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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 58
Author
Dealing with shit
kiwijc
13/08/2007
5:11:46 PM
In terms of negative environmental impacts a major issue facing the climbing community is dealing with human waste. This is particularly a problem in alpine environments, where poo doesn't decompose, and in high use areas such as Centennial Glenn & Shipley where there isn't a toilet located closeby.

In some areas we can get away with burying our shit appropriately, but at area's like the Glenn that's not an option as it's too high use, there are too many watercourses and the soil is not great for burying
and decomposition.

What then are the options for dealing with human waste at the crag? What do people do about it now? Are climbers prepared to carry their own shit out? Specific suggestions about how to manage this issue at the Glenn are welcome.

At the last Glen trackcare day 4 rubbish bags of shit and toilet paper were picked up in only a few hours work!

Jonathon Clearwater

Sabu
13/08/2007
5:37:02 PM
i think the most common method aside from burying is carrying a pooptube. i'll leave it to the big wallers to explain in detail!
dalai
13/08/2007
5:50:55 PM
Is there any possiblilty of local climbers working with the local council and look at building a self composting toilet centerally located to the climbing?

It's been many years I've been up that way, but surely there could be a location where this could be feasible?

Eduardo Slabofvic
13/08/2007
5:54:50 PM
A variation on the poo tube I tried out last year on a ski trip is to take a bunch of placky shopping bags
(the big ones, with handles) and poo into one of them, then put that bag into a screw top container of
some description, which are cheaply obtained from K-mart et. al.

If you want to reduce your use of plastic, try paper bags. I recommend big ones with handles for use in
windy areas (Öand Iím not referring to my bottom, so stop laughing!).

All going well, the screw top container can be reused.
dalai
13/08/2007
5:57:13 PM
Great in concept Ed and Sabu. But I doubt to many climbers are going to carry a poo tube into the crag...

Eduardo Slabofvic
13/08/2007
6:04:35 PM
My concept could very easily be adapted to other peoples chalk bags without any reduction in
performance.
kiwijc
13/08/2007
6:10:07 PM
On 13/08/2007 dalai wrote:
>Is there any possiblilty of local climbers working with the local council
>and look at building a self composting toilet centerally located to the
>climbing?
>
>It's been many years I've been up that way, but surely there could be
>a location where this could be feasible?
>

Good points, but the local council are slightly anti-composting toilet's as they've tried them in the past and they haven't worked well in the cold. What evidence can we give them of composting toilets performing well in similar climates?
dalai
13/08/2007
6:18:04 PM
Sorry kiwijc, I wasn't aware of the composting toilets limitation in cooler climates...

vwills
13/08/2007
6:34:03 PM
All climbers should induce the harness-poop reflex while still in Blackheath by putting their harness on in the carpark. This will then enable them to defecate in the toilets as the urge hits.

While this sounds flippant it actually works pretty well. With training, merely visualisation of putting on the harness, or visualisation of the crux moves of your project for the day can do the trick.

In the event this fails why cant we pick up poop and especially the paper?

Eduardo Slabofvic
13/08/2007
6:35:48 PM
It's probably the management of the composting toilet, more so than the cooler climate thing, as
composting toilets can and do operate in cooler environments.

Any composting toilet that would service the situation described is what is generally referred to as a
"mouldering system", meaning that there is a large chamber that is filled up over a (longish) period of
time. This type is system is not ideal, as there needs to be management, such as adding carbon and lime
(from time to time) to maintain the chemical balance. In practice, this rarely happens. Climbers may
themselves choose to adopt the toilet and maintain it. It's much better to have smaller chambers that fill
quickly, but then that just shifts the management needed to changing the containers. So regardless of
what system you use, there will be management required.

The key variable to address are temperature (easier to do with a larger pile, due to exothermic
decomposition), moisture (moist but not wet), carbon (so it doesn't smell like wee, generally referred to as
the carbon/nitrogen balance), lime to assist in break down and odour control.

I use a composting toilet every day, and it get cold here, but probably not as cold as the Glen. I once
read about a composting toilet being built at Everest Base camp, I have no idea how it runs. The one at
White Water Walls in Tassie seemed quite good.

There are many different models commercially available, and many books on the subject, and probably
many climbers who have some form of expertise in the management of the system. Try getting one of
the Local Government Councillors thinking itís a good idea (and that it is in fact their idea), then slacker
Council Officers wonít just be able to fob you off because itís too hard.

Clivus at Araps is a good example of the lack of management. It's much quicker to just poo in other
peoples calk bags....or better still, just fill up all those chipped holds with poo...two issues solved at
once.....Brilliant!

Sabu
13/08/2007
7:23:51 PM
On 13/08/2007 dalai wrote:
>Great in concept Ed and Sabu. But I doubt to many climbers are going to
>carry a poo tube into the crag...
very good point, i would really have to be out of options before i would consider this!!

On 13/08/2007 Eduardo Slabofvic wrote:
>My concept could very easily be adapted to other peoples chalk bags without
>any reduction in
>performance.
Now there is motivation to finish a climb efficiently without hanging around at the crux....!! Ed you never fail to disappoint!
WM
13/08/2007
9:31:44 PM
On 13/08/2007 vwills wrote:
>All climbers should induce the harness-poop reflex while still in Blackheath
>by putting their harness on in the carpark. This will then enable them
>to defecate in the toilets as the urge hits.

Same goes for when you're at the Flat Rock car park toilets - the base of Taipan opposite Invisible Fist et al is a complete disgrace. (at least bury it, for goodness sake)

I have a vague memory that the toilet idea in the Glen got canned (pardon the pun) years ago because the council didn't want to ruin the 'wilderness' experience for the walkers?
cragrat
14/08/2007
9:43:32 AM
Part of the problem is obviously education.

No matter how much you know there are heaps of people coming into climbing who don't have an "outdoors" background, don't know basic back country hygiene, or basic rules of leave no trace. It does not apply just to climbers either and then even those who do have the background still can be lazy.

In terms of on site removal:
I am not in favour of plastic bags for poo - just because you are still faced with the later disposal problem. Our council has bio degradable (cornstarch) bags that can be used as liner bag inside another non leaking bag. This allows simple removal and deposition into a septic system or motor home disposal point.

I should say here that I worked for Outward Bound in the Sierras of California for 5 years and on a 3 week back country trip could happily not use TP over that time and am pretty comfortable with dealing with poo in dry high altitude areas.

anthonyk
14/08/2007
12:50:42 PM
get the girls at the blackheath cafes to put laxatives in coffees ordered by dirtbag-looking climbers, and an imodium dispenser next to the walk in at billy bunter. solved!
kiwijc
14/08/2007
3:13:00 PM
On 13/08/2007 vwills wrote:
>All climbers should induce the harness-poop reflex while still in Blackheath
>by putting their harness on in the carpark. This will then enable them
>to defecate in the toilets as the urge hits.
>
>While this sounds flippant it actually works pretty well. With training,
>merely visualisation of putting on the harness, or visualisation of the
>crux moves of your project for the day can do the trick.
>
>In the event this fails why cant we pick up poop and especially the paper?

Sure, get some into some caffeine at Blackheath/Flat rock carpark/etc and wait for the coffee dwarf to come knocking - no going to crag without first making a visit to the public toilet!

This will surely help reduce the problem, how do you make sure as many people as possible follow this code?
kiwijc
14/08/2007
3:22:02 PM
Eduardo, who runs the composting toilet at White Water Walls in Tassie?

I've been trying to find out why the council is opposed to the composting toilets, and from what I can gather, they've tried them before and they haven't worked as well as hoped, and they blame the colder temps. I'm trying to get more info on this as to where they tried them and what models they used.

It would be great to have some specific examples of composting toilets that have worked well in cold climates, with some facts and figures to back up any argument to go to council with. Any ideas?

romfrantic
14/08/2007
4:08:23 PM
The compost toilets out at Thredbo Diggins campsite in the Snowies seem to work really well, I wonder who is the contractor there for National Parks (or their experience with these toilets and their maintenance etc)....but as far as I can tell (been going there for years, including in winter - gets the occasional snowfall too) those toilets are kept in really good condition....something seems to work there...
john s
14/08/2007
4:22:42 PM
On 14/08/2007 kiwijc wrote:
>>It would be great to have some specific examples of composting toilets
>that have worked well in cold climates, with some facts and figures to
>back up any argument to go to council with. Any ideas?

I think there was some research (maybe even a PHD!) done on cold weather composting dunnies in tassie - the high hut at Frenchmans Cap if I remember right. The Tas NPWS should be able to help

Andrew_M
14/08/2007
4:35:46 PM
Unless it's disappeared in the last couple of years there's also a composting dunny at Schlink pass out from Guthega. Definitely snowbound and heavily used for several months of the year. It's maintained by kossie NPWS. They'd be worth contacting.

Eduardo Slabofvic
14/08/2007
5:37:12 PM
On 14/08/2007 kiwijc wrote:
>Eduardo, who runs the composting toilet at White Water Walls in Tassie?
>
Dunno, but I remember reading (on the loo itself) that it was designed and constructed by students from
one of the local Uni's as a project.

as a model it could be interesting if you got that kind of assistance, as monitoring and maintinance of the
loo could be part of the project as well.

I'll check through my files and PM you some contacts with companies that manufacture various systems,
they may be able to assist. Also try looking at the EPA web site.....I don't know the NSW system, but in
Vic, a composting toilet must be approved by the EPA, and their web site contains a list of all loos that
have their approval and who the manufacturer is.

Off the top of my head there are Clivusmultum (not sure of the spelling there), Rot-a-loo, and Nature Loo.
I use the Nature Loo classic iin my home and it works fine. I've been operating it for about 5 years now.
It will not be the right one for you purposes, as it would be too small (in my opinion).

good luck.

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 58
There are 58 messages in this topic.

 

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