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Access....is it a monster?
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darkside


Nov 1, 2001, 12:28 AM
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Access....is it a monster?
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Access, closures, regulations and restrictions. It seems like there are problems all over these days like some sort of climbers monster. What do you do when you hear of access problems elsewhere? More to the point, what do you do when you hear of them in your own backyard? Do you leave it up to those people at the Access Fund to sort it out, or get involved?
In the U.S. there is the Access Fund but how many people know of the equivalent here in Canada, the ACCess Committee? These are vehicles for climbers to rally around but some issues are so awkward wouldn't it be better to ignore the monster and just climb?
Maybe the answer is a much wider solution such as better protection for landowners to reduce fear of liability.

Lets hear your opinions on access issues, what they are, solutions, and what you have actually done. Is it a monster?



(Re-Edited title, fiend)



[ This Message was edited by: fiend on 2001-11-06 22:02 ]


mountainmike


Nov 3, 2001, 11:57 AM
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Wow, I must have missed this one when it was posted. Anyway. . . I think that access and all the issues that surround it (enviromental, comercalization, ect.) should be a big priority to any climber. In my opinion the first step is to support a group like the access fund. But that shouldn't be enough. We all need to be personally envolved. So far I haven't had the oportunity to get involved in person, so I have been writeing to government represintitives. Like my congressman and others. It really isn't that hard and doesn't take up that much time.


So what about the rest of you. What do you do? Or what do you think about the issue? Come on lets here it!


Michael


nikegirl


Nov 3, 2001, 12:02 PM
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I know that at my Gym, you can find out lots about the Access Fund. Better yet, do a search here on this site. Rock and Ice...magazine.
There are several forums here on Access information.



Partner rrrADAM


Nov 4, 2001, 3:53 PM
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First off, we have to act responsibly when we climb so as not to create access problems.

I have witnessed several climbers acting in a way that is 'anti-access'. Excessive profanity when in a State or National Park that we share with nonclimbers is viewed negatively by people more apt to write their Congressmen regarding access issues.

Bolting, vegitation, trundling, parking, driving crazy, illegal camping, trash(tape & food wrappers), etc...

All of these can lead to serious access issues.

We need to act responsibly. The public will view us as a whole by the worst examples, they're the ones that stick out.

"We do not inherit the planet from our parents, we borrow it from our grandchildren."
Unknown



rrrADAM


iclimb512s


Nov 4, 2001, 5:24 PM
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  I hate closures. At one of my favorite crags, they close it now on mondays and tuesdays, whioch cuts a long weeknd short! can someone tell me why we have such a problem whith closures and why they do it? did we do somehting to piss them off? let me know
Grant


Partner rrrADAM


Nov 4, 2001, 5:51 PM
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John 'The Verm' Sherman himself has regrets about bolting routes in Hueco Tanks in the middle of the night to avoid being arrested years ago.

You see, it was illegal to place bolts there, but if they suddenly appeared, it was legal to leave them. This behavior is just one of many reasons Access to that park is the most restricted in the US.

There are rules regarding the addition of bolts in Joshua Tree National Park. They are fair, and we must respect those rules. How upset would we be if Access to that park was severely restricted due to the actions of a few selfcentered people ??? Yet we would blame the polititions, not the 'bad apples', as we blame the polititions for Hueco.

Just because we do not agree with the rules, doesn't mean we don't have to follow them. There are propper ways to try and change the rules, doing things that are against them only harm our cause.

We need to be accoutable, and respectfull. We share our natural resources with everyone, nonclimbers included.


rrrADAM


beta


Nov 4, 2001, 8:09 PM
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WHY is it that almost all the climbers I know are resonable, responsible people, but when I go climbing, there is trash, damaged vegetation etc... etc... ad nauseum. If we want access, if we feel we have a Right to access, then WE have to take responsibility for the condition of the area, EVEN if climbers weren't responsible for the "damage" whether it is public, or private land. Climbers will have to take the responsibility to husband to quality of these places until the inmage is ingrained in the perception of private land owners and public land conservitors that climbers are the SAVIORS of these places, NOT the cause.

We have got to suck it up guilty or not if we want to climb. Is it fair? no, is it reality, unfortunately yes.

Take rrrADAMS lead, join the Access fund, volunteer for cleanups at your local crag, show the community that climbers are the answer to the problem. It may take time, but it's worth it.

RANT OVER

Jeff


darkside


Nov 4, 2001, 9:05 PM
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iclimb512s: Your name, Grant, is an awesome name, although I may be a little biased.
Anyway I'm not familiar with your local access issues but there are usually two main issues, liability or environmental. Either usually lead to restrictions or full closures but partial weekly closures is not something I have personally come across. I would suggest getting involved at a local level through any local climbers coalition, climbing gym, or an access fund contact. Besides following local restrictions, you can help by joining in any access efforts such as trail building, crag clean ups, and follow the "leave no trace" principles.

Beta is right and many climbers could do with familiarizing themselves with the pack it in pack it out attitudes or knowing the leave no trace principles I just mentioned.

rrradam: Thanks for making this T.O.W. Even though I am activly involved in access issues, sometimes I wish we could just ignore problems, unfortunately that doesn't work. It takes concerted efforts from all climbers to first avoid access problems and if that fails to resolve them. I can tell you from experience that the former is easier. By example last year one conservation authority here in southern Ontario wanted to introduce a user fee for climbers only. Following a huge e-mail, petition, and letter writing campaign, the fees were dropped and became a non-issue. Just recently following successful legal action by a mountain biker, another conservation authority banned all ice climbing. Liability is the prime issue here. I became the portfolio manager dealing with this and with much help we have managed to lift the ban pending a two year review. This morning I had an area clean up and we managed to get more garbage out than the conservation authority contact had expected. It was a spectacular effort from just a few people but what disapointed me was how few turned out. It definitely helped improve our position with the land managers though.

Here's some little facts some of you may be aware of:
*Here in Canada the Alpine Club of Canada has local sections that have Access Committees.
*In the U.S. access issues are represented by the Access Fund although local issues are often dealt with by local coalitions.
*Canadian Access Committees are all volunteers as are the majority of U.S. coalitions.
*As big as many people believe the Access Fund to be, the absolutely incredible amount of work they do is organised by a mere six full time staff. A super human effort; now do you all realize how much as individuals we have to pitch in.

Good quote rrradam, here's another from a source I don't know.

"There are no passengers on starship Earth, we are all crew".


iclimb512s


Nov 5, 2001, 3:41 PM
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Thanks for clearing that up for me!

Grant


Partner rrrADAM


Nov 7, 2001, 5:34 PM
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Great points 'darkside', I forget that so few people do so much for all climbers. And are often publically second guessed or absconded in return for their efforts.


darkside


Nov 8, 2001, 11:25 AM
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Actually I have to admit that my motivation for being involved in access is selfish. When it comes down to it, to put it simply, I want to be able to climb where I want, when I want, how I want. Does anyone else feel this way? If so then get involved in access issues.


talons05


Nov 9, 2001, 12:18 AM
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Don't feel bad darkside. That's why most of us, myself included, are involved in access...

AW


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