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Old 08-19-2010, 11:10 AM   #1
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Nine Corners story online

Alan Wechsler has written a story about the Nine Corners bouldering fields for the Adirondack Explorer. You find the story and pix here.
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Old 08-19-2010, 12:00 PM   #2
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How does the DEC and others feel about climbers "cleaning moss" off of boulders?

There are few things more beautiful in the forest than a moss cloaked, polypody fern capped erratic - I know I'd be exceptionally ticked if some climber came along and "cleaned" the moss and other vegetation off of a boulder, which undoubtedly took centuries to accumulate. "Cleaning moss" strikes me as a selfish act of vandalism.

If moss or other vegetation needs to be "cleaned" off a particular boulder or cliff, then you should probably climb a different one.
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:10 PM   #3
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Agreed! But then we are a selfish species and seldom think about those who follow.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
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fisher39 -do you think that hiking trails should be maintained?
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:00 AM   #5
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fisher39 -do you think that hiking trails should be maintained?
I have mixed feelings on that regard - I so far, have refused to hike on the main trails of the Adirondacks - largely because I go to the woods to avoid people - and, a large number of people can be found on said trails because (as I understand from pics and reading) they can lead just about any schmo off the street into the woods - where I am trying to get away from them.

However, I can not dismiss the fact that having the trails may be keeping those people confined to a few specific areas - leaving me a lot of room to enjoy woods without having to deal with them.

I know that sounds selfish, but I go to the north woods for selfish reasons.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:03 AM   #6
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fisher39 -do you think that hiking trails should be maintained?
The proper question should be whether I think individuals should cut their own trails (or campsites, or whatever else) wherever they see fit. The answer to that is no. Especially if it mars a landmark feature, as erratic boulders tend to be.

If the DEC wants to create bouldering "trails" that require removing vegetation, that's fine, but individuals shouldn't be taking it upon themselves to "clean" boulders to make it easier for them and a few others to do what they want to do.

This behavior shouldn't be condoned by the Adirondack Explorer or anyone else. I'm starting to realize that a lot of self-styled "environmentalists" are actually first and foremost "recreationalists" who only care about the environment and their impact on it up until the point it starts getting in the way of their preferred recreational activities.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:16 PM   #7
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Everybody out of the woods! Only the great father in Albany knows the right way to enjoy them.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:28 PM   #8
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Everybody out of the woods! Only the great father in Albany knows the right way to enjoy them.
Most of us enjoy the woods without altering them. It's a matter of respect for the others we share them with.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:37 PM   #9
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Fisher39 -You are either a hypocrite or just like being "the devils advocate". Below is a quote that you made in another thread about people who chopped down live trees next to a leanto.

"Russians! This clearly seems to be done out of ignorance. My guess is that from their previous outdoors experiences elsewhere, this is completely acceptable. I have a tough time getting upset at the perpetrators.

And frankly, aside from the safety issue, what's the problem? So a few trees were cut, what's the big deal? The Adirondacks are loaded with trees, and these surely will be replaced.

I'm obviously playing the devil's advocate here - none of us should be altering the public landscape for our own private pleasure - its a matter of respect for the environment, but more so for each other."

You have a tough time getting upset at people who chop down live trees but yet you get upset over people cleaning moss and lichen off of a boulder in order to climb them?
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:45 PM   #10
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C4C, did you read the last sentence of the quote you copied?

There is a difference between an act done out of ignorance and cluelessness, and one done by people who clearly know the rules and ethics that apply to using the Forest Preserve, yet feel that they are entitled to an exemption. This isn't the first time that the Adirondack Explorer has published an article condoning exceptions to the rules and ethics most of us follow out of a sense of stewardship for the land and respect for others.

You aren't entitled to deface public property. If you want to "clean" boulders, stick to ones on your own private property.
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:12 PM   #11
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I don't really think that maintaining hiking trails and scrubbing moss off of rocks can really be generalized in the same category. Think about why each activity is done.

Certainly, both actions are performed to open up access. Hiking trails, however, are cut and maintained because in doing so, you actually decrease the overall amount of impact. A well built hiking trail minimizes erosion, and also keeps everyone using the same general tread. Without well maintained trails, and this is especially the case in our most popular and best visited areas, you'd have herd paths spreading out, and lots of trampled vegetation. Our "trail-less" high peaks are an excellent example showing us that even without trails, many people would still take to the woods (and in fact, the impact on these mountains was getting so bad that we've started maintaining the herd paths to lessen it).

Boulders, however, are scrubbed free of their moss simply to make them more easily climbed. I guess a properly cleaned rock completely devoid of moss does have less of a visual impact than a rock where the moss has been torn at by climbers and is hanging in shreds, but as an argument in defense of the practice, this is stretching things a bit. In my mind, I have a lot of trouble developing arguments in defense of this practice.

It should also be noted that, moral issues and hypocrisy aside, removing moss from rocks on state land is illegal:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYS DEC
g. No person shall deface, remove, destroy or otherwise injure in any manner whatsoever any tree, flower, shrub, fern, fungi or other plant organisms, moss or other plant, rock, soil, fossil or mineral or object of archaeological or paleontological interest found or growing on State land, except for personal consumption or under permit from the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation and the Commissioner of Education, pursuant to section 233 of the Education Law.
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:29 PM   #12
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trust me there is plenty of personal consumption of Tripe and Lichen going on when you clean a route --hence the name of a route on Crane mt. "Eatin tripe and Lichen it"
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:57 AM   #13
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I like seeing moss & lichen...it can be rather mesmorizing....leave it where it is..
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:21 AM   #14
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I prefer to see trees...hiked the lower Great Range the other day...the "way" just keeps getting wider and bigger, with more and more downed trees and deep trenches...on the way by, I took a good look at Roostercomb...I could not see any hint of the several climbing routes that are on that cliff...
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:52 AM   #15
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This sort of bantering doesn't help anyone. Hikers, what about the multiple networks of trails up the "untrailed" peaks? Or those unofficial *cut* hiking trails on Giant and Snowy? Or the disgusting field of toilet paper and human waste in the woods at the Giant Trailhead? Anyone that has hiked off trail breaks branches and damages plants. Climbers, what about those cleaned swaths of lichen on Pitchoff? Or the eroded trails at the Beer Walls? We all have an impact on the environment. Let's spend more time minimizing our impact and not get caught up in pointing fingers at each other.

I find it amusing that climbers (and non-climbers) reminisce about old days of the boulders at McKenzie Pond. Realize that long before this was a bouldering destination, it was a wasteland from an industrial farm where fat was boiled into lard, leaving grisly pits of animal remains in amongst the boulders. Anyone that walks this picturesque field of boulders today will be grateful for the work of early climbers in cleaning up this mess.

It's unfortunate that we get caught up about some cleaned boulders at Nine Corners. To see these boulders, we have to turn our backs on the overt piles of garbage, beer cans, and other carnage left at the lake by the weekend partiers.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:04 PM   #16
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He started it.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:08 PM   #17
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This sort of bantering doesn't help anyone. Hikers, what about the multiple networks of trails up the "untrailed" peaks? Or those unofficial *cut* hiking trails on Giant and Snowy? Or the disgusting field of toilet paper and human waste in the woods at the Giant Trailhead? Anyone that has hiked off trail breaks branches and damages plants. Climbers, what about those cleaned swaths of lichen on Pitchoff? Or the eroded trails at the Beer Walls? We all have an impact on the environment. Let's spend more time minimizing our impact and not get caught up in pointing fingers at each other.

I find it amusing that climbers (and non-climbers) reminisce about old days of the boulders at McKenzie Pond. Realize that long before this was a bouldering destination, it was a wasteland from an industrial farm where fat was boiled into lard, leaving grisly pits of animal remains in amongst the boulders. Anyone that walks this picturesque field of boulders today will be grateful for the work of early climbers in cleaning up this mess.

It's unfortunate that we get caught up about some cleaned boulders at Nine Corners. To see these boulders, we have to turn our backs on the overt piles of garbage, beer cans, and other carnage left at the lake by the weekend partiers.
And those damned paddlers better start scouring their paint marks off those river stones, doncha think....?
The main thing is there is more & more traffic in the Adk's...rock climbers, hikers, paddlers, sportsmen, mt. bikers.....we all impact "Ma Nature"....just work hard at not doing that so much & leave things as natural as can be...not much we can do about the A-holes....either educate them or shoot 'em.....but they never seem to go away...every aspect of outddoor living has got them & they're multiplying rather than getting to be a less of a problem...

A couple of weeks ago I bushwhacked into a remote pond up there w/m son only to run into a group of guys from Jersey that were blowing off hand guns & fireworks from mid afternoon until 11:30pm ....ya have to fight hard to get away from the knuckleheads these days....
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:17 PM   #18
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The main thing is there is more & more traffic in the Adk's...rock climbers, hikers, paddlers, sportsmen, mt. bikers.....we all impact "Ma Nature"....just work hard at not doing that so much & leave things as natural as can be...
I'm honestly curious -- are there official statistics that show an increase in these recreational users? Does the DEC publish hiking stats gleaned from trailhead registers? I recall reading something about a decline in hikers, but I don't recall where I saw that.

There certainly are no stats on rock climbers. Anecdotally, the crowded cliffs (of which there are, like, less than 10) are still crowded, and the backcountry cliffs are rarely, if ever, visited.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:33 PM   #19
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I'm honestly curious -- are there official statistics that show an increase in these recreational users? Does the DEC publish hiking stats gleaned from trailhead registers? I recall reading something about a decline in hikers, but I don't recall where I saw that.

There certainly are no stats on rock climbers. Anecdotally, the crowded cliffs (of which there are, like, less than 10) are still crowded, and the backcountry cliffs are rarely, if ever, visited.
How often are you out there? it's getting to the point that I don't even like to go on weekends anymore....I believe there is more people than ever out there...I think that the only sport that's declining in nature is hunting...have you ever seen any of the High Peaks trailheads from July to October...? Even with bushwhacking there's so many people out there w/gps's buzzing about..

My point is all these people using these areas should just practice a low impact thing....don't try to change things....don't cut a tree down to make a better campsite, don't screw with a beaver dam so you can paddle easier. don't scape moss off of climbing rock, don't EVER leave anything behind & don't wipe yer butt with poison ivy etc.etc..so many folks just want to change things... how long did it take for the climbing crowd to stop pounding spikes into the rock before pitons became a better idea?There is so many out there that make an involuntary or intentonal input..so their life in the mts. can be easier...we need to as a group of lovers of the outdoors to unite somehow and don't look for the easy way out or try to rearrange nature..it's all going to be the end of things as we have been accustomed to if we don't. Leave it as natural as you can....walk lightfooted & leave a minimum trace of your prescence.

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Old 08-23-2010, 01:26 PM   #20
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My point is all these people using these areas should just practice a low impact thing....don't try to change things....don't cut a tree down to make a better campsite, don't screw with a beaver dam so you can paddle easier. don't scape moss off of climbing rock, don't EVER leave anything behind & don't wipe yer butt with poison ivy etc.etc..so many folks just want to change things... how long did it take for the climbing crowd to stop pounding spikes into the rock before pitons became a better idea?There is so many out there that make an involuntary or intentonal input..so their life in the mts. can be easier...we need to as a group of lovers of the outdoors to unite somehow and don't look for the easy way out or try to rearrange nature..it's all going to be the end of things as we have been accustomed to if we don't. Leave it as natural as you can....walk lightfooted & leave a minimum trace of your prescence.
Amen.
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