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

Posts here will show on front page
Post Reply
shear
Gumby
Gumby
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:51 am

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

Post by shear » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:26 am

The number of routes 5.5-5.9 in the Red is ridiculous. If you want the crowds to thin, stop bolting those.

I also agree with the cheap camping, it's SO easy to live there for a season or even two. But it's the weekenders that are creating all the accidents and shitshow atmosphere that seems to be the issue of late. I think the first step has already been done: stripping fixed gear where it's not a necessity. Obviously a lot of routes need it there, but a lot don't either. The Undertow is not THAT steep...neither is the GMC wall. Plenty of crags in the Chattanooga area have a no fixed draw rule and you just have cleaner biners...not that hard to clean, and they are steeper than the Undertow and GMC.

It might be worthwhile to compare what's going on in the Red to what's happening in OTHER worldclass US climbing areas around these parts that don't have any crowds. Take some notes and execute. :wink:

User avatar
pigsteak
The Crocodile Hunter
The Crocodile Hunter
Posts: 9684
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 2:49 pm
Location: Like Prince my name has now changed..please call me Piglovely.

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

Post by pigsteak » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:27 am

clausti wrote: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.
this is the best ever..I also had a similar experience on the very first route I bolted at the Red.
Positive vibes brah...positive vibes.

Canuck
The Little Engine Who Could
Posts: 348
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 8:46 am
Location: Toronto

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

Post by Canuck » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:29 pm

Y'all are forgetting one of the best reasons to go to the Red: bourbon!

But seriously, I think the biggest reason folks from Ontario (and New York) are going there in droves is advertising. Magazines, word of mouth, youtube videos, etc. In the last 2 weeks, I've had 4 separate Ontarians email me or facebook youtube videos of the Red, two asking me what beta I can give about those climbs. (maybe we should fine everyone who posts a youtube video of Ro Shampo... use that money to buy some more property). In general, the Red has had a lot more advertising over the last decade than The New, Obed, North Carolina, or the Gunks. It's known for awesome rock quality, it's where the rockstars go in the fall so it must be good, there are a large number of crags each with enough 4* or 5* climbs in close proximity to each other, there are enough easy sport climbs for your less experienced friends, it's a great place to learn and teach new climbers, etc... all of that has been very well-advertised recently (yes, if we hadn't advertised, we maybe wouldn't have made the mortgage payments every year).

Also, it's south, so it's warm! Leading run-out multi-pitch trad on cold, damp rock when you're shivering uncontrollably and can't feel your fingers kinda sucks (did that last weekend, 2 weeks earlier I wore my mittens while seconding a climb). Up here, the season is wrapping up. I'll probably take a couple more one-day trips to some crag on warm days, but I doubt I'll have any more overnight climbing trips in this area til May. So if you live up north and can take off 4+ days, you go to the Red.

Also, it's a 1-day drive for anyone on the eastern seaboard or in southern Ontario, so it's an ideal long-weekend or vacation climbing destination... cheaper than flying to Vegas or Yosemite or El Potrero Chico, but not the same old place we go every weekend.

(and to those calling knitting safe, clearly you've never impaled a 1/8" steel needle into your hand (yes, I'm a klutz, what's your point))

Steve_RRG
Gumby
Gumby
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:35 pm

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

Post by Steve_RRG » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:32 pm

Eliminate all the routes rated 5.11a or higher.

User avatar
clif
Loser
Loser
Posts: 1731
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 5:24 pm

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

Post by clif » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:39 pm

when i hear 'management' all i think of is "Yosemite Climbing Management Plan". not to judge that.

but if the state discovers that this climbing and biking thing makes money and there are 'issues' i bet it'll become a Recreational Area, dws will be a crime, and you'll pay more than two dollars a night to camp.

problem "solved"
Last edited by clif on Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
training is for people who care, i have a job.

User avatar
Pumpkin
Gumby
Gumby
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:13 am

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

Post by Pumpkin » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:42 pm

camhead wrote:
-start sandbagging route grades more

- 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.

I like this idea. Downgrade everything 10d and under by 1 letter grade and everything 11a and up by 2 letter grades!

Wolf
Poser
Poser
Posts: 363
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 9:14 pm
Contact:

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

Post by Wolf » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:38 pm

Artsay wrote:It's 100% the problem. If Miguel's increased camping to $8/night, much of the problems we're seeing would go away.
Folks come here for weeks and even months at a time. They "live" at Miguel's instead of go on climbing trips.

Camping is $8/night in Maple Canyon (without water) and there are limited spots. If folks don't have camping figured out, they don't go.
Ever boulder at Hueco Tanks? It's such a hastle to plan and schedule within all the limitations that folks plan annual trips elsewhere.

Look at the cars at Miguel's and do the math.
If it wasn't $2/night, it wouldn't be as crowded (and IMO if the prices were increased, Miguel's would make more money and would see more paying customers instead of folks living in their cars eating their own food).

A $30 parking pass pays for a year of camping in the Daniel Boone National Forest. And last time I was at Maple, people with decent 4WD vehicles simply drove up the mountain past the campground and climbing, and then camped for free with a water source. As for hueco, I'd rather the Red not be a giant pain in the ass to visit.

Also, if you want to take more than 1 shower a week or use the internet, camping at Lago linda's is actually cheaper than miguel's, so you'll have to get Linda to raiser her prices as well. Oh, and Land of the Arches too.
http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/496691/daniel_beck.html

User avatar
Corona
Gumby
Gumby
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:18 pm
Location: Corydon, IN or Waitomo, New Zealand

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

Post by Corona » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:08 pm

Media attention, mostly. Locals could get real unfriendly-like? Just checked Smith, Rifle, Maple, and Lander--nobody's there. Everybody...EVERYBODY has gone to the Red this October, except for a few token roadtripping Euros. Don't know about you guys, but I'm going to the New. ;)

Re: $2/night dirtbag climber problem. Seriously? Have you spent even one season here? That accounts for significantly less than 20 climbers per season. Anyway, free camping abounds for real dirtbags.

mssmith
Gumby
Gumby
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 12:15 pm

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

Post by mssmith » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:25 pm

Can anyone attest to whether cash box and online donations to RRGCC and Muir valley significantly increase during October? If so then aren't crowds a good thing? More people -> more money -> more land to climb on? I'm sure that owners of the lesser publicized businesses i.e. LOA, rockhouse, koops, aren't complaining about crowds.

dustonian
BANNED
Posts: 3089
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:46 am
Location: Lex/Zoe

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

Post by dustonian » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:26 pm

Nah, they're probably still complaining at Koop's ;)

User avatar
Rotarypwr345704
I said I'd donate $100 to the RRGCC, and nobody posted in the MF thread after I said that
Posts: 393
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:27 pm

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

Post by Rotarypwr345704 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:20 pm

Artsay wrote:$2/night camping is the problem. This is breeding the infestation of dirtbag climbers whom are the primary issue.
I'm afraid I don't agree with you on this one, Michelle. I mean do you ever camp at Miggies? (I ask because I don't know, but I'm assuming you don't) 90% of the time when I come to the Gorge, it is more convienent for me to camp than not. I think it's really easy to say this-or-that needs to change when it doesn't affect you in the slightest. Typically, the best course of action is what can I do better? Even for those of us who feel like they do a lot. I would almost guarantee that every single one of us could be better and give more. I think it is this kind of thinking we have to adopt as a community.
I fell for the everyone-shut-up-and-ill-donate-money scheme. -Ray Ellington, guidebook gawd

My name is Sam Douglass and I love to pose for photo shoots holding on to a jug with only one hand (and no feet!) with my best friend Ian.

User avatar
Artsay
SCIN's
Posts: 3397
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2002 11:11 am
Location: Lexington, KY
Contact:

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

Post by Artsay » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:40 pm

Just my opinion and you know what they say about assholes and opinions....we all have one! :-)

When I was young *sigh*....
Some can't possibly believe this but the old crusties were all dirtbaggers at one time. Tis true...
And having been one I know exactly what it's like and why I climbed at certain places. Being a UGA college grad, the Red and the New were top pics because camping was easy and cheap. Other places like T-Wall, with limited sites and frequent break-ins, were always a pain and would get bumped down on the weekend warrior list as result. Same with Mt. Yonah, we used to be able to camp there so easilty but then it all changed and we didn't go there anymore. But of course, Mt. Yonah is no Red River Gorge...

But in general...yea, I think it does make a difference that camping is cheap and Miguel's is so awesome. We can't change Miguel's being so awesome and don't want to but I do think raising the price of camping will help make people think twice about going to the Red for every trip.
Does he have a strange bear claw like appendage protruding from his neck? He kep petting it.

User avatar
climb2core
Loser
Loser
Posts: 2224
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:04 pm

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

Post by climb2core » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:08 pm

Artsay wrote:Just my opinion and you know what they say about assholes and opinions....we all have one! :-)

When I was young *sigh*....
Some can't possibly believe this but the old crusties were all dirtbaggers at one time. Tis true...
And having been one I know exactly what it's like and why I climbed at certain places. Being a UGA college grad, the Red and the New were top pics because camping was easy and cheap. Other places like T-Wall, with limited sites and frequent break-ins, were always a pain and would get bumped down on the weekend warrior list as result. Same with Mt. Yonah, we used to be able to camp there so easilty but then it all changed and we didn't go there anymore. But of course, Mt. Yonah is no Red River Gorge...

But in general...yea, I think it does make a difference that camping is cheap and Miguel's is so awesome. We can't change Miguel's being so awesome and don't want to but I do think raising the price of camping will help make people think twice about going to the Red for every trip.
Saying that Miguel is a significant cause of crowding at the Red is like saying that one drop of water filled the bucket. It is just one factor of hundreds that could be mentioned...
-Media
-Proximity to population
-Climate
-Huge amount of quality moderate and advanced rock to climb on
-Ease of Approach
-Fun steep climbing
-Your hubbies guidebook ;)

The list goes on ad nauseum.... why even mention Miguels as a cause? You can't change it and Miguels has always been a huge resource for climbers in the Red.

User avatar
Artsay
SCIN's
Posts: 3397
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2002 11:11 am
Location: Lexington, KY
Contact:

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

Post by Artsay » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:19 pm

Andrew wrote:The crowds are not going to go away, so what do we do as a community? I am not talking about just fixed draws, nor am I blaming any one person or group of people, but how do we as a climbing community safely manage the large amount of people. We have more parking, camping, and businesses catering to climbers than ever. How do we manage all of this?
I thought I was answering Andrew's question on things we can change to manage the surge in visitors?
I'll edit my post to say it's not 100% of the problem, I was wrong in saying that but I do think it's a significant factor.
Does he have a strange bear claw like appendage protruding from his neck? He kep petting it.

User avatar
clif
Loser
Loser
Posts: 1731
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 5:24 pm

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

Post by clif » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:22 pm

i'm delighted by the number of voices that have been heard the last few days and believe that has made not only any consensus stronger, but more capable in addressing other issues.

i sense a lot of potential if the attention is properly leveraged. i definitely hope that every member of this crowd antes at least 20 dollars (a year) and strong opinions on where it goes (what land?).
training is for people who care, i have a job.

Post Reply