Friday, July 16, 2010

Sandia Mountains Bolting Issues

Just got back from a meeting at the climbing gym to discus some issues that have come up about bolting in the Sandias. The ranger district want to put some restrictions on the placement of fixed anchors in the range. This was coming eventually on a national level but way put on the fast track locally by some climbers getting caught using a power drill which is illegal and the impression, right or not, that many of the new routes that have been put up were done so with a power drill.

What will ultimately come of this is that there will likely be an application process to put up new routes and the applications will need to be approved by the NFS. As climbers we can either participate or not. If we don't participate then we have no say in what we feel is appropriate or not and I also feel it is important to show the NFS that we as climbers feel strongly about our rights to be able to add new routes. On the other hand we could not participate, essentially saying that we don't care and let them run the whole thing or just shut down the installation of new fixed anchors all together.

It is safe to say that most all climbers would like to see new routes that they feel are worth while additions get established, but this is where issues arise. What one climber feels is worthy another may think is a waste of time. How one climber puts up a route another might think is unethical. The problem is that the NFS does not care about any of these things, all they care about is the number of fixed anchors and if they were installed with a hand drill or a power drill.

Needless to say we had a 2 hour meeting that involved lots of veiled mud slinging about ethics and what routes belong and don't belong and very little time dedicated to coming up with something to actually present to the NFS. We are lucky in that the local resource manger is a climber himself, it makes it easier to communicate and he understands a little better what climbers are after. . . I don't know guess I'm just a little frustrated that you get a room full of climbers together to try and solve some issue and all you really end up getting from at least half the room is a bunch of unnecessary posturing.

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