The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

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whatahutch
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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by whatahutch » Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:08 pm

Capitalism. We have supply and demand. Right now the demand for Red sport routes is really really up. This creates pressure (more crowds, more publicity, more college kids at Miggies, more accidents) that needs to be released. The way to release that pressure (which will not solve all the problems with accidents, and land conservation issues) is to increase the supply.

Simple answer to me. We can't shoot ourselves in the feet by ruining access, blaming and trashing media, and closing walls, etc. That just makes the demand even worse. To release the pressure you increase the supply. More 5.8 to 5.10 walls need to be opened; another Motherload needs to be bolted. It is that simple. Decrease the crowds by spreading them out.

Like it or not, this is actually a good thing for the economy in Powell and Lee, and every other county including Fayette. I bet Miguel isn't complaining. When I started climbing he seemed to be doing decent business on the weekends, now I wish I could have seen this coming because I would own that Shell. Everyone complaining, I hate to be mean, but you all seem blind to the big picture. I am sorry, but the more climbers that come, the better. It might mean that more white-haired goldenrod gets squashed, but that family in Nada selling firewood for a little extra money to buy Christmas presents, are actually going to be able to buy presents. I grew up in a depressed rural area and I would have loved for there to be a "problem" like this in my hometown.

To fix the demand you increase supply. This means more people come. The more people come, the more money they bring, the more money, the more influence we as a community can have in shaping the economy, the culture, the politics, and the legal decisions that are made in the Red and surrounding areas. Seems like a win-win to me. If you want to believe in some sort of hippy utopia where Miggie's only slangs humus and tofu pizzas to two people, you and your belayer, and you wear leather soled climbing shoes to decrease your rubber footprint on the Red and the world, and you have no lines and no people at the crag with you than you can. However, you are only fooling yourself. The Red is physically located in The United States of America. We are a capitalist economy, and climbing is still a business. Right now business is good.
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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by pigsteak » Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:13 pm

booyah..btw, the Shell was bought for 1.5 mil last year..you sure you want to buy that?
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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by EricDorsey » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:57 pm

cletuswilcox wrote:RED. RED. RED.
Why do you have to yell RED at us everytime? Just curious as to why it gets all caps everytime you post...

And you can wish for less media exposure all you want but its a pretty unrealistic expectation. Almost as unrealistic as the red having no project/permadraws.

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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by dustonian » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:01 pm

I agree. Writing RED in all caps like that only encourages more people to come here and clog up locals' bad ass projects with their asinine stoogery.

(wink)

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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by nik » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:29 pm

just thought i'd give my opinion as an outsider (relative, at least).

i got into climbing in the last three years -- a bouldering gym in the south. moved to indiana and got into the gym scene there. loved indoor climbing. then, i discovered that there was this "world-class climbing destination" in kentucky. kentucky, i thought...that kentucky? the horses and basketball kentucky? yes, that kentucky. had absolutely no idea there were the type of geological formations that there are in the eastern part of the state. i also had very little understanding of the differences between sport and trad climbing, although i learned that pretty quickly. i began to notice people in my gym talking about going on trips and thought that i might like to do that at some point as i knew that i wanted to climb outdoors one day (although, in my head at the time that meant mostly big-wall climbing in the west...i was going to climb mountains!!!).

i signed up for a guided outdoor trip and off we went (to bruisebros and the shire to ham it up with all the other newbs, no doubt). i had the time of my life, as i know many of you can understand. fell in love with the red and have been back often in the last couple of years. i have also brought friends with me. people who i have brought into the sport and people who similarly love the red now.

i tell this story because i think it is probably fairly representative of the experiences of many climbers in this part of the country. you get into climbing through gyms, meet people who climb outside, and eventually make the leap. i also tell this story because at no time did i think about how many routes and crags there were at the red. i was told it was awesome, so i went. i can think of no logical way that increasing the amount of climbing areas at the red (through whatever mechanism -- cc purchasing new land, gaining access again to old lands, bolting on forest service land, or whatever) will increase the number of climbers who come. someone please draw that out for me. access to a new cliff is gained and some people in ohio...what, think their day at the crag will be less crowded? have they been waiting on new climbs because they have exhausted the hundreds and hundreds of existing routes?

i really don't think that the climbing community grows with the number of available routes to climb at the red. nor do i think that more people will come if more climbs go up. the increase in the # of climbers seems almost certainly independent of anything that happens at any one particular climbing area.

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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by toad857 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:20 am

nik wrote:i really don't think that the climbing community grows with the number of available routes to climb at the red. nor do i think that more people will come if more climbs go up. the increase in the # of climbers seems almost certainly independent of anything that happens at any one particular climbing area.
I agree.

And I think that most people who have climbed at the Red for a while have been on all sides of the fences, been around the block, heard every argument... and ultimately they settle on this one, too.

I wonder how things will change after the PMRP is paid off--presumably there should be some money out there to buy more land? Maybe?

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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by Cinnamon » Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:47 pm

[quote="cletuswilcox"] As a local climbing community we have opened our arms to people like Keith Ladsinsky, Andy Mann, Sasha Digullian, Jonathon Seigrist, Dan Brayack, (the list goes on.....) to come to the RED and plug us in completely to mainstream climbing media. I would add that the amount of exposure the RRG gets from these climbers/photographers benefits their pocketbooks and resumes and thats about it. I would agree that we've almost reached a pont of no return as far as exposure goes but that dosent mean that trying to limit the media's free run of the RED isnt something to consider. Personally I'd like to see a moritorium on all corporate media exposure on our climbing areas. I find this to be the number one reason the RED is a complete shit show. A COMPLETE SHIT SHOW! just my opinion[/quote]

It only benefits their pocketbooks? Ever heard of a guy named 'Miguel' who owns a little pizza shop?

And what do you mean youve opened your arms? Its an outdoor crag in a free country. These people can climb and photograph wherever they want. How would you limit the media? By running these people off with guns when they arent doing anything wrong? Speaking of that- the word is you guys were carrying weapons when you showed up to steal the permadraws. Is that true?

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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by Yasmeen » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:02 pm

I wish Andrew hadn't started this thread. Without it, the PD thread could have been 10 pages longer, and would have been that much closer to beating the climbing photo thread's length to win the #1 spot on this board.
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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by cletuswilcox » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:21 pm

Cinnamon-
I'm pretty sure about half of us had handguns when we removed the draws from the undertow. The half of us that had them have had and probably will have them with us when we climb in the southern region. This is because break in's at the lode is a problem. The three or four of us that bring them usually spend some of their climbing day in the southern region sitting in the woods providing security to the parked cars in the lot. I guess people are still confused as to whether or not the draws were "stolen". They were not. IF ANYONE HAD DRAWS EQUIPPED ON THE UNDERTOW THEY ARE WAITING TO BE CLAIMED. And yes it is a free country, anyone is welcome to climb at any of the cliffs at the RED that have secured access. By "the local climbing community opening our arms to visiting climbers" I'm referring to the group of people who have labored to develop crags, secure their access, publish them, fundraise to purchase permanent gear so the visiting crowds can have a greater convenience at the crag, etc. In years past local climbing communities have not been so welcoming. If you'd like a comparison visit any local surf break in the US and see how welcoming the local surfing community can be. My point about the media is that media exposure has an impact on the crag-FACT. It is an issue that is completely appropriate to this specific forum. Using Keith, Andy, Sasha and Jonathon in my previous post was not a judgement on their character but was an example of visiting climbers who, in my opinion have a significant impact on the RRG. Cinnamon, do you disagree with me that media promotion, especially from high-profile photographers and climbers, has an impact on crowds at the RRG?

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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by cletuswilcox » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:27 pm

ericdorsey- Sorry man its an old habit.

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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by kato » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:32 pm

This whole overcrowding thing is an illusion. Most of the time I don't see anyone at all. I think this is just all of the RRC.com people seeing each other and getting sick of it.
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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by climb2core » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:02 pm

cletuswilcox wrote:Cinnamon-
I'm pretty sure about half of us had handguns when we removed the draws from the undertow. The half of us that had them have had and probably will have them with us when we climb in the southern region. This is because break in's at the lode is a problem.
Yeah, totally understandable carrying. You never know what group of thugs with guns you might run into in the middle of the night at the Undertow wall. Oh wait... never mind.

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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by EricDorsey » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:06 pm

Seriously? You guys are really bringing hand guns to the crag? Another brilliant idea by the CREW if thats true.... It sucks the break ins are happening but vigilante justice and a bunch of random people walking around with handguns is obviously not the answer.

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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by mikeyw » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:31 pm

Cletus: first off, I would wreck Sasha Digiulian in a street fight. Last year I challenged Paul Robinson to arm wrestle me. He took one glance at my bicep and declined. Pro climbers fear me. FACT!

Secondly, it seems like your whole stance on overcrowding is contradictory. Looking at it from a big picture perspective it seems like the popularity of the Red can be traced back to one event: the Roctrip. Pre Roctrip the Red was a little known backwater (overall). It also suffered from some serious issues with access. Yes, that event and the coinciding media explosion put the Red firmly on the map. But wasn't that partially intentional? You guys (excuse me 'the crowds') just paid off the PMRP right? You own it now. Would that have happened without 'the crowds' pitching in? That's just one example. It seems you've taken a stance of "Thanks for coming, and thanks for leaving!"

And you can't blame Siegrist for climbing in the Red. He has no ill intent for the region. He just wants to climb 5.14+. So who's fault is it? Kenny Barker's? Do you think Kenny had ill intent when he bolted Lucifer, Golden Ticket, etc... Was it Porter's fault? I think you need to abandon this quest to figure out who or what is at fault and just accept the current state of affairs. The red is the best sport climbing in America, everyone knows about it, everyone wants to enjoy it. Yes they are going to keep coming and yes, they are going to take pictures, and yes, when Siegrist sends the Vader project I'm going to write a story about it and post it online for everyone around the world to see. Those are just facts. Blaming the media is not going to change anything because the media is not going to change.

I completely respect your efforts at trying to preserve the Red and my guess is that despite me giving you a hard time on the internet we're not too different. In fact you might remember that I wrote this last year in an attempt to use "corporate media" for the purpose of education. I did not get paid to write the article. It did not pad my pocket book.

http://www.dpmclimbing.com/articles/vie ... -revulsion

I think we see eye to eye on the state of affairs at the Red. The difference is how you are going about it vs. how I think people should go about bringing social change. And that is with the consent of the RRGCC based on public opinion. As it stands now your actions just look like those of a militant band of rebels... gun-toting rebels! From an outsider perspective that garners little respect from a very large community of people that love the Red.

And lastly, I'd hate to shoot myself in the foot by saying this but... It's dead empty over here at the New. If you really don't like the crowds, why not take a vacation and enjoy 2500 routes on perfect rock with no one around? You probably climb pretty hard. There are 61 5.13a's here, most of which have no chalk. Routes of all styles (some steeper than anything at the Red) on perfect rock up to 5.14b and harder projects. NO fixed draws! Short approaches. You want to bolt new stuff? I can show you 2 miles of virgin cliff that is 100 feet high with zero choss. And if you and any others want to come here, it will lessen the impact at the Red. That would be actually doing something.

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Re: The crowds are not going away... So what do we do?

Post by Cinnamon » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:33 pm

I certainly agree that media coverage of the Red contributes to the number of people who choose to visit.

But, what else would you expect? The Red is one of the best/the best sport crag in the country. Naturally hard climbers will want to climb there, people will video/photograph them, and people will write articles about it. What method could you use to try to fight this? Intimidate Americas best climbers into not coming? Bully people into a media blackout? Why should the magazines not be allowed to cover what goes on in the Red? That's crazy!

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