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kyote321


Mar 24, 2010, 12:50 PM
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trad climbing is 'green' climbing
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the several articles that purported this idea in the recent 'green' Climbing mag left me thinking: what really is 'greener' about trad climbing?

I know, no bolts, less chalk (maybe)... but this all surface, visual stuff. bolts are really a very small, but visible impact to the rock. in a true definition of 'green,' as in carbon footprint, is sport climbing or any different than trad? - you still drive to the crag, buy oil-based ropes and gear (more for trad), and still trod the grass and make paths to the crag (probably less people for scary trad climbs though).


(This post was edited by kyote321 on Mar 24, 2010, 12:52 PM)


patmay81


Mar 24, 2010, 1:00 PM
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Re: [kyote321] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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I would argue that sport is greener. The total amount of energy and resources required to produce a very basic trad rack has to be huge compared to the energy and resources required for 14 draws.
The only other resource is the bolts, drill and energy used to charge the drill (unless its hand drilled, as if that every happens any more!)
bouldering is obviously the green option.


(This post was edited by patmay81 on Mar 24, 2010, 1:00 PM)


lena_chita
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Mar 24, 2010, 1:01 PM
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Re: [kyote321] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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kyote321 wrote:
the several articles that purported this idea in the recent 'green' Climbing mag left me thinking: what really is 'greener' about trad climbing?

I know, no bolts, less chalk (maybe)... but this all surface, visual stuff. bolts are really a very small, but visible impact to the rock. in a true definition of 'green,' as in carbon footprint, is sport climbing or any different than trad? - you still drive to the crag, buy oil-based ropes and gear (more for trad), and still trod the grass and make paths to the crag (probably less people for scary trad climbs though).

Yeah, I thought the same thing when i read tose articles.

Trad is obviously closer to LNT ideal. But 'greener'? I call BS on that, unless someone shows me the calculations of carbon footprint of a typical sport climber and a typical trad climber with reasonable assumptions...

And "less people climb trad so there is less erosion" is debatable, too. Anyone who has been to the Gunks would dispute that. And you could also say that a lot of trad climbing areas are in fragile desert environment, where the impact of someone hiking to the climb is much more asting, despite the fact that there may be fewer people trodding on the path.


patmay81


Mar 24, 2010, 1:11 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
kyote321 wrote:
the several articles that purported this idea in the recent 'green' Climbing mag left me thinking: what really is 'greener' about trad climbing?

I know, no bolts, less chalk (maybe)... but this all surface, visual stuff. bolts are really a very small, but visible impact to the rock. in a true definition of 'green,' as in carbon footprint, is sport climbing or any different than trad? - you still drive to the crag, buy oil-based ropes and gear (more for trad), and still trod the grass and make paths to the crag (probably less people for scary trad climbs though).

Yeah, I thought the same thing when i read tose articles.

Trad is obviously closer to LNT ideal. But 'greener'? I call BS on that, unless someone shows me the calculations of carbon footprint of a typical sport climber and a typical trad climber with reasonable assumptions...

And "less people climb trad so there is less erosion" is debatable, too. Anyone who has been to the Gunks would dispute that. And you could also say that a lot of trad climbing areas are in fragile desert environment, where the impact of someone hiking to the climb is much more asting, despite the fact that there may be fewer people trodding on the path.
but then go to a sport destination with tons of traffic and try to count the number of cigarette buttes, lunch wrappers and clothing discarded at the base of the walls. I'm not saying that sport climbers are worse at littering than trad climbers. but litter should be a factor, probably even more so than treading on dessert plants.


rockforlife


Mar 24, 2010, 1:21 PM
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Re: [patmay81] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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patmay81 wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
kyote321 wrote:
the several articles that purported this idea in the recent 'green' Climbing mag left me thinking: what really is 'greener' about trad climbing?

I know, no bolts, less chalk (maybe)... but this all surface, visual stuff. bolts are really a very small, but visible impact to the rock. in a true definition of 'green,' as in carbon footprint, is sport climbing or any different than trad? - you still drive to the crag, buy oil-based ropes and gear (more for trad), and still trod the grass and make paths to the crag (probably less people for scary trad climbs though).

Yeah, I thought the same thing when i read tose articles.

Trad is obviously closer to LNT ideal. But 'greener'? I call BS on that, unless someone shows me the calculations of carbon footprint of a typical sport climber and a typical trad climber with reasonable assumptions...

And "less people climb trad so there is less erosion" is debatable, too. Anyone who has been to the Gunks would dispute that. And you could also say that a lot of trad climbing areas are in fragile desert environment, where the impact of someone hiking to the climb is much more asting, despite the fact that there may be fewer people trodding on the path.
but then go to a sport destination with tons of traffic and try to count the number of cigarette buttes, lunch wrappers and clothing discarded at the base of the walls. I'm not saying that sport climbers are worse at littering than trad climbers. but litter should be a factor, probably even more so than treading on dessert plants.

Do only sport climbers so to sport climbing areas?


caughtinside


Mar 24, 2010, 1:23 PM
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Re: [patmay81] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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patmay81 wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
kyote321 wrote:
the several articles that purported this idea in the recent 'green' Climbing mag left me thinking: what really is 'greener' about trad climbing?

I know, no bolts, less chalk (maybe)... but this all surface, visual stuff. bolts are really a very small, but visible impact to the rock. in a true definition of 'green,' as in carbon footprint, is sport climbing or any different than trad? - you still drive to the crag, buy oil-based ropes and gear (more for trad), and still trod the grass and make paths to the crag (probably less people for scary trad climbs though).

Yeah, I thought the same thing when i read tose articles.

Trad is obviously closer to LNT ideal. But 'greener'? I call BS on that, unless someone shows me the calculations of carbon footprint of a typical sport climber and a typical trad climber with reasonable assumptions...

And "less people climb trad so there is less erosion" is debatable, too. Anyone who has been to the Gunks would dispute that. And you could also say that a lot of trad climbing areas are in fragile desert environment, where the impact of someone hiking to the climb is much more asting, despite the fact that there may be fewer people trodding on the path.
but then go to a sport destination with tons of traffic and try to count the number of cigarette buttes, lunch wrappers and clothing discarded at the base of the walls. I'm not saying that sport climbers are worse at littering than trad climbers. but litter should be a factor, probably even more so than treading on dessert plants.

I can't say I've noticed a difference in the amount of litter between sport and trad areas. butts at both. Lots of tape finger loops at trad areas.


kyote321


Mar 24, 2010, 1:25 PM
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Re: [patmay81] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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litter from the traffic in sport areas are still a visual issue though - it isn't really a green impact unless the trads are all vegan, organic, re-usable food container types.

what is the carbon footprint of one trip to the ER for a trad mission gone wrong?

green is not Leave No Trace as mentioned. one is a true impact the other is an aesthetic one.


Partner cracklover


Mar 24, 2010, 1:40 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
kyote321 wrote:
the several articles that purported this idea in the recent 'green' Climbing mag left me thinking: what really is 'greener' about trad climbing?

I know, no bolts, less chalk (maybe)... but this all surface, visual stuff. bolts are really a very small, but visible impact to the rock. in a true definition of 'green,' as in carbon footprint, is sport climbing or any different than trad? - you still drive to the crag, buy oil-based ropes and gear (more for trad), and still trod the grass and make paths to the crag (probably less people for scary trad climbs though).

Yeah, I thought the same thing when i read tose articles.

Trad is obviously closer to LNT ideal. But 'greener'? I call BS on that, unless someone shows me the calculations of carbon footprint of a typical sport climber and a typical trad climber with reasonable assumptions...

And "less people climb trad so there is less erosion" is debatable, too. Anyone who has been to the Gunks would dispute that. And you could also say that a lot of trad climbing areas are in fragile desert environment, where the impact of someone hiking to the climb is much more asting, despite the fact that there may be fewer people trodding on the path.

I disagree.

I think that as a pure argument, it's reasonable to claim that more dispersed climbers can have less of an impact. For example, take the extreme example of 1000 parties climbing 1000 obscure sierra peaks once each. The lasting impact of these parties, if they carry out their trash, is basically zero. Now consider 1000 parties gang-banging a few walls at a sport crag. Again, even assuming that they carry out everything they carry in - the lasting impact of their use is significant.

Now in reality, many trad crags fall much closer to the sport end of the spectrum in the above thought experiment. But not all.

GO


patmay81


Mar 24, 2010, 1:41 PM
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Re: [kyote321] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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thats true, litter would not produce any off gassing of measurable amount. I hadn't thought of that.

so it could be quantified as the amount of energy and resources used to poduce the gear and the amount of resources used to get to the destinations (which could be a wash)

The rescue could be added to that, fuel burned by rescue vehicles, helicopters, SAR, rescue gear manufacturing (which would need to be totalled and divided by the number of rescues per category of climbers [sport climbers need rescuing too])


gmggg


Mar 24, 2010, 1:49 PM
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Re: [patmay81] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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What about methane? We always forget the cows. Alpine is obviously the worst. Long travel using a variety of not so green methods. Lots of plastic gear. Hot air blowing out of their fronts. Hot methane blowing out of their backsides.


sbaclimber


Mar 24, 2010, 1:57 PM
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Re: [gmggg] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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gmggg wrote:
What about methane? We always forget the cows. Alpine is obviously the worst. Long travel using a variety of not so green methods. Lots of plastic gear. Hot air blowing out of their fronts. Hot methane blowing out of their backsides.
Hmmmm, hard to pick one group being worse than another in this area...but if I had to....I think the traddies produce more methane than spurt climbers and/or boulderersCool
Alpinists are a whole class of their own...Crazy


camhead


Mar 24, 2010, 1:57 PM
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Re: [patmay81] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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patmay81 wrote:
but litter should be a factor, probably even more so than treading on dessert plants.

Dessert plants? Like, chocolate ferns or creme brulee begonias?


sbaclimber


Mar 24, 2010, 1:59 PM
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Re: [camhead] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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camhead wrote:
patmay81 wrote:
but litter should be a factor, probably even more so than treading on dessert plants.

Dessert plants? Like, chocolate ferns or creme brulee begonias?
I thought "stone plant" was an actual plant!?


zealotnoob


Mar 24, 2010, 2:31 PM
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Re: [kyote321] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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I was really turned off by the "green" issue. Sure, the green movement and rock climbing are aligned in the high value put on nature, but anything more than that is a flimsy attempt for moral superiority.


Partner j_ung


Mar 24, 2010, 2:51 PM
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zealotnoob wrote:
I was really turned off by the "green" issue. Sure, the green movement and rock climbing are aligned in the high value put on nature, but anything more than that is a flimsy attempt for moral superiority.

Did we read the same mag? The issue in question wasn't exactly a pat on the back for our collective greenness. If anything, the vibe I got from it was more along lines of, "hey, you may not be as green as you think, and here are some ways to do better." I meet a lot of climbers who seem to think that, just because they climb, they're "green," whatever that means. I meet more who have ridiculous opinions, such as climbers don't litter. Ha! I think some of those folks can use a healthy dose of introspection.

While I did also occasionally get the "trad is greener" vibe, on the whole, I thought it was well thought out and well done. I'm sure there are dozens of things that could have been covered better or would have been better not covered at all, but fuck it. You can't please everybody.


Partner j_ung


Mar 24, 2010, 2:52 PM
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Re: [sbaclimber] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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sbaclimber wrote:
Alpinists are a whole class of their own...Crazy

Ah, yes... H.A.F.E.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Mar 24, 2010, 2:53 PM)


zealotnoob


Mar 24, 2010, 3:38 PM
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Re: [j_ung] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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I just felt much of what was presented as a connection between climbing and the green movement was contrived and a distraction from the tales of adventure and the like I seek in a climbing mag.

For example, I don't think bolts or chalk color matter much to the green movement, and I'm not sure where the moss suit fits in either.

I skimmed the issue in a sitting and whenever I reopened it to find some little gem I might have overlooked, most of what I found was carbon guilt and etiquette lectures.

To be fair, it's a tough gig to provide fresh material every months on the same topic. Those at Climbing certainly put thought into the issue and delivered a unique issue.


kriso9tails


Mar 24, 2010, 3:43 PM
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j_ung wrote:
I meet more who have ridiculous opinions, such as climbers don't litter. Ha! I think some of those folks can use a healthy dose of introspection.

Well, like, the thing you have to understand is that, like.. okay, so this one time these guys I know went to, like a crag clean-up and shit, were all like totally removing garbage from the crag that was probably put there by hikers. So yeah, by extension, I'm in the clear brah.


jeremy11


Mar 24, 2010, 4:02 PM
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Re: [kriso9tails] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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"Green" used to be a color
Now it is a political propaganda term.
Want to minimize your impact on the earth?
Turn off your computer and live off the land in Montana.
The number one way to be environmentally friendly is to spend less money. Many companies have turned this the other direction to get us to spend more money. If you were already going to buy a T shirt, organic is better, but do you really need Another shirt?! Don't go stock up on Green stuff you don't need just to feel better about yourself.

Back to the original question:
Is trad "green"
Crash pads use lots of foam
Beanies are generally made from synthetics
Sport climbers probably go through more ropes than trad climbers since they actually fall on purpose.
Trad gear generally lasts a long time
Gym climbing has to be the worst.


Bottom line: none of climbing is "green" because it all uses non renewable resources but it is better than motor sports, horses, TV, urban excess, etc. Climbing tends to build an appreciation for environmental stewardship, and trad climbing, especially exploratory trad climbing and alpinism builds that appreciation the fastest and the strongest.


el_layclimber


Mar 24, 2010, 4:42 PM
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Re: [jeremy11] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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   I'd say the least 'green' thing about climbing is its explosion in popularity over last decade or so.
Surely this is driven in part by the accessibility that bolts offer, but it has more to do with gear companies popularizing a once fringe sport in order to rake in big bucks. The more of us there are, the more impact we have, regardless of style.


marc801


Mar 24, 2010, 5:51 PM
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Re: [patmay81] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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patmay81 wrote:
...l (unless its hand drilled, as if that every happens any more!)...
By law, in any designated wilderness area. That would include all of the walls in Yosemite for example.


moose_droppings


Mar 24, 2010, 6:27 PM
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marc801 wrote:
patmay81 wrote:
...l (unless its hand drilled, as if that every happens any more!)...
By law, in any designated wilderness area. That would include all of the walls in Yosemite for example.

I don't think so.


lrossi


Mar 24, 2010, 6:46 PM
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Re: [kyote321] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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In the final analysis, people are not "green" no matter what they are doing. Whether you are sitting around watching TV, or driving to the crag, or working for the man.

The solution is obvious - condoms.


marc801


Mar 24, 2010, 6:52 PM
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moose_droppings wrote:
marc801 wrote:
patmay81 wrote:
...l (unless its hand drilled, as if that every happens any more!)...
By law, in any designated wilderness area. That would include all of the walls in Yosemite for example.

I don't think so.
All the Yosemite walls are designated as wilderness areas,
From: http://www.nps.gov/...ourvisit/bolting.htm
In reply to:
Drilling protection bolts for climbing is permitted in Yosemite as long as it is done by hand. Motorized power drills are prohibited. The National Park Service does not inspect, maintain, or repair bolts and other climbing equipment anywhere in the park.

The regulations are similar in other wilderness areas.


1up


Mar 24, 2010, 6:53 PM
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Re: [jeremy11] trad climbing is 'green' climbing [In reply to]
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jeremy11 wrote:
"Green" used to be a color
Now it is a political propaganda term.
Want to minimize your impact on the earth?
Turn off your computer and live off the land in Montana.
The number one way to be environmentally friendly is to spend less money. Many companies have turned this the other direction to get us to spend more money. If you were already going to buy a T shirt, organic is better, but do you really need Another shirt?! Don't go stock up on Green stuff you don't need just to feel better about yourself.

Back to the original question:
Is trad "green"
Crash pads use lots of foam
Beanies are generally made from synthetics
Sport climbers probably go through more ropes than trad climbers since they actually fall on purpose.
Trad gear generally lasts a long time
Gym climbing has to be the worst.


Bottom line: none of climbing is "green" because it all uses non renewable resources but it is better than motor sports, horses, TV, urban excess, etc. Climbing tends to build an appreciation for environmental stewardship, and trad climbing, especially exploratory trad climbing and alpinism builds that appreciation the fastest and the strongest.


Very well put and not something most people think about. "Yeah look at my sweat new collection of organic cotton and bamboo clothing" "wow look at my 6 year old pair of MH pants and t shirt I bought from the salvation army." who is more green in these 2 examples...

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