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

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

Post by Shamis » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:41 pm

ynp1 wrote:Look at the Gunks... It is $17 a day to climb and it is still stupid backed. Worst then any crag I have seen in the red.
The gunks could be much worse than it is. Camping at the gunks is a bitch. Paying 17 bucks a day sucks. But it is really close to a huge number of people (NYC, PHL, BOS etc), and it has a ton of really great routes under 5.9 that are worth doing. That's a recipe for disaster.

One of the few things the red had going for it in terms of crowds was the difficulty of the climbing(very few worthwhile moderates), but by putting lots of bolts close together with permadraws that barrier to entry was removed.

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

Post by Shamis » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:43 pm

EricDorsey wrote:How about the New? Its basically the same distance as the red from most places in Michigan/Ontario yet it seems like a majority of the people come here cause ITS THE RED!!!! Same with people driving from the south passing all the great crags down there to come to the red. Just seems like its the place to be even though there is a ton of other great places out there.
I think the only conclusion that can be drawn is that people in the midwest really like pizza.

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

Post by EricDorsey » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:53 pm

I know its probably blasphemous to say around here but I thought Pies and Pints was just as good.

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

Post by pigsteak » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:58 pm

naw, eric, you are spot on....pies n pints is excellent pizza
Positive vibes brah...positive vibes.

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

Post by charlie » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:11 pm

goodguy wrote:All good until the beard part and then "something delicate like knitting or Mtn. Biking??" Really? Mtn. Biking? Let me take you Mtn. Biking, I'll even let you use one of my rigs and we'll see how delicate you think it is.

Last time I checked even pigsteak had to wipe off his feet before starting a route and he brushed his shirt off if there happened to be any chalk on it.

JK
Mountain Biking is totally too delicate for climbers, so boring it's really only small children that can entertain themselves with it. It's so little fun no chuffers should even think about wasting their time. Knitting on the other hand is quite the rage these days.

Also, just wanted to let everyone know I miss this place, miss it like an endless chain of overpriced, watered down drinks or a good case of the clap. Kipper's ability to argue with himself never fails to entertain.

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

Post by pigsteak » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:15 pm

lol...miss you too charlie....but karen and virginia are bad ass knitters, so ya better watch yer words there.
Positive vibes brah...positive vibes.

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

Post by LK Day » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:53 pm

There was a time when climbing was technically hard, dangerous and tons of fun. The crowds stayed away, in droves.
Today climbing is technically easy, safe and tons of fun. The crowds come, in droves.
We reap what we have sown.

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

Post by bcombs » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:59 pm

In general, the barrier to entry for the Red is very, very low. Plenty of access to multiple areas, a broad spectrum of route grade, high quantity of routes, etc, etc... With perma-draws in play the problem worsens, the required gear list is minimal and cheap. No difficulty in finding others to take you out or just use the book / GPS coordinates to walk you to the crag. It's all very easy and accessible.

All the things I just listed are part of the reason the crowds are huge, but if we are being honest with ourselves, it is also part of the reason that every one of us started. (With the exception of Day and the Capt'n :)). It's also part of the reason we all love and continue coming to the Red.

I love climbing, just like we all do. I love the Red. Since I've been hurt I've missed the area like crazy. We need to find a way to come together and come to some kind of concensus on the direction to head in. When is the next Coalition meeting?

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

Post by bcombs » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:00 pm

Larry summed it up better than me. :lol:

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

Post by LK Day » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:21 pm

bcombs wrote:Larry summed it up better than me. :lol:
Ah, but your more scholarly outlook points toward at least a partial solution.

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

Post by mssmith » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:28 pm

The only solution is to Flee. The remainder of my fall is being spend at Obed, linville, redrocks possibly T-wall. The red will still be here in december and July. That being said i'm new to climbing in this area so it's probably me who you'll be fleeing from.

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

Post by Shamis » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:20 pm

You should also make sure to have enough trail days so that you could roll a fat cripple up to the crag to climb. Access is important.

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

Post by camhead » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:35 am

pigsteak wrote:naw, eric, you are spot on....pies n pints is excellent pizza
First off, I'd appreciate if everyone stops mentioning other climbing areas, I like the NRG and the Obed just the way they are. :)

A lot has been said about the reasons for crowds at the Red, and they're all true: cheap camping, rising popularity of climbing gyms, great guidebook, proximity to tons of population centers, publicity by both climbing media and even the rrgcc in order to get funds; they're all attracting the masses.

Above all, it's the nature of the rock. Technique for climbing the Red's pockets translates incredibly easily from a gym background, perhaps more easily than any other climbing area in the nation. Also unlike a lot of other climbing areas, the fact that so many climbs here are endurance-oriented, and lack single hard moves, really make it easy for "project climbers" to get on routes over their heads, bolt-to-bolt, and convince themselves that they can send. This is not a bad thing by itself; it's the key to improvement, but when combined with the above non-climbing factors, it creates a shitshow.

Finally, we have the ways that developers and users approach the rock: safe bolting, some grade featherbagging that caters to scorecard wankers, and perma/long term project draws all make it easier for people to get on climbs. Regardless of whether you agree or not, all of these contribute to rising crowds here.


The solution is going to be tough, and deserves serious discussion. We have to find something between the extremes of a complete free-for-all, and a complete draconian shut-down. But, all of these actions deserve consideration from us, the community, and public and private land managers:

-raise the prices at Miguel's
-start sandbagging route grades more
-charge for parking
-actively acquire and develop more crags (crowds are more concentrated at crags this fall with the closing of Roadside, obviously)
-start cutting down on the culture of accepting perma-draws, whether by land managers' policy, or just a general shift in the mass consensus
-increase education efforts to show visitors what is and is not accepted here
-enact more bureaucratic hurdles (what if everyone had to go through some sort of Hueco-style training/education seminar in order to climb at PMRP?)

None of these actions would work by themselves. I'm sure that, say, this weekend, when word gets out that there are no permadraws at the Undertow Wall, numbers at the Motherlode would probably be down 30% or so. But most people who would opt to not go there would simply go to another crag at the Red; they would not stay home. Similarly, I guarantee that if Ray were to, say, downgrade Snooker to 12c/d, numbers of climbers on it would significantly go down, but those climbers would just go clog up Spank, or the Force.

What I'm saying is that we all here needs to rethink prevailing ethics, both from a bottom-up community perspective, and a top-down managerial perspective.
faceholdonacrackclimbDAB!

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

Post by clausti » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:49 am

Wanna see less people at your favorite rr crag?

TL;DNR: Make things more of a pain in the ass.

Long version:

- Charge more for camping. Not because it will discourage dirtbags, who are actually a community resource for transmitting the culture of what is appropriate, because of their continuity, but because $2 camping sure encourages the hell out of some college outdoor clubs to come stay for a week. Which usually have a very high climber to leader ratio (making them TR gangbangers, and slow) and also those one or few leaders are often already trying to impress/maintain control over the group, so while they may be ignorant, they're also resistant to anyone saying anything to them.

- ask/require that college outdoor groups that are official club outings register or something before they camp at Miguel's/climb at PMRP/climb at Muir. (I think that Muir already asks that groups above a certain size check in before climbing- how well does that work?) This would at least give the community a point of access to tell people what's not OK. Reprint the grigri belay instructions, tell them to let people climb through if their rope is hanging with no one climbing on it, ect.

- Downgrade everything two letters. Anybody think Ro Shampo would have been loved so much if it'd been 11c?

- Make everyone park farther away from the climbing. You think the lode would be so crowded if you had to walk up that hill at the end of the day? there's pretty much always an inverse relationship between douches and approach time.



Things that won't change-

- the rock is steep. Most sport falls are going to BE safe, as well as FEEL incredibly safe. This is a huge part of why people like the red better than the New. Leading at the New in the 5.12 range is much more mentally difficult than leading at the Red in the 5.12 range.

- the route are, for the vast majority's part, not reachy. there are intermediates and FEET all over the place. This is also different than the New, or the Gunks, or some of the NC areas. This contributes to the "friendly" feel.


Things I don't think should change-

- Bolting practices. Deliberately scary or stupid-long runouts on rap-bolted sport routes are just dumb.

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

Post by clausti » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:02 am

Actually, there's one more note I'd like to make. One way the "community" can communicate it's values to new climbers? You can open your fucking mouth and say something at the crag.

So on my very first trip to the Red, when you could still camp up near Oil Crack Crag, me and a whole group of other college douches borrowed somebody's daddy's SUV and filled it to capacity and took a fall break trip to the red. (we were camping up there, I don't think we actually went to Miguel's that trip.)

And we ignorantly parked the car in front of an oil thing when we went to the crag. And how did we find out we should not have done that? Terry (*pours out some 40*) announced his presence at the crag by cursing out the ignorant fucks that had done that, all the way up to the crag. So we were kinda like "who the fuck is this guy yelling at us?" But we moved the car.

And then when I was trying (and failing) to put up some route, and getting the only kind of catch my friends knew how to give, sit-down-and-lock-off-just-like-top-rope-yeah?, Terry yelled at us again. (what the fuck, old man??) But then he gave us a lesson in soft catches. And then he rescued our draws when I couldn't get to the top of whatever 5.10 it was.

So yeah. Another way to so something about ignorant fucks- you could actually try reaching out to them at the crag instead of bitching on the internet.

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