17 Down Under:
17 DOWN UNDER. "A celebration of moderate grade climbing in Victoria". 184 pages. 285 images. Father & son team, Steve & John Morris, embark on a journey to climb and photograph 50 of the best rock climbs in Victoria, grade 17 & under. Inc bookmark $50.00
Yesterday I removed three large blue tarps that were at the base of Spurt Wall. These have obviously been used for rope matts to protect against the sandy base of the cliff. Leaving behind such large items is littering - if you want a rope matt then bring it in and take it back out with you. They weigh nothing and look ugly when discarded at the base of the crag.
i actually thought these were a very good idea, as not everyone remembers to bring a mat up. when i was there last some months ago, they were folded neatly at the base, with a couple of stones on them. After our use, were returned them as we found them. at any other crag, i would say remove them, but i think they should have stayed at a place like spurt wall
As for looking ugly, how many bushwalkers are there around the base of spurt? I'd say the place is only really visited by climbers who, by and large, would appreciate the tarps. I certainly did the last time I was there...
Stapylton ampitheatre is crawling with fat bumbly tourists with nothing better to do than complain about climbers. Sure most of them stick to the loop walking track, but enough detour to the cliff to stand staring slack jawed at the boulders at the bottom. It's really not that hard to clean up.
Anyway, it's the f---ing bush for chrissake. It's dirty. It's *made* of dirt. If you don't want to get your rope filthy, then carry a mat. Why must people try and dumb down a wilderness area to their needs?
Whenever people use a wilderness area for whatever reason, there is an impact. Climbers are already behind the eight-ball because of the fact that we often institute a permanent (or at least very significant) change to their environments through the use of fixed gear and chalk. Modern climbing has some intrinsic impacts - take away the bolts and the chalk and it's climbing, but not as we know it.
In situ tarps, fixed carpets, tape, orange peel, piles of shit on tracks - all of these things are *not* intrinsic to climbing. They are incidental, and the by product of laziness.
If we are to have any credibility on the real impacts that climbing has, why are we giving ammunition to our detractors over issues of laziness and convenience. We justify sport climbing itself on the basis of convenience. How much easier do we have to have it?
On 16/05/2005 tmarsh wrote:>Anyway, it's the f---ing bush for chrissake. It's dirty. It's *made* of >dirt. If you don't want to get your rope filthy, then carry a mat. Why
>must people try and dumb down a wilderness area to their needs?>
>Whenever people use a wilderness area for whatever reason, there is an
>impact. Climbers are already behind the eight-ball because of the fact
>that we often institute a permanent (or at least very significant) change
>to their environments through the use of fixed gear and chalk. Modern climbing
>has some intrinsic impacts - take away the bolts and the chalk and it's
>climbing, but not as we know it. >In situ tarps, fixed carpets, tape, orange peel, piles of shit on tracks all of these things are *not* intrinsic to climbing. They are incidental,
>and the by product of laziness. >If we are to have any credibility on the real impacts that climbing has,>why are we giving ammunition to our detractors over issues of laziness >and convenience. We justify sport climbing itself on the basis of convenience.
>How much easier do we have to have it?
I agree wholeheartedly mate! Couldn't have said it better myself.
If we start doing that sort of thing, then it'll only be a matter of time b4 Parks Vic sees climbers in a whole different light...that of exclusion.
wacking copius shiney bolts in a wall and covering it with white chalk next to tourist tracks, like wall of fools and sandinista wall is cool. its ok everyone, because those things won't bring about the destruction of wilderness areas and detract from the visuals of those areas. its the blue tarps at the base of 'rarely-visited-by-tourists' spurt wall that shall reign fire and apocalyptic mayhem upon all climbers. i mean, its not like the grampians is a giant f---ing national park or anything. i guess tourists do drive 4 hours from melbourne to sit in the dirt and stare admirably at the bolts on sputing mildly, following the chalk to workout out the best sequnce for clipping the second bolt.
my palms are sweeting at this very moment, as i begin to wonder what would ever happen if Parks Vic actually discoverd those tarps? at the very least, they would take them, then sends us back along the track on flat rock, marked by orange triangles, down to the car park, and back along the nicely graded 2 lane roads to stapylton campground, where to our horror, we are confronted by picnic shelters, fireplaces, toilets, tank water and sinks. god forbid they should ever find that cairm below manic depressive!
the grampians national park covers an area approximately 167,000 hectares. whats that in square meters? i'll tell you. thats 1,670,000,000. one billion, six hundred and seveny million square meters to the grampians national park. a rock cairn sits maybe 30 centmeters high, a bolt takes up about a square inch of the rock, and your average tarp opens up to a hefty 2.4x2.4 meters.
whats my point? first, i want to make it clear that this isn't an attack at anyone or their actions. they have a right to their opinons and actions, and i respect that. i value everyones opinions, as i hope they value mine, even if it is extremely patronising and sarcastic. because i am sick of the old argument about our impacts through climbing. my point is that the table at which you sit at as you read this causes more impacts upon nature through it being produced then us climbers will ever do. tarps, bolts, cairns, banan skins. they are all only visual discretions. thats it.
All these environmental ethics debates always eventually get a "what i am doing isn't as bad x , y , and z so i feel justified in my behaviour". It follows that "my nalpalm strike on a small village is morally defensible because others blanket bombed entire cities just up the road".
A "f---ing great national park" like the grampians is supposed to be preserved, that is the point. Obviously this is fatally flawed because people visit it and impact it in various ways. If you care about what someone else is doing to it do something about it, otherwise take responsibility for your own actions. If you can justify to yourself that leaving a plastic tarp discreetly in the bush is an impact that is worth you not having to carry it in and out then fine, you have just taken responsibilty for your actions. The same applies to bolting and walking off track and cleaning routes and just being there.
But this idea that "they did it first" or "they were more badder than me" shits me to tears. (deep breath). Sorry alrob you may have just copped the brunt of something that has been simmering for some time.
A blue tarp doesn't have to be left at the bottom of a cliff. If you can't be arsed carrying your own up and back, then don't go there.
And to be fair, I do think Tmarsh's response was fairly patronising but had hit the nail on the head
I suppose it would be Okay If I left my old grotty drink bottle sitting on your front lawn for those days when I forget to take my new shiny one to work? IU can just swing by and pick it up, just in case.(?????) My point, the blue tarps are rubbish, the ring bolts are also rubbish - but necessary to a responsible experience. Parks would much rather have people use bolts than have to drag them out in a body bag. And yes, Parks would be quite annoyed at rubbish being left at crags and on tourist trails. Also the "one little patch" argument is not very good because imagine everyone used the same excuse to litter, we would end up living/climbing/visiting open-pit rubbish tips.
It's okay, everyone, I've had my morning medication.
Ultimately this is a PR issue.
You can argue, with some force, that the wooden walkways, the concrete staircases and the safety railings installed and maintained by Parks constitute a far bigger impact to the Grampians, both in their actual impact and in the consequent rise in tourist use.
Parks are aware of this - they call it the 'honeypot' strategy. By concentrating the numbers, and the damage in a few areas of the park ie around Halls Gap and Zumstiens, they reduce the impact on other, more important areas.
Climbers have always got into the 'my sport is better than your sport' argument when forced to justify bolting and chalk use. The fact is that we will *always* lose this argument because bushwalkers and the like can trot out the 'take only photos and leave only footprints' mantra.
If climbing is to be seen as a valuable and valid use of the park, I feel we have to grow up a little and taken on some values of environmental stewardship. We have to accept that bolting *does* constitute permanent damage to the environment, and adopt practices that recognise the impact and plan accordingly. That shouldn't necessarily mean 'don't place bolts', but it should certainly mean 'if you're going to place a bolt, ferchrissake don't use a shitty cad plated dynabolt'.
We bolt routes for our own personal convenience - it allows us to try difficult moves safely and easily. We use chalk for our own personal convenience - it improves our grip and probably has some other effect of calming us down. Both of these actions have consequences for the environment, and more importantly, have consequences for how other users and managers of the park see us.
Being regarded as selfish convenience seekers is *not* how climbers need to be viewed. Accepting for a moment that no non-climber will ever see in situ tarps at the base of Spurt Wall, I would still say they shouldn't be there. Environmental stewardship isn't about doing the right thing when other people are looking, it's about doing it all the time.
One of the most powerful arguments that climbers can make re their impact in national park areas is that unlike walkers (for eg) we will return again and again to an area. We have an ongoing connection to an area, and therefore an interest in seeing its preservation. This is an opportunity for us to make our mark in a positive way, by demonstrating that we can manage our impact on remote areas. Case in point: a certain long term member of this forum, former sport climber and now sometimes boulderer always takes a rubbish bag to the crag. Not only does he put his rubbish in it, but also scraps of tape etc.
The core point I was trying to make earlier (minus the bullshit) is this: Everything we do has an impact. Some of the impact we have as climbers is absolutely essential to our enjoyment of the sport. Some of the things we do are not essential to our enjoyment of the sport. We should strive wherever possible to limit the inessential things so that we may better defend our enjoyment of the essential things.
Alrob, I'm not saying that bolting walls like Wall of Fools and Sandinista is OK. On some levels I think that it's *not* ok, but the point I'm trying to make is that in order to have climbing at all in the modern idiom, then Sandanista wall will have bolts in at least part of it. Piles of rubbish left at the base of the cliff is not essential to climbing in any style.
Ooh! Hey, I've got some great ideas for preplaced stuff on Big Grassy/Ozy. M8 are you listening?
matching blue mattress, extra thick to smooth out the rocky bits.
about 1/2 a dozen coffee cups
small library of reading materials (donations from list members invited)
stock of frozen dimsims from the South Melbourne market
steamer for above
On 17/05/2005 climberman wrote:
>On 17/05/2005 gordoste wrote:
>>i'm planning on opening a McDonalds on Big Grassy
>climb-thru or eat in ?
Would you like flies with that McOzy burger?
How 'bout a side order of RP's?