Considering the fact, that rock climbing on the Basalt Columns of Armenia causes a negative impact on their natural state, the birdlife on them and as well on the surrounding areas generally, few environmental and civil movements with the local climbing club are firmly against rock climbing on these rock formations anywhere in Armenia, forbidding anyone to climb on them.
The current decision is based on the experience of the local club “Up The Rocks”, which was trying to develop a conservative style of climbing on the columns since 2009. At the beginning the climbing was developed by “Clean Climbing” manners, only accepting bolts at the rappel anchors. Later, since 2012, after some environmental discussions, the conclusion was made that the bolts, even only on rappel anchors, are enough harming. Then the efforts were put to escape using bolts on rappel anchors when putting new routes, using pro-gear as a temporary solution. On 2013, V-thread and I-thread anchors where tested as a possible solution which could be later approved by environmental experts.
The idea of new anchor systems had two privileges:
1. These are eternal rappel anchors with single impact on the rocks, unlike the bolted anchors that require to be re-bolted every other 20-30 year.
2. Being challenging and not as much safe as bolted anchors are, it should make climbing on basalt columns non popular, allowing only very limited amount of skilled and experienced climbers to dare to climb on them. Limiting this way the amount of climbers should also mean less impact on the sensitive rock formations and surrounding areas.
However, the experience showed that even world class climbers tend to skip the rules and use bolts, and it is actually impossible to keep under control. Along with this statement, club “Up The Rocks” takes responsibility for cleaning all the rappel anchors were put so far.
By this statement we want to inform all the climbers around the world that climbing on any Basalt Columns of Armenia is banned, so they won’t make expenses and travel a long way in vain. We apply to climbing magazines/websites not to publish photos and articles of climbing on Basalt Columns of Armenia. We also claim to climbing gear producers not to sponsor climbers for coming Armenia and climbing on Basalt Columns.
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Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (PAEF)
“Save Teghut” civil movement
“Trchkan” civil movement
Jermuk Development Center NGO
Club “Up The Rocks”