The man is a weasel. Free soloists that gather a group and have a film crew are doing it for the wrong reasons. I couldn't think of anything more satisfying than free soloing something and then never telling anyone. Even if the law was poorly written it was still written with the intent that no one climbs of named arches. The fact that he would disrespect the people in charge of taking card of the land just shows how much he doesn't care about anything other than himself. That letter from Patagonia was a laugh.
05-28-2006 03:11 AM
Frankly I am not the least bit amazed.
For years I have enjoyed both motorized and non-motorized use of the outdoors, catching flack about my motorized uses all along the way.
I have always argued that the "Idiot factor" knows no boundry while everyone regularly pretends that as long as no motor is involved then no harm is being done to the environment.
This proves my point. Simply because you don't own a motor does not keep you from being an idiot. And owning a motor does not make you an idiot. And being an idiot does not keep you from going outdoors and creating problems for the rest of us.
Thanks to this jackass we now have new and more rigid regulations. Why do people insist on forcing the governments hand? He knew it was wrong and did it simply because he knew he could get away with it legally. He probably also knew he would be the last because the regs would be tightened aftewards.
What an SOB, he should be banned from leaving his house.
Please buy my book - "Paiute ATV Trail Guide" at www.atvutah.com
- I need gas money!!!!
Here is an article from Outside magazine. This article points out that it did in fact damage the arch. If it makes it any better it does say that no damage can be seen with the naked eye but there are photographs showing the damage.
I hope this produces one heck of a video.
So, Kid, you think you got what it takes to be a Punch King?
Bottom Tier Superhero
"I just blew the dust off"..... my ass....
I believe several members of this forum predicted the arch would suffer rope grooves. Potters a dumbass.......
Yo here is a "wicked" video showing the parts of the ascent.
Fox News Story
So, Kid, you think you got what it takes to be a Punch King?
Freedom of Expression
Stolen from Outside Mag:
At first, Potter refused to talk about the Delicate Arch incident when Outside contacted him in Yosemite over Memorial Day weekend. The next day he called back, saying he had not been pressured to speak on the record by Patagonia. He apologized—sort of—saying that he was "sorry that all this negativity has arisen from such a beautiful communion with nature," that he should be allowed to take pictures of his exploits just like everybody else, and that, at the time, he saw "no reason legally or morally" that he shouldn't have climbed the arch.
"The voice of the community is important to me," he said. "My views are not concrete. I'm open to change." In a private e-mail exchange among colleagues, Potter also said climbing the arch represented his "freedom of expression."
I think I'll use my "freedom of expression" this weekend and go dynamite Lost Arrow Spire. I guarantee that ol' Dean-o Pot(head) would be pissed if somebody did that. Of course I'm kidding. Seriously, everybody at the ATF, FBI, CIA, NSA, NPS, Dept. of Homeland Security, and the ASPCA can go back to DEFCON 2 (or wherever it was before they read this message). I'm just making a point that the whole "freedom of expression" thing is not an excuse for all behavior. "Beautiful communion with nature?" Bull! It's nothing but arrogance to think that he's the only person in the world who gets to "commune" that way. "...No reason legally or morally..." to not climb the arch? Clearly Mr. Potter has a very myopic view of legality and morality in this situation. Who does he think he is, the King of Town?
Remember kids, don't try this at home. Try it at someone else's home.
It must have been his freedom of expression to have a cameraman climb it also, so he could be filmed coming up.
What would happen if people expressed their feelings by punching him? Is that a freedom of expression?
Bottom Tier Superhero
Foolish young man...... Potter should just own up to the fact that he pulled a dumbass stunt and then all would probably be forgotten...... instead he continues to dig himself a deeper grave.......
First he claims he didn't know, yeah right, every noob in the state knew Delicate Arch was off limits. Next he claims a free solo, and then admits a rope was used to practice the moves. Next he claims a first ascent, when every arch bagger in the state knew it had been done. Now he is trying to blame the NPS for its regulations..... This fool is causing nothing but headaches for future climbers in the NPS.
Hey Potter..... it's time to "man up", come clean and say your sorry's......
Controversy surrounds possible damage in rock climber's arch ascent
Climber might have damaged arch
By Christopher Smart
The Salt Lake Tribune
Grooves near the top of Delicate Arch appear to be caused by climbing ropes. A story on Outside magazine's Web site speculates that Dean Potter may have caused the damage during his controversial May 7 ascent of the sandstone icon.
Dean Potter may be done climbing Delicate Arch, but he hasn't finished wading through the criticism unleashed by the much ballyhooed "free solo" ascent.
The man who claimed to be the first to climb the southeast Utah sandstone arch without ropes came under increased scrutiny again this week after Outside magazine alleged in an online feature story that Potter did, in fact, employ ropes. And the magazine hinted that he might have damaged the Utah icon.
In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune on Friday, Potter conceded that photographers accompanying him used ropes - but he denied allegations that rope scars on the sandstone formation were left by his party.
"I have climbed for 18 years and know how to climb rock in the most environmentally sensitive way," he said when confronted with the magazine's allegations. "We did have a rope up there, but we positioned it in a crack, and the rope was padded with my jacket."
In the Outside story titled "How Delicate Was Dean?" - it appears only on its Web site, http://outside.away.com - writer Tim Neville explains that before Potter attempted the free ascent, he practiced the climb using ropes.
"He rehearsed the moves first with protection from a top rope draped over the formation," the story said, relating eyewitness accounts. "[T]here's even a chance Potter did permanent damage to Delicate Arch's famously soft sandstone."
Magazine Editorial Director Alex Heard said in an interview that his magazine launched its investigation after letters came pouring in, even though Outside had yet to write about it. Those responses were running nine to one against Potter's climb.
"There were a couple of things that I wasn't seeing answered," he said Friday. "The main one was: Was there any damage up there?"
The magazine hired a photographer with powerful telephoto lenses to take a visual inventory of the sandstone surfaces. Those images "identified three distinct grooves worn by rope into the sandstone," the article said.
Despite earlier statements, Potter now says at least two other men ascended Delicate Arch before he did.
On May 7 after his climb, the climber had told The Tribune he was the first to make the ascent without ropes.
"I'm definitely the first person who's ever free-climbed it," he said at the time. "When I got up there, there was really no sign of anything, and I've found no record [of anyone else climbing it]."
But on Friday, Potter said he has subsequently learned that two other men had said they climbed Delicate Arch. Any damage to the sandstone could have come from them, he said.
A National Park Service investigation is ongoing, according to Arches Superintendent Laura Joss.
"We are taking this very seriously and are investigating all aspects of it," she said. "Delicate Arch is a Utah icon but is also revered by the whole country."
Investigators are aware that photographers were on the arch with Potter, Joss said.
"Because of the angle of the video, we could tell at least one person was above him."
Shortly after Potter's ascent, Park Service officials strengthened regulations aimed at keeping climbers off all named arches in the park. The new rules have angered many in the climbing community, according to Outside.
Potter said that should be the real issue.
"The National Park Service continues to limit environmentally minded user groups without talking to the public."
"I do regret the negativity that surrounds this climb," Potter said.
"But if it opens people's eyes to the diminishing use of the parks, then the negativity will be worth it."
Don't Bogart the Arch, Dude
When Abby and I got married at Delicate Arch ( http://richardbarron.net/wedding/ ), we followed both the letter and the spirit of the law. We tried to keep our ceremony brief and simple, with respect to whomever might there, and to the place itself. The Park Service required us to have a Special Use Permit, which we did, and that permit spells out how we should conduct ourselves.
When I showed Abby the article about Dean Potter's stunt, she was appalled. There are so many cool places to climb in Utah. The only reason to climb Delicate Arch is to be the absolute center of attention. Potter is a four-year-old. And don't even get me started about the Michael Fatali Delicate Arch incident.
I'd also like to add that the bickering that goes on at the arch at sunset is inexcusable. If you've come to take pictures as the sun goes down, realize that the park belongs to all of us, including anyone who might want to pose in front of it. Just be quiet and enjoy the moment.
Re: Don't Bogart the Arch, Dude
Interesting. Is this quite the gathering place at sunset for pictures? If it is, I could imagine everybody trying to "get their shot" before the sun goes down.
Originally Posted by Richard Barron
Is there conflict that arises here?
Whoa! I can see how some "bickering" over getting a great shot can occur.
Although it seems most likely that he's responsible for the rope grooves, i suppose the only way to really be sure, short of a full confession, is if the video/photo footage shows ropework corresponding to the exact location of the grooves.
The latest from Patagonia:
Thank you for submitting your comments to us regarding Dean Potter's ascent
of Delicate Arch.
Since May 7th, we at Patagonia have had much discussion and debate about
where the company stands on Dean's controversial climb. Historically, we
have always stood by our Ambassadors and their actions. Our Ambassadors are
a part of Patagonia's close-knit family, and we trust them to act in ways
that they deem responsible. However, over the past few weeks, our internal
conversations have enlightened us to the reality of this unfortunate
situation. We strongly believe that Dean's actions warrant a public apology.
Here at Patagonia, we also want to extend an apology to you. We apologize
for not responding more quickly and decisively. We make no excuses, but in
explanation - Patagonia is always extremely hesitant to publicly denounce a
long-standing friend and Ambassador. Before we responded to our customers
and the media, we needed to hear his side of the story. We needed details.
We needed to speak at length with Dean, in person.
At the end of the day, we do feel Dean's climb of Delicate Arch was
inappropriate. Patagonia had no prior knowledge of his climb, nor did we
"sponsor" his activities. Sadly, his actions compromised access to wild
places and generated an inordinate amount of negativity in the climbing
community and beyond. We asked Dean to write a letter about his solo and the
ensuing maelstrom. His sentiments below best describe where he has landed on
the issue. It's his, and our, final word.
>From Dean Potter:
When I climbed Delicate Arch I certainly didn't foresee the controversy that
has ensued. I didn't think the climb would do anything but inspire people
to get out of their cars and experience the wild with all of their senses.
I was wrong. I am sincerely unhappy about climbers' loss of freedom caused
by my ascent. More, I am deeply hurt over the split this has put in our
climbing community. I want to explain my actions, bring the facts to
light, and hope that all of us can come to see the good in one another.
First, I admit it...I am a climber. I feel compelled to climb most
everything I see, and that included Delicate Arch. To me, all rocks are
sacred. When I climbed to the top of the Delicate Arch it was my highest
priority to do no harm to the rock or its surroundings. I climbed the Arch
in the highest and purest way I could, and I left it the same way I found
But I failed to foresee how Delicate Arch, for so many, is also an
untouchable symbol of our delicate relationship to nature. It is also a
symbol for me, but where I saw it as a chance to commune with the arch
through expressing my own art of climbing, others saw it as a violation of
what they also feel is sacred. Again, I had no intention of doing something
that would invoke such feelings, and for those who do feel that way, I
apologize because that certainly was not my intention.
Others have accused me of climbing the arch as a publicity stunt. As a
professional athlete, recognition of what I do is part of the job.
Most disturbing of all are those accusing me of responsibility for the rope
scars that have been documented conclusively on the top of the arch. I can
certainly understand why someone would conclude they were caused by my
ascent, but I believe the true answer lies in the details of my ascent, and
the possibility that there were other ascents previous to mine. I have
recently seen the close-up photos of the grooves at the top of the Arch and
can state with certainty that my actions did not cause them. But I was very
careful to place my rope in a natural groove in the rock. Since my climb I
have learned from first-hand witnesses that in the past at least two other
parties have lobbed ropes over the Arch and jumared up. Perhaps those
parties left the grooves. I know that I didn't.
None of my sponsors, including Patagonia, has ever influenced me to climb
anything. Again, I am sorry that the climb has negatively affected so many
people in our community of climbers, and I certainly am not ignoring the
views expressed in the Internet chat rooms and in the press. Peoples'
opinions are important to me and I value others' views, and I have been
troubled at the negativity this has stirred up. I saw the climb as
communing with nature, somehow, others have seen it as exploiting nature.
The National Park Service has strengthened rules about climbing in Arches
National Park, and people have blamed me for the loss of access. I
sincerely regret any loss of access...anywhere, anytime. Let me add that I
strongly advise anyone thinking of climbing the Delicate Arch not to try.
First, the climb is now unambiguously illegal. Second, the climbing
community and the Park Service should be friends and work together to
protect the environment and climbing access. Third, the Delicate Arch
really is fragile and repeated climbing would inevitably cause damage.
Finally, I apologize to Patagonia for the injury this has caused the company
and the brand. Patagonia is sincerely and deeply committed to their mission
of using business to provide solutions to the environmental crisis, and
regretfully, in the view of many of their customers, this has been
compromised by my ascent.
Again, we'd like to express our thanks for your input, and for your patience
as we've worked with Dean on an appropriate resolution to this issue.
--If you're not living your life on the edge,
you're taking up too much space!
Hey thanks for posting that. Good read! I am glad he is finally taking some accountability for his actions.
I bet you it is only because his sponsor probably said in so many words, “you better straighten this out or we pull you.”
Originally Posted by accadacca
This is my favorite part:
So let me get this right, he as an active member of the ‘climbing community’ never looked into the history of climbing in the park, nor had any idea of how the climbing the arch would be seen by the local climbing? Or had any idea how soft and fragile an arch called DELICATE Arch really is? I call bullshit.
Originally Posted by Dean Potter
He climbed this arch because he either felt he was so much cooler then the rest of the climbing community let alone the rest of humanity that he could climb this arch and get some good PR. Or he is incredibly stupid and had not idea this shit storm would happen. I think he did it for the publicity. Because if he really felt compelled to ‘commune’ with the rock he could have ghosted the route and left the cameras at home and no one would be the wiser.
Bottom Tier Superhero
Originally Posted by James_B_Wads2000
This reminds me of grade school when I had to write "I will not chew gum" 100 times on the blackboard......
Here's Pott(head)'s version of the story in his own words. Audio link in the upper left corner of the page.
No wonder he doesn't feel bad for climbing it. He can't even get the name right. "The Delicate Arch"? I bet he calls that National Park in the southwest corner of the state "Zion." Every body knows it's "Zion's" National Park 'cause Zion owns it . Either that or there's more than one of them .
Remember kids, don't try this at home. Try it at someone else's home.
I realize this is an old thread, but I thought it made sense to post that Dean Potter apparently lost his job with Patagonia over this incident. I never saw a press release, but he quietly disappeared from their "sponsored athlete" media last year. Makes me feel better about Chouinard's heart being in the right place.
Potter's job wasn't to "commune with nature"--what kind if justification for being an idiot is that? You do that on your own time when the photographers have gone home. And laying all the blame on the Park Service was infantile & pathetic.
In addition to being self-centered, narcissistic & arrogant, Potter is clueless. He obviously doesn't understand what his job really was. His ONLY job was to make the world a bigger place by inflating our imaginations, getting us excited, expanding the boundaries of the possible.
Instead, he bent the rules, climbed a feature even he admits can't support climbing pressure, then lied about the circumstances. And in so doing, the consequences made the world smaller for every climber from now on.
Wow has it been 2 years since he did this? Time goes by quick. LOL