Gym Climbers Stay Inside

Posted on: January 16, 2008


From an AP article titled "Rock climbing's soaring popularity takes high toll on wilderness":"They should have signs and stuff and trash cans outside," said Pham, who climbs regularly in the safety of a San Francisco gym. "I don't think they even clean your rocks off for you out there."

I'm all for everyone having the chance to go out and enjoy themselves climbing, but come on. It's depressing how much climbing tape carpets the ground beneath routes at every popular trad area in the country. J-Tree, The Creek, Yosemite, it's the same story. Nowhere has been spared from the influx of climbers who learn inside and take their lazy habits on their weekend warrior trips.

When I read about climbers expecting cleaned off rocks and trash cans beneath every climb I question what will happen next. Perhaps colored tape marking holds and bomber placements? Now that would be ridiculous, but on the upside, with all the trad newbies climbing moderate classics like Cathedral and Royal Arches in Yosemite my rack has certainly expanded from all the easy booty I've acquired.

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Last time I climbed Cathedral I walked away with two nuts (both with carabiners attached, figure that out) and a sling. I wished I had taken a route to right of me when a guy who was climbing yelled down to his partner about a shiny new #1 he pulled easily from the crack. Oh well, maybe next time.



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