Loc: High Falls, NY
Was it once the norm for climbers to leave the extras, the Gatorade, foot long deli sandwiches, chips, bars, coffee, extra gear, cell phone, novel, laptop, dog, hammock, cooler, GoPro video recorders, bouldering mattresses.... in their car? I find it hard to believe. Two friends casting off quietly, leaving as much metal and plastic and noise behind, for a day of adventuring in a vertical world? Sounds perfect, my personal favorite.
Yesterday a mutual friend said in reference to this thread, "his position hasn't changed". The thing is, climbing has changed. What has changed most is the fact that climbing has become a mainstream activity. Even ice climbing has become popular. There are more and more people coming out to the cliffs and their perceptions about the games climbers play are all over the place.
One thing that's stayed largely unchanged is the general herd mentality that the most climbers have. This idea that the Trapps are a huge impact zone, at least parts in particular, is completely accurate. Areas like Frog's Head, Mac Wall, Arrow, (the Nears north of Loose Goose), these areas have become a sort of vertical city park. Parks have lots of visitors that use them in a variety of ways and they get managed to support those different uses. Some folks are going to use the Mac Wall to get their uber athlete pump doing laps on Fly Again et al, others are going bumble their way up the a first multi pitch lead on Three Pines and another pair are taking MF to the top on their way to an "El Cap" day. This is current reality and a common thread here is that people are leaving their Winnebago (er backpack) at the base of the cliff and returning to it after one or a couple of pitches of climbing.
I don't know how many rappel anchors are enough, I mean they are all "convenience anchors" in the end. I do believe that anchors most commonly used should be bomb proof and be placed so as to limit impact on natural features and on people climbing below. Bad, poorly thought out anchors should not be placed or should be removed. Many of the most ridiculous anchors are not new but ancient relics that were dumb when they were created and have been backed up with one more strand over and over leaving messy lumps of crusty tat that are time bombs.
Dialogue on this forum, in the shop and at the crag will help to establish at least some consensus as to which anchors should be fixed and which should go.
Lost City and other more out of the way places will intermittently see more visitors in the coming years, hell it's barely more than an hour to hike to even the most far flung places. Keeping them free of trash, unnecessary rap anchors and out of print or digital guides is going to take effort. The Preserve has taken steps to limit the use of both LC and Bonticou by guides, allowing only one guide with two clients per service on any given day.