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Access Help: Woodlands,WV
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WVUCLMBR


Apr 30, 2008, 11:23 AM
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Access Help: Woodlands,WV
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I'm sure some of you are familiar with the current issues going on @ "Woodlands" near Morgantown, WV. This is an area that has always been closed to climbers, but has been active 20+years. Up till now climbing there has been somewhat tolerated.
Last week Greer Limestone (property owners) decided to take action to permanently close the area (fences, signs, cops, the works). Woodlands has the potential to be a nice local sport crag if we can clear up access.
Efforts have been made in the past with no luck. I believe the Access fund has been contacted and others on rc.com have expressed interest in helping out. Aparently there is no Access representive for N-WV, SW-PA even though we have tons of crags.
So is there anyone who can/wants to help us? I & my regular partners are willing to do anything we can.
The bolts are scheduled to be chopped, so there is a time crunch on this one. Thanks....
Bryan


rockrat512


Apr 30, 2008, 5:45 PM
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Re: [WVUCLMBR] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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I am the Access Fund Coordinator for the region in question however there is also a local climbing organization that specifically works in that area (a simple search of the AF website would have yielded this info). My predecessor spent quite a bit of time trying to make inroads with Greer to no avail. Everything from easements to liability insurance was broached. I have spoken with Rico regarding the situation numerous times in the past as well as trying to use my business contacts to make inroads several years back. As several posters to Dan's post have suggested area climbers have taken a fairly open and flippant position on the area and instead of a quiet off the radar area it has seen increasing traffic. It is private property and this is the US where landowners have rights. My suggestion is that as in the past if we as a group would lay low this might blow over. I would also suggest that interested folks work this through a unifid front through the LCO and possibly the AF in lieu of trying to lone wolf it.


WVUCLMBR


May 1, 2008, 5:10 AM
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Re: [rockrat512] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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I was told in a pm that there was no access coordinator anymore. Sorry for the mistake. I know the access fund is aware of it...I was trying to renew local support. You know what...fuck it...the place sucks anyways.


CMTomasetti


May 1, 2008, 5:31 AM
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Re: [rockrat512] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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I was the the one who PM'd WVUclimber. Rockrat I did search the AF's website and it has no one listed for access in pittcburgh. An e-mail to the access fund also did not produce your name, I was given contacts for the virginia RC and Maryland RC.

I agree a united front would be the best way to approach this. And I am very interested in trying to gain access. I have been trying to find someone who has worked on this before so I could get the "low down" if you will.

You mentioned you live in Pittsburgh, I am also in PIttsburgh and if your willing it would be great to meet and discuss this some more in person.

There has to be a way to get Greer to agree to access they are a business and if we can figure out a way both teh climbing community and Greer can profit, they shouldn't turn us down. Atleast that is how I see it.

Thank You and I look forward to hearing from you

Chris Tomasetti


CMTomasetti


May 1, 2008, 5:44 AM
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Re: [CMTomasetti] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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I would like to amend that my previous post. I missed you name on teh acess funds website. I apologize.

it's Bob right? You've done a lot with McConnell's Mill correct?

Last, what is the LCO? I never heard of it?


(This post was edited by CMTomasetti on May 1, 2008, 5:52 AM)


rockrat512


May 1, 2008, 5:54 AM
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Re: [CMTomasetti] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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Yes...Appalachian North which has historically been the far northern WVA, eastern Ohio and western 1/2 of PA.

If you want to discuss the suituation give me an email at bobv512@gmail.com


mike_devildog


May 2, 2008, 4:14 AM
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Re: [rockrat512] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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Spread the word. Great piece of rock in a nice surrounding! Would be a shame to see it go to waste for a million years! Let me know if help is needed! Smile


WVUCLMBR


May 2, 2008, 10:33 AM
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Re: [mike_devildog] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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markc


May 2, 2008, 11:08 AM
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Re: [CMTomasetti] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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CMTomasetti wrote:
I would like to amend that my previous post. I missed you name on teh acess funds website. I apologize.

it's Bob right? You've done a lot with McConnell's Mill correct?

Last, what is the LCO? I never heard of it?

Local climbing organization?

No offense intended for Bob, but his name isn't listed in his profile. Appalachian-North is certainly listed on the AF site, as is Appalachian-South. It's a bit hard for some of us to know the exact area that covers. It's more confused because you only get his name if you're looking under PA coordinators, but Woodland is in WV.


WVUCLMBR


May 2, 2008, 11:27 AM
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Re: [markc] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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To the best of my knowledge the only local group is the CRCC (Coopers Rock Climbers Coalition) which I have heard is somewhat inactive.


vicarious


May 4, 2008, 8:05 PM
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Re: [WVUCLMBR] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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Long-time lurker, first time poster here. I've always enjoyed woodland walls as a nice lead warm-up, other than those toxic ponds on the way in. Based on the previous discussion of Greer's stance towards climbing, perhaps a non-climbing group might make more headway on this. Does WVU have an outdoors club? Another option might be to find out who created/maintains the trail on the other side of the road to the crag (visible from the exit ramp, not sure how far it goes). Maybe they'd be interested in developing the trail into a loop that could include woodlands. Just my 2 cents.


WVUCLMBR


May 5, 2008, 5:08 AM
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Re: [vicarious] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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Good ideas but probably not gonna work here. Those "toxic" ponds you speak of are the reason we can't climb at woodlands. You see, those ponds would require reclaimation before the land could be developed. That would require Greer to hire someone like me and probably cost around 20-40k in design alone. So you are talking about a +/- 100k project on land Greer can essentially leave alone indefinately. The trail on the other side of the road I believe is maintained by friends of deckers creek. WVU does have an outddor/adventure club, but I think it is mostly to acclimatize all the new jersey fresh meat we get here every fall.


vicarious


May 5, 2008, 5:21 AM
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I suppose the environmental issues make it that much less likely that other groups would care to get involved. The only other user group that might be able to have an impact, though probably with tons of red tape, is the army. I've seen them conduct rappel training on the left side of the main wall. Maybe they could tell Greer they need the bolts, which might make it possible to resume discrete climbing there after a few years.


WVUCLMBR


May 5, 2008, 5:26 AM
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Re: [vicarious] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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It's my understanding that they hired a polar bear with a chainsaw to chop the bolts. The shuts might stay as the army could potentially use them. I'm meeting with the plant foreman in a couple hours on another matter and plan to inquire about access. I will be volunteering my services for "routine cliff inspection".....hey there is a road below.....


roninthorne


May 5, 2008, 6:06 AM
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Re: [WVUCLMBR] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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Good luck with this one... but it sounds like once again climbers (maybe not the majority but obviously enough) with a "We are ENTITLED because we're CLIMBERS, dhude!" attitude have screwed what was a pretty laid-back access scene.

If there are toxic ponds, you're very likely never gonna get access back, because that's a much more serious liability than someone falling off the cliff and suing Greer when they were trespassing.

Now, even if you can get access easement, you've got Greer agreeing to turn a blind eye after the police have been involved, which means there is now an official paper indicating awareness of climbers in the compound, which is about all a good lawyer needs to found a liability case if someone or their dog (cuz I know you do have them there... it's your RIGHT, after all) falls into the pond or gets poisoned/injured by chemicals.

As far as the Army, they have liability leeway that doesn't even bear discussion, and are to be considered under an entirely different set of protocols. They are training to go kill people (debate this all you like, but that's why they teach you to use those "gun" things), people who will be trying just as hard to kill them, often in a setting where both "our" side and "their" side will likely be lobbing toxic chemicals and other interesting things around just to raise the fun quotient to the highest possible level. Given that these are the standard terms for their chosen profession, a little hazard like toxic chemicals isn't really a problem... it's a more realistic simulation of conditions for training.

As I said, good luck with this one. I'll be keeping an eye on it.


pepereer


May 23, 2008, 1:01 PM
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Re: [roninthorne] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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I don't know what the liability laws are for landowners who allow climbers on their property, or if this info would be useful in this situation.

Equine events are viewed as dangerous events in both WV and Virginia, thus putting the responsibility for safety on the participant, knowing that they are engaging in a dangerous activity.

It would seem like someone could get some kind of legislation passed saying that a climber is knowingly engaging in a dangerous or possibly life threatening activity, thus removing the landowner from liability.


(This post was edited by pepereer on May 23, 2008, 1:08 PM)
Attachments: WEST VIRGINIA CODE ANNOTATED.doc (27.5 KB)
  CODE OF VIRGINIA.doc (24.0 KB)


WVUCLMBR


May 27, 2008, 5:14 AM
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Word on the street is the bolts have already been chopped.


andrewd


May 27, 2008, 7:14 AM
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Buy the crag from greer. WTF for as much money as they are spending on paying people to chop bolts and patrol the area, give em a few thou for the land and be done with it.

IMHO


WVUCLMBR


May 27, 2008, 7:25 AM
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Re: [andrewd] Access Help: Woodlands,WV [In reply to]
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Not that simple. The site is an environmental nightmare. Also, it sits on several thousand tons of limestone (aka Greer $$$$$). If it was as simple as buying it I'm sure we'd be climbing there right now. I think woodlands is a memory. I'm gonna invade the north and start hitting up the SW-PA crags.


andrewd


May 27, 2008, 7:28 AM
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This is why I never sport climb. Trad or Bouldering for me. (Besides coopers is 3 minutes from my house.


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