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Iceaxe
03-29-2007, 02:56 PM
Arches Seeking Input for Climbing Management Plan

Date: March 9, 2007
Contact: Laura Joss, (435) 719-2201

Arches National Park is soliciting public comments regarding the development of a Climbing Management Plan. In 2006,unusual climbing activities raised public interest and concern about issues associated with technical rock climbing.

"We've decided to take a new look at our climbing policies, "commented Laura Joss, superintendent of the park.

Iceaxe
03-29-2007, 03:10 PM
Oh yeah.... I think we have Dean Potter to thank for this little cluster**** :frustrated:

scoutabout
03-29-2007, 04:13 PM
Oooh, a fun opportunity for the motorized community to start a massive letter campaign to end any and all climbing in Arches NP. Climbing isn't a valid form of recreation. It is only good for mindless muscle-heads who don't really enjoy the backcountry. It negatively affects our park experience to see people climbing all over everything.

Ridiculous, yes. That's how we feel everytime something is opened for comments and the peanut gallery chimes in with ignorant comments and made up "facts".

Sorry, had to.

On a serious note, I actually AM against climbing in Arches. It's a National Park. There are plenty of other great places to climb (again, right out of the anti-access vernacular). What happens if someone climbs Balanced Rock and it falls over therefore removing the opportunity to view it from millions of future visitors.

I've heard that some are upset that Potter's climb left grooves in Delicate Arch from his ropes. How can climbing be allowed on these other structures if even a single climber can cause visible damage?

Iceaxe
03-29-2007, 04:34 PM
What happens if someone climbs Balanced Rock and it falls over therefore removing the opportunity to view it from millions of future visitors.

Climbing is banned in Arches on all USGS features named on the map. It has been that way for a long time and the rule was well understood and respected in the climbing community. Problem was the rule was poorly worded so the NPS didn't press charges against Potter..... I wish they had of.

And FWIW.... I'm a big fan of shared access :2thumbs:

price1869
03-29-2007, 07:06 PM
Yeah, paving a big road through the park is much much less impactful than a few bolds and anchors. What if those dirty climbers got white chalk on the red sandstone. I'm guessing that the hordes of hell would be released to wreak havock on the Good-hearted camera toting tourists.

Anyway, in all seriousness, last time I was in arches hiked up to delicate arch. There were just a few people bowling rocks down the trail.

Seriously, when, when have you ever seen a climber defacing, or otherwise damaging wilderness. No climber would pull balanced rock down even if it were possible. Yeah, Dean Potter is an idiot. I hate him, but the majority of the damage was to the NPS's pride.

There are a lot of other places to climb, but why should it be banned in the Park?

Ice, I'm with your list, except for #1. Fixed hardware is an essential part of safe climbing. It's shouldn't be placed on named features.

Brian in SLC
03-29-2007, 10:45 PM
Climbing isn't a valid form of recreation. It is only good for mindless muscle-heads who don't really enjoy the backcountry. It negatively affects our park experience to see people climbing all over everything.

Yikes!

My bet is if you really got a bell curve of the climbers out there, in terms of either their education, or their relative IQ (or whatever criteria you wanted to apply to judge smarts),you'd find a fair share of muscle heads. But, you'd also find an enormous amount of fairly smart guys. A fair number of noble prize winners even.


On a serious note, I actually AM against climbing in Arches. It's a National Park. There are plenty of other great places to climb (again, right out of the anti-access vernacular). What happens if someone climbs Balanced Rock and it falls over therefore removing the opportunity to view it from millions of future visitors.

That its a National Park is a reason?

Double yikes!

Look closely. Balanced Rock is glued together by the park. Dude, its bomber! Otherwise, it would have fallen off a long time ago on its own. And, its been off limits to climbers for a long, long time. Not so the formation Bubo next door however...

Other places? You mean like Denali, Gates of the Arctic, Saint Elias, Yosemite, Mount Rainier....whoops, those are national parks too.

Geez, even military parks like Lookout Mountain and Harpers Ferry have and allow climbing.

John Muir was a climber...

-Brian in SLC

DiscGo
03-30-2007, 05:31 AM
Balanced Rock is glued together by the park.

I don't get what you are trying to say here? Do you actually believe that?


I believe that as long as they rock colored chalk climbing and canyoonerring should be allowed in Parks. I just feel like the climbing should be in designated areas. Delicate Arch, Angels Landing, Yosemite Falls, (other major attractions), etc. should be off limits.

price1869
03-30-2007, 08:07 AM
This is killing me. I figured that Uutah would be the last place that a bunch of people would be so closed-minded and ignorant about this kind of an issue. Do you also think that canyoneering should be off limits in Zion?

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/37/84447945_ccd3e4d36d.jpg Fixed Hardware?????

The national parks should be promoting climbing. They should promote recreation. Their purpose is to bring people to the outdoors and get them involved in outdoor recreation. Taking pictures of a rock is not a form of outdoor recreation.

Think about it. Conservation isn't about banning people from enjoying the outdoors. A lot more damage is done by the jackasses with cameras and markers and kids and trash. Has anyone been up to delicate arch lately? Have you walked along the path that was created using rock drills and explosives?

I still place the blame for this squarely on Dean Potter, but that doesn't excuse the ignorance of the NPS, UUtards, and the general public.

This wasn't done by climbers:


Did anyo
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/139/357619836_7465de1b4c.jpg

Iceaxe
03-30-2007, 08:10 AM
If the park wants to go the designate route...... Instead of designating areas open to climbing, I would prefer to see the park designate areas closed to climbing. I know it looks like semantics, but the second option usually results in better access.

:popcorn:

Iceaxe
03-30-2007, 08:15 AM
The national parks should be promoting climbing. They should promote recreation. Their purpose is to bring people to the outdoors and get them involved in outdoor recreation.

I learned a long time ago the only thing the National Park rangers are concerned with is herding 90% of the people into 10% of the area because it makes their job much easier.

:popcorn:

jumar
03-30-2007, 08:25 AM
Climbing isn't a valid form of recreation. It is only good for mindless muscle-heads who don't really enjoy the backcountry.
:eek2: :blahblah: :roll:

Brian in SLC
03-30-2007, 08:41 AM
Balanced Rock is glued together by the park.
I don't get what you are trying to say here? Do you actually believe that?
I believe that as long as they rock colored chalk climbing and canyoonerring should be allowed in Parks. I just feel like the climbing should be in designated areas. Delicate Arch, Angels Landing, Yosemite Falls, (other major attractions), etc. should be off limits.

Believe it? Take a close look at it, right at the point you'd think its most weak. Gray colored glue of some type. Been that way for years. I have some fairly decent pic's of it (slides). Call Arches and ask if you want.

Angels Landing off limits? Why why why? Not only is there a great (and super exposed) hiking route, protected by chain, pipe, etc, to the summit. But there are at least a couple dozen technical climbing routes. Has been for years.

Kinda surprised at some of the negativity related to climbing...hmmm...

There's some great climbing in Arches. Dark Angel, the Gossips, Sheep Rock, Owl Rock etc etc etc. Folks have been climbing in Arches since at least the 50's.

-Brian in SLC

jumar
03-30-2007, 08:49 AM
Kinda surprised at some of the negativity related to climbing...hmmm...

Me too :ne_nau:

Iceaxe
03-30-2007, 09:58 AM
Kinda surprised at some of the negativity related to climbing...hmmm...

Ditto

I'm getting the feeling that some of this anger is aimed at the Sierra club/SUWA type groups and not exactly at the climbers who may or may not be card carrying members.

It's also the nice thing about a forum with such a great mix of hobbies. I think you get a better cross of what the general public thinks.

:popcorn:

Jaxx
03-30-2007, 10:05 AM
Even though I am not an avid rock climber I loved seeing the people climbing when I went to Yosemite. I am an extreme noob at rock climbing but I do find it interesting, I guess if I didn't my opinion may change but I thought it was cool to be able to see their routes by the white chalk on it. I personally don't think climbing should be banned except for certain areas like delicate arch where it could damage the arch. But where do you draw the line? All named Arches? Using colored chalk is ok in my book.

It brings up a dificult question and unfortunately the NPS is a business, they want more money for less work. That is why they will always cater to the tourist that wants to take pictures. They pay more and have more numbers than the rock climbers/canyoneers ever could.

Jaxx
03-30-2007, 10:08 AM
Believe it? Take a close look at it, right at the point you'd think its most weak. Gray colored glue of some type. Been that way for years. I have some fairly decent pic's of it (slides). Call Arches and ask if you want.
-Brian in SLC

Do you have those scanned? I didn't notice when I went down there recently but I didn't really look that closely. I would have looked if I had known. It's not that I don't believe you, I am just curious.

Iceaxe
03-30-2007, 10:15 AM
For those interested here is the current climbing rules for Arches NP

Arches NP Climbing Regulations
http://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/climbing.htm

.

Iceaxe
03-30-2007, 10:19 AM
Hey Brian, your wired into the climbing community and I respect your opinion (even if I don't always agree). Give us some guidance in providing comment to the park on the new Climbing Management Plan.

:nod:

scoutabout
03-30-2007, 12:55 PM
Oh, this is hilarious. I was trying to make comments using the mold of the anti-access folks who are constantly trying to remove motorized access from public lands. Some themes taken directly from comments on this site. It's good to see that "impact" and "effect" don't really matter when it's your favored form of outdoor recreation.

:roflol:

Iceaxe
03-30-2007, 01:00 PM
Oh... I think we all understood you were a troll :fluff:

It was comments by some of the others, particularly by GDD, that got my attention.

:popcorn:

scoutabout
03-30-2007, 02:05 PM
No, I actually am opposed to allowing climbing in Arches NP. I want to know why my arguments are faulty in this case, but the same arguments are valid when used against motorized recreation.

It diminishes my recreational experience to see people climbing on every arch or formation.

I don't think it's acceptable to damage formations in the park with ropes, anchors, etc.

price1869
03-30-2007, 02:27 PM
No, I actually am opposed to allowing climbing in Arches NP. I want to know why my arguments are faulty in this case, but the same arguments are valid when used against motorized recreation.

It diminishes my recreational experience to see people climbing on every arch or formation.

I don't think it's acceptable to damage formations in the park with ropes, anchors, etc.

No one is asking to climb the named arches or formations. We all think that it's retarded that DP climbed DA. He's a DA.

Don't be silly.

Iceaxe
03-30-2007, 02:29 PM
I want to know why my arguments are faulty in this case, but the same arguments are valid when used against motorized recreation.

I'm a gear head from way back so you are preaching to the choir. I guess you will have to find someone who opposes motorized recreation and discuss it with them.


It diminishes my recreational experience to see people climbing on every arch or formation.

I think if you had of read the current climbing regs you would have noted that many of the formations are already out-of-bounds. Is there a specific formation you would like to see included? Or by people do you mean the camera and sandwich toting tourist that climb like ants over everything they can?


I don't think it's acceptable to damage formations in the park with ropes, anchors, etc.

Every climber I know or climb with would agree with that statement. So what's your point?

:blahblah:

scoutabout
03-30-2007, 04:05 PM
It diminishes my recreational experience to see people climbing on every arch or formation.

I think if you had of read the current climbing regs you would have noted that many of the formations are already out-of-bounds. Is there a specific formation you would like to see included? Or by people do you mean the camera and sandwich toting tourist that climb like ants over everything they can?



Man, that's harsh.





I don't think it's acceptable to damage formations in the park with ropes, anchors, etc.

Every climber I know or climb with would agree with that statement. So what's your point?

:blahblah:

My point is then that climbing shouldn't be allowed in Arches NP.

Iceaxe
03-30-2007, 04:25 PM
My point is then that climbing shouldn't be allowed in Arches NP.

Just remember one thing.... if they restrict climbing what is next? Hiking? Rafting? Bird Watching? All motorized vehicles? (oops... too late... Zion already banned them).

The Park is supposed to be so all can enjoy.

:popcorn:

scoutabout
03-30-2007, 08:20 PM
The Park is supposed to be so all can enjoy.



I love how logical that sounds. I wish more people felt this way.



My point is then that climbing shouldn't be allowed in Arches NP.

Just remember one thing.... if they restrict climbing what is next? Hiking? Rafting? Bird Watching? All motorized vehicles? (oops... too late... Zion already banned them).



I believe only 8 NP's permit off-road travel on designated routes. Canyonlands and Arches are two of them. Some very fun drives in both.

On one hand I am playing devil's advocate and trying to point out the hypocrisy of the arguments used (by people on this forum) against motorized access.

On the other hand, I had never considered that climbing rope wore grooves in sandstone until I had read it on this forum. That being the case, I don't see how using damaging equipment on unprotected features is good regardless of the form of recreation we're talking about.

Brian in SLC
03-30-2007, 11:28 PM
Hey Brian, your wired into the climbing community and I respect your opinion (even if I don't always agree). Give us some guidance in providing comment to the park on the new Climbing Management Plan.

Read over the plan. Decide what you like or don't like, and comment to it. I think Ram over on the Canyons egroup posted a blurb from Sam Lightener with some suggestions. My bet is the Access Fund website also has some suggestions as well.

From at least my perspective, I like some of the climbing in Arches (and frankly, most of it scares the bejeesus out of me). Any short letter supporting climbing as an allowed activity in the park would be a good thing at this point. We can all work around whatever restrictions. The bigger deal is to just maintain access.

As far as the ATV thing goes, well, I'm a SUWA supporter. I think sometimes they can be a tad over the top, but, the "other side" can as well, and between the two extremes is probably where most of us lie. I don't own or ride an ATV, but, I do have a 4wd, and, I'll admit to raising a bit of Cain driving at breakneck speed in Salt Creek in Canyonlands (yeah, I'm a bad person). Even had a few folks yell at me, which, would have bothered me more but I was having a hard time wiping the grin off my face and was hoarse from yelling "yee haaaw".

Boils down to access. If your allowed to ATV where ever, then go for it. Just like some climbers, there's some ATV'ers who give the sport a bad name. I'll admit to watching "At Your Liesure" a bit, just to see where the "other side" is coming from. Interesting to me. They are very much into the lobby thing, but, I also see a TON of wise use type stuff, which is pretty darn neat, and folks are out having fun so good on 'em. I've never had a bad encounter with an ATVer (can't say the same for a few snowmobilers) and go out of my way to be pleasant and usually have a great conversation with folks who are really more kindred spirits that anything else. We just choose different recreation. But, its outside, its fun, and there ya go.

Anyhoo, here I am in Bend after a great day of climbing, in a nice state park (Smith Rocks), at the American Alpine Club annual meeting and mountainfest, besides another Deschutes beverage, what could be better?

Cheers,

-Brian in SLC

Iceaxe
03-31-2007, 04:09 PM
Stolen from the Super Topo Climbing News, but it does a nice job of stating what climbers should be asking for and why they should be writing a letter.

As we all know, a much-publicized climb in the spring of 2006 raised public interest and concern about rock climbing in Arches National Park. Prior to this event, Arches managers had limited contact with climbers and felt no real need for official policies. However, an overwhelming number of letters calling for an outright ban on climbing forced the Park to impose serious restrictions on our sport. Since then, a group of local climbers and the Access Fund have been working with the Park to rehabilitate a good relationship between us.

The Park Service has decided it is time to make an official Climbing Management Plan. This plan could be great for us, or it could be our demise: the key is how we help them make the plan. They are currently seeking input into how the plan should be. If the events of Spring, 2006 were any indicator, an enormous number of letters from environmental groups and anti-climbers will be sent to the Park Service calling for a ban or some draconian restrictions. However, The Park managers will be willing to look at all sides. As a matter of fact, they have shown local climbers that they are willing to work with climbers provided they see a positive result.

That said, it is up to us to send positive letters about the sport. If you have ever climbed in Arches, you should tell them so and tell them you enjoyed it. If you ever want to climb on the unique towers in Arches, you should tell them so. We need to show them that we really do care about the policies and that we want to be able to climb in Arches. We also need to point out that the outright ban on fixed anchors prevents the ascent of the majority of spires and towers (no pitons = no aid). I think most of us would admit we don

Iceaxe
03-31-2007, 04:23 PM
And here is the direct link to submit your comments:

http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?parkID=25&projectID=18335&documentId=18425

:cool2:

renshiwo
07-26-2010, 11:28 AM
Wow. Just ventured over from the canyoneering forum. FYI a park management plan is NOT code for "we want to close the park to climbing."

There is a public meeting coming up. Please come, talk to park staff, and express your views.

"Arches National Park is developing a management plan to determine what impacts climbing, canyoneering, and associated activities, commercial and noncommercial, may have on the park, and to consider how the NPS should manage or possibly limit those activities. A public scoping workshop has been scheduled for Thursday August 5, 2010 at the Grand Center in Moab from 2-7pm where the public is encouraged to come and speak with park officials in an open house forum regarding the development of this management plan.
Despite regular use by climbers and canyoneering groups in Arches NP, climbing and canyoneering have remained largely unmanaged leaving climbers and canyoneers essentially self-regulated. The increase in activity is exceeding the park's ability to manage under current actions. Issues identified to date include effects on natural and cultural resources, increase in use levels, the development of new routes, use of fixed hardware, designation of climbing/canyoneering routes, development of approach trails, visual impacts and the effects of climbing/canyoneering on visitor safety and experiences.
A climbing/canyoneering management planning effort will consider a full range of alternatives to protect resources, visitors and visitor experience while providing for recreational climbing activities. The NPS is encouraging public participation throughout the NEPA process and is currently in the scoping phase of this project. The NPS invites the public to voice alternatives, comments, or concerns in this effort. These comments will be considered during preparation of the Environmental Assessment. Arches National Park will seek to involve as many individuals as possible who have an interest in or concerns about climbing activities at Arches."

Iceaxe
02-11-2011, 05:01 PM
IMPORTANT - Read This!!!

Climbing and Canyoneering Management Plan for Arches
Here is your chance to view the proposals and comment. Please take a few minutes and do so.

Park Newsletter (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/showFile.cfm?projectID=31985&docType=public&MIMEType=application%252Fpdf&filename=ARCH%5FAlternativesNewsletter%5FforPrint% 2Epdf&clientFilename=ARCH%5FAlternativesNewsletter%5Ffor Print%2Epdf) - This is the meat and potato's.

Submit Comments (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=39025) - This is where you go to let the park know what you think.

Please provide all comments by March 13, 2011.

:cool2: