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Do we need a governing body or certification process?
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rockdiablo


Sep 12, 2002, 2:24 PM
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The American Alpine Club was founded in 1902 and is the leading national organization in the United States devoted to mountaineering, climbing, and the multitude of issues facing climbers. With an emphasis on adventure, scientific research and education, the Club is dedicated to:

the promotion and dissemination of knowledge about the mountains and mountaineering through its meetings, publications and libraries;

the cultivation of mountain craft, and the promotion of good fellowship among climbers;

the study of the high mountains of the world, the gathering of facts and the observation of phenomena pertaining to them;

the production of a series of illustrated publications to present a complete description of the alpine mountains of the world;

the scientific exploration of high mountain elevations and of the regions lying within or about the Arctic and Antarctic circles;

the conservation and preservation of the mountain environment; and

the representation of the interests and concerns of the American climbing community

The AAC is a not-for-profit organization supported by gifts and grants from individuals, corporations and foundations, income from restricted endowments, membership dues, and the sale of publications.


rollingstone


Sep 12, 2002, 3:16 PM
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I cannot believe I am reading this!! Interesting thread, esp. viewed by a child of the early 70's. We used to argue about this in college, and the great majority of us started climbing to escape the regulations that strangled us everywhere else. I bought FREEDOM of the Hills to discover just what that was. I have always fought against increased regulations, esp. those that might limit one's personal choice.
Our society has devolved into a social state where many expect others to do their work/thinking for them. I think none of us started climbing for that. Public lands have regulations governing their use for preservation purposes, and even then some of these very regulations go overboard.
But the fundamental question, it seems to me, is whether or not people should have the right to engage is activities that involve personal risk?? And I think we should. Contrary to some public opinion, we climbers do not have death wishes, but we do embrace a love of the outdoors that gives us a sense of living that we do not get from other sources. Leave us alone to climb the way we want, esp. if our choice to do so does not directly affect sopmeone else.

Case in point: Last year Dean Potter soloed Astroman; he has also soloed Half Dome and the Nose, and many other routes. While I would not attempt to do those cllimbs in the same style that Dean has chosen to do them, I do not believe some gov't. agent should sit in judgment of his choice to do so. We fully accept the risks of our behavior when we engage in the activity.

We may just have to revert to anarchy if we give up too many more rights!!

[ This Message was edited by: rollingstone on 2002-09-12 15:17 ]


huggybone


Sep 12, 2002, 3:17 PM
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"The idea has merit. I hope climbers never need to resort to it."

WRONG! the idea has no merit, not even the slighted eintsy wiensty bit of merit. Requiring a license to climb is like demanding you register your c*ck and stamp it every time you have sex. OH wait! I know! even better, we can have license for having children, OH, and one for traveling to work everyday, just so you know the dangers, and don't forget how dangerous it is to use the tub. Classes should be required so people don't get hurt when they slip in the tub.

Some one said shame on you for suggesting it. I would go further- You better go to confession and pray for forgivness.


ctrlaltdel


Sep 12, 2002, 4:17 PM
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Well, this has been a fun little post for me. It's interesting that at a mention of certification or governing body, and people immediately jump to the political government.
First off, let me make it clear that this was just a question, and I'm not advocating it. I thought I would get some passionate responses, but nothing like this.

A few good responses, there's the slippery slope argument (where do you draw the line), the infringement of personal freedom, enforcement, to it won't prevent injury/death.

The slippery slope arugment, I tried to address with other regulated sports. Didn't get very good reasons, other than they are not the same. Well, how so? Yeah, the slippery slope argument is a hard one, but with so many passionate people like you out there how did we ever get the seat belt law (most states)? I wear it for safety, but it ticks me off that it is required by law.
Quote:Only the bungee jump providers are regulated as a commercial entity. You don't need a license to go do it! That's a really dumb comparison.
Climbing gyms are not regulated. Should they be? Not so dumb is it?

The freedom argument. First off couple of people mentioned fascism, both spelled it incorrectly. I like skibabeage's response on this. So much passion. Quote:So, yes, I have the Freedom to do what I want, because I understand and accept the consequences. I see this to be multi-leveled. Individual (personal): I choose to do this, and accept the consequences which only affect me. Minority: Our choices/actions (may) affect others, so we will regulate ourselves to ensure the rights of others (unfortunately, it's usually to avoid the Government). Majority (Government): This affects the society as a whole so it shall be regulated for all people. I think climbing is past the individual level. We bolt, leave chalk marks, gear (when we bail), etc. on public property. Does this infringe on the rights of non-climbers to enjoy nature undisturbed by man? Is bolt chopping a destruction of personal property? What's considered over-bolting? Can I chip a hand hold on a blank face so it's climbable? There is no defined line, rule, regulation, or law in climbing. That's why we have the bolt wars. I like to think my freedom ends when I infringe on yours, the only problem is when do I infringe on yours? I cherish my freedom as much as you, the only difference is you demand yours, and I like to know where mine ends. That's the reason we have a thing called a law. Rules we live by to get along with each other. Most people jumped on the certification, but what about a governing body?


Partner drector


Sep 12, 2002, 4:51 PM
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Climbing gyms are regulated. They check that you can belay before you are allowed and also they check that you can belay/lead properly before letting you do that activity. At least the gym that I have gone to.

Dave


jmlangford


Sep 12, 2002, 4:57 PM
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Quite possibly the dumbest idea I have ever heard! Even if they did do that I would ignore it, just like I ignore wilderness passes now. Move to a socialist country if you want to be saved from yourself.


Partner drector


Sep 12, 2002, 5:03 PM
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Okay ctrlaltdel,

A 30 second search of the internet shows a few different organizations that cerify SCUBA divers. SCUBA is the comparison of choice because it is easy to research and has a few similarities. If we ignore the governmental factor and focus on pure non-legal certification through a self-regulated governing body, how would it work and what would it gain. Who would it hurt.

First we need someone who understands similar organizations to tell us the bad side. SCUBA? Can you dive without certification? Can you purchase equipment without it? If so then what does it get you? Climbing doesn't rely on a boat operator but there are fences. Would you have the land fenced off and only certified climbers could climb? Since each gym does it's own certification (minor but still certification) then where would any of this apply?

Let's here a real argument by what can be gained and how that gain offsets the restriction on our freedoms and the inconvenicene of having to pay money to an organization we may totally disagree with in order to gain access to places we can access now without a certificate.

In other words "Show me the money." What do I get from it?

Dave


maiorlive


Sep 12, 2002, 5:07 PM
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Cntrlaltdel, climbing already has a governing body: me. I govern myself. That's what freedom is: governing your own self. Seems to me most people on this thread are saying that's all the governing needed. I agree emphatically.

To clarify my earlier post, I don't think that the bolt wars demonstrated the level of danger to climbers or to the broader community required to justify regulation by either government or professional organisation. I don't see anything in the current climbing community that approaches that level of danger. But that doesn't mean it couldn't happen in the future. IMO, anyone who's not willing to consider the possibility is expressing wilful ignorance.

Mr. Hogaboam, I don't know how to respond to you. You don't know what I thought the merits of certification might be and since you didn't ask, am I right to assume you don't care to know? And shame?:???: Who are you? What's up with the Catholicism?


Partner drector


Sep 12, 2002, 5:35 PM
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oozingpustule,

I sort of agree on the SCUBA issue. It was used because it is the closest thing mentioned so far that is at all similar to climbing. PADI, CMAS, YMCA, SSI? All non-government systems and certification as far as I can tell. Let's face it, a belay can be deadly if used incorrectly so anyone who belays would need to be certified under the "new" rules. Boulderers would of course not need this certification.

We certainly would not use a pilots license or a driver license as a comparison because those are government bodies and legal licenses, not certificates from private organizations.

Even if SCUBA does suck as a comparison, my previous question still stands (to the original poster)... What do I get by there being a certification process similar or not similar to SCUBA? even if it is only for belay certification, what do I as a climber get from it?

Dave

PS, I still hate the idea.

PPS, ctrlaltdel,
I reread you post a few posts back and I'll comment on the bolt wars issue. There would be no way for a governing body to enforce any resolution on bolting vs. not bolting or chopping vs. not chopping. They could make statements that chipping (not chopping) is a bad thing but it is not a problem that needs to be addressed and the community seems to acgree that it is bad.

Maybe only time is going to resolve the bolt war. Bolters will fear being chopped and chopper will fear having their tires slashed or their careers attacked.

So my original question with a modification is still meaningful... What do I the climber get from this geverning body and at what expense?

[ This Message was edited by: drector on 2002-09-12 17:50 ]


towergod


Sep 12, 2002, 6:53 PM
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This post is so freakin stupid that no one in there right mind would put that down. To make climbing a cert. only sport would be outlandish. Oh well there are losts of idiots out there that think this.
Later
Tim

[ This Message was edited by: towergod on 2002-09-12 18:54 ]


okieterry


Sep 12, 2002, 6:54 PM
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This might be a little fun thread for you ctrlaltdel but it has the potential to do great harm. Its something that none of us want. I hope that some bureaucrat doesn't see this and decide to use your idea to solve his climber management and budget problems! Think about it, its not that hard of a site to find and then if you searched for certification....bam there you go. Do us a favor and ctrlaltdel yourself.


jgill


Sep 12, 2002, 8:15 PM
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My goodness, this IS a hot little topic, isn't it! It's an interesting idea, but misplaced in time and place. I'm sure the politburo would have championed the concept, and issued photo IDs and travel papers to loyal citizens of the Soviet Union who met the right conditions.

(Please don't send this idea in to the Democratic Platform Committee!)


jbone


Sep 12, 2002, 9:12 PM
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I would like to Propose a Certification For "Walking"

And then some extended courses if you plan on doing any "Running or Jogging."
And then of course you would have to Produce your License to "Breath" certification. Because you will have to enroll in some advanced Breathing Regulated classes..

I would also like to be the First person to Apply for the Committee because I think I have alot of great Idea's on Regulating the amount of times people take a Dump. Seriously, people take too many dumps and they all gotta go somewhere. Maybe a Punch Card system with some kind of Anal Scan Identifier to help us arrest the Crooked Crappers....

You can tell how seriously I take this Idea.

'Remember the'
JBone


knotrocket


Sep 13, 2002, 8:07 AM
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HAHAHA Terry, ctrlaltdel yourself! BUWWWAAAHHHAHAHAHA!

The idea of certification in my mind is to have accountability. An ass to sue when someone gets hurt/dead. On paper, it sounds like it would prevent people who aren't "trained" or "skilled" enough to be on the rock, which would be a good thing. But then again, when they fall to their death that pretty much solves the problem too. The government, ANY government (sanctioning type body) shouldn't try to protect us from ourselves. Freedom means just that. Even the freedom to crater at the bottom of El Cap if we want, as long as we don't infringe on people at the base...

On a lighter side note, I would have skibabe's babies.


Partner betaben


Sep 13, 2002, 8:33 AM
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Have you ever tried to organize a grooup of climbers to anything?!? Climbers like there freedom, that's why we do it. The only thing it's easy to organize climbers to do is to fight access issues and clean up crags, even then it's never "easy".

Ben


mikedano


Sep 13, 2002, 8:38 AM
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Well, I would like to thank ctrlaltdel for at least providing some interesting points to support his arguement (or position or idea or whatever) and for expressing them in a thoughtful way.

Of course, I'm completely against the idea. The cool thing about the climbing is that it's totally Wild West. Anything goes. You got a drill and some bolts? You can put up a route. And then someone can come along and chop it, if they want. Is this the best arraingment for land owners and land managers? Probably not. Is it the best arraingment for climbers? YES.

Think about Yosemite. You need a campsite reservation just to sleep there. You need a certificate just to spend some time in the backcountry. There are rules and regulations all over the whole park, for every single thing. EXCEPT for climbing. Climbing is basically unregulated in Yosemite. It's been left up to climbers to do it themselves, on an individual basis. And that's how it's like in most parts of the country. Wild West.

That's pretty damn special, if you ask me. And I'll be damned if some stupid organization or group wants to come along and change that.

I DO NOT want to enter a lottery system just to get on the good routes. I DO NOT want to get certified to belay. I DO NOT want to pay just to go out and climb. I DO NOT want to have to give up more of my freedoms.

*Edit: Jbone: "Anal Scan Identifier to help us arrest the Crooked Crappers...."
CLASSIC!


[ This Message was edited by: mikedano on 2002-09-13 08:48 ]


Partner blazesod


Sep 13, 2002, 8:52 AM
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Climbing certification?:
I strongly object to this idea because I think it would greatly reduce our freedom to climb. It would be nice to know that everyone on the wall is a "certified" climber but I don't think that small thought justifies signing away any portion of our freedom.
And speeking of freedom... (I have to go, my wife is calling)

Dave


Partner drector


Sep 13, 2002, 9:31 AM
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Mikedano,

You mention ctraltdel making good points but I saw none!

In most of my posts, I've asked him/her to explain the benefits of either a governing body or a certification process. ctraltdel mentioned that a certificate would be required to buy products (in his first post). ctraltdel then went on to mention that bungee jumping is regulated. Big deal. Everyone ignored the fact that guides and climbing gyms do have some sort of certification. maiorlive said the idea had merit but didn't mention what that merit is beyond suggesting that it would protect climbers against themselves.

So in summary, no one here has posted a single real physical benefit to a new governing body or certification process. I sure don't think that any will either.

Dave


rockdiablo


Sep 13, 2002, 9:48 AM
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ctrlaltdel said
Quote:There will be a central organization to contact for new routes, they can then be forwarded to local organization for approval and suggestions, settle disputes (threat of losing your certification will keep you from doing really dumb things), etc

A threat of losing certification/licensing hasn't proven altogether effective in preventing people from doing dumb things while driving has it? Witness the number of DUI's and high/low speed chases....


edman1


Sep 13, 2002, 10:23 AM
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As far as scuba certifications go, beyond the basic certification, they are just a means for the dive shops to scam money off people. They have a certification for night diving, wreck diving, shell collecting, advanced diving, diving from boat, photo diving, you name it. It prays on people who need spoon feeding and certification cards to boost there egos.


superdiamonddave


Sep 13, 2002, 10:41 AM
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YOU CAN HAVE MY MIURA'S WHEN YOU PRY THEM OFF MY COLD DEAD FEET

Any questions?


astone


Sep 13, 2002, 10:50 AM
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This is one of the most frightening and infuriating questions ever posed on this site.

Climbing represents nothing less than the freedom to take responsibility for the fate of your existence itself. To sully this freedom with something as base and contentious as a regulatory body is unthinkable.

If this ever came about I venture to say that none but the most mediocre and peabrained would join.


zee


Sep 13, 2002, 11:16 AM
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what skibabeage said!

Also, HELL NO! F$%k the regulators...I am all about civil disobidience. If someone set up this org, I would disobey just cos I am an anarchist...not meaning that I go around destroying s**t just that I hate getting fingerprinted, having my phone taped, or having crag nazis administer anal probes...if I am not qualified, I will die...that is the consequence which I am willing to accept. If you think you need some sort of safety net, take up crochete... leave swinging up crags to irresponsible louts like Passthepiton! I am willing to bet that the best climbers in the world have never taking a guided course. Although I really would like to take Passthepitons big wall/aid course, cos he rocks... but I am off the point...

NO NO NO to any climbing organisation.


rockdiablo


Sep 13, 2002, 11:23 AM
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You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?
ctrlaltdel: Against that? No, we will run, and we will live.


Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you'll live...at least a while. And dying in your deathbeds, many years from now, wouldn't you be willing to trade all of that from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take away our lives, but they'll never take away our freeeedoooomm.


[ This Message was edited by: rockdiablo on 2002-09-13 11:23 ]


Partner drector


Sep 13, 2002, 11:43 AM
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skibabeage,

I wish I could read, think, and write as clearly as you do. Awesome.

Dave

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