I read an article today in “Rock and Ice” magazine on the circus that’s been going on down in Ten Sleep Canyon in Wyoming. This whole charade makes climbers look like a bunch of dumb hicks that can’t tell their heads from their rear ends and certainly can’t pull their heads out of said rear ends! Do these people realize how the “outside world”, ie. non-climbers, must perceive us and how we solve problems?! I was outraged to read what’s been going on down there because I really enjoy climbing in my home state of Wyoming, and this is a slap in the face to any respectable climber, which those who are non-climbers may not think exist at this point…
First of all, rise to the natural grade of the route – don’t lower the grade of the route to your abilities. If you can’t climb that route yet, then move on to something else and return when you’re good enough to send the route. Don’t alter the route for the sake of your personal gain because you ruin nature, and you ruin it for the rest of us. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! If you think it’s all about you, find some other sport besides climbing to be a part of. We don’t want you in our community if you’re going to ruin nature for the rest of us and manufacture or alter routes for your own petty personal gain. Believe it or not, it’s a community effort, and one’s failure or screw-up reflects on all of us when it comes to altering and manufacturing routes.
Second of all, don’t ruin the access to public lands for climbers by being a selfish pig and chipping, manufacturing, or altering natural routes. You’ll get us all banned from the area and that’s, again, SELFISH. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! Go find some other group to hang out with before you get us all kicked off the crags if you’re going to be that stupid.
Third, if you see someone committing said heinous acts in the climbing world, such as chipping, manufacturing, or altering routes in a way that is not acceptable in the area, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! I’m talking about the climbing coalitions, here. When there are complaints or reports of unethical behavior, don’t just talk about it, bicker about it, moan and groan about it, fight about it, or whatever. BAN THE OFFENDER(S) FROM THE AREA AND MAKE IT CLEAR THAT IT’S NOT ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR!!! That’s your duty as advocates for the climbing community. If you can’t stand up for us, then step down and let somebody with a backbone have your position so that we can continue to enjoy nature and public lands. The last thing we need is an outside regulatory agency telling us what we can and can’t do, and that’s exactly what we’re going to have if you can’t get your acts together. We can do this ourselves, but it takes people who are dedicated to preserving our natural crags and the integrity of the sport of climbing to do it! SO GET TO IT!