September 21, 2009

Agree to Disagree

Latest controversy in the climbing community is secret stash crags.
Some of these crags have been closed for 20+ years (almost as old as me) and people have been climbing here for those 20+ years.

Take Chattanooga for example. I can name more closed crags than I can open. . . Not to mention there are more climbers in Chatt than all of Alabama. I guess before they hand over the title you have to take an ethics class on access sensitive areas.
I seem to be number one for pissing people off. Maybe because i'm young and an easy target. Or I come off as some sort of elitist who really doesn't know shit about climbing, but sports an ego on his shoulder. What ever the case is, I don't want to be the guy who comes in and messes things up for people. But I will ask questions. How do you learn the proper if no one teaches you?
If some of these gray areas in AL where in Chatt, they would be no question climbing spots. It amazes me the amount of people who start confrontation here. Maybe it is since we sport such a small group of people, there are no real way out of hiding. Small town hype, that everyone knows everyone (and what they're doing).

The number one answer I get, is to keep your mouth closed. Never mention it. What these guys probably aren't realizing, they are getting OLD! If these ethics keep on, the places will be deserted. Left to only the old guys who wouldn't pass on the knowledge to others, in fear of the places having traffic.

BY NO MEANS am I trying to start an argument with anyone! Only logical questions that I would love to get a rational answer for.

How can Chatt have 4000 climbers compared to our 100, and not have HALF of the problems?

September 20, 2009

Home Sweet Home!!

I started out camping in a old walmart tent in the back yard when I was about 8 or 9.. I took a long break before I found climbing. Then, I purchased one of the killer hammocks at the outdoor store that I thought was the best thing ever invented. The cold nights and back aches soon took me back to the store to buy a nice 4 person tent.

While the tent was nice, cozy, and very dry... I found out that tents get cold, and the rain doesn't care if your trying to pack up your tent or not.

I recall one weekend when i was camping at Sand Rock and the rain came during the night, all night.. Hard rain, thunder, and of course lightning. That rain continued through out the next day. Being an in experienced camper, I had zero rain gear. You know the south only sells cotton..

So, as the rain grows, so does our anger. Soon enough I manned up. I got out and started breaking down the wet, muddy tent. In a down pour of nasty, cold rain. Finishing up with a nice slip into the mud and packing my keys up into the tent. I was a not so happy camper driving home.

That was the last night I slept in a tent!

The next weekend came the craggin wagon. I bought a hard shell camper to go on my truck. Within a few weeks, I had a respectable crashing spot under anyones terms. The craggin wagon stood up to all types of weather and events. I spent two months in Kentucky sleeping out of it half of the time. Life was good!

And now, im sitting in my new trailer! I purchased a 26ft dutchmen travel trailer. This thing has everything and more for me. 3 beds, shower and toilet, microwave, stove and oven.. not to mention plenty of room for EVERYTHING.

Need less to say I found out along time ago that I climbed better with a good nights sleep. I keep moving up in terms of comfort, but hell, it's raining right now. All I gotta do is go to sleep! I will do a full spray down on the trailer later this week. Pictures of everything soon to come. I know it will never be as cool as The Hippy Van, but one can only dream!

I will see you guys out there.. probably with a full stomach of bacon, eggs, and biscuits.. a wet head from a HOT shower.. and watching dosage v on the flat screen to get pyched... And hell yea im braggin, IM PSYCHED!!!

September 10, 2009

Old Rusty Ethics

I would say 70% of the first bolts in the canyon are in bad shape, rusted, stripped, loose..etc. That means 7 out of 10 routes have ATLEAST a bad FIRST bolt on it. Thats usually the one noticed the most, because of the stickclip nature. When I was talking to the MAN about the stories of him and others bolting these routes, we both realized that 90% of the routes where bolted around 10-15 years ago.

I was asking how hard it was to go through the channels and get the permit for replacing some old bolts. He assured me that with his permission I wouldn't have a problem getting out there. He didn't understand why I wanted to rebolt..

He said things like:

People will not give you the respect you think you will get for bolting.

The canyon doesn't get enough traffic to matter. The bolts are fine.

Don't waste your time.

When I started thinking about all this I soon realized that there is NO ONE out there doing this service. Refrase, no one in the new age climbers. I am not taking any respect away from the select few older guys who still make the journey with a hook and gun. It's like the baby boomers of the climbing generation. The only pattern I see differently is people putting up hard routes, not rebolting the ones they know they will not fall on.

The number of people climbing in the canyon is rising as well as the risk of people getting hurt. With a decade of old steele hanging from the canyons sand stone, we need to make a change, so we will become the next generation of people who take care of these places. If we don't who will?