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Partner pbcowboy77


Dec 17, 2002, 8:17 PM
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Jacks Canyon in Climbing mag  (North_America: United_States: Arizona: Northern: Jacks_Canyon)
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So in the Feb 2003 issue of Climbing (don't ask about the date I know it's 2002) Jack's Canyon was rated one of the 5 worst crags in America.

What do you that have climbed there think?

-Zac


jt512


Dec 17, 2002, 8:23 PM
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I think that if you take it for what it is, a typical no-ethics outdoor gym, that it is fine. Just don't go there expecting some world-class sport mecca.

-Jay


wonderbread


Dec 17, 2002, 8:25 PM
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Drilled out over graded chosspile full of egotistical sport gumbies. What other crags made the list? Rocky Butte definitely belongs on there.


moabbeth


Dec 17, 2002, 8:33 PM
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Here's their list:

Worst:
The Sport Park, Boulder CO
Seward Hwy, Alaska
Mt. Potosi, Nevada
Jack's Cyn, AZ
Virgin River Gorge, AZ

Best:
New River Gorge, WV
Joshua Tree, CA (yeah baby!!!)
Red River Gorge, KY
Rifle, CO
The Gunks


climbsomething


Dec 17, 2002, 9:16 PM
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For many reasons, Jacks is an embarrassment, I concur.

Drilled? I'd believe it, although I don't climb at a hard enough level to see the manufactured holds that make things easier

No concern for the environment? Duh. Too many people have been exceptionally presumptuous with the area. The only thing missing is moving sidewalks connecting the crags. Vegetation has been whacked with a vengeance, or trampled where people were too lazy or dumb to see the blatant trails.

Crawling with gumby pricks? Probly, although I've been able to block them out pretty well. The only people who have bugged me were the shirtless kids who brought their techno boombox (for real!) and screamed every time they stuck a hold. Please. And the loser who accused my dog of stealing food off his picnic table during the night. Shall we NOT leave food out in the open while camping? Even if my dog did do it (which I doubt) I am not sorry. Leave food in the open and expect it to disappear. Critters live among the trees and have for ages...

And you know, it IS padded there. Well, a lot of climbs are, although not all. But so what? I don't go there to climb the grades. I look in the guidebook and bump everything down by 2 to 4 letter grades just so I don't get in over my head, but leave it at that. No matter what the climb is graded, most of the routes there are pretty fun. And that's why I go. I am as kind to the canyon as I can be... I don't personally chip or tick mark, litter, wreck the camping area, etc. etc. Quietly climb and enjoy the movements, thank the rock for not hurting me, and go home. So for that, I enjoy the canyon and will continue to play there.

But Jacks is NOT a chosspile in the literal sense. The climbing is actually excellent. The stone is clean, grippy, dry, doesn't fall apart in your hands. It's beautiful rock to climb, and one of the only summer areas in AZ. When the trip funds are low, that's one of the only options. Too bad some people have ruined the experience that goes with it.

I have to wonder how Jacks made such an impression on the mag's correspondent that he felt he had to include it. Aren't there tons of overgraded sport bunny gymbie crags all over the country? Wonder why Jacks stood out in particular. Not to defend it (I know it's not a model crag), but just curious.

And really, is ANYbody shocked to see Josh or the Gunks on the list??


curt


Dec 17, 2002, 9:41 PM
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I have never been there, but I was a little surprised to see Jack's on the worst list myself. From the photos that I have seen, and the reports that I have heard, there is really fun climbing there.

Sure, it may be over bolted, etc., but I would have thought that the "worst" areas designation would be reserved for those with actually bad (crumbly) rock--or other problems related to aesthetics like graffitti, broken glass, etc.

Curt


Partner pbcowboy77


Dec 17, 2002, 9:44 PM
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I've never been to Stoney Point but I hear that place is pretty bad t-Zac


stick233


Dec 17, 2002, 11:12 PM
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and besides, if they are gonna rate arizona places as the 'worst' how come camelback mountain isn't there. anyone know what i'm talking about? chossy shiite in the middle of a city. ughh.

ps, what's up zac?


wonderbread


Dec 18, 2002, 8:44 AM
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Climbsomething-you probably have pulled on drilled holds there and just not realized it-I believe a quote from an old Climbing mag was that "even the 5.10 climber can pull on 'comfortized' holds in Jacks." I'm guessing this is the main reason why it got included in the mag, terrible ethics abound.

I have never climbed there, but hey, I was right about everything except the chosspile part, which was included as more of a joke.


woodse


Dec 18, 2002, 9:24 AM
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Well it is over-bolted and has been manufactured to a point and I don't agree with the ethics at all but it is still an all right place to climb. Haven't ran into any real @ssholes either...take it for what it is...northeast arizona!!!

woodsE


epic_ed


Dec 18, 2002, 9:42 AM
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The article was written by Matt Samet, and if you have read other articles by him (including some in that same issue) you'll see he has quite a chip on his shoulder. Elitist, arrogant...generally a di(k.

I've climbed at Jack's several times and have had a lot of fun. The ratings are definitely soft, some routes have holds that are chipped and comfortized (but not nearly as many as he would have you believe), and the crowds can get really thick. The up side is the convenient camping, short approach, clusters of moderate climbs, and year around climbing conditions. The quality of the limestone is consistently solid.

Sport climbing isn't my favorite, but Jack's is not too far from the norm in regards to some of the down side to most popular sport crags: large groups, gang-roping sections of rock, skinny-mutant-strength-shirtless-spray-lord teens, barking dogs, and lots of litter. Despite those negatives I've never considered it to be a bad crag. Just know what to expect and go have some damn fun.

Ed






traddad


Dec 18, 2002, 11:17 AM
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I love to climb at Jacks. There I said it.
I have had some of my best climbing days at Jacks, strolling from route to route, basking in the sun, sitting under Casino Cliffs in the heat of the afternoon, cooking dinner and having a beer on the edge of the canyon in the evening. It is a wonderful place for what it is: a sport crag where fun is the point.
Saying this, I have pulled on drilled pockets on .10s, have seen a LOT of veg that has been whacked, been disgusted by bolted cracks, have had to deal with crowds and their marauding dogs, but I love it just the same. I don't go there for a "pure" experience. I go there to put my head on "cruise" and have a low key blast.
I truely wish we could do Jack's over again, with more sensativity and ethics. But it is what it is, and that doesn't preclude me from loving the place.
My favorite places to climb? Paradise Forks and Horse Tooth.

[ This Message was edited by: traddad on 2002-12-18 11:18 ]


wonderbread


Dec 18, 2002, 12:52 PM
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It appears that Jacks (and Potasi) were put on there due to the abundance of chipped holds and poor ethics. Sure both are in beautiful areas, but they have been chipped, glued, and drilled into an outdoor gym. By climbing there you are doing nothing but suppporting the spread of these poor ethics. Have fun.


traddad


Dec 18, 2002, 1:16 PM
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uh....that's kind of a stretch, don't you think? Ideological purity is easy on the brain but hard on life. Check with Ed Abbey and Warren Harding on this point.

Traddad


climbsomething


Dec 18, 2002, 1:39 PM
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Er, somehow I babbled forever and burren, up2top and traddad said it much more succinctly.

Jacks is what it is. Go climb there and have fun. It's not world-class, but it's a good time. Chill, fun, accessible. Save your intensity and high expectations for Yosemite or Joshua Tree...


ebelay


Dec 18, 2002, 1:42 PM
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Take those articles for what they're worth. Mindless spray intended to inflate the author's ego and piss off locals of the good and bad crags. Locals of the bad crags rant about how great their crag actually is and locals of the good crags rant about how much additional traffic is driven there due to the article. Happens just about every time there's an area profiled in the climbing publications or online.

I wouldn't ever not check out an area because some climbing rag writer thinks it's not as good as another place. The best thing to do is think for yourself and have your own opinion. There will ALWAYS be the argument between what is good or bad, trad vs sport, bouldering vs roped, climbing vs basketball....whatever. Get out there and do what you love. Check out new areas and decide for yourself.


epic_ed


Dec 18, 2002, 1:45 PM
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What a load of crap! I'm supporting their ethic if I climb there? Not a chance. The benefits outweight the negatives. It's a good place to climb if you're looking for that kind of atmosphere (most of the time, I'm not). I'm only supporting the developers ethic if I, too, put up routes in that crag that are chipped and modifed. I'm not about to let a few bad routes (ethically speaking) jade the whole experience for me. For some climbers, this takes away the real challenge and purity of climbing. That's cool--there are plenty of other options. I'm not wound that tight. I DO NOT support modifying routes, but I would be cheating myself if I decided to "protest" by not climbing at any crag that had modified routes. Who does my protest affect, anyway? Do you really think the developers give a rats a$$ if I climb there or not? I doubt it. They chipped and drilled because they were selfish, and I doubt they care if anyone ever climbs there again. They would probably be just as content if no one showed up and they had the place to themselves forever. Well, sorry. There are no political statements to be made by staying away.

Ed


stick233


Dec 18, 2002, 2:23 PM
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ahh, the irish surely have a way with words. or is that the engineer in you? climb because it's fun. if chipped holds and bolts mean you aren't having fun, don't climb there. that'll make it easier for me to get on the routes i wanna climb!


wonderbread


Dec 18, 2002, 2:39 PM
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Come on guys! I mean really you are far too easy to get riled up. I don't climb there, nor would I, there are far better places in AZ to climb. But, I drop a single catch line and everyone is going off from citing Abbey and Harding (stupid argument by the way) to attempting to eloquently babble about climbing for your own experience (something we've all heard a million times before). All I'm saying is that if you all refused to climb there or anywhere else that manufacturing routes was acceptable there would be far less manufactured routes. There would still be some, yes, but not nearly as many. An often heard argument for the manufacturing of routes, especially more moderate ones, is let the numbers of climbers who climb them justify the development. So with lots of people climbing these routes you are showing your support for them. Making these chipped routes popular is just a way of stating that the ends justify the means.


rockprodigy


Dec 18, 2002, 2:50 PM
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I was really surprised to see Rifle on the "best" list. I went there once and didn't like it. Maybe if you climb 5.13 and up, it's great, but there isn't much for average people. I think Smith Rock is much more deserving, but I'd just as soon it not get the publicity.


bluto


Dec 18, 2002, 3:18 PM
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I for one, would like to congratulate Mr. Wonderbread for pointing out the lapse in the ethics of Arizona climbers who may have actually had fun climbing at this location in the past. His ethics are of such a high caliber, ghandhi himself migh stand back in awe. His reasoning, in a nutshell, bulletproof. He hath converted me. I shall now throw away my harness, ropes, and other MANUFACTURED equipment in pursuit of the ethically unqestionable and holy, solo. SHame on the rest of you, may you rot in an inferno of chipped and glued holds.


wonderbread


Dec 18, 2002, 7:02 PM
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Bluto- you are sadly undereducated on what the difference between ethics and style are-first let me explain that ethics are what you do to the rock, while style is what you do on the rock. Lesson 1-chipping is ethical. Lesson 2-climbing with a rope is style. Follow me so far? So while chipping holds is considered a lack of ethics, climbing with a harness is not. So that would mean climbing with a harness falls under which category??? Nice attempt at a ridiculas tangent, but alas you failed miserably. You all are looking at a small scale. Sure much of Jacks may have been chipped by the same crowd who would have climbed there for a while and then moved on. However, when chipping is meant with a lot of opposition it will stop. A perfect example is Joe Brooks and Potasi-you have all heard of him and know the story there right? If your view is that "oh well what's done is done, I can't do anything about it so I might as well climb there now" where would you draw the arbitrary timeline of when it is ok to climb the new route and not be showing your support for chipping-a day, a week, a year?


epic_ed


Dec 18, 2002, 8:15 PM
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I respect your intention, wonderB, but your logic is flawed. The chipping and manufacturing isn't done to benefit others (and therefore attract crowds). It is completely a selfish practice and the a-holes who do it are thinking only of their own wants and goals. If you think staying away from these crags will help prevent others from doing the same, by all means act on your conscience. I have a different idea. The only way to prevent this type of route development in the future is public ridicule and humiliation of the sackless myopians who do the modification. If they are held personally accountable by the climbing community then they might think twice about repeated transgressions.

I see what you're saying -- one way to pubically express your opinion of their work is to not climb there. I just don't think this gets any sort of message across. Certainly not as effective as directly communicating with the guys who did it and telling them you think it sucks. The authors of the guide book are also the people who discovered the area in '93. Deidre Burton and Jim Steagall indicate in the book that new route developers in the canyon should "remove grit and sharp edges from holds and eliminate any loose flakes or blocks from the route." I can't remember where I read it, but they've been confronted on this ethic before, and they defended it by saying that most of the chipping was just prying off loose flakes and very little else has been done to modify the routes. Whether other route developers who followed embellished this ethic and took it to an extreme, or whether Jim and Deidre openly encouraged the route modification is unknown. If you've climbed there, though, it's clear that much more than cleaning of loose flakes and grit has been done to a number of routes. Go there, climb, have fun, note the routes that piss you off, and send your comments directly to the developers at:

PO Box 1002
Winslow, AZ 86047 (this is taken directly out of the guide book).

Word is they also have a hand in developing a new area NE of Phoenix. You want to prevent Jack's Canyon from happening again? Write them and express your concerns about their ethics. Who knows, maybe we can all learn something from the dialogue.

Ed

[ This Message was edited by: up2top on 2002-12-18 20:16 ]


wonderbread


Dec 18, 2002, 8:39 PM
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Up2top-I see your point, however how can you climb the routes and praise them as being fun and good from one side of your mouth, yet out the other side of your mouth say that these routes are ethically terrible and should never have been put up? Whatever the route developers say as far as "cleaning" goes, we both can agree that there is a very fine line between cleaning and modifying, and in this area the line was crossed. Now, how can you not say that a new area should be developed by the same people in the same ethic when they have already produced one area that has become popular and the routes are deamed as fun.
Look, my point still holds water-if you climb there how can you tell the route developers not to produce another crag like the previous one? How do you respond when one of them says "Why shouldn't I chip this route? The last route I created has become very popular and everyone seems to enjoy it." By climbing there and speaking out against chipping your preaching and practice don't make sense, even a middle schooler will call you on this hypocracy.


epic_ed


Dec 18, 2002, 9:24 PM
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Not at all. You're assuming they develop the routes seeking approval. I don't think they give a damn about what you and I think. It does detract from the experience, but the routes are only "fun and good" due to factors that have little or nothing to do with the developers. The quality of the rock, ease of access, clustering of routes (things I've already mentioned) outweigh the negatives. If I have fun climbing at Jack's, it's in spite of the development ethic. My "fun" experience is a reflection of the quality of the area, not tacit approval of their methods. That just doesn't equate. I might avoid pulling on specific routes that have been manufactured, but I'm not going to avoid the whole area in hopes that they will somehow get the message that I don't approve. Direct communication is the only way they will be aware of what I think. My hope is they will be influenced to be more considerate and have a greater vision for anything they develop in the future.

Like I said, if you think simply staying away will make a difference then by all means -- stay away. I'd rather enjoy the climbing and confront the developers directly.

Ed


[ This Message was edited by: up2top on 2002-12-18 21:26 ]

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