Just want to take a quick sec to thank Shawn White, I just added to two files in the route map section of this blog that Shawn sent me. They are by far the most complete climbing maps for the Gull pond area. The Gull pond guide book I just added is the original guide book that Shawn spend years making( you can see his hand written notes on the file). If if wasn't for all the work Shawn did at GP I dout there be any climbing there today.
Any climber worth his chalk-bag will practice good climber etiquette. Most of us think climber etiquette refers to things like not hogging a route or spotting your fellow climber; those are all good practices but what I want to talk about is trail use and littering. I think all can agree that it’s important and should be openly discussed.
It wasn’t long ago that climbing was viewed as an outsider sport, just a bunch of young’uns playing on rocks. Climbers were dirt-bags living in their tents, now don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my dirt-bag days and still tell half true stories of yesteryear and the 5:13s that got away (a story for a later day). Sadly, if I’m being honest there were definitely times I wasn’t the best at sticking to trails or picking up after myself.
Trail use and littering are important topics because it’s not fun climbing around garbage, and if we are not careful soon a favorite climb spot could become no longer fun or safe. For example, glass bottles lead to broken class, broken class leads to cut feet, cut feet leads to no climbing, no climbing leads to the Darkside and then the Empire wins.
Also, public image is everything. We don’t want others who may or may not climb but still use the area to view climbing negatively. Once those pesky climbers become a problem it only takes a few people making complaints and climbing gets shut down or now there is a charge to climb. Sure, there’s an argument that if more people are using the area maybe climbers aren’t the ones doing the littering and making trails every which way. This may be the case but sadly, I can say with out a doubt, climbers will be blamed for it. So I suggest you pick up the trash, even if it’s not yours and stick to established trails.
I personally feel as a climber we need to be over the top respectful of the trail systems and keeping the area clean. If you’re climbing with me and you go off trail or throw trash on the ground, be prepared for the stink eye of your life.