Spray paint on Chainsaw

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Re: Spray paint on Chainsaw

Postby Ascentionist » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:35 am

This is awesome. And I used to love the sport vs trad flame wars. This is WAY better.

30 years ago there were a large percentage of climbers that called chalk and bolts graffiti. Hackworth maintains in one of his guides the "no chalk" ethic on Minas Tirith. JB and I tried that once--it was summer--and quickly decided if Hackworth wasn't standing right there at the belay with a blackjack to back him up we were going to use chalk. I still like walking up to Minas Tirith and seeing NO chalk. But I typically dip into my bag of courage before starting up the route between Memorial Day and Labor Day (that SO should be a Larry Day route name). I also like rapping from Hamsco's anchors up there. The simul-rappel I did the first time was unique, but I don't need to polish those skills as I do not climb in the Needles or the Elbsandstein regularly. I'd be pissed if I found spray paint of broken glass there though.

Here's my take on the Motherlode and how it has evolved in the past 20 years. I'm qualified because I'm a Hardman, Armchair Brigade First Class. The only route I've ever climbed at the Lode was Trust in Jesus.

Twenty years ago the Lode was a hush-hush kinda place where only Chris Snyder and his pals feared to tread. You could walk right by it and not see it due to the fairy spells placed over the entire region of cliffline. While the masses greased all over Sunshine, Moonbeam, Fuzzy and Gung-Ho, these guys were out slaving away in the heat and humidity to attach enough hardware to one overhanging cliff in Lee County to anchor a battleship to.

And then the secret got out. People stopped slobbering and manhandling all of the other routes in the RRG area (because remember, boys and girls, the Motherlode is not in the Red River Gorge), and the entire rock climbing world descended on Bald Rock Fork for a chance to see Katie Brown or Dave Hume onsite the futuristic testpieces that no one else would ever be able to climb.

Then there was the Euro invasion. I don't really know much about that, so I'm going to skip on to modern times.

Nowadays the Lode resembles an abused urban park complete with lactic acid junkies lurking in the shadows, dog-fights, homeless people shuffling about looking for something to sustain them, garbage, and finally...spray paint graffiti. If you think a little paint around the bolts on Chainsaw is bad go visit an area like Pilot Rock in Western Kentucky where you actually have to probe handholds for broken glass, and sometimes footholds change in usefulness by how thick the paint on them is at a given time.

We treat places as we see others treating them. If you want the Lode to look like a well manicured park then the community needs to step it up. Big time. Overused and abused areas will continue to be overused and overabused. Heard of the "broken window theory?" Look it up.

It's one thing to complain and point fingers, it's another to take the lead and change things for the better. And contrary to popular belief, putting up new routes is not the only benevolent thing a rock climber can do for his or her community.

I didn't mean to turn preachy, but the memory of doing Trust in Jesus came over me and I guess I kinda got the spirit.
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Re: Spray paint on Chainsaw

Postby dustonian » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:49 am

So how does your soliloquy relate to the graffiti at left flank? How about the huge 3x4' graffiti at the base of Chainsaw, not on the bolts and anchor? How about the thousands of dollars and hard labor the community has invested in upgrading the crag to stainless steel to avoid the damage of repeated rebolting? How about Dario having to clean up the paint mess on his own property? What about the new bridges at the entrance built last year to deter erosion? And the little bag of litter many of us walk out with after collecting at each visit? You've been away for too long to appreciate the context. Rationalizing vandalism at one of the world's most beloved crags does a great disservice to it and the people doing the thankless work of maintaining it. Any mundane sport v trad drama is completely in your imagination.
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Re: Spray paint on Chainsaw

Postby Ascentionist » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:12 am

I wasn't rationalizing vandalism. I was pointing out that vandals are typically cowards and will express their art in a place where they feel comfortable doing so.

You're right, I can't truly appreciate the context of what's going on right now, but I have a broad perspective of the area and in the greater context I totally understand what's going on.

Back into the dark ages of rock climbing development there was the issue of climber traffic attracting non-climbing traffic to the cliffs. It was pristine when you did your FA, but the next fall there was a firepit at the base and dirty underwear laying around everywhere. We always assume it's non-climbers acting that way, but I'm not so sure. Those that go first, and spend the most time in a place, have to do the most work to maintain their vision. That's a fact of life. And if their vision is so narrow it only sees the routes then the area will get trashed. I don't see that as much as I used to. The newest generation of developers have a much broader perspective on climbing development.

I'm stoked that the community has finally, through the RRGCC, come together and started working on the non-climbing aspects of climbing. Since the first guidebook was published after Porter's early '90s bolting spree the area has suffered from being "loved to death." The fortunate thing is that there is enough cliffline that new crags are continually developed and it disperses the masses somewhat. But at some point in the future there will be a limit that's reached. I'd say within 20 years you'll see a lot more erratic climber behavior because there will be so many more people climbing here.

Oddly, climbing has never seemed like a fad activity. It's not waned in popularity and therefore more and more people keep coming to the Red and we see the broad cross-section of humanity at its finest. But beyond adding more routes and more crags there hasn't been enough done to mitigate the human impacts on the greater area. I'm not saying there has been NOTHING done. Quite the contrary. I see a lot of positive things. Having stepped away briefly and come back I can see the change clearly. I like seeing real bridges on climber trails. I like seeing route bases hardened against erosion. That never used to happen.

A little caveat to my future "soliloquies": I don't take myself too seriously, please try not to do so on my behalf. I get preachy, but it's like I'm thinking out loud. Online.
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Re: Spray paint on Chainsaw

Postby krampus » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:12 am

rotarypwr: your continued ability to troll and get these lurkers ryled up is comendable. Almost makes this site entertaining again :D Kudos
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Re: Spray paint on Chainsaw

Postby clif » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:24 am

BeYourself-What threat level do you think Sam presents? I'd be more amused if you'd choose to use the classic color coding of the by-gone GWB years.

screenshot.jpg

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Re: Spray paint on Chainsaw

Postby Rotarypwr345704 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:34 am

A little caveat to my future "soliloquies": I don't take myself too seriously, please try not to do so on my behalf. I get preachy, but it's like I'm thinking out loud. Online.

This sums it all up. Dustin, quit taking yourself and everything else so seriously. Learn to laugh a little. If you all would learn to just let things roll instead of bitching a moaning you might see a massive decrease in my posting *hint hint* But maybe that is just old age creepin in on ya. Take a deep breath, remove the stick from your ass and maybe learn to smile a little bit
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Re: Spray paint on Chainsaw

Postby krampus » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:41 pm

dustonian wrote: How about the thousands of dollars and hard labor the community has invested in upgrading the crag to stainless steel to avoid the damage of repeated rebolting? How about Dario having to clean up the paint mess on his own property? What about the new bridges at the entrance built last year to deter erosion? And the little bag of litter many of us walk out with after collecting at each visit?

super +1

This definitely goes beyond the typical drama involved with the sport. There is a serious intention behind vandalisim, it's unfortunate
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Re: Spray paint on Chainsaw

Postby Ascentionist » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:42 pm

clif wrote:BeYourself-What threat level do you think Sam presents? I'd be more amused if you'd choose to use the classic color coding of the by-gone GWB years.

screenshot.jpg


That hurt my brain.
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Re: Spray paint on Chainsaw

Postby Ascentionist » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:43 pm

Ooh, thanks guys, for helping me get to my 900th post!
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Re: Spray paint on Chainsaw

Postby krampus » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:16 pm

Ascentionist wrote:Ooh, thanks guys, for helping me get to my 900th post!

amateur
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Re: Spray paint on Chainsaw

Postby Ascentionist » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:01 pm

krampus wrote:amateur


In some respects.
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Re: Spray paint on Chainsaw

Postby clif » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:04 am

Ascentionist wrote:That hurt my brain.


naw, it was a poor choice from an article i was reading: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014 ... ipulation/

our tax dollars at work. i think we've concluded that somewhere in that flowchart they need to have a dick measuring?
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