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Chockstone Forum - Crag & Route Beta

Crag & Route Beta

 Page 1 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 43
Area Location Sub Location Crag Links
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Author
Climbing in TONGA (+ also New Caledonia)!
japosc
24/11/2008
8:07:42 AM
Someone asked me to let you folks know what I found. To avoid reposting everything, please check out
the link to rockclimbing.com for pictures and some details about climbing here.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=1920520;search_string=tonga;#1920520

nmonteith
24/11/2008
9:32:53 AM
...salivating now...

Capt_mulch
24/11/2008
10:03:49 AM
On 24/11/2008 nmonteith wrote:
>...salivating now...
Getting an itchy trigger finger Neil? ;-) I'm hoping there is plenty of the same stuff in the Solomons - stay tuned!!

Superstu
24/11/2008
11:52:30 AM
Isolated Island environments such as Tonga are ecologically sensitive areas. Sea cliffs on these islands are quite likely to be home to endemic flora and fauna, and temporary-home to migratory bird species. Wholescale "development" of the cliff environment for sport climbing would invariably be detrimental to the ecosystem. Cliffs are generally places that humans are unlikely to have trampled on before, therefore they are often refuge for species in otherwise high-density habitation.

These environments are vulnerable to ecological destruction because they are isolated ecosystems. I;m not saying sport climbing development is in the league of phosphate mining, but cliffs are unique environments and play their part in the greater island ecosystem. On the continents there is often 'enough cliff to go around', that is, climbers have an impact but its not as dramatic because there still remains cliff environments undeveloped (the trashed and buggered blackheath sport cliffs versus the expanse of the wollemi wilderness..) .. Unless the islands of Tonga are blessed with rings of giant kilometre-long cliffs, any wholescale development of the few cliffs there for tourist sport climbing there would have a significant ecological impact.




nmonteith
24/11/2008
12:13:24 PM
He did mention the cliffs stretch for at least 10km...

Capt_mulch
24/11/2008
5:52:52 PM
Superstu - I hate to put a dampener on things, but the wholesale destruction wrought by most islanders on their own habitats far outweighs anything that would be done by a bit of sports climbing development (come to the Solomon Islands dude, I can sell you a rainforest tree for a carton of beer, want a dophin?, no probs!!, let's go dynamite some reef while we're at it: http://www.solomontimes.com/letter.aspx?show=1149 - line up down at the wharf one evening and pick up a girl cheap before the Taiwanese fishermen give her AIDS). Development of something like some climbing crags may just help to bring in some badly needed foreign currency from tourism that will make people think twice about doing the stuff mentioned above that is going on right now, every day, right as we speak. Sad but true. Show people Coca-Cola and MTV and they're going to want exactly the same things you have. They just have to work out how they're going to get their hands on it.

Capt_mulch
24/11/2008
6:43:06 PM
BTW - I found a good rave on 'Environment, Ethics, and Minimal-Impact Climbing' on cubaclimbing - very relevant:

http://www.cubaclimbing.com/climbing.htm#environ

I'm going to adopt a similar code for the Solomons. Maybe I can stop some of this as a sideline:



All those little white squiggly lines underneath the clouds are logging roads.

For a better view, go to Google Earth or Google Maps, search for Munda, or New Georgia, Solomon Islands, and zoom in on the rainforest in the middle. All those light blue bits to the north are World Heritage listed reef / lagoons.

Capt_mulch
24/11/2008
7:21:07 PM
So how come there aren't a whole pile of people jumping up and down about this, eh?? All of a sudden a little bit of crag development gets a whole pile of perspective. Where's the people who are going to do something about this?? Not even a whinge from someone but me?? Maybe the problem is just a little bit to far away for most. It seems that bolting a few crags may just be quite environmentally friendly. Want a nice holiday in the Solomons Neil? (you got to bring your drill though...).

nmonteith
24/11/2008
10:09:43 PM
On 24/11/2008 Capt_mulch wrote:
>Want a nice holiday in the Solomons
>Neil? (you got to bring your drill though...).

I presume I need to wait until winter though? I had a great trip to Niue a few years back mixing climbing and diving on uncrowded pacific island paradise. I'd be way keen to do it all again!

wallwombat
24/11/2008
10:30:25 PM
I skipped over this thread earlier.

Holy shit! This place looks fantastic. That cave looks awesome.

A place like like that could make a sport climber out of me.

I'm salivating too.
devlin66
24/11/2008
11:25:46 PM
On 24/11/2008 Capt_mulch wrote:
>So how come there aren't a whole pile of people jumping up and down about
>this, eh?? All of a sudden a little bit of crag development gets a whole
>pile of perspective. Where's the people who are going to do something about
>this?? Not even a whinge from someone but me?? Maybe the problem is just
>a little bit to far away for most. It seems that bolting a few crags may
>just be quite environmentally friendly. Want a nice holiday in the Solomons
>Neil? (you got to bring your drill though...).

I think most people, I for one, didn't realise the sort of problems that are there. I mean you can imagine from things you hear and see on tv, but to put it so bluntly as you did is quite confronting. If I had the time and my kids were older (leaving 4 kids at home under 6 yrs old would be suicidal) I'd jump at the chance to go and do something. As it was put we live an incredibly indulgent lifestyle while others that live around us are just mearly trying to survive. To be able to put something that may help other people, if only a distraction for them for a little while would be fantastic.
widewetandslippery
25/11/2008
9:02:02 AM
Dynamite reef fishing sounds awesome. "other species are killed to", unreal. I've killed some euro carp in a dam with a chlorine bomb but DOLPHINS! I hate hot climates but getting to kill flipper I could change my mind.

Superstu
25/11/2008
9:26:39 AM
You missed my point Capt Mulch; turning a pristine cliff into a sport climbing crag might only appear to be a tiny spec of environmental destruction versus general island development/resource exploitation (resorts, mining, forestry, whatever.) but the point is that cliffs are unique special environments, and in most cases have not been disturbed before - people don't tend to build or farm them. They are refuges where certain species of birds, reptiles, animals, plants can avoid habitat destruction. It's a problem where-ever climbing is going on, but the problem is compounded if you're doing it in an small island environment. The Pacific islands have a long history of major environmental degradation and species eradication, partly because the ecosystems are small, population species are limited, and 'refuge' environments where species can move on to are often not available.


Capt_mulch
25/11/2008
9:31:41 AM
WW&S - you drinking long necks for brecky again? :-) The idea is not to kill dolphins (some of the dynamiting has been blamed on the dolphin catchers trying to get enough food for the dolphins they have caught and are keeping in pens). The dolphins are willingly rounded up, then sent of to Dubai for a fantastic holiday in a fantastic sand *dweller* resort where they can laze their days away in luxury, waving their flippers and doing tricks for the tourists. No more having to fight the survival of the fittest around those nasty Solomon reefs! Half of them don't survive the process, but hell, for those that do, life's a blast. (ooh, some kind of unintended pun there).

Superstu
25/11/2008
9:34:35 AM
(off topic)
With regards to unsustainable forestry in the Solomons, I can only speak of the problems across the channel in PNG. When I paddled the coast of Oro Bay and Milne Bay provinces I saw a lot of wholescale forest destruction. Most of the villages along the coast were affected, and generally most people living in those villages were horrified as to what was happening to their land (they are subsistence farmers & fisherpeople, so not suprising), but they felt powerless and hopeless to do anything about it. Their political system (courtesy Australian Government 1975) has totally failed them; the pollies get paid off by the Asian logging companies, and local government and police is virtually absent in these parts, so the logging companies just do whatever they want.
(gets off soap box now... I guess its a change from helmets & bolts...)

WM
25/11/2008
10:02:24 AM
Hey Stu I take your point ... but it seems the hillside escarpment in one of those photos would be less than 50% "used" by climbers - the sections of hideous vegetated grey slabs would be ignored just like they are in Krabi. So even if all the "good bits" got developed, the birds etc would not be disturbed on at least half of that cliff. It's probably a similar story for the other areas because that guy wasn't exactly going to post photos of all the chossy, loose or vegetated cliffs. Obviously the exact ratio of climbable to non-climbable cliffs is not clear ... but if Tongans can generate some climbing tourism with minimal impact to the total cliff environment then maybe that'd be better than selling their souls to the logging companies to prop up their economy ... just a thought.

pmonks
25/11/2008
11:02:32 AM
On 25/11/2008 WM wrote:
>Hey Stu I take your point ... but it seems the hillside escarpment in one
>of those photos would be less than 50% "used" by climbers - the sections
>of hideous vegetated grey slabs would be ignored just like they are in
>Krabi. So even if all the "good bits" got developed, the birds etc would
>not be disturbed on at least half of that cliff.

The problem with this argument is that it assumes that animals somehow "know" that nearby humans don't constitute a threat, and will hence be unaffected by the presence of nearby humans.

In fact research in the UK has suggested that some bird species are aware of human presence (the "Alert Distance") at distances of well over 500m, and will substantially change their behaviour (the "Flight Initiation Distance") at distances of up to about 400m. This tends to suggest that buffer zones of at least several hundred metres would be appropriate between the "bird habitat" sections of a cliff and the "climber habitat" sections of a cliff, if changes to bird behaviour are to be minimised.

Now obviously there are a bunch of variables in this - how many animals actually live on those cliffs, whether research on bird behaviour is at all relevant for other types of cliff-dwelling animals, whether the birds that do live on those cliffs have similar disturbance distance patterns as the birds in that UK study etc. etc. What it does reinforce is that our impact goes well beyond our immediate physical location on a specific section of rock.
WM
25/11/2008
2:56:34 PM
So seeing as people and donkeys are already walking along the top of the cliff in these photos we may as well gridbolt the whole thing.

nmonteith
25/11/2008
11:20:15 PM
Some good general info about the area... it seems to mention rock-climbing...
http://www.taufonua.com/eua.html
devlin66
25/11/2008
11:38:25 PM
Woah! Check that out!

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There are 43 messages in this topic.

 

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