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Thread: Crap in Canyons

  1. #1
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Crap in Canyons

    C'mon people. Seems like each year there is more crap left behind in canyons, from fixed ropes, to candy wrappers, fleece jackets and scratchings on the walls. I hope we all know this is wrong, and that we should take responsibility for people in our party, and for picking trash left behind by others.

    Tuesday's trip through the Subway === candy wrappers, empty Gatorade bottle, blue fleece jacket, and a fixed rope at the last rap (all removed and packed out).

    C'mon people...

    (All though, I really doubt most people here would be so inconsiderate. I presume most of the trash is due to accidents (empty bottle falling out of a pack, fleece jacket left behind when re-packing the pack). I think most people here are not litterbugs and vandals.)

    And then, I have this from Randy Delaney from the Squeeze Slot of Bluejohn...

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  3. #2
    Never understood why people do such types of graffiti.

    I have always been shocked at the different levels of littering people are comfortable with. Mine is more "leave no trace"ish but I have watched many people and acquaintances intentionally liter. Sometimes I confront them but sometimes I don't want to rock the boat with people I have to spend days in the backcountry alongside. Normally regret being such a coward afterwards.

    Hell, one of my rafting buddies still prefers to dig a cathole despite having a boating toilet. We have talked about and he just believes he knows "how" to bury it and others don't.

  4. #3
    Thirty percent of all human beings have shit for brains. It can't be helped. Any place that sees a fair number of people will get trashed. Unless someone is being paid to pick it up on a regular basis. Anyone that hikes with me that leaves even micro gets a verbal smackdown. All my friends know not to do it around me...saying something helps, a lot.

    It's a shame to see it at places like the subway, or climbing Angels Landing, but it really chaps my hide when I see it deep in the backcountry. Yeah, Tom...it sucks. I guess we'll just have to keep packing it out for them

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  6. #4
    Thank you for posting this I can't stand picking things up after people. I've seen old batteries, lighters, gum wrappers and more. COME ON!

  7. #5
    clueless and lovin it TommyBoy's Avatar
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    The thing I can't understand is why do it in the first place, its not like you save any weight by dumping that empty gatorade bottle and if you squeeze all the air out it doesn't even take up as much space as before.

  8. #6
    I hate to see litter but at least it can be picked up. Graffiti is more of a problem though. Once somebody writes something, it seems to be an invitation for others to copy. Is there a way to repair it or just wait for nature to fix it? If the evidence can be erased or blended so it is less noticeable, perhaps others wouldn't be so prone to copy.

  9. #7
    Mountain Man ilipichicuma's Avatar
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    Graffiti always bothers me, too. It's just stupid. Someone writes their name on the canyon wall and then everyone who descends that canyon after that knows that say, "Steve S." is a huge douche.
    --Cliff

  10. #8
    Zion Siren Felicia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exergy View Post
    I hate to see litter but at least it can be picked up. Graffiti is more of a problem though. Once somebody writes something, it seems to be an invitation for others to copy. Is there a way to repair it or just wait for nature to fix it? If the evidence can be erased or blended so it is less noticeable, perhaps others wouldn't be so prone to copy.
    Graffiti begets graffiti. I get LIVID when I see graffiti!

    The sandstone in Zion is forgiving. If you soak a bandana and wipe the area, most times it will remove the markings. If the markings are deeper, use wet sand on the bandana and scrub.

    Last year I was sitting on a rock in The Narrows and saw three girls carving on the wall. I asked them to stop. I responded that this was my canyon as a member of the public and that they were being rude. My 6th sense told me to be careful with these girls. I did take some pictures of them. They watched me for awhile as I sat there. After they left, I went over to the spot, took some pictures, and then scrubbed the area clean.

    Later when they came back down The Narrows, they saw that the markings were gone. They mad dogged me as they passed. Unfortunately, at this time, there were not too many people around, so they started throwing large pebbles at me. I would loved to have seen a ranger at this point. I pulled out my camera as to video them, and the ran.

    Becareful!
    Some people "go" through life and other people "grow" through life. -Robert Holden

  11. #9
    Outdoorsman ghawk's Avatar
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    Scary stuff Felicia. Glad nothing worse happened. I love this whole thread. I always pick up some trash on my way through canyons, on trails, anywhere outdoors. There are always dumb people who, rather than just enjoy the outdoors, feel the need to leave their mark on it. If only they were as smart as dogs and would limit their marking to urination.
    - Gavin

  12. #10
    Bottom Tier Superhero Iceaxe's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I believe whining about graffiti in this forum is nothing but preaching to the choir.


  13. #11
    none of the above deagol's Avatar
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    I saw a guy in Arches NP teaching his son how to carve his name in the rock right near sand-dune arch... really pissed me off, but I did not want a confrontation.

    I also noticed the top of that arch is covered in carved graffitti. Some people just suck..

    Felicia, you did the right thing, sounds like you needed some backup.

  14. #12
    Sumptuous mummer hank moon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deagol View Post
    I saw a guy in Arches NP teaching his son how to carve his name in the rock right near sand-dune arch... really pissed me off, but I did not want a confrontation.

    I also noticed the top of that arch is covered in carved graffitti. Some people just suck..
    Are you angry at others, or at your self?

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

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  16. #13
    Explorer Reverso's Avatar
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    I literally crap in a nalgene bottle if necessary. Also, the narcissistic "I, in my great wonder and awesomeness, was here" BS comes off nicely with a bit of sand and some leather gloves. Assholes.

  17. #14
    Limited litter doesn't make me angry, since I'm sure I've left some in a canyon (in fact I'm sure I left a route description in Birch yesterday. Didn't notice it until it was too late. If anyone is in there soon, I'm fairly certain it fell out of my pocket just before the longest rappel, so if you see it, please pack it out for me, thanks). I think we all need to understand that sometimes trash just falls out, as Tom said, so the solution is to remember that packing out any trash you find is part of the canyon ethic. Doesn't mean we shouldn't be careful about accounting for all tops of jerky bags, ends of Clif bar wrappers, or tags from new equipment; just means there's no reason to get angry over it.

    Graffiti, on the other hand, has absolutely no excuse. But unfortunately, Ice is right. I don't think anyone on this forum doesn't already know it.

  18. #15
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deagol View Post
    I saw a guy in Arches NP teaching his son how to carve his name in the rock right near sand-dune arch... really pissed me off, but I did not want a confrontation.

    I also noticed the top of that arch is covered in carved graffitti. Some people just suck..
    I started in very calmly with "Do you know what vandalism is? Did you know that what you are doing is vandalism?" Then I set them to work erasing what they had been working on. Might help to take their picture first. "Smile! - that's for the judge."

    Tom
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  19. #16
    none of the above deagol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hank moon View Post
    Are you angry at others, or at your self?

    .....
    Angry at him. He wouldn't have listened to me, and more likely would have become belligerent, I would imagine (sort of like Felicia's story up thread, but it wasn't girls). I've seen it before. We told a ranger afterward and they said that some people would even get defensive with them and try to justify their behavior. The guy was a LOT bigger than I was, by the way ...


    Edit: good Idea, Tom.

  20. #17
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Here's another example, again likely by non-canyoneers:

    There is an anchor for photographers to rap into Neon's Golden Cathedral directly. We were on a ZAC trip down there and, since the webbing was visible from the trail quite a ways away, Mike Schasch volunteered to go clean it. What did he find?

    The anchor consisted of:
    - two bolts, tied off with webbing
    - a deadman booby trap - the webbing simple looped around a rock once, then other rocks piled atop, with a bunch of webbing
    - a stout juniper, with more webbing tying the whole thing together.
    - three assorted rappel rings
    - still not over the edge.

    I don't know where the rappel ends up because it is longer than the rope we carry down there, pretty sure... Someday. But the anchor is a 15 minute walk from the exit to the canyon.

    For those who don't know, I think our general ethic here is: if the first rappel anchor is an easy stroll from your car (or a point on the return hike), you should go retrieve the webbing off it at the end of your trip. Especially if the webbing is visible to non-canyoneers.

    In some places, it might be expeditious to use a TARA - Tourist Assisted Retrievable Anchor. Top of Full Imlay comes to mind. If there are non-canyoneers around, ask them to remove the sling and take it home - a souvenir!

    Anyway, thanks to Mike for going down and cleaning this, for carrying it through the canyon AND carrying it up the hill.

    Tom
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