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Valley of Stone Closure
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morcomm


Dec 14, 2004, 11:07 AM
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Valley of Stone Closure  (North_America: United_States: California: San_Francisco_Bay: Castle_Rock_State_Park)
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Topographic diagrams of the Valley of Stone/’Lion Caves’ appear in a Rock Climber’s Guide to Skyline Boulevard - not to encourage climbers to trespass in a closed area - but rather because the CRSP General Plan (http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=21313) states specifically that this area was closed only “temporarily” (CRSPGP, p. 38). According to the closure order, you can in fact climb in the Valley of Stone/’Lion Caves’ if you first obtain a permit from State Parks and are accompanied there by an authorized guide. There is also a recreational priority alternative written into the General Plan, which, if implemented, would reopen the “Lion Caves” area “to the public without a natural preserve classification.” Then, “climbing would be limited to low impact climbing but not limited to any area.” In this case, “new trails and trail camps could be developed to improve visitor access to all areas of the park.” (CRSPGP, p. 117). Hence, the Valley of Stone/’Lion Caves’ area was included in RCGtSB in anticipation of its eventual reopening if (and when) the State endorses the recreational priority alternative version of the General Plan.


mungeclimber


Feb 27, 2005, 9:34 PM
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Re: Valley of Stone Closure [In reply to]
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bump

It might be time to start in on relations with land managers. The recreational opportunity for this area is great, if managed properly.

Thought provoking article on Bayareaclimbers.com

http://www.bayareaclimbers.com/morris/index2.html


morcomm


Feb 28, 2005, 10:43 AM
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Re: Valley of Stone Closure [In reply to]
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:roll:
Glad you see my point(s). Unfortunately, the "land managers", to whom you refer, are none other than Stu Langdoc and Bruce Bettencourt, who are basically against climbing at CRSP in the first place. I think they represent the same crowd that is trying to ban all Mountain Biking in Nisene Park in Santa Cruz, much to R.O.M.P.'s consternation (See the ROMP site for particulars). But the problem isn't just at Castle RSP, I notice that Mountain Parks is trying to ban climbing at the Mickey Mouse Wall in Eldorado Springs Canyon near Boulder based very much on the same sort of arguments: passive appreciation of nature only, no active involvement (i.e. no climbing, no biking). By attacking bolting and biking in the name of "Nature", what they really hope is to preserve the Park for them and theirs (no you or yours, or me and mine). I think they're getting old, though.
Regards,
bdm


mungeclimber


Feb 28, 2005, 7:01 PM
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No doubt. Some heavy sway seems to be held over the CRSP directors by the nearby land 'stewards'.

I tried to get a dialogue going with Stu at one of the big public meetings, but basically had to interject myself into a group he was with because he kept trying to snub me out of the conversation by turning away from me.

Probably not intentional, but definitely not a very open set of groups.

Maybe it's the kind of thing that we wait til trails are built and then say 'hey, you've got horizontal trails' we just want vertical trails? Or will normal hiking trails never get created?

Frustrating because it is a beautiful place, and with proper erosion control mechanisms, signage and education, it could really be a great place to recreate and appreciate nature.

What would be some good ways to show that we are also on the side of conservation, just not at the expense of recreation? specific examples?

1. to protect watersheds and thus prevent erosion, wooden erosion control berms and edges could be created.
2. signage to keep braided trails from forming in the first place
3. if there are particular wildlife concerns, express them, document them with scientific objective data and then mitigate issues with seasonal closures, or some other alternatives.


morcomm


Feb 28, 2005, 10:23 PM
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:evil:
There is supposed to be a "Trails Plan" that would lead to the construction of new trails in the Natural Preserve and the Lions Caves (i.e. 'Valley of Stone'). But there has been no mention of it (or the so-called Climbing Management Plan) in approximately 5 years. There was supposed to be some limited Mountain Bike access via the fire road to Castle Rock Trails Camp, but neither has that been mentioned again. It sounds as though the whole General Plan process was simply a way to discourage climbers and mountain bikers. The General Plan is written in such an ambiguous way that "they" (whoever 'they' are) can do whatever "they" like . . . .


morcomm


Mar 2, 2005, 10:25 AM
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Here's what I know about the "Trails Plan" for CRSP. This was back in 2000 and as far as I know, nothing has ever been done:

"The Trail Companion
Fall 2000
Park News
California State Parks
Castle Rock State Park
CRSP Trail Management Plan
The Castle Rock Trails Committee (CRTC) is making headway in assessing the current trails and possible additions to the trail system. Committee members, including Dave Croker and Geoffrey Skinner, have made several field trips throughout the park to look at potential new trails, particularly near the proposed Partridge Farm campground and in the northwestern corner of the park. Once the trail assessment is complete, the Committee will draw up a plan and submit it to the State for approval."

Where is the Plan? Was it ever submitted to anyone, or was this just a smoke screen to suggest that something was happening to fulfill a formal requirement? Who knows!


morcomm


Mar 9, 2005, 11:14 AM
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What follows is the kind of stuff that the South Skyline Association (S.S.A.)is posting on their Web site to give the impression that climbing is wrecking the environment (i.e. lowering the property values of their members):

"South Skyline Association
Sport Climbing
Home | CRSP Background | Castle Rock


The California Report (KQED-FM) - The week of Friday, October 17, 1997.


ABSTRACT: There's an explosion of interest in climbing these days, with thousands of people now using climbing gyms as a way to get exercise. Many new climbers are heading outdoors to test their skills on some of California's real rocks. But the influx of new climbers has had a widespread impact on natural resources and many of the managers of California's parks and wilderness areas are talking about limits.

TRANSCRIPT:
Host: David Wright
Subject: Mountain Climbing

There's an explosion of interest these days in climbing, with thousands of people now using climbing gyms as a way to exercise. Many of these new indoor climbers are heading out for the mountains to test their skills on the surfaces of some of California's real rocks, but they are leaving a different sort of trail behind and California park stewards are now pushing for new regulations. Robin White reports.

Traditionally, rock-climbing used to be a quiet and contemplative sport. All you needed was rope and a cliff and some pitons to attach yourself to it. These days there is another tool. The cordless electric drill came onto the market in 1976 and has transformed climbing. Climbers used to follow crack systems in rock faces because cracks provided secure hand and foot holds. They also gave climbers a place to attach removable devices which would hold them on the rock. Now with drills, climbers can put up bolts and go virtually anywhere on the rock face. Mark Fincher, Climbing Ranger in the Yosemite Valley, approaches the bottom of one of Yosemite's three thousand foot cliffs and points out the original climbing spot.

These were the original two climbs, at these areas in those two cracks there, and they were fairly popular. They got a fair amount of use. You know this area was still denuded of vegetation before all these other climbs went in, but it didn't extend too far. That whole area was still vegetated. Then in the space of about three years all of these other climbs went in - probably forty new climbs all went in. Virtually all bolt protected.

And Fincher points out the results. Hundreds of small bolts pepper the cliff. There are white patches left by chalk which climbers use to dry sweaty palms. There is erosion and there is trash. Brightly colored nylon slings left by climbers sixty feet up on the rock. It is all the result relatively new style of climbing call "sport-climbing". Developed in gyms, sport-climbing emphasizes short routes and variety.

In the Owens River Gorge, a private area east of the Sierra Nevada, there are a thousand short routes in a mile. Climbing routes this dense are a growing concern to wilderness managers.

Jerry Stokes, Assistant Director for Wilderness with the U.S. Forest Service in Washington D.C., said it goes back to fundamentals of wilderness management.

With each issue that arises, we have to go back and revisit the Wilderness Act initially to see if this activity fits within what Congress intended that wilderness be managed for.

The 1964 Wilderness Act was written before the advent of sport-climbing, but it bans most kinds of mechanized activity in wilderness areas. Two years ago the Forest Service used the Act to propose a ban on U-Bolts in the wilderness. The proposal set off a landslide of criticism from climbers.

At Pinnacles National Monument in central California, Sam Davidson stands on the ground feeding a rope to his partner who is clipping in to bolts placed by previous climbers.

Sounds dubious. (tap tap tap)

What's he doing there? He's tapping on the rock?

He's testing the rock quality. The quality of a certain hold by just tapping with the palm of his hand.

Davidson is a paid organizer for the Access Fund, the non-profit organization which advocates for climbers' rights. He says the Forest Service's proposed ban on bolts, which he calls fixed anchors, is ignoring the importance of climbers' safety.

If a lightning storm comes in on you for example I mean you are the greatest conduit up there on the rock and sometimes you have to get off in a hurry. The option of being able leave a fixed anchor is very important to climbers. You may not have to, but you should have the option.

That is because fixed anchors give climbers the safest way to get down from the rock. Organized opposition by the Access Fund against [the] rock bolting made the Forest Service back down temporarily on its proposal, but the service has been joined by the Bureau of Land Management and some individual national park managers in calling for restrictions on new bolts.

Pinnacles Superintendent Gary Candelaria says enforcing a ban will be impossible without the cooperation of climbers.

When you are standing looking at the Pinnacles rocks and the raptors and the falcons are circling over the top, it's an unbelievable experience and I think that people who come here tend to know that if they don't do their part that may be something that disappears.

For its part, the U.S. Forest Service is holding a series of public hearings this fall which could affect the future of bolted climbing on Mt. Whitney, California's highest mountain, and in thirty-two other wilderness areas in the State.

For the California Report, I'm Robin White."


morcomm


Nov 27, 2005, 1:22 PM
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Re: Valley of Stone Closure [In reply to]
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:twisted:

Below is a link you can use to access (and download as a .pdf file) an article on climbing restrictions at Castle Rock State Park, California:

http://www.morcommpress.com/...RestrictionsCRSP.pdf

Have a good read.

ciow
bdm


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