Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Problem

Access, Rehab Projects, Derbyfests and more...
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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by rhunt » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:54 pm

I hear you bcombs but tell me how more money will help? Money will get things paid for and will help the Weber's feel better about letting climbers destroy their private property but it is not going to change climber's behavior. Back before the PMRP was purchased, the RRGCC was doing a gym talk tour to raise awareness about access. Maybe its time for another tour but now about how to behave outside, including advice on where to get proper climbing instruction, etc. Would Miguel's on a busy random Saturday night be a good place to do regular talks.
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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by dustonian » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:06 pm

rhunt wrote:I hear you bcombs but tell me how more money will help? Money will get things paid for and will help the Weber's feel better about letting climbers destroy their private property but it is not going to change climber's behavior. Back before the PMRP was purchased, the RRGCC was doing a gym talk tour to raise awareness about access. Maybe its time for another tour but now about how to behave outside, including advice on where to get proper climbing instruction, etc. Would Miguel's on a busy random Saturday night be a good place to do regular talks.
Money does a lot more than "help the Weber's [sic] feel better" about keeping Muir open as a recreational preserve for everyone. Money actually makes it possible to run the place and keeps them from having to pay for all the maintenance of the road and bathroom, cleanup, trail days, and rescue equipment out of their own pockets. Money also pays the mortgage at the PMRP and enables us to acquire more crags in the future. You should watch the way you word things and show a little more appreciation--Rick and Liz do read this forum regularly, you know. Your attitude conveys a lack of respect, and it is definitely not helpful to discourage people from giving donations just because you have become cynical.

That said, you're right--actions are just as important as money, if not more important. It is good that you recognize this, and you should organize some of the talks you describe at Miguel's or gyms near Columbus... this is a great idea!

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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by bcombs » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:33 pm

rhunt wrote:I hear you bcombs but tell me how more money will help?
I didn't want to make it sound like one approach is right and one is wrong, just wanted to state that I found your idea interesting. I think I have never really considered any money or time (little of both, but I do what I can) as being invested for anyone but myself. The return is immediate. I hadn't considered it purchasing future climbing credit, but more like paying admission.

My scope is somewhat limited, I have only been climbing for 5 or 6 years, so I don't have a notion of what it was like 10, 15 or 20 years ago. I agree that it is busier the past few years, but in all honesty, what did we expect? We brought in RocTrip, we flyer for Rocktoberfest, Spring Reunion, J&A Day, UClimb, Muir events, etc, etc... There seems to be mucho complaining about pain we are effectively inflicting on ourselves. Should we stop these events? Of course not! We love it when UClimb brings in 5K, 10k, whatever for the coalition. We get psyched about announcements that we have this years payment. I personally get psyched thinking about what is going to happen after the PMRP purchase. Hiking some of the nearby cliff line, there is still loads of potential to help spread out the masses. Hopefully the coalition has that in their sights. The increase in accidents and increase in people, poop and bad belaying is what I expect for years to come. It will peak and taper off and then we'll have to find something new to discuss. Or, talk about the good old days of 2010. :D

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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by clif » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:39 pm

dustonian wrote: ....just because you have become cynical....
oh the sweet cynic. John Muir never would have tolerated such a thing.
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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by pigsteak » Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:59 pm

um dustonian, as an old fart friend of rhunt's, I can attest that he reguarly contributes money to the cause, and he has valid points.

rick and liz know I love them , muir valley, and having the place to climb. I have a valley pass, so I might be shooting myself in the foot. I still maintain the parking lot needs to be cut at least in half to limit the crowds at Muir Valley. The disrespect continually shwon towards them and their property will not go away with simple words on here. a BIG ACTION is needed to get our collective attention. Either limit parking to ten cars per day, or even close Muir for a month. We need our tree shaken...
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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by rhunt » Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:48 pm

Thanks for trying to stick up for me pigsteak. Yet I would rather people think I am some short newbie that never gives back than they learn who I am or any history. As it is, I learned again that it is a major SIN to be even slightly critical of Muir Valley or the Weber's approach to managing climber and their property and for that I beg for dustaonian et al for mercy and forgiveness.

Now since I got that out of the way. Rick was being specific about his request for more money - it had to do with the way people treated his public bathrooms. I am sure it was disgusting and I am sure he feel literally shit on by climbers and right fully so. My point is money will not completely fix the problem!

Just as bcombs said we have created our own monsters as for the crowds but I don't think developing more cliff as a way to spreading them out is a good management plan. And as for the idea that the popularity of climbing will taper off in a few years, that is exactly what pigsteak and I were saying 10 years ago.

Cynical, hey dustonian, lets revisit that little word about 5 years from now...
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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by dustonian » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:02 pm

Hey rhunt, no I don't know you and didn't mean to offend you personally...I was only responding to the content and tone of that one post. I have been climbing in the Red since 1995 or so and yeah, there have been lots of changes, lots bad, lots good, and yes the overcrowding in recent years is super annoying if you go to popular established crags and yes the trash and poop at the crags is unconscionable. But there are a lot of good things about the community here that you don't really get anywhere else in the country, and the concept of climbers acquiring crags thru grassroots organizations was essentially born here and is tremendously exciting.

Anyway, I agree with you in essence--an outdoor education (& clearly belaying skills) campaign is long overdue and direly needed. But I also think supporting non-profits like FOMV and RRGCC is important and everyone who climbs here should have to pay access/parking fees for maintenance and upkeep costs (damn that KY rec law in some ways). I believe in what the Webers are creating at MV, admire their vision there, & basically just want to support that.

Anyway didn't mean to imply anything on a personal level about you, hope you can understand that with no hard feelings. Sorry if I came across otherwise.

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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by clif » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:11 pm

it's just the torrent donations didn't work out so i feel like this is wishful thinking. maybe the visitor day counts and a presentation before the county comissioners by some recognizable civil engineer will enjoin a new bond referendum to lay infrastructure to wolfe counties biggest revenue stream.

but whatever the economic/tax benefit of outright ownership, llc and recreational use, i'd like to see the math and don't understand why this isn't presented forthrightly as the compelling reason to be part of the solution.

now, anyone want a bong hit?
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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by pigsteak » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:32 am

[quote="clif"]it's just the torrent donations didn't work out so i feel like this is wishful thinking. maybe the visitor day counts and a presentation before the county comissioners by some recognizable civil engineer will enjoin a new bond referendum to lay infrastructure to wolfe counties biggest revenue stream.

quote]
bingo. we saw this with torrent, and creatures of habit will...ah, you know.

my suggestions, for smaller parking lots, a month closure, etc are aimed at waking up the masses, not on getting MV closed.....between the Weber's and the RRGCC board, and a select few others, 90% of the climbing we love is close to being secure. for that, I extend a heartfelt thank you.
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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by DriskellHR » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:04 am

I really like the "safty tour" talks. This is somthing that needs discussing. I will be sure to bring it to the RRGCC meeting if no one else does.

This is a great discussion by the way. Keep the good ideas coming.

On a side note I would LOVE to purchase some wildlife cameras to chatch the fecal bandits in the act. Sadly my wife has put a cap on my spending these days.
However this is NOT a good way to spend CC money. Anyone want to chip in on one and see if it works? Its kinda a long shot but, it would be friggin great to post their pics on here.
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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by mike_a_lafontaine » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:07 am

My take, for what it's worth (maximum retail value $0.02).

I am not a climber, I am simply someone who has way too many hobbies and climbing is one of them. I first went climbing in 1991, didn't start climbing regularly until around '94 when I moved to Kentucky, even then, I was not dedicated to climbing because I had a mountain bike, a road bike, a kayak, and more backpacking gear than any one man should have. Last year I started climbing again after going nearly 10 years of only climbing once every other year or so at the most. Even so, I might climb perhaps once a month, because I still have a mountain bike, a road bike, a kayak, and more backpacking gear than any one man should have, and those toys get lonely too. I have done more trail days/volunteer days this year than I have climbing trips. The short version: long gaps between climbing trips allow me to see stark differences that appear as gradual, perhaps unnoticed, changes to those of you who are "real" climbers.

It's not simply the NUMBER of people that is different from 20 years ago, it's the TYPE of people who are climbing compared to 20 years ago. When I started climbing it was because I was an outdoors-oriented person and climbing was simply one more thing I could do outdoors. I had already had years of backpacking experience, which is what introduced me to the outdoors and taught me how to behave in the outdoors. In the early 90's, most of my friends who started climbing with me were pretty much the same. None of us limited climbing to our outdoor palate. The vast majority of the people we would meet at the Red were the same way. Today when I go climbing, there are a lot of people who would never be outside if they didn't come climbing. The vast majority seem to lack that appreciation of the outdoors in general. Sure, they have their nice Mountain Hardware tents and Kelty backpacks, but how many actually take them out for a real spin out into true backcountry? There is a large scale lack of respect for the outdoors, other people's property and other people's opinion. That cannot be financed away.

Rick and Liz are two of the most gracious people I know. You would be hard pressed to find someone more warm and welcoming than Liz. And yet, people continue to treat Muir Valley like a dumping ground. Someone actually wrote on "Methane Rising" with sharpie to report a spinning bolt! Seriously? They have a billion and one ways to contact them to report problems and you write with permanent marker directly on the rock? On Bruise Brothers, no less, which means likely there were 150 people standing around watching them do that! And it didn't occur to anyone to say "Hey, what the hell are you doing?"

I hope the Weber's don't close access to Muir (for one, because my climbing skill set is such that it is the only place with such a wide variety of climbs that I am capable of climbing) but who could blame them if they do? Same goes for everywhere else there is public land on which people climb. Who could blame the higher-ups if they close it to climbing? It used to be that climbers were among the most considerate user groups in the Red, and probably the most safety conscious. Now, not so much.

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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by rhunt » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:16 am

dustonian - I too have been climbing at the Red since 1995, we probably know each other if maybe only by face. I took no offense, I learned years ago not get offended from post on this board. Yet thank you for that sincere apology. What I do get emotionally wrapped up in is my love for the Red River Gorge and its pains me to read about actions from newbie climbers that i believe endangers future access to the climbing I love.

*** I want to emphasize that I am in no eay trying to persuade people from donation to either MV or the RRGCC.***

I am just trying to point out that along with donations and trail days, a focus needs to be made on educating the new masses/generation about responsible climbing. If it that means less time working on trails and maybe a little less money spent in your usually donation then so be it.

Mack5 - thanks for speaking up for college kids, it is a bit of a generalization. For me its a red flag that we even need to talk to people at the cliff about Weber's or the RRGCC, PMRP, etc. If new climbers are not taking the time to learn about the areas they are climbing at, that is really sad. And so in some ways they have earned the "slamming it down their throats" educating they may be getting at the cliff.

Pigsteak - I am not so sure access is secure anywhere. Yes we own and so they can't close it but it sure could get the restrictions you are suggesting and more. For example, right now the DBNF probably sees the bigger picture of hikers dropping off cliffs to their deaths every year and so our new trend in bi-monthly accidents isn't on their radar...yet. But remember for the DBNF, the easiest and most cost effective way for them to manage climbing is to ban it.
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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by moonbeam » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:31 am

I'll throw this out there...

Maybe this website needs to be promoted somewhat aggressively in gyms, outdoor stores, etc. We all know it's
full of good information, but I think most of the time we are preaching to the choir. The people that don't know
any better are the one's that need to be reading these threads and getting edumacated.

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Re: Financial Support for Climbing from Climbers: The Proble

Post by lena_chita » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:21 am

moonbeam wrote:I'll throw this out there...

Maybe this website needs to be promoted somewhat aggressively in gyms, outdoor stores, etc. We all know it's
full of good information, but I think most of the time we are preaching to the choir. The people that don't know
any better are the one's that need to be reading these threads
and getting edumacated.
I agree. The biggest problem I see is that the threads like Weber's announcement, this discussion, RRGCC fundraisers, etc. are only reaching a small segment of the climbers-- and reaching precisely the segment that IS already doing things, but not the majority of uninvolved.

A little bit of spray to establish the background:

I have donated $50 to MV this May, I have participated in MV trail day and "donated" more via raffle tickets, I am one of MV stewarts, though I am not local, so the times I come to MV are relatively infrequent.

I have donated $50 to RRGCC this spring and again this Rocktoberfest, I volunteered to help Dr. Bob for Rocktoberfest, I would have participated in John and Alex train day, and Roadside trail day, but both were on the weekends when I had commitments elsewhere.

I have donated $40 to TeamSuck last December, and will donate again this year.

I am a member of the Access Fund.

/spray.


I have not always done/contributed as much as I did this year. In fact, I remember that years ago, when captain_static was making a pitch to donate to RRGCC, and addressed me personally on rockclimbing.com, I responded by saying something along the lines of "I have only been to the Red a couple of times and was only making it down to the Red maybe 2x a year (true at that point), and that while I was a member of the Access Fund, I could only give so much, and I had to make decisions about my money, and since New was the place I went to more often... well... NRAC was it." Kind of embarrassing now...


I am not in any better monetary situation right now than I was back then. In fact, quite the opposite. So what changed?

What changed is that I met people. People who were involved. People who were talking about it. People who made it personal and real, instead of just a distant "everyone should"... People who, through personal example, made me embarrassingly aware of the fact that I could be, and should be, doing more.

Back then I was a typical new climber, coming out of the gym. And people who were taking me on those first trips were NOT at all interested in donating, participating, etc. etc. Climbing was free -- except where it wasn't, like Gunks, or ZHorse Pens, or Red Rocks... there, you HAD to pay. But RRG/NRG was free.

I have moved on and found other people to climb with since then - and that made the biggest difference in my change of behavior, I think. But that core group of people who has been taking me out hte first few times is still there, still stewing in their own juices, still taking out new climbers, and still teaching them the same thing: climbing is free here, you don't have to pay for anything other than your own gear that you bring with you.



So really, I think it comes down to everyone who is already involved to try and spread the word to others. Not just sit in a circle of old friends, all of whom are also personally involved, donating, participating, maintaining bolts, etc. etc. and shake heads sadly at the masses that DO NOT do any of those things... but to go to the masses.

There is a tendency among strong experienced climbers to keep to themselves. Why go to a gumby wall on a busy weekend and face the crazy zoo, when you can go to your secret private new spot, or to an area where most of the gumbies will be kept out due to lack of easy routes, right? And if you do go to the gumby wall, it is so easy to feel superior and make fun of everyone else... And I am guilty, too... But somewhere, somehow, there has to be that interaction, and it has to be close and personal, instead of just announcements and posters, to make a REAL difference.

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