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Devils Tower Has SUPER June !!!!
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bigwally


Jul 14, 2006, 5:49 AM
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Devils Tower Has SUPER June !!!!  (North_America: United_States: Wyoming: Eastern_Wy_: Devils_Tower)
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:D It is continuing to be a Super Season at Devils Tower. Climbers of all abilities and from many different states (including the State of Confusion) and many different countries have visited and Experienced the Power of the Tower.

June was Super !!! Many Climbers came to Praise and Worship and Demonstrate that this Tower is Sacred to MANY Cultures. We Hope that You were one of them !! I climbed 20 days during the month, sharing the Power of the Tower with dozens of folks, Much to their JOY !!! We had numerous Sunset/Moonrise Celebrations atop the Tower, which increased both our Energies and Thankfulness!!

Brother Nate and i established 2 New Routes (on Northwest Corner and Southwest Face...mostly aid...) with Great Joy. The Southwest Face Route Experience will stay in my Heart for the longest time. We started up the route at 7 p.m., climbed through the night with headlamps, and summitted the next afternoon. The route itself (just right of CENTENNIAL) was of marginal quality, but the Experience of Enjoying a full Wyoming night, with the stars screaming (and no wind), stuck to the side of the Tower,gave me a new perspective on my Life (Looking forward to doing it again,...and again...)!!!

I was Blessed with Experiencing a Full Day of Praise and Worship on June 15. Starting at 7:30 a.m. I climbed all day, free-solo, roped-solo and some with a partner. A short afternoon break allowed me to greet some of our B&B guests. A late afternoon/evening climbing session was Wonderfully full of shade and coolness. Arriving back at home at midnight, I had Topped the Tower 16 times, purged my Soul, filled my Heart and sung my Songs of Gratitude. A Unique Experience in my Life. It could only have been better if YOU were along.

The season is moving along, each day, one day shorter. I Hope that You take the Time to come for a visit. There is soooo much to do !!! Old routes, new routes, familiar routes and always challenging routes await for all comers. The Power of the Tower is STRONG !! I watch it change Lives for the Larger and Better nearly everyday !!! Come and Experience it for Yourself. BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO LIVE OUT THEIR DREAMS.


healyje


Jul 14, 2006, 7:23 AM
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Re: Devils Tower Has SUPER June !!!! [In reply to]
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Below is a link and excerpt from the Tower's Climbing Management Plan. Wrap your actions in any colorful verbage and trappings you want - but do the climbers that worked their asses of negotiating the current management plan a favor and don't spew like climbing the Tower in June is good thing - it isn't, it's ill-advised. Those who pursue their dreams with disrespect are a lot of things - blessed is not one of them, regardless of what mirror you pray in...

JUNE VOLUNTARY CLIMBING CLOSURE

American Indians have regarded the Tower as a sacred site long before climbers found their way to the area. Recently, American Indian people have expressed concerns over recreational climbing at Devils Tower. Some perceive climbing on the Tower as a desecration to their sacred site. It appears to many American Indians that climbers and hikers do not respect their culture by the very act of climbing on or near the Tower.

A key element of the Climbing Management Plan is the June Voluntary Climbing Closure. The National Park Service has decided to advocate this closure in order to promote understanding and encourage respect for the culture of American Indian tribes who are closely affiliated with the Tower as a sacred site. June is a culturally significant time when many (not all) ceremonies traditionally occur. Although voluntary, this closure has been very successful - resulting in an 80% reduction in the number of climbers during June.

During June, the NPS asks climbers to voluntarily refrain from climbing on the Tower and hikers to voluntarily refrain from scrambling within the inside of the Tower Trail Loop. Please strongly consider the closure when planning a climbing trip to Devils Tower. Alternative climbing areas are located within 100 miles of Devils Tower National Monument. The Access Fund fully supports the voluntary closure and the Climbing Management Plan at Devils Tower.


edl


Jul 14, 2006, 8:52 AM
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Re: Devils Tower Has SUPER June !!!! [In reply to]
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Climbers regard the Tower as a sacred site. Recently, climbers have expressed concerns over prayer flags at Devils Tower. Some perceive prayer flags on or near the Tower as a desecration to their sacred site. It appears to many climbers that American Indians do not respect their culture by the very act of placing prayer flags on or near the Tower.

Whos right? How do we decide? Maybe some kind of compromise is in order? It seems to me that June is one of the best months to climb at the tower weather wise. It also seems to me that American Indians might have other ceremonies during other times of the year.

For anyone who can't figure it out, this isn't a flame on the above post. It is intended to open up some kind of discussion, with a little bit of bait thrown in of course.


healyje


Jul 14, 2006, 9:36 AM
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Re: Devils Tower Has SUPER June !!!! [In reply to]
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First off, climbers aren't a culture and climbing isn't a religion - climbing is recreation, a sport, or an art depending on your bent - even if you make a lifestyle or living out of it. We have a relationship with rock, but there is nothing "sacred" about it. You position vis-a-vis statements like this represent a significant personal and group reality distortion field. Native tribes on the otherhand are a culture, have deep religious beliefs associated with those cultures and many places like Devils Tower are sacred to them. To equate your, or even our collective, couple of years climbing and relationship with rock to hundreds if not thousands of years of living association with the Tower is, well, an embarrassing and self-importing extrapolation at best.

Do I think you and other climbers have a strong and legitimate connection to the Tower through your climbing? Sure, but ease up on the spleef and chalk up for a better grip on perspective - it's not remotely the same, particularly not in any historical or religious context. Attempting to wrap up climbing or any other sport at a particular rock with religious trappings as a political strategy is pretty much a losing proposition that everyone involved sees through at a glance. Next you'll be telling us your local gym is filing for status as a church (Our Lady of the Perpetual Sorrow?)...


Partner tgreene


Jul 14, 2006, 11:48 AM
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Wrap your actions in any colorful verbage and trappings you want - but do the climbers that worked their asses of negotiating the current management plan a favor and don't spew like climbing the Tower in June is good thing - it isn't, it's ill-advised. Those who pursue their dreams with disrespect are a lot of things - blessed is not one of them, regardless of what mirror you pray in...
Ummm, I fear that you do not know who BigWally is, or you clearly would not be making such statements to him!

Are you aware that he spent last winter replacing all of the mank on the Tower, working very closely with the NPR, but doing so at his own time and expense..?

Are you aware that he has climbed it more than any other climber and has put up more routes than any other climber..?

Are you aware that he lives at the base of the Tower..?

Are you aware that the HE that I'm referring to is Frank Sanders..?


erclimb


Jul 14, 2006, 12:26 PM
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Re: Devils Tower Has SUPER June !!!! [In reply to]
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I don't know who Frank Sanders is, but I'll accept your assessment of his credentials as a committed climber.

I'm anti-politically correct and not easily offended; my concerns are selfish. What struck me about the Bigwally post was the obvious stab at the Native culture. I don't recall any celebratory posts about May climbing at the Tower (or any other month); so, the post comes across NOT as a celebration of climbing or of the Tower but as a mocking spew directed at the Natives AND non-Natives who respect the voluntary closure. This might be appropriate for a private email among like-minded friends, but the public format invites potentially serious consequences. Whatever you might think about the Native culture and their claims about the Tower, you should not assume native to be synonymous with primitive...they use the web, understand the activist process, and--with their growing income from casinos--have political muscle.

What will happen when Bigwally's post, which reeks of ridicule, reaches the tribal leaders or a less-than-climber-friendly administrator in the NPS? Following so closely the Dean Potter fiasco...who also claims a sacred respect for the rock...this post could have major repercussions. Locally (in the DC area), the climbing community is trying to show our respect for our recreational resources by cooperating with the NPS's botanical survey. The NPS is trying to determine if climbers have an excessive impact on plant life. I think the worst thing we could do would be to publically satirize their concerns. Hueco Tanks is perhaps the best example of cooperation between climbers and cultural/historical interests. Yes, many great routes are strictly off limits; ultimately, however, it's a small price to pay for access to other spectacular climbing.

I've never climbed at the Tower but hope to some day. I think the voluntary closure is a great compromise: "We prefer you don't climb in June; but if you do, please keep a low profile." It seems Bigwally has broken that agreement in a most egregious way (a la Dean Potter). We should all be holding our collective breath.


Partner tgreene


Jul 14, 2006, 12:55 PM
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To be able to say that I personally know Frank, is a thing of beauty in its own right, and for those of us that DO know him, we also know that there is absolutely nothing about his post that is any different from each and every other day in his life.

Frank celebrates life like no other person that I've known, and he is a true blessing and inspiration to everyone around him. I've saved every email I've ever received from him, and when I'm having a dreary day, I'll re-read them and all seems better... He just has that effect on people!

In reply to:
Many Climbers came to Praise and Worship and Demonstrate that this Tower is Sacred to MANY Cultures.
Also, nowhere was any mocking being done, he stated that it was a celebration for MANY cultures, and YES, Frank prays and thanks God for everything in his life, as well as for everyone and everything around him.

Furthermore, when I stated that he lives at the base of the Tower, I wasn't kidding, because his home is actually INSIDE the park! Yes, it is he and he alone that owns a home where others can only dream.

Frank is a wonderful person, and my wife and I will always hold a special place in our hearts for him. :angel:


hendicrimpin


Jul 14, 2006, 1:05 PM
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Concerning whether climbers should respect the closure - my initial impulse was to tell the native americans to go to h*ll. I mean, in Wyoming June is PRIMO climbing season!

BUT, after thinking it over for a second.....westerners annihilated their people.....took their land.....destroyed their entire way of living. Sure it was a long time ago now, but.....

Give 'em June for God's sake.


Partner tgreene


Jul 14, 2006, 1:21 PM
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BUT, after thinking it over for a second.....westerners annihilated their people.....took their land.....destroyed their entire way of living. Sure it was a long time ago now, but.....
Been to a reservation lately..?

Many many moons ago, when I was but a wee lad, we spent some time in and around Gatlainburg. During that time, we visited the Cherokee Indian Reservation, and couldn't get over how beautiful and pristine everything was.

--fast forward 30 years--

3 weeks ago, while my wife and I were driving home from Raleigh, we decided to detour so that I could show her how beautiful this area that I often spoke of was. Cherokee is now a filthy, tabacoo pushing, shithole that's filled with water slides, run-down trailor parks, flea-bag motels, and a high-rise casino that completely blocks the most scenic view along the highway.

Where was the NPS, BLM or BIA when this was allowed to happen to their "sacred" land..? Somehow I don't think that a bunch of eco-friendly climbers are capable of doing the same amount of damage, that the Native Americans are currently doing to themselves.

If they had their way, a huge casino would be erected around the base of the Tower, and it would be run as any other reservation-style amusement park!


moose_droppings


Jul 14, 2006, 1:40 PM
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One post reads, June is primo climbing season and another reads June is one of the best months to climb the tower. Its my experienced opinion that May, September, and October are the best months to climb the tower. June is to busy, hot, and prone to thunderstorms. Not climbing in June is a very doable request and will also not arm the NPS with more reasons for erroneous closures.
I live near Mt Rushmore, but I don't climb it.


atpeaceinbozeman


Jul 14, 2006, 1:52 PM
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In reply to:

I live near Mt Rushmore, but I don't climb it.

Is that a voluntary closure as well? hmmm....not the same thing.


Partner j_ung


Jul 14, 2006, 1:57 PM
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I've known bigwally a long time and throughout those years I think the only thing I've ever really disagreed with him about is climbing on the tower in June.

But do not confuse Frank's climbing of the Tower in June with any form of disrespect for anybody. My time with Frank tells me that his post in this thread is genuine and that he truly does celebrate the Tower as his religion, despite the fact that, yes, to most of us climbing is mere work, play or lifestyle. Frank's personal beliefs are wrapped in, around, over, under and through Devils Tower in way that is far more devout than most other people approach their own religions. And he walks that walk all year round. Asking him not to climb the Tower in June would literally be like asking a Christian, Jew or Muslim not to believe in God for a month.

Personally, I will never climb DT in June. But I won't knock Frank for doing it. No way.


kovacs69


Jul 14, 2006, 3:02 PM
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Hey bigwally,

I am curious about something.

Out of all the years you have been around how many Native Americana's have you seen worshiping / performing rituals at the tower?

JB


csproul


Jul 14, 2006, 4:04 PM
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Personally, I will never climb DT in June. But I won't knock Frank for doing it. No way.

I won't knock him for doing it either...but I may for posting it on RC.com...sounds a little too Dean Potterish for my tastes.


kricir


Jul 14, 2006, 4:10 PM
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I guess liquor, sleep deprivation, and anger over one of your friends trying to commit suicide can lead me to write some pretty harsh word vomit. I apologize to those who read my post, I assure you, those were not the thoughts and opinions of a sober, clear thinking me. I would especially like to apologize to kovacs69, as a descendant of a racial minority myself I also know about stereotyping and how wrong it is. Oh well, I guess it was only a matter of time before I wrote a turd magnet. Oh, and donít climb DT during June, this will result in bad juju.


tradklime


Jul 14, 2006, 4:40 PM
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I'm as irreverent as the next guy, but you guys are dicks.


healyje


Jul 14, 2006, 5:21 PM
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Ummm, I fear that you do not know who BigWally is, or you clearly would not be making such statements to him!

Are you aware that he spent last winter replacing all of the mank on the Tower, working very closely with the NPR, but doing so at his own time and expense..?

Are you aware that he has climbed it more than any other climber and has put up more routes than any other climber..?

Are you aware that he lives at the base of the Tower..?

Are you aware that the HE that I'm referring to is Frank Sanders..?

Well, I'm speaking as someone else with a lot of reverence for rock, who stewards another large monolith, works with resource managers, and who has also replaced a ton of mank at my own time and expense.

In reply to:
In reply to:
Personally, I will never climb DT in June. But I won't knock Frank for doing it. No way.

I won't knock him for doing it either...but I may for posting it on RC.com...sounds a little too Dean Potterish for my tastes.

Exactly. And while I have no idea who Frank is I don't doubt for a moment he is a great guy, a dedicated climber, and a devout steward of the routes at the Tower but, in this instance, he has lost his bearings on the issue. Frank deciding to not honor the voluntary closure is one thing and maybe you can make a case for his reverence and stewardship giving him a pass - but that doesn't excuse the original post in this thread which encourages other climbers to adopt wrapping climbing in a religious wrapper to justify climbing the Tower in June. It's an error in judgment regardless of who Frank is.


csproul


Jul 14, 2006, 5:33 PM
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Last time I checked this was the United States of America, not the holy land of American Indian tribes.

As we all know, the Indians were conquered by invading immigrants. Instead of allowing themselves to be assimilated into the modern world and contributing their rich culture to what would become the greatest nation in the world they decided to isolate themselves and play the victim card. (If you are on the Indians side of this or any issue, stop reading now)

My personal opinion is that native americans are just being whiny little b---- about having their land taken away by a superior force. If they had the misfortune of living in the middle east or asia, they would of been wiped off the face of the earth or enslaved. The U.S. has been relatively nice to them, this voluntary closure being just a small part of it. They (or any religious minority) have no right or power to influence the law and restrict the freedoms of the citizens of the nation. The voluntary closure is borderline unconstitutional because of its involvement with a religious minority. The Indians have every right to protest and b---- all they want, but the NPS and especially the access fund have no business or obligation to act upon or even respect their wishes. Im sad that its July. Had I known about this earlier I would of planed a June road trip to the Tower, if only because it would be less crowded.
As much as this tells me you're just a misguided ass...it is just missing the point. Whether or not you agree with the native americans who live there, the point is that the NPS does, and that encouraging climbers to break the agreement that the NPS has made will only cause more restrictions to be brought down upon climbers.


healyje


Jul 14, 2006, 5:42 PM
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My personal opinion is that native americans are just being whiny little b---- about having their land taken away by a superior force.

Yo, all of 21 and already a font of culture sensitivity. You're off to a pretty clueless start dude. Try a little history mixed with current events. You have no idea whatsoever what you're talking about. At this rate you'll be a victimal white male fundy in no time...


flying_k


Jul 14, 2006, 6:15 PM
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I was born and raised in Wyoming. I belong to the land there.
I think big wally is more Indian tha most of the Indians spiritually.
I don't think anyone should be able to just walk up there and climb. I would make everyone spend a day learning the history first then they would climb with respect.
I was planing on doing a lot of climbs in Wyoming this summer.,but I broke my Tibia Plateau in three places last week climbing in California.
now the routs I will be on will be more like the trail to the out house and the step stones to the hammock.
for sure I will hobble around devils tower a little and I will seek out a
handshake from big wally.


g
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Jul 14, 2006, 6:18 PM
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Re: Devils Tower Has SUPER June !!!! [In reply to]
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Last time I checked this was the United States of America, not the holy land of American Indian tribes.
The tribes have nation-to-nation relations with the US government. They are a soveriegn entity. The history that goes back a long way to the early days of European interaction with the various Native American Tribes.

In reply to:
Furthermore, when I stated that he lives at the base of the Tower, I wasn't kidding, because his home is actually INSIDE the park! Yes, it is he and he alone that owns a home where others can only dream.
That isn't totally true. While you must drive through the park to get to Frankís, it is not in the monument. It is outside of the boundary, and he is also not the only person who owns property on that little road past Joyner Ridge. I will say that he probably has the best spot though.


In reply to:
Are you aware that he has climbed it more than any other climber and has put up more routes than any other climber..?
I donít know if that is accurate either. I donít know if he has surpassed Andy Petefish for most times summiting. I could certainly believe it, but I havenít heard that (not that Iíve been paying too much attention to that). Iím sure that they have both done it several thousand times.

On FAs, I would think Dennis Horning has the lead, but Frank has added several ascents in the past few years. Did you count up his name vs. others in the newest edition of the guide to come to this conclusion (and add his two newest)?

I just would like more of a confirmation on such claims.

In reply to:
Do I think you and other climbers have a strong and legitimate connection to the Tower through your climbing? Sure, but ease up on the spleef and chalk up for a better grip on perspective - it's not remotely the same, particularly not in any historical or religious context.
People have been climbing the Tower for over 100 years, and that makes it a significant part of the history of climbing in this country. We all have some valid claims, whether we are white, Lakota or Crow.


kovacs69


Jul 14, 2006, 6:39 PM
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Last time I checked this was the United States of America, not the holy land of American Indian tribes.

As we all know, the Indians were conquered by invading immigrants. Instead of allowing themselves to be assimilated into the modern world and contributing their rich culture to what would become the greatest nation in the world they decided to isolate themselves and play the victim card. (If you are on the Indians side of this or any issue, stop reading now)

My personal opinion is that native americans are just being whiny little b---- about having their land taken away by a superior force. If they had the misfortune of living in the middle east or asia, they would of been wiped off the face of the earth or enslaved. The U.S. has been relatively nice to them, this voluntary closure being just a small part of it. They (or any religious minority) have no right or power to influence the law and restrict the freedoms of the citizens of the nation. The voluntary closure is borderline unconstitutional because of its involvement with a religious minority. The Indians have every right to protest and b---- all they want, but the NPS and especially the access fund have no business or obligation to act upon or even respect their wishes. Im sad that its July. Had I known about this earlier I would of planed a June road trip to the Tower, if only because it would be less crowded.


First...stop your stereotyping. As an Native American I resent it. I neither bitch nor moan about losing my land as you put it...to the Invading Immigrants. I also do not play the victim card. Not all Native Americans live on the reservations. Some of us are even productive members of society and even some of us rock climb...imagine that. I am also not so sure about the United States being the greatest nation in the world...most powerful yes...greatest I am not so sure of...but that is for another topic. Don't get me wrong...I love being an American. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.


That aside...Here comes the rant.

I believe the voluntarily closure is stupidity at its best. Leave it up to the US Government to do something like that. I mean OMG shit or get off the pot people. To say..."Hey, we don't want you climbing on Devil's Tower during June but we are not going to tell you that you can't."...hello...how stupid is that. What they are really doing is telling the Native Americans that "Hey we are going to ask them not to climb but we are not going to waste any of our money keeping them from doing it." Which is fine just stop blaming the climbers for doing something that is not illegal in the first place. I mean it is a "Voluntary Closure" which means that you can still climb if you want. So stop bitching about the climbers...its not their fault. I understand why everyone is so tight about the closure though. If we don't do it on a voluntary basis then it might become a complete closure. I really don't think that would happen considering the climbing history of the tower but it might so I can understand all the chatter on this topic.

Sorry for the rant.

BTW...I have climbed Devil's Tower and it was a very spiritual event for me. I know and understand the history of the tower and I also respect and understand the Native American history and culture. I think I would be more respectful of a climbing ban if more Native Americans came out to the tower or if closed the tower for 3 to 5 days and the Native Americans had some sort of ceremony or Pow wow during that time. Yes we do still have pow wow's. I am going to my first one in many many moons. We are going to have a naming ceremony for my son...I hope the chief doesn't come up with a name like Two Dogs Fu#$%@g. LOL. Hey, I can have some fun with my heritage.

Alos, I would climb the tower during June...I mean...who would tell a Native American he couldn't climb during a closure for Native Americans? LOL!

If you guys want to climb the tower during June go ahead. This Native American doesn't mind. I hope while you are out there you will learn some of the history and culture of the Native Americans.


JB


healyje


Jul 14, 2006, 6:42 PM
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Re: Devils Tower Has SUPER June !!!! [In reply to]
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Do I think you and other climbers have a strong and legitimate connection to the Tower through your climbing? Sure, but ease up on the spleef and chalk up for a better grip on perspective - it's not remotely the same, particularly not in any historical or religious context.
People have been climbing the Tower for over 100 years, and that makes it a significant part of the history of climbing in this country. We all have some valid claims, whether we are white, Lakota or Crow.

I have no doubt people have been climbing it for that long, but the connection to the rock is quite different from a cultural and religious perspective. I also agree climbers are a part of the [recent] history and do have standing in all such management discussions. But it's also a matter of mutual respect relative to wanting our claims to be considered valid - we have to understand, acknowledge, and offer up respect in return for that to happen. Also, all claims are not equal in all contexts and the voluntary closure reflects that reality and strikes a balance rooted in what one can only hope is just such a mutual respect.


flipnfall


Jul 14, 2006, 7:12 PM
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Re: Devils Tower Has SUPER June !!!! [In reply to]
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Whos right? How do we decide? Maybe some kind of compromise is in order? It seems to me that June is one of the best months to climb at the tower weather wise. It also seems to me that American Indians might have other ceremonies during other times of the year.

Ah yes, the constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
First Amendment

So it seems pretty clear why the NPS must ask for a voluntary ban since it would be unlawful to close it themselves in respect to one religion over another. In doing so, they would be imposing (establishing) the rights of one religion over another. In reality, there may be no real threat to climbing if you go since you could appeal based on the First Amendment.

I refrain from climbing there at those times because I think there's a higher principle other than just "having my rights"óI would be disregarding the feelings of other people. I consider their feelings and emotions to be equal to that of my own. Since they aren't asking of me anything unreasonable (in which case I should disregard their feelings), it is perfectly reasonable and kind to respect their wishes.

Tolerance (appropriately applied) goes a LONG way.

GT


secretagent


Jul 14, 2006, 7:49 PM
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Re: Devils Tower Has SUPER June !!!! [In reply to]
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Even though I would never dream of second guessing Frank ( who IMO is one of this sports greats ), I say that we stole that land to begin with, give the native americans June, its the LEAST we could do.

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