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Partner j_ung


May 12, 2006, 10:23 AM
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Access Fund Condemns Delicate Arch Ascent
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Robb Shurr, Access Fund
303-545-6772 x100
robb@accessfund.org

Policy Information Contact:

Jason Keith, Access Fund
303.545.6772 x102
jason@accessfund.org

Access Fund Condemns Recent Climb of Delicate Arch, UT

May 11, 2006, Boulder, CO- A recent ascent of Delicate Arch in Utah's Arches National Park has fueled a firestorm of media coverage and interest from federal land managers, politicians and the climbing community. See Park tweaks rules after Delicate Arch climb in the May 10
edition of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (http://www.sltrib.com/ci_3804296). Many individuals-both climbers and non-climbers-have expressed outrage at this event, and the climb has received both statewide and national media attention.

The Access Fund does not condone the climb of Delicate Arch and the
actions of this individual are not representative of the climbing community.

The Access Fund supports justifiable climbing restrictions which protect natural and cultural resources and works towards effective and reasonable climbing management policies in cooperation with land managers and the greater climbing community. This process of discussion limits unnecessary restrictions, results in climbing management policies based on mutual agreement, and helps to ensure cooperation and effective enforcement of climbing policies.

We trust the public will understand that the actions of one person should not condemn the larger community of climbers who are equally appalled by this event. The Access Fund urges all climbers to recognize and limit the impacts of their climbing practices on the environment and other users of the land and to respect existing closures. If questionable restrictions arise, climbing advocacy efforts opposing such unreasonable restrictions should follow proper administrative procedures.

Climbers pride themselves on respect for the environment and the Access
Fund's stewardship efforts around the country illustrate how the greater climbing public takes responsibility for their climbing resources.

On May 10, Access Fund policy director Jason Keith met with Arches National Park Supervisor Laura Joss to address these incidents as they relate to future climbing access in Arches National Park. At this meeting the Access Fund was told that while no immediate additional restrictions are planned, future climbing access in Arches and other national parks may be restricted as a result of the Delicate Arch incident. Utah's US Congressional delegation has also weighed in but the possibility of additional restrictions is not known at this time.


sidepull


May 12, 2006, 10:41 AM
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I find it laughable that neither Climbing nor Rock & Ice have even reported this let alone provide some sort of opinion regarding the matter. Their silence is telling - I think they're afraid to provide any sort of opinion because they either offend readers or Potter or both. Weak.

I just did a quick look at the "breaking news" on R&I (which is always out of date btw) and the latest story was regarding trying to save access to Mo's Valley and other areas in St. George. You can bet that Potter's send will cast a negative shadow on those negotiations. Sad. Truly sad.


Partner j_ung


May 12, 2006, 1:07 PM
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Give 'em a little time. This press release is breaking news; Access Fund emailed it to me and I posted it within hours. RC.com has the advantage over the mags in that respect -- to get it out there it only has to go through one person. In this case, that was li'l ol' me.


maldaly


May 14, 2006, 7:45 AM
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After I heard this many people asked me to chime in with my opinion. I had nothing but heresay and innuendo to go by so I got in touch with Dean and Steph to hear their story before I spewed.

Here's the deal: Dean asked a park ranger if it was okay to climb Delicate Arch and was given the go-ahead. At the time of Dean's climb, one week ago today, the official regulation said that "...named arches may be closed for all or a portion of the year due to aesthetic, wildlife or other resource-related concerns." What Dean did was legal, authorized and pre-aproved by the NPS. You may or may not agree with his decision to publicize the climb but that's Dean's deal, not yours. How many of you have seeked approval for climbing on a new cliff before climbing it?

I stand in awe of what he did. Bravo Dean.

To the Access Fund - I just got off the phone with Dean. He thinks it would have been really nice if someone from the AF had given him a call before releasing the above statement.

I also support the NPS' closure of the Arch to climbing. No doubt some idiot would bolt it (legal or not) and lots of traffic would ruin it

Malcolm Daly


curt


May 14, 2006, 10:30 AM
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In reply to:
After I heard this many people asked me to chime in with my opinion. I had nothing but heresay and innuendo to go by so I got in touch with Dean and Steph to hear their story before I spewed.

Here's the deal: Dean asked a park ranger if it was okay to climb Delicate Arch and was given the go-ahead...

You wouldn't mind providing that ranger's name and contact information, would you? That version of events seems highly unlikely to me. Jason Keith (AF Policy Director) was told in no uncertain terms, by the Park Supervisor (Laura Joss) that it was most certainly not OK for Potter to climb the arch. Even if some low level park ranger did tell Potter that it was OK to climb Delicate Arch (unlikely) Potter should still have known better.

By way of analogy, if I can find one policeman somewhere who tells me that it is OK to shoot a person who is breaking into my car--is it then OK for me to do so?

Curt


jdouble


May 14, 2006, 10:48 AM
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After I heard this many people asked me to chime in with my opinion. I had nothing but heresay and innuendo to go by so I got in touch with Dean and Steph to hear their story before I spewed.

You mean actually getting the facts? What are you, crazy?

Thanks Malcolm.


sidepull


May 14, 2006, 11:48 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
After I heard this many people asked me to chime in with my opinion. I had nothing but heresay and innuendo to go by so I got in touch with Dean and Steph to hear their story before I spewed.

You mean actually getting the facts? What are you, crazy?

Thanks Malcolm.

Facts? Please, think a little:

First of all, this being the internet, it's pretty difficult to conclude that Malcolm actually called Potter.

Second, if that is Potter's story it isn't fact, it's his interpretation of what happened and it's more than likely skewed to his favor given the backlash that's been brewing.

Third, why should the AF contact him - did he contact them before climbing the Arch?

Fourth, it's not a matter of people bolting delicate arch. 2-3 years ago a team was planning on climbing a peak in Nepal or Tibet (I forget which) that was considered sacred by the indigenous people - in other words, they didn't want it climbed. The climbing community at large effectively denounced the plans and the peak was never climbed. In many ways this situation is similar. Delicate Arch is not considered the home of deity, but it is one of the most recognizable formations in the world and was considered offlimits (both in legally and from a community perspective). It's a matter of a lack of respect. Some things should remain offlimits and respected. Do we need climbers free soloing Notre Dame to feel the vibrations from the Rose Window?


michaelmcguinn


May 14, 2006, 1:42 PM
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I totally disagree with Malcolm Daly and Dean Potter.

The law specifically has said that named arches are closed. This law has been out there for a long time and is nothing new.

Regulations
• Use of motorized drills is prohibited.
• Climbing is prohibited on any arch identified on current USGS 7.5 minute topographical maps; on Balanced Rock year-round; on Bubo from January 1st to June 30th; on Industrial Disease on the Devil Dog Spire from January 1st to June 30th.
• The use of chalk for climbing must be of a color which blends with the native rock.
• Climbers are encouraged to employ clean-climbing ethics, leave dull-colored webbing when recovery is impossible, and access climbing routes via established trails, slickrock or sandy washes.
The law is pretty clear at the time of Dean’s climb.

People in the southwest have known this forever.

Highly doubtful that Dean Potter did not know this being a resident of the area.

I have lived, hiked and climbed in the SW for a long time and know this.

I wonder why I haven’t heard of someone climbing the arch before??

Because it is ILLEGAL, WRONG, BAD, UNCOOL.

I have heard of people climbing the Totem Pole in Monument Valley and it is in Bjornstad's guide book form 1988.

There is no topo or mention of Delicate Arch in that guide. Mmmmmmmm

I have chosen not to support people that are involved with activities such as Dean Potter. That would mean all of Dean’s sponsors that continue to support him.

5.10
Patagonia
Trango
Eric Perlman - Videos


112


May 14, 2006, 1:53 PM
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What Dean did was legal, authorized and pre-aproved by the NPS.

Maybe technically legal, I don't know. But, doubtful it was authorized and pre-aproved by the NPS. If it was, I am sure Dean has a letter from them. That is how the Government works. A letter always follows a legitemate verbal agreement!

Ken


jabtocrag


May 14, 2006, 4:57 PM
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By way of analogy, if I can find one policeman somewhere who tells me that it is OK to shoot a person who is breaking into my car--is it then OK for me to do so?

Curt

Only in Florida!! :wink:


rhythm164


May 14, 2006, 5:19 PM
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Thanks to Malcom Daly for doing some homework.


Partner the_mitt


May 14, 2006, 5:21 PM
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(This post was edited by the_mitt on Nov 19, 2006, 10:55 AM)


jimdavis


May 14, 2006, 5:25 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
After I heard this many people asked me to chime in with my opinion. I had nothing but heresay and innuendo to go by so I got in touch with Dean and Steph to hear their story before I spewed.

You mean actually getting the facts? What are you, crazy?

Thanks Malcolm.

Facts? Please, think a little:

First of all, this being the internet, it's pretty difficult to conclude that Malcolm actually called Potter.

........

Third, why should the AF contact him - did he contact them before climbing the Arch?

First, if there's anyone who posts on this board who I belive without question, it's Mal. Take a look around this site at how professionally and truthfully Mal has been....I have no doubt in my mind, what-so-ever, that Mal spoke with Dean and Steph.

Why should the AF have called Dean before they released a public statement condeming him? 1) Courtesy 2) To get his side of the story.

All they wanted to do was publicly give Dean a spanking cause he didn't play by the rules of their game.... F*ck em.

I can understand that they're trying to distance themselves from someone who potentially violated some access issues....but they should have friggin talked to Dean about it before they set the hounds after him.

I hope Dean climbs it again bare-assed, just to piss off some more people that have their panties on a little too tight.
Way to go Dean!

Cheers,
Jim


jimdavis


May 14, 2006, 5:29 PM
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He is simply just another media whore.

Mitt

So Mitt...you ever met Dean?


Partner the_mitt


May 14, 2006, 5:32 PM
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(This post was edited by the_mitt on Nov 19, 2006, 10:55 AM)


maldaly


May 14, 2006, 5:55 PM
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Mitt,
This was a cool ascent and I would stand in awe of and go to bat for anyone who did it. Even you.

Dean is a friend, not a sponsored climber. At some point I may have given him a t-shirt or sticker. If he wanted some gear from me I'd give it to him in a second and would be honored to have him using it.
Mal


shackboy


May 14, 2006, 6:35 PM
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Malcolm Daly, of all people, you're normally fair with your reporting and lack of spin. But have you gone to the Fox News side of things with your selective quoting of the NPS Arches regulation? You wrote:
"At the time of Dean's climb, one week ago today, the official regulation said that '..named arches may be closed for all or a portion of the year due to aesthetic, wildlife or other resource-related concerns.' "

Here's an integral part of what your elipses replaced. In the NPS archived regulations page, I can't find the version that includes what you quoted in Dean's defense, and there's some blahblah following the part below but it's irrelevant to this. But this part, which you didn't include, seems pretty clear, no?:
"Climbing is prohibited on any arch identified on current USGS 7.5 minute topographical maps; "

(BTW, it's also abundantly clear that any chalk used must be a natural color. He had time to ensure his obligatory camera crew was there, but not stop by the shop for some neutral-colored chalk?)

So he somehow slipped out of it, probably got Patagonia's lawyers involved or stuck to his "but a ranger told me I could" schtick and slithered out. Doesn't make it right, and the closure seemed clear to *everybody* else.

Furthermore, what about his running a rope over top of the arch before hand and top-roping it before his filmed "solo"? Word leaked out of that initially, from people who were there, they probably thought it a cool story -- he shot a string over the thing with a bow-and-arrow (old-school desert trick, supposedly), pulled the rope up and rigged a TR. We've all seen rope grooves in soft desert rock. None of those grooves came from just one pull, like Dean's pull probably didn't cause much/any damage. But does that make it OK? Well, why the fuck can't I go up there and do the same thing then? (Aside from having more sense than the average box of rocks.)

Mal, if you don't believe it, give him a call. (Given the people you know, though, you've probably heard about this already, no?) Send me an email if he lies/denies and I'll spill the beans to you on my sources, which are 100% dialed and people you know, they got the info first-hand. Let's see if he covers this up and digs a deeper hole for himself.

Do you still support him given that, Malcolm? What do others think of this? Of course they've kept that part hush-hush now that the shitstorm has hit, but indeed, isn't one of Dean's defenses that he didn't damage the arch? And maybe he didn't, just like no single one pull of a rope caused the grooves in any of the desert towers. Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on that angle.


maldaly


May 14, 2006, 7:31 PM
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shackboy, what I quoted was from an ABC news interview with Linda Joss, the Park Superintendent. Now I didn't talk to Linda personally but I guess if even she was quoted as saying that what Dean did was technically legal, that's good enough for me and Dean. And it must have been good enough for them because they didn't cite Dean for climbing the Arch.

White chalk? That's a pretty small picture for me to identify the color of the chalk. Regardless, I think the NPS has tacitly approved the use of white chalk by totally ingnoring its use by other climbers for years. I'm not sure if I totally agree with that policy or its lack of enforcement but I think Dean can feel pretty much in the clear about it.

As I said in my last post, it looks like the NPS is going to examine the Arch for any damage incurred by Dean. If he did damage the rock then he needs to be held accountable.

In my conversation and email with Dean and Steph, they made no mention of, not did I ask about, a bow and arrow, multiple rehersals and grooves in the rock. Dean did say that he was very careful of the rock and made sure to flick the rope off the top rather than drag it.

I know Dean and Steph and respect them both but I don't know who you are behind that user name. I'm still with Dean on this one.

Mal


jabtocrag


May 14, 2006, 7:50 PM
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I'll say this Mal...you certainly are loyal to your friends.


rhythm164


May 14, 2006, 7:53 PM
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So wait, should that be taken in the light of pro or con...if pro, that's a cool thing to say, if con, it seems you would have to be anti-Potter, so you should probably change your signature to include "except stay the fuck off the arch."


altelis


May 14, 2006, 8:00 PM
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rhythm--TROPHY

man, hyprocisy is funny. live free or die. man o man.

what do you have to say about that one, jab?


boombewm


May 14, 2006, 8:29 PM
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I don't climb in Utah nor live anywhere near it, but, does this seem kinda blown outta proportion to anyone? Before I get flamed on that, let me say this again: I don't climb in Utah nor live anywhere near it, in fact I rarely get outdoors. Also, this trick with a rope and a bow and arrow mentioned, what the hell? Is that real? because I'm sure I've seen that in a movie.

I mean if there are rules against it, then he would have known. But the fact that he tagged along a camera crew and reported it, not to mention he didn't get cited for climbing it, depending on damage to the rock, anyone else get that? maybe they did tell him it was OK? just seems to me they would have maybe...done more.

But if he knew he was breaking the rules and what they told him, and did it to be a hard ass, i suppose I'll frown on it.


curt


May 14, 2006, 8:40 PM
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shackboy, what I quoted was from an ABC news interview with Linda Joss, the Park Superintendent. Now I didn't talk to Linda personally but I guess if even she was quoted as saying that what Dean did was technically legal, that's good enough for me and Dean. And it must have been good enough for them because they didn't cite Dean for climbing the Arch...

I was driving 100mph down the highway last week--and I wasn't cited either. I guess that proves I wasn't actually breaking the law. :lol:

Curt


rhythm164


May 14, 2006, 8:45 PM
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shackboy, what I quoted was from an ABC news interview with Linda Joss, the Park Superintendent. Now I didn't talk to Linda personally but I guess if even she was quoted as saying that what Dean did was technically legal, that's good enough for me and Dean. And it must have been good enough for them because they didn't cite Dean for climbing the Arch...

I was driving 100mph down the highway last week--and I wasn't cited either. I guess that proves I wasn't actually breaking the law. :lol:

Curt

If you were video taped breaking a law, you would have been.


curt


May 14, 2006, 8:48 PM
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In reply to:
shackboy, what I quoted was from an ABC news interview with Linda Joss, the Park Superintendent. Now I didn't talk to Linda personally but I guess if even she was quoted as saying that what Dean did was technically legal, that's good enough for me and Dean. And it must have been good enough for them because they didn't cite Dean for climbing the Arch...

I was driving 100mph down the highway last week--and I wasn't cited either. I guess that proves I wasn't actually breaking the law. :lol:

Curt

If you were video taped breaking a law, you would have been.

Apparently, that's not necessarily so.

Curt

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