putting that stuff up!

something else to think about.

please buy it.

I'll show you around the place..... haha, J/k.

don't forget about the fins/rock across the road...

Yes it will need maintaining, along with the rest of the property. Unless a group of people can come togeather and buy the place it will have to be operated as a business to pay for itself. All that stuff is just overhead, along with insurance, advertising, etc...

I have a friend who already works for me now who would be willing to live on the place and be fulltime caretaker for a small salary and free rent. I would have to get power hooked up to one or more of the cabins but hes a pretty rustic dude, he wouldnt mind the accomidations at all.

I'm headed out there on the 29th to check the place out (the last time I was there was right before climbing closed) and meet with Stu. I'll probably do the Via while I'm there to do an inspection.

I take it you have spent a bunch of time at Nelson? Did you take part in any of the route development that went on before or after the place got opened up?


naitch


Mar 18, 2008, 6:50 AM
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I've climbed there and would continue to pay to play even it it went up a bit in price. I don't clip bolts that much, preferring trad. However it has enough trad to be interesting and it's also a good place to take people who are learning to lead. Even though Franklin is fairly soft, Nelson has a few bolted .5s and .6s good for newbie leaders to gain confidence. I prefer Nelson to Franklin just because it's a mixed area, longer routes and less time to get to if one is camping at Seneca and wants more variety. I seldom go to Franklin even if a bit closer to home and "free"

Hope it works out for you. A friend tried to interest me in going in with him and two others when it was first went up for sale but was unsure. I am not very business minded nor much of a risk taker (financially). Unsure


pornstarr


Mar 18, 2008, 7:25 AM
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you may want get in touch with Sean Coburn with the Carolina Climbers Coalition. He and others arranged the purchase of Laurel Knob (tallest cliff in the east)
which is now held by the CCC.

He may have some good Ideas.

Reach him on the CCC website.


roninthorne


Mar 18, 2008, 4:43 PM
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pornstarr wrote:

don't forget about the fins/rock across the road...

Are those fins owned by Stu? Thought I remember seeing Posted signs just across the creek when we had Oozefest... of course, I wasn't entirely coherent at the time...

Re: the Via Ferrata-

notapplicable wrote:
All other things aside, this really is the crux of the matter. In order to make this purchase possible I will be using a portion (a large one) of the operating capital from the small, family owned, residential development company I run here in Richmond. The best I can do is 20%-25% down so the rest will be financed. The Via Farrata has to pay the mortgage as we are talking $55,000.00+ grand a year not including overhead. I dont see any way around it honestly.

I was just talking to Dr. Goodwhack about this thing... do you know who the engineer that designed the Via was, or could you get that info from Stu? The Via has some issues- which I would be happy to address now, beginning the day of the sale, as a cartaker/camp host/maintenance man... there are folks right here in WV that could live there and work for you for rent and climbing privileges, n/a... nothing against your bud in Richmond, but he's in Richmond, where there are jobs... we're in WV where they are a little harder to get... but I digress (imagine that).

Anyway, the good Doctor and I were thinking about the force multiplier (known to you laymen as "that tight bridge on the Via Ferrata") and wondering just who designed, specced, and installed that bit of highwire artistry. Might be some more good intel to gather.. and of course, even if someone competent did design and install it, you'd want to get an engineer out there to re-inspect it before you agreed to any price... the thing is a big enough liability as it is.

(I still say chop it, but if you play your cards right, you're the Boss!Wink)

As for Mr. Lofstrom's excellent harebrained idea.. it is just that... excellent!

How 'bout leasing that part of the Preserve to be run by someone else, with first dibs on cabins reverting to you in the climbing season? I know of a non-profit or two in the area who constantly have volunteers looking for something to do and someplace to go... and these are volunteers with $$$, not just eager college kids running up Dad's Visa...

In the off season, those places could return profits from non-climbers- imagine that view with the fall colors and/or 4" of snow... can you say AARP? Conde Nast, Bass Pros, the Audobon Society... lordie, where couldn't you advertise in the Special Interest-Outdoors sector!?!? Go for the snob appeal and charge 'em $250.00 per night and you'll be beating the golden-parachuting CEOs and investment bankers who just repo'd all those homes and made a tidy windfall away with a #13 Hexcentric, man!


conversely, if you improved those cabins just a bit, they would be worth the price of a Premium/Charter/Lifetime membership (another idea I wouldn't immediately discard... Look to the AAC for some guidance on this, too)

Finally-

When and if ya start selling plots, let me know... I've already got a buyer for one of them.

(This post was edited by roninthorne on Mar 18, 2008, 4:53 PM)


lofstromc


Mar 18, 2008, 5:35 PM
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roninthorne wrote:
conversely, if you improved those cabins just a bit, they would be worth the price of a Premium/Charter/Lifetime membership (another idea I wouldn't immediately discard... Look to the AAC for some guidance on this, too)

Finally-

When and if ya start selling plots, let me know... I've already got a buyer for one of them.

Lifetime membership, that is exactly what I was alluding too! I would love to have a little cabin in that neck-o-the-woods.
Put me down for one as well...seriously.


jt512


Mar 18, 2008, 5:56 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
pornstarr wrote:
what's the asking price these days for Nelson Rocks purchase?

A very reasonable $750,000.00

Holy shit, Toto! We're definitely not in California anymore.

Jay


notapplicable


Mar 18, 2008, 8:31 PM
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roninthorne wrote:
Are those fins owned by Stu?

No he doesnt own them. Possible future aquisition...one thing at a time and all that.Wink

roninthorne wrote:
I was just talking to Dr. Goodwhack about this thing... do you know who the engineer that designed the Via was, or could you get that info from Stu? The Via has some issues- which I would be happy to address now, beginning the day of the sale, as a cartaker/camp host/maintenance man...

I'm sure I can get all that info. from Stu. I'm waiting for a reply to an Email now so I'll explore that soon.

Thanks for the offer Mike, if more climbers had your spirit (myself included) we would be in a much better place as a community. Not that its all inclusive anymore but I think there is still a sense of community.

roninthorne wrote:
there are folks right here in WV that could live there and work for you for rent and climbing privileges, n/a... nothing against your bud in Richmond, but he's in Richmond, where there are jobs... we're in WV where they are a little harder to get... but I digress (imagine that).

Like I said if this plays out I will be moving Stoneworks (my current company) to the valley, dont know if I will beable to do with out my right hand man anyway. Time will tell.

roninthorne wrote:
even if someone competent did design and install it, you'd want to get an engineer out there to re-inspect it before you agreed to any price... the thing is a big enough liability as it is.

Couldnt agree more. All of this is what can be so frustrating about a project like this. *A little side story to make my point* - 8 months ago I signed a contract to purchase 35 acres of farm land from a retired guy with cancer (dont let this paint the wrong picture of me. I made a high offer just so that he could use the money to extend his fight. I was very disappointed he never got the money when he needed it most). Since that time I have built and sold a house, he has died and three different title companies have worked on the title. Turns out 18 family members have some level of ownership or power of attorney and they keep dragging things out.

I'm excited about this opportunity but these processes are always so protracted it makes you twitch.

roninthorne wrote:
Go for the snob appeal and charge 'em $250.00 per night and you'll be beating the golden-parachuting CEOs and investment bankers who just repo'd all those homes and made a tidy windfall away with a #13 Hexcentric, man!

Let them pay for us to play! Now that sir is a plan.

In all seriousness, if the place is to be run as a business (for profit or non-profit) there is no reason not to do it right. At the very least hook power up and provide the basic amenities. I gotta be honest (you will find I speak bluntly but honestly, something we have in common I think), at heart I am a capitalist Shocked and that goes doubly so for partner/father. A balancing act is going to have to be done if this moves forward with a large level of capital coming from my end. A part of the reason a nonprofit is appealing is all the tax incentives. Again, on my current playing field this thing is a tall fence. I'm hoping we can figure out a way to play both sides, without we dont even have a game.

roninthorne wrote:
conversely, if you improved those cabins just a bit, they would be worth the price of a Premium/Charter/Lifetime membership (another idea I wouldn't immediately discard... Look to the AAC for some guidance on this, too)

This idea I like better actually. A few members of my extended family own a rustic cabin in the mountains near the VA/WVA line. Its a place that they and their extended family or friends can go for the weekend and relax. No reason we couldnt create that opportunity for a few like minded people and preserve the climbing at the same time.

Many, many, many conversations to be had and even more numbers to be looked at. $4,500.00 a month mortgage payment aint no joke.Unimpressed


notapplicable


Mar 18, 2008, 8:33 PM
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lofstromc wrote:
roninthorne wrote:
conversely, if you improved those cabins just a bit, they would be worth the price of a Premium/Charter/Lifetime membership (another idea I wouldn't immediately discard... Look to the AAC for some guidance on this, too)

Finally-

When and if ya start selling plots, let me know... I've already got a buyer for one of them.

Lifetime membership, that is exactly what I was alluding too! I would love to have a little cabin in that neck-o-the-woods.
Put me down for one as well...seriously.

With the right amenities this could be a sweet deal for everyone. Climbing, cabins, fishing and rocking chairs on the front porch. These things make me Smile


lodi5onu


Mar 19, 2008, 11:31 AM
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roninthorne wrote:
Bold lines and HARD moves made Nelson what it once was, back when there were no cabins, and the place was covered in greenbriar and poison ivy and rarely visited by anyolne outside the circle of maniacs who put up lines there. Lucky enough to have been friends with one or two of those folks and to have climbed there in the day.

Nelson was a place of scattered hard routes and a few moderate lines. Not much "beginner" ground, not the horn o' plenty that Seneca is, nor the overwhelming parallel reality of champe, or Judy Gap. In Nelson, you were a long way from anything, on sometimes challenging terrain, moving in the footsteps and sometimes the shadows of giants. You went there humble, and you went there strong, you climbed smart and you backed off when you had to, and went for it when you could, or had no other choice.

You either got your head handed to you, a balance statement on your reality checking account, or the incredible feeling of standing atop a lost world, hiding in plain sight in the middle of one of the most travelled valleys in Eastern America.

Nelson is a place like no other. I would like to think that any climber with any inkling of the importance of this place in the history of West Virginia, Eastern, and North American rock climbing would chip in to keep it from becoming just another Future Generations string of private mansions dominating a public landscape.

So tell me, organizers... anyone really think we could put together a plan to buy one of the legendary hardplaces of the Southeast?

amen, to that brother
Nelson's is bigger than you, me or rc.com
Nelson's is wild
Nelson's is wonderful
Nelson's is purely WV


climbingmitch


Mar 19, 2008, 8:21 PM
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Me and my D.C. friends climb frequently at Seneca Rocks, Franklin and the Gunks. We would all GLADLY pay to climb at Nelson Rocks, either a daily fee or an annual fee. This would provide welcome variety to Seneca/Franklin.


rockandlice


Dec 31, 2008, 8:09 AM
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EDIT** I now see this thread is ancient. Any updates?




I too would be more than willing to pony up $5 a day to play. I'll even be down for a trail day from time to time and I always pack out ALL trash (not just mine) that I find ANYWHERE in the great outdoors (outside of abandoned cars I seem to not be strong enough to move).

Roninthorne, I've been out of the climbing game for many years (12 or so roughly). I have no idea WHAT I was thinking, but I'm coming back around now as my wife is showing interest and some surprising natural talent. I climbed Franklin quite a bit in the early days driving up with a bunch of friends from Roanoke at the time. Seems it's changed quite a bit from what I've read and seen on here. I appreciate your efforts to keep it hanging on up to this point and it saddens me to see the lack of help has been so prevalent for an area that seems to receive a lot of traffic.

Here is the way I see it. WVa. does not support a working economy that would allow a large number of outdoor enthusiast to live nearby. In turn, the state is flooded by us outsiders wanting a piece of the wild action. Add to that the work and family schedules of most and people feel they barely have time just to drive to and from the crags and get a decent amount of climbing time in. What people fail to realize is that if they do not ever take the time to pitch in, eventually they won't have to worry about it at all as nothing will be accessible anyhow. Even if everyone sacrificed ONE DAY A YEAR, the impact would be HUGE.

In regards to Franklin specifically, I look forward to visiting soon. I was once a slightly less than half respectable climber leading .11's strong and hang dogging the ever living crap out of .12's. I really liked more moderate trad routes most, but it will take a bit to get my head back for it. After a few trips to the local walls, I realize I can now only make it up .7's & .8's with a hair of grace and a .9 feels hard a all get out. I figure our trips to Franklin in '09 will consist of a 1/2 day climbing before getting a bit pumped and we'll be able to spend a few hours each time helping to clean up and do some trail work where needed. I look forward to talking to you about the current 'honey-do' list there.

As for dogs, well, we have one. You definitely won't see him at the crags this year though. He's a 15 month old flat coated retriever pup. He's got an excellent temperament, but he is by no means a good crag dog. Hopefully in a couple of years that will change. We rescued him 6 months ago and have been working closely with him over the last 6 months to train him well. I've always been of the mind set that a proper crag dog must have the following attributes:

a. Well mannered with strangers. Doesn't jump up on people, approaches people gently and gives people their space. Oh, and no stealing or rummaging!

b. Respects the natural surroundings. No digging, chasing the local wildlife, excessive barking (anything beyond an occasional yelp), stays out of everyones way and keeps a calm demeanor along the cliffs (not distracting in any manner).

Once Samson proves himself in those ways, he'll come along. For now he gets to go hiking, and I'll usually shoot for rarely traveled back country where he can trot the trail without the confines of a leash. He's actually a killer trail dog, but needs constant movement to keep him focused. Stays close to me and urges me to keep up a solid pace. Wink


(This post was edited by rockandlice on Dec 31, 2008, 8:20 AM)


notapplicable


Jan 4, 2009, 10:55 AM
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Well the latest as it concerns my purchase plan is everythings on hold.Unimpressed Quick and profitable asset liquidation with in the realestate market is not really an option any more and like a bunch of other companies we are struggling.

It has been 9 months since I last spoke with Stu so I have no idea how the sale is going. From the website it looks like the Via Ferrata is up and running but climbing is still closed unfortunately.

When I re-opened this discussion a few months ago several people expressed interest in pursuing some sort of nonprofit purchase of the land and I think that is the most likely path for access to be restored. The best way to go about doing so is the next item up for discussion I suppose. Do we find 20 like minded people with a few grand to spare each year and just buy the place on a 15 year mortgage? Does the via farrata stay open to pay the mortgage and everyone just has to be a guarantor with a down pmnt? Do we set it up as a nonprofit and try to raise the funds to pay the mortgage? Does the via stay open to supplement donations? Who wants to be involved? How and where do we meet to discuss this?

Lots of questions...what I will do is send a pm to everyone who expressed interest with a link to this thread so we can try and get a ball rolling.


notapplicable


Jan 5, 2009, 10:49 AM
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Anyone who is interested pursuing this just add this thread to your "watched threads" list as I and some other folks will be doing some research on the best ways to organize both private and public ownership of the land and posting updates and links to this thread. If anyone has prior experience with this type of thing or knows someone who does, your input would be appreciated as I have very little.

Also if you know of other organizations, websites or individuals who don't use RC.com but would be interested in securing access to Nelson please let me know.

Thanks


charley


Jan 5, 2009, 4:11 PM
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The c.c.c. and s.e.c. have purchased laurel knob and other places. Someone should talk to some of them. Some are on here and some aren't anymore.


rockandlice


Jan 5, 2009, 4:29 PM
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While I do not have personal funding to throw in the pot, I may have some value to bring to the table. I'm good friends with all of the folks over at a large outdoor monthly mag for the region. Those folks would likely have good contacts/ideas and certainly could provide some stories/coverage for helping to make this happen.


notapplicable


Jan 6, 2009, 6:05 PM
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charley wrote:
The c.c.c. and s.e.c. have purchased laurel knob and other places. Someone should talk to some of them. Some are on here and some aren't anymore.

I have no idea how wide they are willing to cast their net but I think WV may be a bit outside of their "jurisdiction". They would be a great place to start as far as ideas and contacts though.

Maybe the first thing we (by "we" I mean those who can and want to invest time in organizing this thing) should do is figure out who "we' are and assign some homework to each person. Somebody to contact existing organizations that can help, someone to research the best way to structure a private purchase by a group of individuals, someone to look at mortgage costs and terms, etc... I guess the first task after that is to decide on a purchase plan, given the uniqueness of the venue the options are many.

I am not a very social guy so I know I'm the wrong person to spearhead this thing in the long run but I will be happy to put in plenty of man hours to get the ball rolling. If anybody wants to take on some responsibility you can PM me and we will start working on the details together. Updates will be posted here.

So, who wants to help?


notapplicable


Jan 6, 2009, 6:17 PM
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rockandlice wrote:
While I do not have personal funding to throw in the pot, I may have some value to bring to the table. I'm good friends with all of the folks over at a large outdoor monthly mag for the region. Those folks would likely have good contacts/ideas and certainly could provide some stories/coverage for helping to make this happen.

Excellent, that could be a big help if things go the fundraising route.

I have no idea if we can make this thing work but a great climbing resource is just sitting there waiting to be opened up. Definitely warrants a serious effort I think.


Partner j_ung


Jan 8, 2009, 9:50 AM
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Another thing to think about is that the Access Fund is hosting an acquisition summit, I think March 6-8 at Torrent Falls at the Red. Anybody seriously considering getting the ball rolling on an acquisition ought to be there.


nateclimbs


Jan 8, 2009, 10:54 AM
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I'm potentially interested in helping with Nelson access. I've got some time to offer. Please keep me in the loop on any plans.

I climb regularly at Seneca and would love to check out Nelson some day.

I'm in Baltimore. I would potentially be interested in a trip to the Red for the acquisition summit if that would be a helpful first step. (I couldn't find any info online about that meeting.)

Nate


rockandlice


Jan 10, 2009, 8:39 AM
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I just found out some information last night that may also be an avenue to explore. A close friend of mine apparently has an acquaintance who purchases sizable amounts of land for the purpose of conservation and natural outdoor recreation. He is located in Virginia, and I am not sure if he has interest outside the state, but we are certainly going to propose the idea to him to see what he has to say.


brewbob


Jan 11, 2009, 3:00 PM
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I climbed the Via @ Nelson last August. I thought it was a great experience especially for introducing novice climbers to exposed climbing.
From what I could see there were some great trad opportunities as well a some walls that could support sport lines. With the right land manager and a supportive community Nelson could thrive and take some pressure off of Seneca.
I wish I had the resources to make the purchase and give it a go.


roninthorne


Jan 13, 2009, 10:22 AM
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brewbob wrote:
With the right land manager and a supportive community...

Sorry... can't stop laughing long enough to post anything else...

Okay... let's see... "supportive community"... ROFLMMFAO.... oh, yeah... like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and all those other fictional characters, this is one childhood illusion you need to leave behind, cuz when it comes to the out-of-state folks who visit WV, unless it's some major social scene like the New Rendezvous or the Seneca Chilifest (neither of which has given one thin DIME to support Franklin), THERE AIN'T NO SUCH THING as a "supportive community".

Lots of chin music ("Oh, yeah, Mike, the trails look great... you know you can just call me/the AF/the shop anytime you guys need some help!"), and God bless the volunteers who have showed and the folks who have donated, but nothing regular.

The much-touted AF's new MACC spokesperson Chris Irwin wrote a very nice, very empty bit of fluff about "giving back"for the last Traildaze. He and the regional rep (and fellow MACC founder) Ocean Eiler committed to attending, along with several dozen of their DC homeys, but apparently were too concerned with cleaning up the SNP (where fewer than 10% of them ever have or will climb 1/10th as much as they visit Franklin) to actually show or let the guy plannning and purchasing know they weren't coming. A grand total of three volunteers showed up.. thanks to Milas, John, and Lilly for all you did and for being there, when so many who could better afford it, who contribute much more impact, couldn't be bothered.

If I were a betting man, I wouldn't put my money on the AF to do anything more than defend your (non-existant) right to bring your dog to the crag and substitute a check for actual responsibility or involvement.

If anything is gonna get done, it's gonna happen becuse people just do it, not because they talk about it with some PR-happy national organization or make empty promises online to promote themselves at no cost.

For more about the mis-named MACC (Mid-Atlantic Climber's Coalition), which was formed entirely by NVA/DC gymbies and involved NONE of the regions' guiding services, crag discoverers or route developers... well, look for my "Other Side of the Story"article, coming soon if I ain't banned from the site by then....


notapplicable


Jan 13, 2009, 2:01 PM
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Hey Mike, I knew you couldn't resist contributing.Tongue


While I don't share all of your sentiments, I think you are right on a number of points that concern the idea of Nelson being purchased by the public through a climbing coalition type set up. Based on the research I have done over the last week on crag acquisitions that have taken place in the recent past, I'm convinced that the purchase price and location of Nelson are pretty much prohibitive. Stu would have to lose money to bring the price down low enough and not only is that region not really a "hot spot" for climbing right now but there is an abundance of free climbing to be had. I'm not going to pursue that as a avenue to acquisition, I think it would be great if it could be worked out but I just don't see it happening.

For now I'm gonna focus on getting together a small group of individuals who want a stake in ownership and management of the property. The fate of the Via Ferrata will be determined by the eventual owners and the type of access structure that is developed. If anyone wants to be an owner and have full access to the property, cabins and climbing let me know. If the Via operations are continued they alone can pay the mortgage and owners would simply be guarantors responsible for a down payment and contributions to development funds for roads, cabins, trails, etc. If the Via is chopped or access is not charged for then everyone would be responsible for mortgage and development costs.

I am going to do some math and come up with some realistic numbers concerning financing periods, down payments, annual payments and development costs. I also have past financial information for the current and past via ferrata operations and if we get a solid group of investors together then I will talk to Stu about making them available at a group presentation to prospective buyers. For now all I will say is that it can and will pay for the mortgage (plus some) at the current purchase price.

Spread the word and if you know of anyone who may be interested please have them contact me. Once I have more info. together I will look into ways of gathering investors beyond the internet and word of mouth. For now though things are still early in the planning stage.


keegan540


Jan 13, 2009, 2:50 PM
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Amen brother


saltydog


Jul 22, 2009, 3:54 PM
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what's the latest?

not concerned about access, personally. just curious.


nthusiastj


Aug 6, 2009, 3:34 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
Hey Mike, I knew you couldn't resist contributing.Tongue


While I don't share all of your sentiments, I think you are right on a number of points that concern the idea of Nelson being purchased by the public through a climbing coalition type set up. Based on the research I have done over the last week on crag acquisitions that have taken place in the recent past, I'm convinced that the purchase price and location of Nelson are pretty much prohibitive. Stu would have to lose money to bring the price down low enough and not only is that region not really a "hot spot" for climbing right now but there is an abundance of free climbing to be had. I'm not going to pursue that as a avenue to acquisition, I think it would be great if it could be worked out but I just don't see it happening.

For now I'm gonna focus on getting together a small group of individuals who want a stake in ownership and management of the property. The fate of the Via Ferrata will be determined by the eventual owners and the type of access structure that is developed. If anyone wants to be an owner and have full access to the property, cabins and climbing let me know. If the Via operations are continued they alone can pay the mortgage and owners would simply be guarantors responsible for a down payment and contributions to development funds for roads, cabins, trails, etc. If the Via is chopped or access is not charged for then everyone would be responsible for mortgage and development costs.

I am going to do some math and come up with some realistic numbers concerning financing periods, down payments, annual payments and development costs. I also have past financial information for the current and past via ferrata operations and if we get a solid group of investors together then I will talk to Stu about making them available at a group presentation to prospective buyers. For now all I will say is that it can and will pay for the mortgage (plus some) at the current purchase price.

Spread the word and if you know of anyone who may be interested please have them contact me. Once I have more info. together I will look into ways of gathering investors beyond the internet and word of mouth. For now though things are still early in the planning stage.

Have you seen this? It may help if you are serious and looking for financing.
In reply to:
Dear AF Supporter,

We’ve got big news…

The Access Fund is thrilled to announce the launch of the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign (AFLCC), the first-ever multimillion-dollar campaign to save endangered climbing areas.

As we look to the future of climbing access in America, we see private land pressures increasing every day. More and more private climbing areas are changing hands, putting many of our crags at risk of being lost to development or closed for other reasons.

This challenge is what drove the Access Fund to launch the AFLCC, which is a revolving loan and grant program that provides local climbing organizations and other agencies with funds and expertise to swiftly protect threatened climbing resources.

We want to give you the opportunity to be a part of this landmark campaign, which has the potential to change the face of climbing access in America! Please consider giving an addition donation today or joining the Access Fund if you aren't already a member. Every dollar helps the effort to put threatened land in climber friendly hands!


notapplicable


Aug 8, 2009, 7:09 PM
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Yeah, I saw that in an email a few days ago but thanks for posting it for everyone else to see. Might inspire a few new folks to sign up.

It sounds like a really good idea too. Hopefully it turns out to be longterm financing solution to an underserviced niche market.


notapplicable


Aug 8, 2009, 7:22 PM
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saltydog wrote:
what's the latest?

not concerned about access, personally. just curious.

Unfortunately this whole idea was (at least on my end) largely contingent on future revenues from an existing residential construction company and a willingness of lending institutions to finance a venture such as this.

Our current economic meltdown slowdown threw a pretty big wrench in that whole operation so (again, at least on my end) all plans to secure access to Nelson are on hold. It sucks but downsizing and unloading existing assets had to take priority.


roninthorne


Jan 13, 2011, 1:35 PM
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And so now I hear that someone did come up with the cash.... Nelson is owned by the folks who own Camp Horizons, and their chief guide is Lester Zook, founder of WildeGuydes.

Thoughts, anyone?


justroberto


Jan 13, 2011, 2:03 PM
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Re: [roninthorne] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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I'd never heard of them, and their webstite doesn't mention anything other than the Via Ferrata. Are they going to open in back up? Pay-to-play? Or will you only be able to go if you're guided?


Taylorp.


Jan 13, 2011, 2:16 PM
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Re: [justroberto] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Right now my understanding is you can only go guided by Zook. I'm against it, to me it almost seems worse than banning climbing completely. However it seems like it could be a step in the right direction.


wallmonkey35


Jan 13, 2011, 6:38 PM
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Re: [Taylorp.] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Actually, I know that their is at least one other company is allowed to guide on Nelson as well, Seneca Rocks Climbing School. Just fyi.


cragmasterp


Jan 13, 2011, 7:12 PM
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NFW! Lester Zook from Harrisonburg owns Nelson Rocks now?? I just drove by Nelson on my way up to Tucker County to score some WV Powder turns and was thinking about the good old days of just opening up the farm gate and then carefully shutting it on our way in to explore these towering, gothic, crumbling fins of Tuscarora.

Lester used to be able to access the super fine fin Chimney Rock near Broadway after it was closed to us craggers. Always made me a little jealous because I learned to climb there, and have not been back in over 20 years.

Lester was always the top-roping Mennonite Christian climber dude back in the day, and a super nice guy to boot. put out the Rockingham County guidebook in the 90's; although curiously was not into putting up FA's himself; or lead climbing at all for that matter at that time.

Maybe I will get a shot at Crescendo after all with this new development in the history of Nelson Rocks.



EDIT: sorry just re-read mike's post. Lester not the owner, just the privileged guide who gets to climb the closed rock.Unsure

Jealous again, whatever tho. WV has many marvelous places to climb, bike, and ski.Cool


(This post was edited by cragmasterp on Jan 13, 2011, 7:18 PM)


roninthorne


Jan 14, 2011, 8:55 AM
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Re: [wallmonkey35] Nelson Rocks Preserve [In reply to]
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Wondering if those of us who came here "back in the day" will need a guide, and what the opportunities for employment AS a guide will be for the non-Mennonite/non-traditional Christians/unbelievers out there... like YT, for instance...Wink

I do understand that, previously, a lot of the First Ascensionists were allowed to come and climb for free/without a guide... wondering if this policy will continue


roninthorne


Jan 14, 2011, 8:57 AM
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Paul-

I always wondered about the fact that the only person allowed access to property owned by the Veterans of Foreign Wars wasn't a veteran of any war... and why there was apparently no effort to re-open the place to climbers.

I never knew Christianity was an exclusive club...


naitch


Jan 14, 2011, 9:26 AM
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As I recall from talking with Lester about 10 years ago...(and this could be a brain fart at my age), he said that he/climbing community had worked with the VFW to open it a number of times...one time with the understanding that people wouldn't trash the place; another time they'd arranged that climbers would either sign in or sign a release (or both). I think the issues were both upkeep and liability. Both times it was perceived that climbers were violating the "agreement". They continued to allow Lester privileged access, though it had nothing to do with his religious affiliation that I know of. It was because of being a longstanding member of the extended community; a professor; he'd taken the time to develop somewhat of a relationship with them; and it was always done under his supervision with a class. Don't know if he had/has an arrangement to guide there.

But, yes, it would be nice if it were opened again, though the climbing there is fairly limited from what I remember. Certainly worthwhile for locals though.

Edit: This comment was in reference to Chimney Rock out near Broadway, not Nelson Rocks, though I think Lester also guides there...


(This post was edited by naitch on May 6, 2011, 6:14 AM)


Pyro_mvmc_va


May 5, 2011, 8:21 PM
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I think it SUCKS that Lester and his groups are the only climbers allowed. I don't need Lester's guidance to climb but I would like to climb at Nelson. Any Ideas people?


singletrackmike


May 6, 2011, 5:29 AM
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A good person to get in touch with, as he's a local who's put up a bunch of climbs there, is Tom Cecil, the owner/operator of Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides. He can be reached at 304-567-2115.
I think he's more aware than anyone else of pretty much anything that has to do with climbing in that area.


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