John and I have been to what climbers refer to as Roadside, but which in reality is the Training Fork Nature Preserve, LLC the past few weekend and what we have seen shocked both of us. One fundamental rule we have always enforced is NO NEW ROUTES OR GEAR is to be placed without our express consent. We noticed that what appear to be homemade permadraws have been installed on several route without our knowledge. I would like to know who took it upon the self to install these. They are unsafe as they appear to all have hardware store quick links connecting a few line of chain to the bolt hangers. These are not rated for climbing and have not been tested. In short, there is no quality control of these, nor do they appear to be stainless steel. At the end of the chain is an aluminum carabiner. This carabiner should be stainless steel so that it has the same materials properties as the other components - that is, steel. We all know about the cut rope at Muir last year due to carabiner wear. Think about the aluminum carabiners on these homemade permadraws and how the ones at crus sections will see hundreds of falls as compared to those on your own rack.
There is yet another problem. These permadraws drive more people to climb at the preserve, which is exactly what Jon and I do not want. If you can't hang your draws, you can't do the route. Permadraws encourage weaker climbers to get on harcer routs because they know they need not worry about cleaning their draws. Stick climb have come a long way since using the nearest trees limb. They can put up and remove draws using a Squid, Superclip or even a wood clamp. There is no god reason to have the permadraws and they detract from the area. Remember, every one of you are guests at the Preserve; it is not a climbing gym.
There were over 35 cars in the parking lot on Saturday and Sunday. Every route had multiple parties on or waiting for them. There were dogd digging deep holes, hammocks in trees, people pissing whereevere they wanted and the already severely eroded areas continue to be desimated. The Preserve aka Roadside, cannot sustain that much traffic.
As a result of the foregoing we are closing the Preserve (Roadside) to climbing effective immediately. Whoever installed the permadraws should contact me immediately so they can be removed. Also, the route that has been installed to the rightod Up Yonder must be pulled. The two tasks are the immediate prerequisites to reopening the Preserve to climbing.
We are presently developing a permit system much like the USFS in the Sierras to limit the number of people in the preserce and thereby minimize the ecological impact. Once these things are done we will slowly reintroduce climbing in the Preserve.
Finally, you should think twice before entering the Preserve during this closure. Wolfe County law enforcement and the local prosecutor are aware of the situation and will criminally prosecute any and all trespassers.
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