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downshift


Oct 30, 2001, 6:25 PM
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Climbing Legalities in Ontario  (North_America: United_States: Wyoming: Western_Wy_: Upper_Bridge_Bands: Hideout_Wall)
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On my way back down highway 69 south this past Sunday notice a couple of guys climbing with gear and rope some rock face just South of Sudbury. (Those who travel 69 alot it is the rockface on the left when heading south just past the rail crossing).

Now the question is it legal to climb along the side of the highway assuming you can do it safely? Does the OPP or MTO have issues with this?

On a slightly related topic... How does everyone feel about climbing on man manipulated rock that has been quarryed or blasted. Is it worth climbing?

[ This Message was edited by: downshift on 2001-10-30 20:02 ]


passthepitonspete


Oct 30, 2001, 9:47 PM
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Dude,

The OPP has issues with everything. Wake up and smell the beaver tails, eh?

That being said, there is a long and coloured history of roadside climbing and even caving!
Here in Ontario, we used to phantom the icefall at the side of the 403 on the way up to Ancaster above west Hamilton. I remember climbing there one cold night with John Kaandorp -we had our carbide lamps mounted on our caving helmets, but it was so cold, the water in the lamps froze! (yes, we lost our light source....)

In Britain, some of the most famous and infamous climbs are on quarried rock. Some of the baddest-ass runout hardmen routes are on quarried slate. No woosy-ass bolted sport climbs there!

As for caving, in the Swago Valley just south of Marlinton, West Virginia, home to such classics as Overholt Blowing Cave and the Carpenter-Swago System lies Roadside Cave. The 3' x 3' entrance is IN the ditch RIGHT NEXT to the roadbed! It's a sixty-foot drop, and you can sometimes belay your rope or ladders from your vehicle's bumper. You know you've reached the bottom of the pit when you hear the scrunch of beer cans underneath. (The ditch water of course drains into the cave). I believe there are a couple miles of surveyed passage in Roadside Pit which overlies but does not connect to Carpenter-Swago.

Surely the most head-turning roadside opportunity ever occured in Kentucky in December 1999. There had been a freak (for them) cold snap of consecutive sub-zero days (I mean like zero celcius, eh?) and on my way to Mammoth Cave where I'm exploring and surveying, I spotted a very interesting-looking sixty- or seventy-foot tall icefall on the side of the I-75 just south of Cincinnatti. Imagine the traffic jams that would surely have occured as the local redneck population got its first look at ice climbing! Imagine the reaction of the local constabulary!

Cheers, "Pass the Pitons" Pete

[ This Message was edited by: passthepitonspete on 2001-10-30 21:49 ]


c_plante


Oct 30, 2001, 10:33 PM
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I've often wondered aboit the roadside quarried stuff up sudbury way. Hey downshift did you actually climb it? Those weird-ass blast holes kinda looked challenging to me. The blasted stuff that's been weathered for the past couple of years looks almost real. Would it be worth climbing that stuff?
Also the McMaster Outdoors Club is planning a day climb in the "Ancaster Area" for 25$/person, they include the gear and a quick lesson. Can anyone guess as to where the heck they're climbing?


downshift


Oct 31, 2001, 5:27 PM
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PTPP: I get you! Damn the man, climb the rock of the roadside... But, am I going to get arrested? Oh well, only one way to find out.

c_plante: Nah I didn’t stop and climb I’m was too busy breaking a few rules in the HTA. Although, as I mentioned in another forum, I find blasted rock fairly loose so you have to look for something quite weathered, but blasting does create interesting cracks in the rock that could be fun to climb. You mention Mac’s outdoor club is climbing in Ancaster... Probably Ancaster rock.


darkside


Nov 1, 2001, 1:10 AM
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Well aren't we all good citizens. I mean if it's not exactly viewed in good favour by our friendly constabulary then theoretically we will not climb on roadcut ice or rock. Damm though, I've had fun (theoretically) on that 403 icefall. Seriously though a friend of mine got moved on in no uncertain terms when climbing what was apparently some real fun ice on the roadcut of an exit ramp in New Hampshire so it would appear it is not just the local Bobbies that get upset.
P.T.P.Pete- Thanks for the picture you painted, it certainly brought a theoretical smile to my face.
I can't help thinking of the possibilities if the rock in roadcuts was more stable and it was legal. Oh well.


downshift


Nov 1, 2001, 8:05 AM
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So is it illegal and if so what law is being bent / broken?



passthepitonspete


Nov 1, 2001, 10:03 AM
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A few notes.

I lived in Ancaster for ten years, I think I know where that non-descript hunk of rock is, and never bothered with it.

There is a retaining wall in west Hamilton that is on private property - John Kaandorp and I used to go buildering on it all the time. It is 15' high with a grass landing, and has what are the hardest technical free moves I've ever pulled. Some of those routes I can only pull when I'm super-skinny. I'd be interested to know how hard they'd be on a sport climb. Solid 12? 13? Whatever.

But sorry, I am not going to reveal the location because it's too good, and you can't have it flooded by too many people. It is a very dodgy access, you do get seen, and my usual response is, while, I've been doing this here since 1980 and nobody's bothered me. Sometimes the cops sit there and do their paperwork, too, and believe me when I tell you, I've gotta avoid the cops these days!

You might be interested in one episode I just recalled. There are three bridges that span the gap between Hamilton Harbour and Coote's Paradise. The easternmost is a railway bridge.

On June 24, 1982 I went climbing there with Kevin Lawlor, and we set up a toprope to climb the sandstone. It's probably the same people who built this bridge as who built these other climbing destinations:

Jordan Harbour, Bronte Creek right at Hwy 5, Oakville by Cross Avenue where the train bridge is high above Oakville Creek. The Bronte location would be NO probs for drilling bolted routes. Nobody would see or bother you.

Anyway, me and Lawlor had a toprope set up. This train comes by just as we're finishing up, and the engineer sees us and our ropes. Calls the CN police, and I get busted one day before I'm getting married! (boy, talk about adding insult to injury, eh?) Lawlor got off cuz he was only 14.

Do I always obey the law, or am I the kind of person who bends the rules as much as I possibly can, and routinely gets away with more than everyone else? If you don't know the answer to that question, then you'd better read all of my posts!

That being said, this is not a time in my life when I should be attracting the attention of anyone, and if I were to go climbing at that retaining wall, I would park my vehicle (with its conspicuous "CLIMB" license) elsewhere and if any cops showed up, just leave, rather than talk my way into continuing which I have usually been able to do.

OK, here's one place you can check out - the retaining wall behind Hamilton City Wall. West end, faces north. Very cold in winter. Traverse back and forth from end to end. Avoid going there during city hall work hours. Weekends are good. Watch out for cops as they check the parking meters.

It's all crimpy face moves, I have every move memorized.

If you think Pass the Pitons Pete could never free climb, recall when you are falling off that during my days of training, before there were climbing gyms, I made I think it was 24 traverses without coming off. I count one traverse as going one direction halfway across the wall from end to sign in the middle. So that would be 6 complete round circle traverses, and I was able to stay attached pretty well right to the end. I used to have fingers of steel, and I'd be interested in knowing how the youth of today could stack up against me when I was at my strongest.

I might get back to that point someday, but truly it isn't all that important to me for one very simple reason - I can accomplish most of the climbing goals I want (ascents of the world's hardest walls, solo or with partner) pretty much off the couch, or with very little training. I simply can't be BOTHERED getting up to that trad 5.11 onsight level. Too much work!

But believe me when I tell you, I've paid my dues to reach this point. It's experience, knowledge and wisdom, plus residual fitness, that keep me going. Also I am choosing my arena to fight in, a place where the odds are stacked in my favour.

I would be a complete gym gumby now!

Cheers, Pete


c_plante


Nov 2, 2001, 12:12 AM
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Hey pete would you do me a favour and recommend other buildering spots around the region?

Thanks!


christian


passthepitonspete


Nov 2, 2001, 1:36 AM
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Hmm, lemme think here....

OK, over at McMaster, there are a few things you can try...

Mantelling onto the window ledges at the phys. ed. building, hanging banners at night on the Mills library, rappelling out the 11th floor of the women's residence (the name of it escapes me just now) during frosh week, the layback crack next to the Togo Salmon Hall cafeteria (Arts 2), the bricks traversing back and forth in the Commons Building (sheltered from rain), the inside corner of Gilmour Hall (accessed from the grassy area, 3 stories high, toproped at night, access the roof from the window in University Hall next to the bridge into Gilmour), and (I saved the best for last) the traverse across the front of the Burke Science Hall cafeteria.

As for Hamilton area, hmmm...... OK, I told you about City Hall, my all time favourite. I'm not telling you that other place (but I might SHOW you sometime!)

Oh yeah, there's this place Kaandorp found called The Stack. It's an old smokestack-like thing on the north side of the mountain access road that comes up from Upper Kenilworth. So you would drive south on Kenilworth, around the traffic circle and head west as you start up the mountain. Halfway from the traffic circle to the hairpin you'll find the stack on the north side of the road I'm guessing 100' north of the road. It even has a ladder going up it and a railing to rig a toprope! It may be easier now due to mortar falling out from between the bricks. It may have fallen down now, too, for all I know!

I'll let ya know if anything else comes to mind, but that's about it for now.....

Buildering is limited only by your creativity, and uh, the cops too, eh?


c_plante


Nov 3, 2001, 5:48 AM
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Sweet!

Thanks a bundle!

Christian


downshift


Nov 3, 2001, 6:40 AM
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Last time I seriously buildered in this area was when I was bored one night shift at Stelco. Decent things to builder there I tell you. Although I was doing it in safety boots I had an abundence of the most decent chalk subsitute I've ever used.

PTPP: Man I couldn't respect you more you are a wealth of climbing knowledge, I gotta take you for a beer and learn from a master.



[ This Message was edited by: downshift on 2001-11-03 06:49 ]


passthepitonspete


Nov 3, 2001, 8:37 AM
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Qu'est-ce que tu le plumerai?

Did I 'ear someone say "beer"??

[I'm still writing in a Quebecois accent after my post in the Topic of the Week..]


downshift


Nov 3, 2001, 8:59 PM
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Yes beer... Life giving beer.


kriso9tails


Nov 3, 2001, 9:20 PM
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I have a decent problem in the parking lot of city hall. It's a little hightball, but it'll take gear . If you climb up the stone wall at the back of the lot down near the far right (facing the wall) there's a crack through a small roof. There's a tricky finish which I haven't done yet but I know it's easily possible.

The ACC might be able to give you up to date and accurate legal info.... but it's only illeagal if you get caught. I'm not sure, but I don't think you're allowed to climb ice in most areas legally, but when has that ever stopped anyone? You might (emphasis might) get in trouble if you're buildering on a police station, but other than that I wouldn't worry... they'll let you off with a warning (this time... and next time too... and maybe the time after that too, but that's it, really).

[ This Message was edited by: kriso9tails on 2001-11-03 21:33 ]


downshift


Nov 4, 2001, 8:23 PM
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All this talk prompted me to get off my butt and do some research. I can't seem to find any laws that specifically state no climbing along roadsides. Now I think they can slap trespassing and mischief and such if they really wanted too. I asked a nice O.P.P. officer today and he said as long as it's not on private property it's legal.

As for buildering I think we all know the legal status on that. Speaking of which has anyone taken a good look at Central Library in Burlington...


c_plante


Nov 5, 2001, 9:23 PM
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Criminal Code Section 430 (1)(c)(d)
are the only chapters in the entire federal code that could possibly apply. To sum up, and not write out really boring stuff (although I will if someone asks) if you interfere with a persons enjoyment of property, damage it, or render it inoperable, then you are guilty of mischief. Next there is Section 430 (2) which basically reads if you cause actual danger to human life then you're guilty of mischief.

So here's how a police officer could potentially interpret this:
You're climbing on a rock, and your chalk could detract from the rock, thus damaging it, thus reducing its ability to be sold (Which is covered in Section 430 as well). Furthermore, the person who is climbing is technically in danger if free climbing, or is damaging the property if being belayed.

If you chip, mark, bolt or make any permanent changes to the property you can be charged with mischief.
Here's the punishment:
IF you're found guilty of damaging property so that it interferes with the usual use or saleability of the property you'll be charged with mischief under Section 430 (4) for a max of 2 years in jail.
IF you're found guilty of endangering life then you'll be charged with mischief under Section 430 (5.1) for a max of 5 years.

Now there are other laws to worry about:
Obstructing traffic, trespassing (if private property), and of course illegal parking and vehicle abandonment. Traffic laws are provincial, so ask your local cop or opp, in fact it's probably best to call them up and say "hey". Get your questions logged in the call logs so that if you get permission, and get arrested anyways, you'll at least have something on file.

Or you can go all kung fu... 'Sup to you.


downshift


Nov 6, 2001, 6:04 PM
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c_plante

DAMN! Now that the legal I was looking for. I totally forgot you had all that... Last time I saw that big book of yours it was a drink coaster. Ok, I feel better now about roadside climbing. It creates some interesting possibilities.


c_plante


Nov 6, 2001, 11:29 PM
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Hey not a problem downshift. I suggest that you pick an isolated spot to park and walk to wherever you want to climb.


darkside


Nov 7, 2001, 10:36 AM
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C_plante: sounds like you've been doing some homework alright. Are you a lawyer or studying law by any chance, because if you are I may have some other questions to ask you.


c_plante


Nov 8, 2001, 6:11 AM
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Darkside: I'm ex RCMP, so this is all just stuff that we learned.

Questions? Ask away!


passthepitonspete


Dec 13, 2001, 3:12 PM
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Hey Mountie,

Like you left your horse....parked alongside my camel....at the Tim Horton's Drive-Thru, eh?

As for dealing with the many many many cops I have dealt with over the years, it's like anything in life - you can go a long way and avoid a heap of trouble with good negotiating skills and a good reference.


c_plante


Dec 14, 2001, 2:54 PM
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Yeah they don't like it when you come off all offended and indignant. Cops like to believe that they're always right, and if they're not they get pissed.

Oh well.


darkside


Dec 16, 2001, 9:56 PM
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c_plant: as far as I understand with provincial law with reference to the QEW and 400 series highways, there are certain activities considered as acceptable and being a pedestrian is not one of them except for in an emergency. If climbing/bouldering/ice climbing within the highway boundaries(usually fenced) then you could be charged under the Highway Traffic Act. Not sure about other highways though, but if pedestrians aren't allowed then neither would climbers be.
Do you happen to know any real estate lawyers who would be willing to give the Access Committee free legal help?


c_plante


Dec 17, 2001, 1:43 AM
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Try the chamber of commerce in the city, and your "local mpp", those guys and gals are always hard up for causes.



darkside


Dec 17, 2001, 4:55 PM
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Good idea. Thanks, I'll see about pursuing that one.

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