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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Chalk buildup cleanups 2-May-2019 At 3:40:19 PM Access T CliffCare
On 30-Apr-2019 One Day Hero wrote:
>Aaaarrrrrgh! This doesn't need to be so hard.
>Tracey, I would respectfully suggest that Steve, Mark, Adam, or Simon
>would be better qualified to deal with this one.
>Both of you mean well, but are completely out of touch on this one. No
>spray bottles should be used, no scrubbing with fuching chemicals. Just
>brush off the bulk of the chalk, then maybe use a damp sponge to get a
>bit more. NO water should run down the rock! You don't try to make things
>100% clean, getting it 90% will do wonders (and is very quick and easy,
>as long as the desk jockeys don't complicate everything).
>Magnesium Carbonate is a nonreactive insoluble inorganic solid. There
>is nothing which "dissolves chalk" that you want anywhere near cliffs or
>ropes. From an environmental point of view, chalk is white dirt. Just brush
>it off and the wind will blow it away, or it will blend in with the brown
>dirt on the ground and have zero impact on the environment.

Thanks ODH. I agree, it doesn't have to be this hard, but...

And respectfully, it always seems to be assumed by some that I haven't done my homework or spoken to anyone else or that I am randomly throwing out a topic.

The comments about scrubbing are taken from conversations with many in the climbing community, endless articles online and suggestions from well versed climbers. I'm quite sure there are other methods. But people aren't speaking or writing about them. So I'm using those as an example until -
If anyone would like to be a head research guru in this area, drop me a line
It was also used as an opening example to write a small piece following requests to not do chalk buildup cleanups at the moment.

So as the conduit between the climbing community and land managers, the conversations I engage in, often because of concerns, inform mostly everything I put out to the community. Food for thought or more.

The order of how this topic and endless amounts of others I bring up come to be -

1.Previous conversations with land managers around concerns of built up chalk and its impacts on cultural heritage and rock and then the removal of it. Because, enough isn't known(there isn't a lot of research on this) on it's effect, the preference is not to do by groups who may not be aware of values below.

2.Well meaning conversations online by members in the climbing community about wanting to get out there and clean up the built up chalk.

3. Having been part of previous conversations about concerns, I approach the Rock Art Specialist asking 'people are keen to be engaged and clean up chalk buildup. I know this needs to be done carefully, do you have suggestions of methods and I would like to organize. Let's encourage stewardship.

4. Response is positive but....we need to do this the right way, considering there could be cultural or environmental values. Lets hold off on this and work out the way forward so there isn't any damage. But yes, good idea.

5. Climbing community more recently gearing up to start going out cleaning up chalk buildup.

6. Put out a small article to the climbing community, encouraging the idea and the willingness but not the action at the moment. But stay tuned and we'll get there.


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