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#14460 - 03/15/05 12:29 AM Carriage Road Signs?
feck Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Accord, NY
The Gunks are BY FAR THE EASIEST CLIFFS in the nation to navigate and find routes.



Dumbing it down even further is an insult.


Edited by webmaster (03/17/05 06:38 PM)

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#14461 - 03/15/05 04:37 AM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: feck]
Steven Cherry Offline

veteran

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1300
Loc: New York, N.Y.
I can't say I agree with Feck (T-Wall and Sandrock come to mind) but I do hope the information is easy to avoid for those who want a traditional climbing experience.

And the Preserve putting up signs? Geez, are there any other possible ways in which we can keep the Gunks from serving its decades-old role as a training ground for more adventurous climbing? Maybe some color coded arrows indicating the starting handholds and first gear placement.


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#14462 - 03/15/05 04:40 AM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: Steven Cherry]
Steven Cherry Offline

veteran

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1300
Loc: New York, N.Y.
I should add that signs along the carriage road, indicating things like "Arrow Wall" and "High Exposure Buttress" are a lot less objectionable, especially if it's in conjunction with the apparent work in progress of reducing the number of trails through the talus and improving the remaining ones. That's been a truly good program.

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#14463 - 03/15/05 02:52 PM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: Steven Cherry]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
I still think simple mileage markers would work and the non-climbers would like them too. Although I'm finally getting pretty accurate after all these years, I'd still find the signs useful when the leaves are up.

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#14464 - 03/15/05 06:33 PM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: dalguard]
nerdom Offline
Pooh-Bah *

Registered: 09/07/01
Posts: 2483
Loc: Davis Sq., MA
ARGHHHH! The idea of signs indicating route starts just pisses me off to no end! Only a gym climber could make such a request. Here's a clue: follow the yellow blazed trails that look like they've be rehabilitated and aren't brushed-in. ASK someone if they know how to get to such and such a climb. It's a good opportunity to meet new and interesting people and solidify our "climbing community." Plus, how much of an inconvenience is it to amble around aimlessly in one of the most beautiful and aesthetic environments in the country? For God's sake, route signs are only one step down the slippery slope (there has been discussion for years about corporate sponsorship of our National Parks). Can you imagine a sign reading, "Shockey's Ceiling, brought to you by Sprint! For the best coverage at the Gunks, look to Sprint!"?
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#14465 - 03/15/05 06:54 PM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: dalguard]
tradjunkie Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 365
Unlike Dawn, I've really never gotten very good at keeping track of where I am. The views etc. keep distracting me and next thing I know I'm down at Sleepy Hollow, thinking, "Dude, I missed Madame G's by a mile."

Maybe little symbols at the beginning of the yellow trails to differentiate them? Or a double or triple yellow stripe? Or different colors? Something discreet. Doesn't have to be a full-on label. Even a little star or acorn or numeral drawn with a flair pen onto the first blaze would be enough. I mean, if you see that you're at "J" when you are looking for "K", you know you're close. And I doubt the non-climbers would really mind.

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#14466 - 03/15/05 07:30 PM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: dalguard]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Quote:

I still think simple mileage markers would work and the non-climbers would like them too. Although I'm finally getting pretty accurate after all these years, I'd still find the signs useful when the leaves are up.




If we're gonna put distance tick marks on the cliffs, it should be measured in Smoots .

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#14467 - 03/16/05 03:06 AM Re: Routes Database Improvements... [Re: tradjunkie]
schwortz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
having signs of any sort to tell you where you are on the carriage road is a joke....its extremely easy to see climbs form the carriage road even with the thickest summer growth.....if you're so attention deficient that you cant remember a rock or tree or trail or two then just buy a gps unit and mark a waypoint at each trailhead....maybe you can figure out a way to record the location of each set of bolted anchors in there too....maybe your gps unit will have wireless internet so you can check the routes database for move by move beta while you're on the climb.....

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#14468 - 03/16/05 03:46 PM Re: Route signs [Re: schwortz]
Jannette Offline

Cliffmama
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: Gardiner, NY
Many of the routes at Potrero Chico, in Mexico, are labelled. Sometimes it's painted stencil letters, sometimes small non-contrasting words are painted, and sometimes pretty painted rocks with the route name are glued to the base (but they kept getting stolen). The start of approach trails are now lined with big rocks which are spray painted bright colors. It's pretty hideous looking.

I asked Tami, the guidebook author, about it, and she said so many new routes are put up that the guidebook is always behind. People come there with old guidebooks, trying to count the bolt lines and end up on the wrong route and get themselves into trouble thinking they're on a 5.9 when they're on a 5.11. The guidebook basically describes only the name and the number of bolts, occasionally some minimal feature info. So it's considered OK to label the routes.

However, at the Gunks, we have guidebooks with lots of detailed descriptions, including what the start looks like, as well as topos maps to show you which approach trail to go up. There's plenty of information available - I'd hate to see signs put up. Perhaps the least impact would be to blaze the approach trails different colors to help differentiate them, but people in the outdoors should be able to figure out where they're going and if not, they should pay attention and learn before they get themselves lost at some more remote location someday.

Jannette
(hey, I'm green!)

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#14469 - 03/17/05 08:29 PM Re: Route signs would help everyone [Re: Jannette]
webmaster Offline

veteran

Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 1273
Loc: New Paltz (Kerhonkson, actuall...
I think I could easily dog-pile on with the rest of you and ridicule the idea of reference markers on the trail, but for once I won't. That tack of belitting others who don't have the inside track sounds a little too familiar to my eyes and ears, especially on this board.

I don't know, I think some type of navigation on the carriage road is not a bad idea. Sure, as a long time Gunks climber, I can usually find the route I'm looking for, but that's when it's in a vicinity I'm familiar with (relative to other climbs). As I get further down the trail, into areas I visit less frequently (or at all), it gets less easy to find a route. I also find the argument that it's easy to find the routes here somewhat specious. When it's summer, and you're looking up at the cliff, you don't see much. While the Williams Guide has some rudementary map of the carriage road, I find it works best in areas that I already know. I use the Black Book, and many of the landmarks are overgrown or have disintegrated, or the trees have long since fallen.

We can all spout off about how easy it is to find things here, but of course we all have the benefit of years of experience--or someone showing else pinpointing the the route. Coming from another area I think it costs a lot of time to find routes. When it's busy, you have the option to ask people for directions. But if it's midweek, it's more hit or miss.

I think something unobtrusive, like numbered or color blazed assent trails, mileage markers, and the like would improve the experience for most, and not ruin the experience for those here who feel they can navigate the entire trapps blindfolded.

Think about it this way: When the Trapps are crowded, people will be willing to walk further down the carriage road if they're confident they'll find their route quickly. This could go a long way to allieviate the crowding in the first 1/2 mile of the Trapps (and Nears). That should please all you.

Some of you might view the route finding as some right of passage, and that's all well and good. But I think everyone should get to choose their own passage. Some people don't want to read they guidebook before starting a route, some don't want to know the rating. But why not let people choose what beta they want??

-em
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#14470 - 03/17/05 08:37 PM Re: Route signs would help everyone [Re: webmaster]
Timbo Offline
addict

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 696
Loc: Delaware
At this point I'm not sure if I'm for for against signs, but I do know this: they put up unobtrusive little signs at Wild Iris because the trails were braiding and guess what, it worked. The signs funneled traffic onto one trail and cut out cross-country routes when someone found they were heading in the wrong direction.

I can see how an unobstrusive sign at the base of the spur trails from the Carriage Road could lead to less traffic along the cliff base trail and possibly less erosion.
I would rather see the masses walk on the road than along the base of the cliff.

If it aids in preserving the cliff w/o being too obstrusive, I probably would not mind some signs.

TS
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#14471 - 03/17/05 09:15 PM Re: Route signs would help everyone [Re: webmaster]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Quote:

I don't know, I think some type of navigation on the carriage road is not a bad idea. <snip> I use the Black Book, and many of the landmarks are overgrown or have disintegrated, or the trees have long since fallen.
<snip>
I think something unobtrusive, like numbered or color blazed assent trails, mileage markers, and the like would improve the experience for most, and not ruin the experience for those here who feel they can navigate the entire trapps blindfolded.




Set the controls on the Wayback Machine, Sherman.
At one time there was precisely the unobtrusive signage that you suggest. There used to be a self-guiding nature/natural history trail along the Undercliff road. There were little cedar stakes, about 2.5" in diameter and maybe 6" high, that had an angled painted top with a number carved through the paint discretely placed along the side of the road. These numbers corresponded to numbered paragraphs in a pamphlet that the rangers handed out for the asking.

Cliimbers quickly learned a secondary use that was very handy for giving directions to visiting climbers: "a few yards past number X is the trail that leads up to the base of Never Never Land." Supplemented with some prominent natural landmarks - the pot-bellied tree (aka People Eater), the Andrew boulder, etc. it was quite effective.

Time and traffic took their toll and the posts were all but totally gone sometime in the early 90's. Seeing that the Trapps has resembled an outdoor urban gym for quite some time now, something of this sort may well have its place. I wouldn't suggest that this is something for the preserve to do.
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#14472 - 03/18/05 03:37 AM Re: Route signs would help everyone [Re: webmaster]
Steven Cherry Offline

veteran

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1300
Loc: New York, N.Y.
Evan, you don't have the option to dog-pile on with the rest of us, because not all of the rest of us have ridiculed the idea. But frankly, the arguments advanced so far don't really amount to much. Tim's point about funneling traffic onto trails doesn't wash at the Gunks, where the trails are marked.

The argument that people can ignore the guidebook, so why can't they ignore the signs ignores the fact that you can not walk around with a guidebook, but by the time you look away from a sign you've already seen it.

The idea that we need signs because during a weekday there aren't people to ask presumes that people have some right to not have to look for routes for themselves. The guidebooks have some walking times and other tips, and people can walk along the base and follow the feature descriptions and route descriptions. Frankly, that's an awful lot more information than you get at the New, the Dacks, Cathedral, JTree, and about a thousand other climbing areas out there.

So the question is, what kind of climbing area do we want the Gunks to be, a traditional climbing area, or another Smith Rock? Evan, you're welcome to say you don't want the Gunks to be a traditional climbing area, but face up to the fact that you feel that way, and say it.

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#14473 - 03/18/05 03:51 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: feck]
JoeKayak Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/21/02
Posts: 970
Loc: Manhattan
Quote:

The Gunks are BY FAR THE EASIEST CLIFFS in the nation to navigate and find routes.



Dumbing it down even further is an insult.




At Mount Nemo on the Niagara Escarpement, they have numbers at the base of each route that correspond to the guide book. So I don't agree that the Gunks cliffs is the easiest (granted, place I'm talking about is not in the "nation").

I don't think markers are necessary at the Gunks. I've gotten plenty lost (both finding a route and on a route) and most of the time I've found what I'm looking for by asking one or two of the many, very nice people I find out there doing what I'm doing.

edited to add that the numbers are actually painted on the rock!!!


Edited by JoeKayak (03/18/05 04:36 PM)

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#14474 - 03/18/05 04:16 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: JoeKayak]
GeeVee Offline
Auto Reply

Registered: 11/14/00
Posts: 4403
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
At Mount Nemo on the Niagara Escarpement, they have numbers at the base of each route that correspond to the guide book. So I don't agree that the Gunks cliffs is the easiest (granted, place I'm talking about is not in the "nation").

If you want a good (or is that bad?) example "in the nation" there's always Crawdad Canyon in southern Utah - they have name plaques at the base of each of the climbs.
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#14475 - 03/18/05 05:00 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: GeeVee]
Cornell Climber Offline
journeyman

Registered: 07/12/04
Posts: 63
Consider this a vote for mile markers on the carriage road. Beneficial to hikers and bikers. Not as overbearing as route signs, but will help climbers find the correct approach path. Something similar at the Nears would be nice as well.

I've been climbing at the Gunks since 1997 and still sometimes have difficulty locating a climb. Of course, I once walked up to someone and asked what climb they were on. The response, Limelight, shouldn't have come as a surprise since I had climbed it six days earlier.

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#14476 - 03/18/05 05:32 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: Cornell Climber]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
how about we just tie dogs down at different points on the carriage trail with signs on them indicating what climbs are above. The signs should contain name of the climb, topo, and full route/gear description. Dogs should be of any type just as long as they are tied down with a leash.
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#14477 - 03/18/05 07:01 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: talus]
JoeKayak Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/21/02
Posts: 970
Loc: Manhattan
Dogs should be of any type just as long as they are tied down with a leash.

and friendly...don't forget that...otherwise you'll have people hogging routes with fido the pitbull growling at the base.

better yet, let's have alternating sets of g.commers stationed at every mile with a sandwich board containing the most brilliant pearl of wisdom ever shared by them on the board? this could be fun (but we should move it to the AAC thread to continue).

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#14478 - 03/18/05 08:19 PM Re: Route signs would help everyone [Re: webmaster]
edk Offline
addict

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 441
Loc: allentown, NJ
I support the idea. In fact I love it. but thats not the way it goes in this game is it. obfusication is a little contrivance designed to keep things somewhat exclusive.

Wont be long before guidebooks start using GPS coordinates - unobstrusive and direct I LOVE that idea even more

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#14479 - 03/18/05 08:21 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: talus]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
I was thinking those little solar powered sidewalk lights every 10 feet along the carriage path. They could all have numbers painted on them so you always know where you are, and they would help the climbers and hikers who get caught out after sunset.
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#14480 - 03/18/05 09:13 PM Re: Route signs would help everyone [Re: edk]
caver Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 260
Loc: High Falls
GPS won't work at the base of the cliffs, I know cause I did a study for the preserve a few years ago with their equipment...
Maybe on the Carraige Road if it's at least a couple hunderd feet from the cliff.

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#14481 - 03/18/05 09:33 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: quanto_the_mad]
JoeKayak Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/21/02
Posts: 970
Loc: Manhattan
Quote:

I was thinking those little solar powered sidewalk lights every 10 feet along the carriage path. They could all have numbers painted on them so you always know where you are, and they would help the climbers and hikers who get caught out after sunset.





better yet, we could put interactive elements right into the cliff wall....press the button at the base and it tells you what route you're on. press another button after the first move and lester tells you what gear to place and how to set up for the next move....wow (can this go on my placard?).

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#14482 - 03/18/05 10:22 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: JoeKayak]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
AND we could put color tape on the all the moves. I mean since we all know getting off route is a serious problem that we have the power to fix and make it better right?

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#14483 - 03/19/05 01:38 AM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: quanto_the_mad]
D75 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 293
Loc: Holiday Inn Express
I've only been to the Gunks about 50 or so times. So there are still a number of areas that are still quite unfamiliar even at the cliff base - Ok, actually some that I have never even seen, forget familiarity. There are also a few places on the carriage road where I am quite sure where I am.

This addresses only the idea of marking the carriage road - not all of the sarcastic responses about marking the cliff, nor the good suggestions about asking cliff-side about routes from someone who is familiar.

The mileage marker idea might be useful to bikers and hikers. It would be useful to climbers as well, but only after they have marked up which ever version of the guide book they have, to correlate the distances with the climbs. Some of the guide book trail information is now inconsistent with the existing trail structure.

Marking the carriage road with the climb name or at least the area, however, does not depend over the long term on the locations of the trails. So, for example, the sign that says Arrow always tells you where you are on the carriage road relative to the climb. Likewise McCarthy wall could be correlated to any number of past or future guidebooks. The marking need not correspond with trail locations to be useful, only the cliff.

I have always thought that it would be nice to have some small permanent signage. If I want to just hike and enjoy nature, I can do it without spending hours to drive there. If I want to climb and enjoy the company of the people I am with, or happen to meet, having the signs would free me from keeping track of approximate hiking times or looking for landmarks that I might either not recognize or simply walk by. I have even missed the Minty Tree and I know what that looks like.

Obviously my regular partners are not some of the people who always know where they are. I have only been climbing a short time. I often bring people up who have climbed even less. But I also have often visited with people who nearly live there and even they sometime "get lost" on the carriage road.

Signage would be nice.

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#14484 - 03/19/05 03:56 AM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: D75]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I've been there more times than I can count and still find myself sometimes lost in the summer. Of course, my memory issues may be why I'm unable to count very well. I would rather no signage.

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#14485 - 03/19/05 11:53 AM Re: Carriage Road Signs? You've got to be kidding [Re: D75]
KWay Offline
stranger

Registered: 10/18/02
Posts: 9
Im sorry but If I'm not mistaken the carrage road is already marked just look at the stones that line the road way. Also If I'm not mistaken at least one guide book author already uses the stones in his guide books.....to correlate location vs route. So if that isn't good enough I don't think mile post marks will help, Also as a member of the Preserve I would be the first to bitch about signs marking climbs; and lets not forget about all of the others who are members that could care less about climbers........Use the resources at hand that we
already have; we are climbers playing in a Trad Area so act like one.

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#14486 - 03/19/05 02:36 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: talus]
Steven Cherry Offline

veteran

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1300
Loc: New York, N.Y.
I like the dog idea, but couldn't the size of the animal indicate the difficulty? And the temperment the protection rating?

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#14487 - 03/19/05 06:12 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: Steven Cherry]
Dad4Trad Offline
member

Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 144
Loc: New Paltz
I like the idea of numbering (or color coding) the approach routes to the base of the cliff. That seems unobtrusive, helps people orient and get to the right area of the climb they are looking for, and might prevent people from making their own approach paths.

D4T

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#14488 - 03/19/05 07:20 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: Dad4Trad]
feck Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Accord, NY
If one cannot find the route from the Gunks guidebook, they should not be climbing. What the heck are they going to do when it comes to route finding when halfway up the cliff?


Sign advocates are a bunch of Johnny-come-latelys that have no idea how to navigate or survive outside the urban jungle they live in.



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#14489 - 03/19/05 08:15 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: feck]
D75 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 293
Loc: Holiday Inn Express
Quote:

If one cannot find the route from the Gunks guidebook, they should not be climbing. What the heck are they going to do when it comes to route finding when halfway up the cliff?




Anybody can find the routes. It is about finding them quickly and easily from the carriage road . As in going up the next trail and knowing which direction to turn without wandering around until you recognize a climb. Save that time twice and you got another climb in.

And, of course, halfway up the cliff, you just follow the chalk left by all the environmentally friendly climbers who don't need no stinkin' signs. :-)

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#14490 - 03/19/05 08:37 PM Re: Route signs would help everyone [Re: Steven Cherry]
Timbo Offline
addict

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 696
Loc: Delaware
Quote:

Tim's point about funneling traffic onto trails doesn't wash at the Gunks, where the trails are marked.





I think it does, but only along the cliff base. Yes the spur trails are marked, but people go up to soon or too late, then wander along the cliff finding the climb.

I am actually ambivalent on the signage. I think better trails along the cliff base will ease the majority of the erosion problems there and that would make my only argument for signage a moot point.

T
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#14491 - 03/19/05 09:58 PM Re: Route signs would help everyone [Re: Timbo]
Dana Offline
addict

Registered: 07/13/00
Posts: 619
I don't think we need signs. With a little time and patience, you'll find your way around. Why should everything in the world be immediately available, all time, to everybody, 24 hours a day?

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#14492 - 03/20/05 04:06 AM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: feck]
edk Offline
addict

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 441
Loc: allentown, NJ
Quote:

If one cannot find the route from the Gunks guidebook, they should not be climbing. What the heck are they going to do when it comes to route finding when halfway up the cliff?


Sign advocates are a bunch of Johnny-come-latelys that have no idea how to navigate or survive outside the urban jungle they live in.





Yeah, Johnny come lately - thats it... NO NEW BLOOD IN CLIMBING!! at least not at the gunks! screw signs! screw trail blazes. Can't find the climb - heh you dont belong on it anyway! you're funnny... in stupid kind of way.

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#14493 - 03/20/05 12:44 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: edk]
feck Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Accord, NY
edk: why not go to Disneyworld, where your ilk is more comfortable.

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#14494 - 03/20/05 09:14 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: feck]
tradjunkie Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 365
Personally, I'd rather spend my time routefinding on the cliff, or at least at the base (I think finding the route start IS a valid element of routefinding, as long as you're on the right cliff). That's more fun than routefinding on the carriage road.

Note: after many years of resistance, I have finally moved into Manhattan - a grid city - and still get lost in the grid! So I know I'm a hapless navigator at times.

Also, it's embarrassing to meet some visitors/newbies walking back along the carriage road and ask, 'are we past the minty tree / 3 pines / strictly / etc' and not be able to help them even though you were there earlier in the day....

For those who oppose making the carriage road easier to navigate, do you also oppose marking the Preserve parking lots, etc.? Why not just tell people, 'you can see the cliffs from Rock & Snow, start driving and park legally'!

Where do you draw the line?

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#14495 - 03/20/05 10:53 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: D75]
Steven Cherry Offline

veteran

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1300
Loc: New York, N.Y.
Anybody can find the routes. It is about finding them quickly and easily from the carriage road . As in going up the next trail and knowing which direction to turn without wandering around until you recognize a climb. Save that time twice and you got another climb in.

Huh? It happens to me a few times a season, you're walking and talking, and enjoying the beautiful day, and suddenly look up and say, "oh, where the heck are we?" and see you've gone one or two trails too far. You either head up, and backtrack, or backtrack on the carriage road. Total time lost, maybe 10 minutes, tops. If you can squeeze in an extra route in the 20 minutes of doing that twice, you're climbing so fast it doesn't really matter.

Once again, maybe there's some justification for marking the carriage road, but the argments advanced so far don't really amount to much.


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#14496 - 03/20/05 11:09 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: edk]
Steven Cherry Offline

veteran

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1300
Loc: New York, N.Y.
Look, by my count, there are at least these trails through the talus (not counting the Uberfall and just past it). It's already more than we need in order to efficiently find things - we could get down to a mere dozen and still be one of the easiest crags to get around in in the nation.

Shockley's
Mac Wall
Beginner's
Guide's Wall
V-3
Middle Earth
Thin Slabs
Arrow Wall
CCK
High E
Ant's Line
The Sting
The Spring
Falled on Account of Strain
W.A.S.P.
Casablanca
V.D.

Short-term visitors or new-to-trad climbers don't even use the last 5 or 6 of them anyway. So we're talking about keeping track of 10-12 trails--probably more like 8 if we did things right. How hard is that? Do you really need a bunch of signs?

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#14497 - 03/21/05 03:17 AM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: Steven Cherry]
feck Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Accord, NY
Please do not clutter the argument with FACTS! hehe

Excellent point on the trail count, btw. And as for T Wall being easier to Navigate? I guess you are correct on that front with exception to the approach hike. A side note: I know two guys that parked two miles before they should have and bushwhacked their way to the wall (Two Crazy brothers from Kentucky--if you are reading this, you guys were a blast, you crazy spurt climbing kooks!). They still loved it!


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#14498 - 03/21/05 03:28 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: feck]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Don't even get me started on this argument!!

RR

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#14499 - 03/21/05 04:44 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: RangerRob]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
Put the signs up, just make sure to make them out of wood. I need some firewood.

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#14500 - 03/21/05 06:20 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: Steven Cherry]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
Quote:


Shockley's
Mac Wall
Beginner's
Guide's Wall
V-3
Middle Earth
Thin Slabs
Arrow Wall
CCK
High E
Ant's Line
The Sting
The Spring
Falled on Account of Strain
W.A.S.P.
Casablanca
V.D.





How about these climbs:

A-Gape
Kama Sutra
splastic
MF
Friends & Lovers
Bitchy Virgen
Cheap thrills
Yenta
Annie Oh
Proctoscope
Erect Direction
Psychedelic
Condemned Man
Scary Area
Shit creek
Golden Showers
Yo mama
Bone Hard / Circumcision / Foreign Lesion / VD

I would just next to the signs all day and watch the peoples' reaction after they read the sign. It would be better than climbing!
_________________________
John Okner Photography

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#14501 - 03/21/05 08:41 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: feck]
edk Offline
addict

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 441
Loc: allentown, NJ
Quote:

edk: why not go to Disneyworld, where your ilk is more comfortable.




I'm part of an " ilk " YEAH!! I always wanted to be part of an ilk.... I didn't even know my ilk hung out at Disney world, shit! that's where they've been - I've been looking in the deli and the bar - here they've been right under my nose.

Oh wait, you're making fun of me..... I out-asshole you feck, I could have come up with a more suitable insult than that on my fart break.... I take those in the men's room - you know, that's the door with the litle picture of a guy, might even say MEN..... Kind of a sign you know? just so you know where to go.

ed

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#14502 - 03/21/05 09:38 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: edk]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
Hey, that'd be cool, signs that read "brought to you by edk and his ilk"
_________________________


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#14503 - 03/22/05 02:17 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: quanto_the_mad]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
ed and il sitting in a tree...?

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#14504 - 03/22/05 03:16 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: crackers]
feck Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Accord, NY
!!WARNING!! THIS POST CONTAINS SARCASM, VITRIOL, & BANALITIES !!WARNING!!
It is not intended to be taken seriously. Please consult with your Dr. if you experience any of these symptoms:

Anger
Frustration
Confusion
Headache
Diarhea
Mental Constipation
Yeast Infection

edk: I meant to write ELK, not ILK, my bad. You see, you are part of a herd mentality, what with those Gaudy Antlers and what not.....

But really,


You have no clue what I am capable of...... You are a piker. Only because the webmaster has unequivocally told me to contain myself am I sparing you and the rest the torrent of pain that I could unleash...

For real.

Sticks and Stones could break your bones,
But the words I would create would turn you into Terry Shiavo.

Which based on the vegetative state of your posts, does not seem to be to far a journey, eh?

Trust me, you do not want to cross (s)words....in cyberspace, or the real world.



So far now, be ASSURED that I am having fun and playing a foolie with you. Nothing personal is intended. So don't go there, else my alter-ego could be unleashed from its sequestered cage.

Bad weather does have its charms, don't it?

You are now returned to your regularly boring posts and threads.

That is all.




edited 1x: spelling, humour, angst


Edited by feck (03/22/05 03:17 PM)

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#14505 - 03/22/05 03:22 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: feck]
feck Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Accord, NY
EDK: PS: You seem a good sport. And really no offense is meant by the above post. If you particularly enjoy verbal/cyber jousting with rhetorical lances....well then let's have some fun and trip the light fantastic with these ones and zeroes (all while staying within the confines of the rules and regulations of the website, of course!)

My easily bruised and battered ego awaits a crushing by the foot of your cerebral mightiness.


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#14506 - 03/22/05 06:17 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: Steven Cherry]
Architect Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/19/04
Posts: 210
Loc: north by northeast (from jerse...
Quote:

Look, by my count, there are at least these trails through the talus (not counting the Uberfall and just past it). It's already more than we need in order to efficiently find things - we could get down to a mere dozen and still be one of the easiest crags to get around in in the nation.

Shockley's
Mac Wall
Beginner's
Guide's Wall
V-3
Middle Earth
Thin Slabs
Arrow Wall
CCK
High E
Ant's Line
The Sting
The Spring
Falled on Account of Strain
W.A.S.P.
Casablanca
V.D.

Short-term visitors or new-to-trad climbers don't even use the last 5 or 6 of them anyway. So we're talking about keeping track of 10-12 trails--probably more like 8 if we did things right. How hard is that? Do you really need a bunch of signs?






This has inspired me.
This year marks my third season at the Gunks and to be honest without my more experienced gunks partners (not to mention my Climbing Alzheimer's) I'm lost. I couldn't even tell you which trails lead to which basic climbs as mentioned above though I've climbed almost every one of these.
SO, I've decieded that I will create my own map indicating where each of the trails to the cliffs are and how far. this should help me remember whats whats as well as give me something that makes sence to me (dick and swain are both pretty cryptic still when it comes to location)

Yes this is the answer I've been looking for.

BTW, if you do get them to put markers on the path perhaps they should be little yellow arrows. and perhaps they could lead all the way up to the rock. yeah thats a good idea. that way people could follow them up to the climbs.

-trout-
_________________________
-Karl - Looking for a clucking partner
www.genxclimbing.com

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#14507 - 03/23/05 01:21 AM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: Architect]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I always liked the title of the book, Mountaineering, the Freedom of the Hills. It views the acquisition of knowledge and techique as the pursuit of freedom in environments whose difficulties would otherwise restrict both body and spirit. It saddens me to see some climbers consumed with an apparently boundless sense of entitlement, so focused on some single narrow aspect of our sport that they continually wish for human intervention in shaping the natural scene to their private convenience.

I can't say that I care that much whether or not the Gunks get signage, but I find the desire for signage and the arguments in favor of it part of a depressing trend to decompose the outdoor experience into tiny component parts, reject all those that are viewed as some sort of inconvenience (as if a 5.11 crux is not inconvenient), and select out only those delectable morsels deemed to be worthy of the precious time of an astonishingly impatient modern outdoorsman. This new type of climber has no interest in and perhaps no understanding of the freedom of the hills, a concept that leaves the hills intact and celebrates the human genius for adaptation. Rather than adapting to the hills, the modern over-scheduled climber demands the hills be adapted to him, reducing the natural scene to a giant antiseptically tame playground that will allow the maximum amount of gratification in the least amount of time.

I can already hear the incoming salvos: Irrelevant old-school grouchiness. Excessive "traditude." All couched in a subtle or not-so-subtle mix of generational insults. But there's nothing generational about any of this. I just got back from a very cold week at Red Rocks, and spent some time hanging with a bunch of young guides in the next campsite, men and women who revel in the complex approach and devious descent just as much as the multiple run-out 5.10 and 5.11 pitches they climb in between those two features of the mountain world. These young climbers, far more accomplished than anyone on this board, would think of the need for signage in the Gunks as a preposterous joke.

Which it is. The cliffs didn't come with signs. If you want to climb 'em, deal with it.

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#14508 - 03/23/05 01:40 AM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: rg@ofmc]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
hear, hear. and if we do get new signs directing climbers to their chosen climbs, let them be encrusted with large rhinestones and capable of automatically emitting a hearty "oinking" noise whenever said climbers walk by, so they are sure not to miss seeing them.
_________________________
Support Your Local Farmer!

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#14509 - 03/23/05 01:53 AM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: phlan]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
A-men and spot on R.G.

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#14510 - 03/23/05 02:04 AM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: rg@ofmc]
Frank Florence Offline
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 528
Loc: moved to Bend
Oof! RG, traditude notwithstanding, is it really fair to compare the Carriage Road to Red Rocks?

Still, I appreciate that you’re really suggesting that the comparison ought to be in the attitude of the climber, that we carry an openness to uncertainty, a joy in exploration, a yearning for adventure in all the places we climb.

Nah, on second thought, that’s too unreliable. How about we opt for signs like along the Interstate system: High E, this exit. Use left lane for Directissima. Bonnie’s Roof, 0.5 mi. Roger’s Escape Hatch, 1 mile (no rest rooms.)


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#14511 - 03/23/05 03:54 AM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: Frank Florence]
caver Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 260
Loc: High Falls
Can't say it any better 'an RG did so can we put this thread to bed already?!?!? Please???????????
I live close enough that I can sneak up there any nite and rip all those suckers down IF they ever appear...Freedom of the Hills my ass! (grumble, grumble)

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#14512 - 03/23/05 01:07 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: rg@ofmc]
fallenglass Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/01/03
Posts: 276
Loc: cornwall
long live excessive traditude!

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#14513 - 03/23/05 01:29 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: fallenglass]
Dana Offline
addict

Registered: 07/13/00
Posts: 619
Somehow signs on the Carriage road remind me of Sport Park.

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#14514 - 03/23/05 02:36 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: caver]
edk Offline
addict

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 441
Loc: allentown, NJ
Quote:

Can't say it any better 'an RG did so can we put this thread to bed already?!?!? Please???????????
I live close enough that I can sneak up there any nite and rip all those suckers down IF they ever appear...Freedom of the Hills my ass! (grumble, grumble)




I can see it now... The bolt wars were tame compared to the sign wars of 2005.

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#14515 - 03/23/05 03:01 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: edk]
Timbo Offline
addict

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 696
Loc: Delaware
1) While I happen to agree with RG's sentiment and spirit, the fact is there are more and more climbers coming to the Gunks each year and the erosion on the cliff base is increasing. Some form of mitigation is in order. It would seem that better, erosion-resistant trails is the more desirable remedy from what I hear on this board. Works for me.

2) From those who are adamantly opposed to signs, but are chalkaholics - would you even consider no longer using chalk, since that takes almost all routefinding skill out of the equation on popular climbs.

Devil's advocate here, just wondering how those who use chalk but are against signage rationalize the apparent contradiction.

TS (signage ambivalent)

_________________________

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#14516 - 03/23/05 03:03 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: Dana]
browndog2 Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 767
Loc: livin' on the edge
If we're gonna revel in excessive traditude, then by thunder lets have at it.
As if guessing which trail to get off the carriage road to access some wall somehow imparts adventure to your Gunks experience. Ha. I say Ha.
You want adventure, lets start by tearing out the carriage roads. You wanna do HiE, you'll feel like you earned the right to fly by the time you finish the approach.
And while we're at it, no parking at the crag.
Real core climbers park at the park-and-ride, off the Thruway, and hike to the crag.
And lastly, take down those overly helpful signs for New Paltz at the Thruway.
....trad farts...i remember when...mumble mumble...now what was I sayin...hmmm
_________________________
(not that there's anything wrong with that...sorta)

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#14517 - 03/23/05 03:17 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: phlan]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
RG said "These young climbers, far more accomplished than anyone on this board,"

bold statement but i guess you know all. i sure hope these were exum guides!

like Bdog2 said park at the park & ride. for the jersey folk we should paddle up th hudson river then hike over from Poughkepsie. but only the guys camping next to RG would do that since they are Far More accomplished.
_________________________
John Okner Photography

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#14518 - 03/23/05 03:17 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: browndog2]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Screw that, browndog, we should climb the Gunks starting from sea level. In the Bronx, and work our way up the Hudson.

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#14519 - 03/23/05 03:28 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: rg@ofmc]
piglet Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/06/01
Posts: 384
Loc: Long Island
I think that RG is right. Climbing is supposed to be about adventure and testing your limits. Getting lost looking for a climb and finding other interesting climbs, meeting folks while asking for directions or looking at the flora and fauna is part of the experience.

Deirdre
_________________________
Thought is the ruler's chief enemy - Napoleon

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#14520 - 03/23/05 03:36 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: piglet]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
You're right piglet. You can ask for directions.

I say I say in the BRONX, I say.

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#14521 - 03/23/05 03:55 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: browndog2]
webmaster Offline

veteran

Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 1273
Loc: New Paltz (Kerhonkson, actuall...
I'm with Browndog. If you're going to get up on your orange crate of adventure, be sure to leave your guidebook behind, too!

Honestly, I can't believe how little perspective most of you are displaying. It seems to me that only those of you who thoroughly know your way around want to maintain the find-it-yourself-pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstaps-chest-thumping-pomposity. Those of us with perhaps a little less experience (or a little more candor) admit to getting lost even after years of visits. I for one would be pretty much toast without the guidebook.

Why is the guidebook acceptable, anyway? Perhaps you would be sign burners should consider absconding with every guidebook you find unattended and have a book burning ceremony to appease the gods of self reliance. And while you're at it, make sure to run that phillistine Williams out of town (good job on Swain, btw-I hear he's moved to the other coast, and is so scared he carries a gun 24/7!).

And don't get me started on these people who don't fabricate their own gear!

Let's be clear. I'm talking about simple markers on the carriage road. Not signs. Not route names at the base of the cliff. Just simple mileage markers. Remember that they were there in the past.

Climbing in an area such as the Trapps/Nears is only as much of an adventure as the individual climber chooses to make of it. As you can read in the interviews with Williams and Bragg, most of you are not climbing in the style or the spirit of those of earlier decades (still, you consider yourselves somehow of their 'Elk' ). I find it laughable that many of you posers would deprive other climbers of choices and conveniences when you yourselves have found it unremarkable to use similar and perhaps greater conveniences.

-em

_________________________
evan marks
webmaster@gunks.com
I wish I could read every post...

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#14522 - 03/23/05 03:58 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: piglet]
feck Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Accord, NY
Quote:

I think that RG is right. Climbing is supposed to be about adventure and testing your limits. Getting lost looking for a climb and finding other interesting climbs, meeting folks while asking for directions or looking at the flora and fauna is part of the experience.

Deirdre







Amen.


Too many people here seem to choose living in Seahaven, rather than a world that provides actual challenges. Christof would be very happy with most of you.


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#14523 - 03/23/05 04:12 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: rg@ofmc]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
Quote:

These young climbers [guides], far more accomplished than anyone on this board, would think of the need for signage in the Gunks as a preposterous joke.




sorry, rg, i think this is wrong headed with the best intentions.

I doubt these 'young climbers' are 'far more accomplished' than the people on this board. The people on this board, are IMHO not the best number climbers in the world, but if that is how you measure accomplishment, go read 8a.nu. For me, accomplishment has nothing to do with what you've done and everything to do with what doing it gave you, and what impact you had on the place. For some, that's guiding, for others, its putting aside ego and ambition aside to be a father and husband or mother and wife.

I had burritos last night with a guide far stronger than anybody on this board. We're both accomplished climbers, but lets face it, its his job and my fun. Therein lies a substantive difference to me.

That aside, i think that managing new climbers who no longer walk down the carriage road with their guide, but are exploring and learning about the freedom of the hills. There are cairns and paths and sign everywhere i've been in the world--maybe I can't always read it, but its there. The gunks is a laboratory. Its a place where we try to balance wild and urban, and if discrete milege markers are going to cut down on social trails and erosion, I am all for it.

no offense intended, i just find your post confuses the professional and personal worlds of our sport and confuses environmental attitudes suitable for low usage areas and those suitable for the incredible daily volume seen in gunks. As I develop the new places I am working on, I think the most important thing I can do is make sure the place will be as beautiful in forty years of intense use as it is today.

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#14524 - 03/23/05 04:29 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: webmaster]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
Quote:

I'm with Browndog. If you're going to get up on your orange crate of adventure, be sure to leave your guidebook behind, too!

"Honestly, I can't believe how little perspective most of you are displaying. It seems to me that only those of you who thoroughly know your way around want to maintain the find-it-yourself-pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstaps-chest-thumping-pomposity. Those of us with perhaps a little less experience (or a little more candor) admit to getting lost even after years of visits. I for one would be pretty much toast without the guidebook. "

Evan:
I will personally admit to getting lost all the time at the Gunks after 25 years of constant getting lost at the cliffs there, and am against any type of mile markers, signs etc. for the following reason:

I enjoy getting lost, to me it's part of the experience. I am defending my right to get lost. And when I get lost, I sometimes find a hidden gem of a climb I would otherwise never find. You are attempting to rob the unwashed masses of their right to get lost.

Singed,

the elitist snob phlan


That said, if there are signs, mile markers, billboards let them be illuminated with moving lights like in the Vegas Strip. Bring a little of Las Vegas to the Gunks that way.
_________________________
Support Your Local Farmer!

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#14525 - 03/23/05 04:38 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: webmaster]
piglet Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/06/01
Posts: 384
Loc: Long Island
Webmaster -

I get lost a lot, just trying to find my car in the parking lot if I don't park it in the same spot every day! So the lack of signs leaves me as lost as anyone else. Some folks were talking about putting up signs with route names on them. I'm not sure how I feel about milage markers since they could be used by walker/runner/bikers as well. Also - the impact on the trails may need to be considered. I wonder if the preserve has data on the number of climbers, the erosion rate etc. which would help us to reach considered decision as to the necessity of the markers as a means of protecting the Preserve . I'm all for protecting the Preserve - but no for making things more convenient for some folks who can't be bothered to walk.

As for the guide book - some day I hope to be able to climb well enough and to be able to scope out a climb well enough to not need it. I view it as a sort of crutch. I don't begrudge anyone guidebooks since they are sort of a necessity while to make sure that one doesn't get killed while learning how to climb and scope out routes. However, I am not sure how the signs and milage markers are a necessity - no one is likely to get killed as a result of having to walk a little out of their way because they came up the cliff at the wrong point.

Deirdre
_________________________
Thought is the ruler's chief enemy - Napoleon

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#14526 - 03/23/05 04:43 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: phlan]
zachres Offline
addict

Registered: 04/03/03
Posts: 495
Loc: In the midst of a "psychotic b...
Hey,

In case you've all forgotten..... You're talking about the GUNKS.... not necessarily an "adventure" destination. Be honest with yourselves; is there truly any adventure or sef-reliance to be preserved on the approach trails?

Face it, you climb in a high-use area, and with that charcteristic comes a responsibility to be protective of the sorrounding environment. Trail markers will help to lower impact on the flora and fauna on the talus field.

If you want adventure, come out West... I'll take you to some backcountry, Sierra crags with 30-mile approaches.

Zach
_________________________
Give me liberty, or give me death!

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#14527 - 03/23/05 05:37 PM Guide books do what? [Re: piglet]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
<<I don't begrudge anyone guidebooks since they are sort of a necessity while to make sure that one doesn't get killed while learning how to climb and scope out routes.>>

I don't know this for sure but I would be pretty confident that if you asked Dick Williams why he wrote a seriesof guide books about the Shawankguks that very little, if any, of his motivation was about keeping someone from dying.

Route descriptions found in guide books do two things: 1) they record history so that the egos of the first ascentionists can be protected and 2) they give people an opportunity to go do something that other people have done before and think highly enough about the time they spent doing it to report and record it.

Back on topic, EM, you obviously believe that there is a need for signage on the road that climber's can use to guide them more efficiently to their intended route. That's terrific. But, your myopia on the subject makes you fail to realize that those of us who don't, believe that making things easier for people diminishes the experience. There are some people who enjoy the process of learning a new area and wandering around lost for a while and eventually maturing and becoming knowledge in the area. There are other people who care less about any of that and just want to get on the sharp end and pull pull pull. Call the former elitism if you want to but, the people who are against signage HAVE offered you worthwhile perspective that you just choose to ignore because you don't agree with it. These people believe that getting lost and wandering around and eventually learning the area is part of the charm the place offers. Just because you don't see that doesn't make it an invalid perspective or no perspective at all.

In some sense, Steven Cherry shut the door on this topic by noting that there are a finite number of trails from the carriage road to the cliff. Aren't these trails, which are clearly marked and maintained a form of signage? What more do you want?

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#14528 - 03/23/05 05:40 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: webmaster]
Kevin Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/17/99
Posts: 201
Quote:

Let's be clear. I'm talking about simple markers on the carriage road. Not signs. Not route names at the base of the cliff. Just simple mileage markers. Remember that they were there in the past.




I have been trying to avoid chiming in, but I have to agree with Evan here...

One thing that we all forget some days is that the Gunks are not just filled with climbers... There are many folks that use the Gunks to hike, bike, run, push a baby carriage, cross country ski, etc... I do not think a simple mileage marker will make the cliffs cave in and be the end of the world! I know I would appreciate them when I am biking the area, or running, or hiking, or skiing... As well as going to climb. And I imagine that there are many in the greater Gunks community that we are a part of, that would appreciate them as well.

I know this is a climber's website, but we have to remember that we are part of a larger community... If the Preserve wanted to install mileage signs, and they are meant for the larger community, hey, there is nothing we can do. Joking about vandelism, removing the signs, and what have you makes us look like a bunch of spolied children that want the playground to ourselves.

I will now pull on my flame proof tidy-whities...
Kevin

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#14529 - 03/23/05 05:47 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: strat]
zachres Offline
addict

Registered: 04/03/03
Posts: 495
Loc: In the midst of a "psychotic b...
Quote:

<<I don't begrudge anyone guidebooks since they are sort of a necessity while to make sure that one doesn't get killed while learning how to climb and scope out routes.>>

I don't know this for sure but I would be pretty confident that if you asked Dick Williams why he wrote a seriesof guide books about the Shawankguks that very little, if any, of his motivation was about keeping someone from dying.

Route descriptions found in guide books do two things: 1) they record history so that the egos of the first ascentionists can be protected and 2) they give people an opportunity to go do something that other people have done before and think highly enough about the time they spent doing it to report and record it.

Back on topic, EM, you obviously believe that there is a need for signage on the road that climber's can use to guide them more efficiently to their intended route. That's terrific. But, your myopia on the subject makes you fail to realize that those of us who don't, believe that making things easier for people diminishes the experience. There are some people who enjoy the process of learning a new area and wandering around lost for a while and eventually maturing and becoming knowledge in the area. There are other people who care less about any of that and just want to get on the sharp end and pull pull pull. Call the former elitism if you want to but, the people who are against signage HAVE offered you worthwhile perspective that you just choose to ignore because you don't agree with it. These people believe that getting lost and wandering around and eventually learning the area is part of the charm the place offers. Just because you don't see that doesn't make it a valid perspective.

In some sense, Steven Cherry shut the door on this topic by noting that there are a finite number of trails from the carriage road to the cliff. Aren't these trails, which are clearly marked and maintained a form of signage? What more do you want?





Perhaps, because your "worthwhile perspective" is rooted in selfishness as opposed to logic or rationality, it doesn't garner agreement.

Zach
_________________________
Give me liberty, or give me death!

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#14530 - 03/23/05 05:56 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: zachres]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Perhaps, because your "worthwhile perspective" is rooted in selfishness as opposed to logic or rationality, it doesn't garner agreement.

Zach

Selfish?

Let's see, there are two camps: 1) people who want nothing more but to get to a climb, get to a climb, get to a climb, get to a climb, climb climb climb and go or 2) people who don't mind and appreciate the experience of learning things for themselves.

yeah, I guess you're right, group number 2 is selfish.

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#14531 - 03/23/05 06:04 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: strat]
zachres Offline
addict

Registered: 04/03/03
Posts: 495
Loc: In the midst of a "psychotic b...
Strat,

Nice bit of oversimplification there. I wish I had the advantage of such narrow thinking...

What about concerns regarding impact on the flora and fauna on the talus field, or the experience of other user-groups?

Zach
_________________________
Give me liberty, or give me death!

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#14532 - 03/23/05 06:10 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: zachres]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2361
Loc: Boston
I think Architect has the right idea. Bring yourself up to the level of the crag, even if that means making a map for yourself and bringing it along, rather than bringing the crag down to your level, by adding some permanent marker to it.

By the way, I get lost all the time, and I'm not for markers (though I'm not particularly against them either, I just think they're wrong in principle).

GO

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#14533 - 03/23/05 06:14 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: zachres]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Quote:

Strat,

Nice bit of oversimplification there. I wish I had the advantage of such narrow thinking...

What about concerns regarding impact on the flora and fauna on the talus field, or the experience of other user-groups?

Zach




Zach,
Let's not those little things called facts get in the way. There are a finite number of approved trails that go up from the carriage road to the cliff. And once you are at the base of the cliff, there is a marked trail underneath it. The preserve has chosen to deal with climber's impact by engineering pathways there. I have seen preserve rangers ask people who were off trail to go back on trail.

I spent many sundays hauling rocks on Dick's trail crew. Admittedly, I don't climb at the gunks much, but, when I do, it is weekends when it is crowded. The number of instances that I can recall of people milling around the woods not on a trail are exceedingly minimal, and most cases, it's someone who is going to take a dump. So, I'm sorry, your argument about signage minimizing impact doesn't hold water in light of the Preserve's already active engineering programs to counter that issue.

When you say other user groups, do you speak of climbers or bikers or walkers? Gosh, I've picked up the maps that the preserve offers that have rough mileage on them so I know roughly how far it is from the west trapps lot on the undercliff road to the connection with the overcliff road and back to the west trapps lot by looking at the map and an awareness of where I am. Sorry, Zach, I just don't see signage as being such an important topic that it is really worthy of consideration.

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#14534 - 03/23/05 06:22 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: strat]
zachres Offline
addict

Registered: 04/03/03
Posts: 495
Loc: In the midst of a "psychotic b...
If it's not worthy of consideration, then why are you participating in the conversation?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't this discussion begin because the preserve is considering signage?

Zach
_________________________
Give me liberty, or give me death!

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#14535 - 03/23/05 06:23 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: zachres]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
You are so corrected. This conversation began because EM received a private message about someone wanting to know when the preserve was going to install route signs and it morphed into what it is now.

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#14536 - 03/23/05 06:29 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: strat]
zachres Offline
addict

Registered: 04/03/03
Posts: 495
Loc: In the midst of a "psychotic b...
Odd.... it doesn't read that way, but that being said, perhaps it is a silly conversation.

I stand by my position, though, that the Gunks are far from an "adventure" destination. I don't think that there is any challenge to be preserved here, so I don't see signage as such a terrible idea.

Zach
_________________________
Give me liberty, or give me death!

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#14537 - 03/23/05 06:29 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: GOclimb]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn

I think Architect has the right idea. Bring yourself up to the level of the crag, even if that means making a map for yourself and bringing it along, rather than bringing the crag down to your level, by adding some permanent marker to it.


Well, that's what the original thread was about, getting photos of the approach trails and the beginning of the climbs in the routes database. Something you could print out and take with you, but wouldn't otherwise affect anyone else, to prevent additional signs and markings on the carraige road and the base of the cliffs.
_________________________


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#14538 - 03/23/05 06:34 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: zachres]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
If it's not worthy of consideration, then why are you participating in the conversation?


For me Zach its worthy for the fact that I feel strongly opposed to additional signage and this is why I have participated. Can't speak for all thou.

Well maybe the real reason is this thread actually has a pulse for once and not the same old boring spew that's been collecting around here. Keep it up.

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#14539 - 03/23/05 06:34 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: strat]
webmaster Offline

veteran

Registered: 01/06/00
Posts: 1273
Loc: New Paltz (Kerhonkson, actuall...
Quote:

There are some people who enjoy the process of learning a new area and wandering around lost for a while and eventually maturing and becoming knowledge in the area. There are other people who care less about any of that and just want to get on the sharp end and pull pull pull. Call the former elitism if you want to but, the people who are against signage HAVE offered you worthwhile perspective that you just choose to ignore because you don't agree with it. These people believe that getting lost and wandering around and eventually learning the area is part of the charm the place offers. Just because you don't see that doesn't make it a valid perspective.


Sam-
Getting lost is an unalienable right. As Piglet mentioned, it's possible to get lost with signs, too. But I think you're misreading here. To begin with, I'm just suggesting mileage markers, not signage. With markers in place, it is still quite within yours and my ability to get lost, no? In order not to get lost, you must actively SEEK the information as to what marker correlates to which climb, right? The point is, that while you and I can still get lost, others who have no desire to get lost on the carriage road can choose to utilize the markers, thereby getting to the base of the cliff, and may then proceed directly to getting lost on the route of their choice. My point is to allow this other group of n'eer do wells to bypass our particular set of chosen limitations/challenges.

If you read back through the perspectives expressed in this thread, a majority of naysayers opinions boil down to a "everyone should do it the way I did", or else it's a wrong/undersirable/uncool way to do it. What's sad is that most of these posts start from the perspective of "how does this affect me", rather than in interest in the greater good. The probability of cutting down traffic at the base of the cliff should be enough for anyone to consider the merits such a suggestion. But many here are too concerned about jerks, newbies and non-locals (which bear striking resemblance to themselves at one time or another) coming and enjoying their crag.

I find the argument for "adventure" to be valid, but I don't see how my adventure necessitates handicaping others for the sake of my narrow and selfish aims.
_________________________
evan marks
webmaster@gunks.com
I wish I could read every post...

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#14540 - 03/23/05 06:43 PM Re: Are they marked? [Re: strat]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
Out of curiosity, are the trails marked these days?

When I first started climbing at the gunks, the trails were marked with yellow paint. That paint mostly wore off, and social trails developed, in the short time i've been visiting the gunks.

Do the Williams Trails get the yellow paint? On the whole, I don't think they need it, but the trail by Buddha could use a spot of paint. I always see people social trailing over there...

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#14541 - 03/23/05 06:44 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: Timbo]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
1) While I happen to agree with RG's sentiment and spirit, the fact is there are more and more climbers coming to the Gunks each year and the erosion on the cliff base is increasing. Some form of mitigation is in order. It would seem that better, erosion-resistant trails is the more desirable remedy from what I hear on this board. Works for me.

2) From those who are adamantly opposed to signs, but are chalkaholics - would you even consider no longer using chalk, since that takes almost all routefinding skill out of the equation on popular climbs.


Usually carry chalk, but do not always use it even then.

Devil's advocate here, just wondering how those who use chalk but are against signage rationalize the apparent contradiction.

Easily – I carry my chalk, do you propose that everyone carry his or her signs – in and out.

My feeling would be signage negative even though it would speed up finding climbs for me. But, I also think it would cut down on erosion so I wouldn’t complain either.


Edited by Mark Heyman (03/24/05 05:22 PM)

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#14542 - 03/23/05 07:01 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: Mark Heyman]
d-elvis Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/26/00
Posts: 3650
Loc: Central PA
Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs
Blocking out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign
_________________________
"Marriage Survivor"

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#14543 - 03/23/05 07:17 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: d-elvis]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
I can understand the reaction to signs with route names but what gets some of you so flustered about mileage markers? Most walking/cycling paths have them.

Fewer people marching along the cliff stepping over each other's dogs and gear and asking belayers what route they're on would be a benefit to us all. Let's get people closer to the climb they want before they go up, that's all.

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#14544 - 03/23/05 07:32 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: dalguard]
pitfall Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/01/00
Posts: 1165
Loc: Albany
Yes, mileage markers would take away from the wilderness exprience I get while walking down a maintained gravel road. It will ruin the sense of the outdoors I get as I stop to take a dump in the bathroom along the wilderness path after reading the message board. It will take away from the adventure of following the chalk.
Then again, if you have trouble finding routes in the summer from the carriage road, you don't need a map, a marker or any visual reference at all. Stop and listen. Within about 5 minutes you'll hear "rope on frogs head!"
_________________________

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#14545 - 03/23/05 07:51 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: webmaster]
learningtolead Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 981
Loc: a wanna be kerhonkson-er
Quote:

If you read back through the perspectives expressed in this thread, a majority of naysayers opinions boil down to a "everyone should do it the way I did", or else it's a wrong/undersirable/uncool way to do it. What's sad is that most of these posts start from the perspective of "how does this affect me", rather than in interest in the greater good. The probability of cutting down traffic at the base of the cliff should be enough for anyone to consider the merits such a suggestion. But many here are too concerned about jerks, newbies and non-locals (which bear striking resemblance to themselves at one time or another) coming and enjoying their crag.

I find the argument for "adventure" to be valid, but I don't see how my adventure necessitates handicaping others for the sake of my narrow and selfish aims.




You honestly believe that not having mileage markers means a handicap for visitors to the Gunks? That the greater good is harmed by the lack of markers or signs on trails that are already well-marked and often-used?
I think you've lost all perspective.

I am one of those users who does not believe that additional signs are necessary. True--the Gunks is not the most adventurous place that a person can choose to climb. But for the majority of us on this site it is the area we frequent most regularly. I don't know about the rest of you but I climb to be outside in nature, to enjoy being with my friends, and to challenge myself moving over rock. Being in nature is a huge part of that equation. Now the Gunks are crowded so we have to have some measures--like established trails--in order to accomodate that usage without innordinately impacting the environment. We have those trails. People use them. Most users, hikers and bikers especially, use the carriage roads which are perfect for heavy traffic. Others use the short yellow dot trails up to the cliffs. There are maps and guidebooks galore to help users access these trails. What is the real problem here? As far as I can tell, there isn't one. So the goal should be to preserve nature while still allowing recreational use. No additional signage or markers are needed to achieve that goal.

I don't climb hard and I would not call myself an accomplished climber, but I am a climber. Yet, I can manage most of the time to make it to the cliffs and find routes I'm interested in. I think others can also. I mean there are always plenty of folks on the climbs...

The point about chalk up above was a good one. I would be glad to give up chalk if others would too and we could thereby get back to a point where more route finding was necessary. I think that'd be great.

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#14546 - 03/23/05 08:02 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: learningtolead]
pitfall Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/01/00
Posts: 1165
Loc: Albany
If mile markers were put in for joggers, walkers and bikers would everyone still be up in arms? Bike paths around here have them and I know of a lot of people who think they are a good thing.
_________________________

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#14547 - 03/23/05 10:18 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: pitfall]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Does anyone else see "48 new posts" and just skip to the last two or three? or is it just me? I told you friggin clowns NOT TO GET ME STARTED ON THIS POST!!!! You know what happens when RR gets angry!!

RR

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#14548 - 03/23/05 10:28 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: RangerRob]
feck Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/04
Posts: 133
Loc: Accord, NY
Cairns
Mile Markers
Signs
Symbols
Guide Books
etc.


Whatever.....all BS....all from the mind of someone who had the ability to "find it" but thinks the rest of us cannot.


Raise yourselves to the level needed to acheive instead of pulling things earthward to be more inclusive.

STOP BEING THE CHAMPIONS OF MEDIOCRITY.

I do not need to, nor rarely have ever used a guide book in over 30 years of climbing. I have climbed at every major climbing area in the US without a guidebook.

It is called skill.

Skill at route finding, reading the rock, looking for climbable lines, judging the protection and the difficulty from the ground.


I am an A-hole purist, tis true, but I will back up my words 100 percent. Then again, most First Ascenionists only need a guidebook to find the UNCLIMBED ROCK....

That was their INITIAL PURPOSE! To be a record...not a road map!


Edited by feck (03/23/05 10:31 PM)

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#14549 - 03/23/05 10:42 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: RangerRob]
caver Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 260
Loc: High Falls
Ok, I give in.....if you're only talking about milage markers on Undercliff Carriage Road....have at it. Oh wait you need to ask mister ranger!
The carriage roads were there long before the cliffs were 'used' by people. There are other places in the 'Gunks' other than the 'Trapps' that can preserve a more adventure-based experience. Try going out to Millbrook, I bet you won't see the 'I want mine now!' crowd out there with that awful 3 mile hike each way...and oh I need to carry this big heavy pack with all this lead gear, can't we just bolt it all with chain draws and pre-hung ropes? How will I ever find the climbs? Not that any one else here is being the least bit sarcastic!! How about paying your dues and gaining knowledge the hard way? Maybe you scramble around a bit, but did the early pioneers of this area complain about a lack of knowledge? This is a cultural issue that disturbs some of us who can see a trend towards everything being pre-packaged.
Personally the only time you'll see me at the Trapps is mid-week or if a visiting friend *insists* on climbing there during a weekend. Just doing my part you know. In the mean time, I'll check out other areas that may have been climbed but don't see much traffic. When I worked at Pinkham Notch (Mt. Wash.) we simply avoided the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. There were/ are many other great hikes that offer the best thing of all in nature. The ability to enjoy a peaceful, quiet experience if one should choose to. Who knows one might even see a bit of wildlife. Once last year I will admit to seeing a porcupine at dusk on the Carrige rd. just above the 'stairmaster' but again is was late, midweek.

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#14550 - 03/24/05 12:13 AM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: caver]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
I think I finally understand why there aren't any signs indicating which way the highway is in Boston.

a) I already know where the highway is.

b) If you can drive a car you should know how to find a highway without help.

c) Other people have found the highway without signs. It's right there.

d) You'll find the highway eventually. What's the rush?

e) There didn't used to be signs there. Signs are, effectively, litter.

f) Some people prefer the adventure of being lost and the indepence of finding their own way to the highway and we shouldn't spoil that experience for them.

g) Signs are just "the man" telling you what to do.

Have I missed any?

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#14551 - 03/24/05 03:59 AM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: dalguard]
schwortz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
i do believe they make maps of boston.....its not exactly a lost city

and you did forget the possibility that ken nichols merely nicked all of the signs....or maybe it was beyer......

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#14552 - 03/24/05 05:53 AM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: dalguard]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Quote:

I think I finally understand why there aren't any signs indicating which way the highway is in Boston.

a) I already know where the highway is.

b) If you can drive a car you should know how to find a highway without help.

c) Other people have found the highway without signs. It's right there.

d) You'll find the highway eventually. What's the rush?

e) There didn't used to be signs there. Signs are, effectively, litter.

f) Some people prefer the adventure of being lost and the indepence of finding their own way to the highway and we shouldn't spoil that experience for them.

g) Signs are just "the man" telling you what to do.

Have I missed any?




Not a single one of these is a relevant analogy to the case that is being discussed here. Try again, please.

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#14553 - 03/24/05 03:34 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: strat]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
ok - in all seriousness - . there are already, effectively, landmarks and mileposts on the carriage road, like the andrew boulder for example...

This was all there in the old black DW guides along with approx. minutes walking (sketches of the base of the cliff and also the landmarks on the carriage road) and I know that it's also going to be in the new one... in updated form...

I don't know as a seperate guide is needed as the info is in the guide book.

_________________________
Support Your Local Farmer!

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#14554 - 03/24/05 03:52 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: phlan]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
OK lets suppose in all seriousness that mileage markers are placed on the carriage road at some interval (1/10, 1/4, 1/2 of a mile, whatever) How is this going to positively effect the issues that most have brought up that are in favor? The new Williams guide is almost complete and will not be able to include any reference to these markers. The markers alone will tell a climber nothing about where any of the climbs are. How will the marker information be translated into anything useful for climbers to locate climbs?

I think a reasonable solution would be to simply add a number to the 1st yellow blaze on each approach trail then at the kiosk have a plaque with a detailed map showing the climbs on the cliff while showing the numbered approach trails. This solves a few problems.

1. You only add 1 new sign (where there already is one)
2. You can chose to view it or not. You don't f-up the scenery any further with sign garbage along the carriage trail.
3. You can add historical and other information so non-climbers and climbers alike can learn about climbing in the Gunks and the cliffs.

I can see this as something that might also be of interest to the GCC to provide to the Preserve.


Edited by Smike (03/24/05 03:57 PM)

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#14555 - 03/24/05 04:04 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: Smike]
irisharehere Offline
Site Supporter

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 1658
Loc: Danbury CT
Ye Gods!!!

Is sanity finally breaking out on Gunks.com?

Seriously though, I think Smike's idea is a good one. Not really any more visual clutter than exists at the moment, and it gives a more certain reference point (for those who want it), than "After 25 minutes walking along the carraige trail..."

Hell, I'll even buy the paint and paintbrush id the Preserve wants to do something like this

Irish
_________________________
I didn't spend nine years in Evil Graduate School to be called "Mr Irish", thank you!

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#14556 - 03/24/05 05:36 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: irisharehere]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
I got a kick out of Dawns post.

I like Smike's idea best, because I do think identifiable route signs will help cut down on social trails to the base.

I do not think any signage will help erosion directly at the base much. Why, cause I think the preferred method of picking a route during high usage periods is to select a classic, and if there are parties on it, walk along the base till you find something else you don’t mind doing!

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#14557 - 03/24/05 05:52 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: Mark Heyman]
Timbo Offline
addict

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 696
Loc: Delaware
Quote:

I got a kick out of Dawns post.




Me too. I found it hilarious.

Quote:

I do not think any signage will help erosion directly at the base much. Why, cause I think the preferred method of picking a route during high usage periods is to select a classic, and if there are parties on it, walk along the base till you find something else you don’t mind doing!





Excellent point Mark. Even though I do this too, the thought had not occurred to me.

TS
_________________________

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#14558 - 03/24/05 05:53 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: Mark Heyman]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Smike is the man. Smike for President! Well done.

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#14559 - 03/24/05 06:01 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: chip]
irisharehere Offline
Site Supporter

Registered: 12/06/01
Posts: 1658
Loc: Danbury CT
And he makes great pancakes!!!!!
_________________________
I didn't spend nine years in Evil Graduate School to be called "Mr Irish", thank you!

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#14560 - 03/24/05 06:23 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: irisharehere]
pitfall Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/01/00
Posts: 1165
Loc: Albany
Good idea smikey.
Give people a little history.
Provide some direction for those who want it.
Make it congruous to the idea of a nature preserve.
The signage wouldn't necessarily have to be about climbing. Perhaps describe the flora and fauna of the preserve and maybe people would be more conscious of their actions.

_________________________

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#14561 - 03/24/05 06:39 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: pitfall]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
I cook a mean side of scrapple...anyone want some of that too?

Exactly Harry, it could be also and 'interruptive' sign as well. You could also add a section on what you as a climber can do to not screw up the cliff environment. The more I thought about this whole signage thing, the more I realized the impact the increase in traffic will have, and the real need to try to curb the effects. I just don't think junking up the woods by putting up signs or markers all over the woods is really any kind of answer.

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#14562 - 03/24/05 06:54 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: dalguard]
quanto_the_mad Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/14/02
Posts: 2628
Loc: brooklyn
Quote:

I think I finally understand why there aren't any signs indicating which way the highway is in Boston.

Have I missed any?




Yeah. Since all the Bostonians know where the highway is, the signs wouldn't benefit any of them. Why should they *pay* for signs, have their taxes go to pay for things only *visitors* need?

Boston's too crowded anyway, the lack of signs will help keep the visitors out; or maybe just keep them circling around Logan.
_________________________


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#14563 - 03/24/05 07:05 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: quanto_the_mad]
pitfall Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/01/00
Posts: 1165
Loc: Albany
Signs in Boston will be necessary for another few weeks. If there are no signs the people delivering world series rings will have no idea where they're going. After all, the last time they had to visit Boston most of the roads weren't even there yet.
_________________________

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#14564 - 03/24/05 08:29 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: pitfall]
tradjunkie Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 365
Smike, sign me up [no pun intended] for scrapple, side of pancakes.

Now you've got me thinking to the future...getting all those lost visitors to the part of the crag they were looking for could cut down on traffic along the cliff base. 'Cause actually, the carriage road can handle a ton more traffic than the cliff base. The cliff base isn't really eroded too badly yet except for a few places like the base of Modern Times / Limelight (if I remember right? probably not!). But in a few years Dick's trail crew might be busy trying to salvage the cliff base trail, and your plan could help mitigate climber impacts along the cliff base.

The Preserve website indicates (extrapolating wildly) that climber traffic has grown about 7% annually over the past half-century (50 climbers on a busy weekend in the 1950s to 500-800 in the 1990s). That would mean doubling every decade - a corollary of which is that [assuming growth rates have not accelerated over time], that half of all climbing in the Gunks occured in the past 10 years, and if it continues at that rate that the climber impact in the next 10 years will be equal to the combined climber impact over the past 50 years, and visitation double what it is now by 2015.

Also, considering that the Access Fund just helped put in that bigger toilet to reduce honeytruck traffic to save the carriage road, reducing back-and-forthing by lost climbers along the carriage road is also probably a good thing?

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#14565 - 03/26/05 06:23 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: webmaster]
Steven Cherry Offline

veteran

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1300
Loc: New York, N.Y.
a majority of naysayers opinions boil down to a "everyone should do it the way I did," or else it's a wrong/undersirable/uncool way to do it.

I just re-read the entire thread, and I can't find any substance to this claim at all. And I don't see how this sort of straw-man post advances the debate in any meaningful way. Evan, please point out the dozens of posts that fit your description, or find an existing set of posts to argue with.

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#14566 - 03/27/05 07:06 AM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: Steven Cherry]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
If we're gonna revel in excessive traditude, then by thunder lets have at it...

Reductio ad absurdem fallacies are the resort of those with nothing substantive to say. There doesn't seem to be any shortage of folks out there, on both sides of this little debate, who think they can replace reason with ridicule and get away with it. We know this works in our current political arena, so who can blame them, they may well be right.

bold statement but i guess you know all. i sure hope these were exum guides!

Well, I deserve flak for the statement that my campground neighbors are more accomplished than anyone on this board, and I'm sorry I made it, not because I don't suspect that it is substantially correct, but because it is an inflammatory distraction from my main point.

For the record, a number of them are Exum guides, most have been up Denali several times by different routes and have several mountaineering trips to the Andes and in some cases the Himalaya under their belts with major ascents, e.g. Ama Dablam, to their credit. They are all widely travelled in the U.S. and have done major routes on rock and ice in Yosemite, Indian Creek, Red Rocks, the Sierra, the Tetons and Wind Rivers, and the ranges of the Pacific Northwest. In what I would call the early season, they are warming up on grade V 5.11 level climbs. Chas is the only person I can think of who has mentioned some comparable levels of climbing, but there may be a few others, to whom I apologize for whatever offense they may have suffered.

The reason for mentioning them at all was that I anticipated Evan's straw-man attack (though I was astonished that it came from Evan) and wanted to emphasize that my points were not simply the perspective of an old Gunks hand and ought not to be dismissed by the ridicule specialists as the result of my supposed irrelevance as conferred by advanced age.

Climbing is supposed to be about adventure and testing your limits

Sure, but that isn't what I was talking about in my post. Unfortunately, this gave the ridicule mavens another straw man to beat to death, for example,

If you're going to get up on your orange crate of adventure, be sure to leave your guidebook behind, too!

This luscious tidbit of utter irrelevance, somehow managing to confuse a guidebook description with modifications to the existing environment, is embedded in a textbook enumeration of fallacious arguments, the next of which is the now ever-so-fashionable ad hominem attack:

It seems to me that only those of you who thoroughly know your way around want to maintain the find-it-yourself-pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstaps-chest-thumping-pomposity.

As I said, I knew this was coming, but Et, tu, Brute? Sadly, there is more:

I find it laughable that many of you posers would deprive other climbers of choices and conveniences...

The gratuitous insult here is the malodorous precursor of the putrid reasoning that follows. Where have we heard this before? Oh yes---this is precisely how those in favor of developing the Shawangunk Ridge speak. Those multimillionaires are being deprived of the choice of second home sites. Deprive? The things under discussion don't exist yet and aren't a part of the natural scene. No one can be deprived of things that aren't there to begin with. Choices? A choice is whether to continue on or retreat from a badly protected crux. This is how climbers choose their level of adventure, to mention a concept I did not introduce. Climbers choices ought, in my opinion, to refer to alternatives that actually exist, not to some potentially limitless spectrum of artificial "improvements," improvements that both deprive and limit the choices of future generations to experience what nature originally provided.

I find the argument for "adventure" to be valid, but I don't see how my adventure necessitates handicaping others for the sake of my narrow and selfish aims.

Oy, not the adventure straw man again, marinated as usual in unsubstantiated and insulting insinuations about others' motives. Adventure is an individual subjective experience, and if adventure was the point, which it is not, then it would indeed be selfish for someone to impose their sense of adventure on others. But the idea that others are "handicapped" by having to confront what is simply there is preposterous. What's there is there. Climbing---at least trad climbing---is all about dealing with what is there. No one can possibly be handicapped by having what is there preserved; on the contrary, in a time of unending developmental pressures, preserving what is there is a gift and a service to posterity. I take my sense of responsibility to that posterity seriously and I thoroughly resent the suggestion that my motives are either narrow or selfish.


The gunks is a laboratory. Its a place where we try to balance wild and urban, and if discrete milege markers are going to cut down on social trails and erosion, I am all for it.

Apparently, I need to reiterate that I really don't care much one way or the other if there are signs or mileposts. I would wholeheartedly support them as an antidote to social trails and erosion, if there was any credible evidence that they would have this effect. It doesn't seem to me that social trails are even a problem right now, and I don't believe that cliff-base erosion would be alleviated by signage down on the carriage road. But these are just perceptions, and I am prepared to be convinced otherwise.

What I do care about, and what I feel is worth fighting for, is the concept that the natural environment that supports our sport somehow needs to be continually modified for the convenience of its users. (I am not, dammit, speaking of actions that may be needed to protect the environment!) I see calls for minor conveniences as a possible death-knell for the activity as I have known it, with the potential to deprive---yes---here is a true and enduring deprivation---future generations of the experience legions of climbers have had here in the past. And when Trad Girl thinks the natural cliff environment is analogous to a man-made interstate highway, it is clear that the danger is not theoretical.

Signage to prevent erosion? Sure, if it can help. Signage to possibly save me or anyone else an occasional ten minutes? You gotta be joking.




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#14567 - 03/27/05 02:13 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: rg@ofmc]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I knew you'd come through RG.

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#14568 - 03/27/05 05:29 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: rg@ofmc]
Frank Florence Offline
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 528
Loc: moved to Bend
Shortly After RG made his first post to this discussions, I put up a reply of my own in which I interpreted his remarks to infer that the attitude of a climber visiting some crag ought to include a “yearning for adventure.” By introducing that last word to this discussion, I contributed to a group of responses that diverged from RG’s initial point. His latest post explains that the opportunity for adventure by the climber, however defined, wasn’t his emphasis, but rather, that he rejects the idea of introducing alterations to the natural (undeveloped) climbing environment for the sake of convenience. If I’ve misunderstood your argument, RG, I trust you’ll correct me.

RG laments that modifying the experience of climbing, which in this context seems to refer to elements of the approach, such as getting lost and figuring out where a route starts, is a behavior more typical of climbers today than years ago. I have to question the degree to which this is really true in the climbing community, but it certainly isn’t a new view towards nature in our culture. I suspect that just as the climbing community doesn’t exist in isolation from the broader society, there is really nothing especially new about the attitude that nature ought to be improved upon, that is, modified to some degree, in order to make it more deliverable of those bounties, whether tangible resources or intangible experiences, that we desire.

Let’s be honest, what have climbers done for years to the natural environment that they found? They occasionally blazed trees, at times cut them down, sometimes added a little surveyor’s tape, and most typically piled up rock cairns. Why? No doubt at times to help find the trail out, but my guess is that most often it was to help guide the next party in. I have to wonder about how many of the climbers RG referred to meeting at Red Rocks don’t appreciate and use the cairns they find in the Tetons, Cascades, the Winds, or other back country locations and how many haven’t piled up a few stones themselves.

If the above makes me sound like a proponent for signage along the Carriage Road, let me be clear that I’m not. Again, going back to my earlier post, I spoke of a joy of exploration. I could have said the joy of discovery. I recall feeling like I had a pretty good day at the cliffs when, walking down the Carriage Road, I realized that I could use the first pine tree since the Uberfall as a landmark to associate with a climb. It was a little more subtle than looking at the hairpin curve, or an exposed stretch of talus, or a distinctive boulder, guideposts I’d already begun to look for. Now, all these details are available in the published guidebooks in the form of approach topos. That should be enough, although incorporating part of Smike’s idea and posting a similar sort of map at a kiosk would ensure an egalitarian distribution of this information, should owning a guidebook be considered elitist.

While I have a hard time buying RG’s full argument, I fully agree with his concluding concern about preservation. The least alteration to the Gunks environment ultimately means the Gunks experience will have the widest potential appeal to future users, however they define what that experience is. No more signs.

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#14569 - 03/28/05 12:30 AM Re: signs. little yellow ones. [Re: Frank Florence]
crackers Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 3424
Loc: pdx
I liked smike's idea of a 'interpretive map' at the uberfall to show where there are trails.

i like the ideas of signs as smike postulated: a simple (here i elaborate) clear and maintained yellow blaze on a rock.

why? because every weekend the gunks sees at least the combined volume of Red Rocks, Wind Rivers, Tetons and maybe even Smith.

why? because this has nothing to do with grades or adventure. it has to do with resource conservation in an area that is under pressure.

RG, MarcC, RAF, other people climbing more than 20 years ago--when RG was sure enough that somebody else with a down sweater on in NYC would be a climber--how far has the ground under Laurel eroded? Sixish? MF? Its obvious from the trees around some of those climbs that it is at least a foot lower than it was when those trees were growing...the trunkstock is above ground. How many people do you NOT recognize?

It is a choice: you pick the slow destruction of the environment in the Trapps with you pick neophytes wandering all over the place wrecking it, or you admit that times have changed and to manage the system, painting the blazes every year might be a good idea.

i bet that every regular on this board is accomplished enough to find the trails, but that's just it, isnt it? its the people wandering away from their cars with bright shiny gear and no accomplishments yet earned that can't find the trails...

{btw frank, i reacted to RG's comments, not yours, above. i thought that comparing guides to newbies was misguided.)

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#14570 - 03/28/05 02:13 AM Re: signs. little yellow ones. [Re: crackers]
ctarmchair Offline
stranger

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 16
If I recall correctly, several areas far more adventurous than the Gunks have signs, and don't seem to have suffered for it. Yosemite and Mt. Washington, to take two areas...sometimes, as a way to handle traffic, it can make sense. Personally, I've always been able to find my way around with the Swain guidebook perfectly well, but that's just me.

I don't think Exum guides accumulated their climbing resumes by agonizing over these types of issues, though. For those who define hardness by high-level alpinism and want to add spice to life, it is entorely possible to get a simulated taste of the alpine rock side of things while at the Gunks, it's just up to the climber to decide they want more than a nice day cragging. Get up at 3, drive to the cliffs, start climbing with pack and approach shoes on, and shoot for, say, 2000 vertical feet of moderates. If you live within 4 hours of the cliffs, drive home, then get up at 3 the next morning and do it again. Climb in winter boots. Climb in the rain. Assuming you understand and accept the risk, protect only cruxes. Race thunderstorms in the summer. Climb on sunny winter days. Very early morning, when you have the cliffs to yourself, climb up one route and downclimb the next, working your way down. Climb up and down the stairmaster with a heaavy pack at least 5 times and then try to climb one pitch a grade below your onsight level, 4 2 grades below, and an hour or two at or below your lactate threshold. Try to climb the grassiest, loosest climbs in the guidebook. Signage will seem less and less important.


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#14571 - 03/28/05 02:14 AM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: Smike]
ShakesALot Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 257
Loc: NJ
Great idea, one minor addition perhaps.

Below that number on the 1st yellow blaze on each trail, a footnote, perhaps in a more muted yellow:
"To determine the meaning of this number, please walk South to the kiosk and look for the explanatory plaque."

jk

Quote:

OK lets suppose in all seriousness that mileage markers are placed on the carriage road at some interval (1/10, 1/4, 1/2 of a mile, whatever) How is this going to positively effect the issues that most have brought up that are in favor? The new Williams guide is almost complete and will not be able to include any reference to these markers. The markers alone will tell a climber nothing about where any of the climbs are. How will the marker information be translated into anything useful for climbers to locate climbs?

I think a reasonable solution would be to simply add a number to the 1st yellow blaze on each approach trail then at the kiosk have a plaque with a detailed map showing the climbs on the cliff while showing the numbered approach trails. This solves a few problems.

1. You only add 1 new sign (where there already is one)
2. You can chose to view it or not. You don't f-up the scenery any further with sign garbage along the carriage trail.
3. You can add historical and other information so non-climbers and climbers alike can learn about climbing in the Gunks and the cliffs.

I can see this as something that might also be of interest to the GCC to provide to the Preserve.



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#14572 - 03/28/05 02:27 AM Re: signs. little yellow ones. [Re: crackers]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
The most dramatic impact is usually made in a visual way. For me, that came from seeing a picture of the Trapps taken about 1910, showing at least double the density of trees on the cliff than those currently there. We probably aren't killing them so much as making it real tough for new ones to grow and replace those dying off naturally. While by no means does this influence the overall population in the gunks, it certainly reminds us to tread lightly. Will marking trails help? I'm pretty sceptical, but don't see the harm in re-applying some yellow paint every year.

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#14573 - 03/28/05 04:15 AM Re: signs. little yellow ones. [Re: chip]
tradjunkie Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 365
It seems to me that nobody is really seriously proposing actually putting up signs and a lot of the argument on this thread is due to a misunderstanding of the topic.

Is anybody here still proposing anything more obtrusive than modifying the [already existing] little yellow blazes? I know some folks oppose that idea, but maybe not as virulently as opposing "High Exposure 50 yards" signage.

I realize that some folks were at one point considering reinstating the old nature trail marker, but I think that idea has lost out to the blaze footnoting.

Hey, if we want to argue, let's at least argue about something potentially worse, like marking the clifftop trails to reduce impact [I oppose, but I wonder what the erosion/impact experts have to say].


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#14574 - 03/28/05 02:50 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: rg@ofmc]
Allenperry Offline
member

Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 195
Loc: Reading, Pennsylvania


Reductio ad absurdem

ad hominem

Et, tu, Brute?


Do you get the feeling that Larry the Cable Guy is not RG's favorite comedian? Get 'er Done!

Homer Simpson would probably say: "But Marge, he has to be right, He's using Latin!"

Basically, I can see good points being made on both sides of this Great Issue of Our Time But these long arguments make you sound...

This gets me thinkin' there's a market for them there "Where in the Hell Is ..." T-shirts




_________________________
Perry

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#14575 - 03/28/05 03:26 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: Allenperry]
browndog2 Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 767
Loc: livin' on the edge
Another great T-shirt idea:

"Trad is what I do on my rest day"

(actually heard a bouldererer say this to one of his homies).
_________________________
(not that there's anything wrong with that...sorta)

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#14576 - 03/28/05 11:23 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: Allenperry]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
Fortunately we're at least talking about actual names of routes. After the first Swain guide came out (iirc), where all the climbs were numbered, there was a memorable period when people would ask "Where is climb number 151?"

The typical sarcastic answer was, of course, "Between 150 and 152!"
_________________________
- Marc

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#14577 - 04/04/05 08:42 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: MarcC]
LesterLeBlanc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1916
Loc: Los Angeles
Maybe I'm stupid ... but I actually enjoyed the process of learning the sections of the cliffs and how to find the routes. It seemed like part of the experience of learning climbing and learning the area. And, frankly, it wasn't that hard to find most of the climbs.

Later, Swain introduced the "route locator" feature to his guide ... in the upper right-hand corner an arrow showed you where you were along the Trapps according to what page of routes you had turned to. Handy little thing ...

The theory that signage will help alleviate the crowds seems feasible, but if I were still a local I'd be against it ... the whole point of being a local (or regular) was that on crowded weekends you knew that you could avoid the crowds by hiking to the ends of the cliffs ... because the gumbies wouldn't 1) invest the hiking time and 2) were not sure of the location of the routes further down the cliff.

And heck ... the carriage road is splendid ... I wouldn't want to see signs along it.

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#14578 - 04/05/05 01:07 PM Re: Guide books do what? [Re: LesterLeBlanc]
ctarmchair Offline
stranger

Registered: 10/22/04
Posts: 16
"The theory that signage will help alleviate the crowds seems feasible, but if I were still a local I'd be against it ... the whole point of being a local (or regular) was that on crowded weekends you knew that you could avoid the crowds by hiking to the ends of the cliffs ... because the gumbies wouldn't 1) invest the hiking time and 2) were not sure of the location of the routes further down the cliff."

I don't know how the Preserve charter reads on the specific issue of managing cliff access, but I believe it is more of a prudent conservation type charge than having a responsibility to protect locals' access and locals' interests. If signage works, similar to the visual intrusion of roping off areas for slope restoration but as a "positive" guidance rather than a "negative" roping off, then it may even have less impact than other ways of dealing with the trail issue.

Localism can still survive at the Gunks, even with signs, don't worry. (Hope the smiley face inserted there.)

Also, Cathedral/Whitehorse certainly comes to mind as one area(s) where signage did seem to help with the trail braiding situation, in particular. And the locals have definitely managed to maintain a strong trad climbing ethic along with the signs. The sun is out, let's climb!


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#14579 - 04/10/05 12:41 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: feck]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Crackers,
From Baby to the area which is currently closed for Nesting Falcons (Blue Stink), the upper parts of the cliff-carriage road paths are marked with a nice yellow blaze. Blazes from the cliff to the carriage road are spotty but, the paths are obvious. The bottom of the paths have either a yellow blaze on a stone at the start of the trail or on an adjacent tree.

The under-cliff path is obvious to follow when the path is right near the cliff and at those places where the path goes down hill, the preserve has blazed it with yellow markers fairly well. Of course, obvious in this case is somewhat open to interpretation but, in almost all cases there is a path which is eroded down between areas of vegetation or soil that is not as eroded down, hence I chose the word obvious.

The only legitimate reason anyone has for going off-trail while walking the base of the cliff is to avoid people's piles of gear. This behavior was in full-force on Saturday in the afternoon.



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#14580 - 05/12/05 02:41 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: strat]
CoolioDudius Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/12/05
Posts: 18
Loc: United States
The best carriage road sign would consist of:
~a wooden plank
~stained to appear natural
~with wood-burning grooves
~filled with white paint
<<<OR>>>
~black metal posts
~with the major route name written on it in white paint vertically

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The only way to go is up.
_________________________
The only way to go is up.

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#14581 - 05/16/05 07:14 PM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: CoolioDudius]
minbo Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/29/04
Posts: 24
Quote:

The best carriage road sign would consist of:
~a wooden plank
~stained to appear natural
~with wood-burning grooves
~filled with white paint
<<<OR>>>
~black metal posts
~with the major route name written on it in white paint vertically

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The only way to go is up.




No, the best carriage road sign would be truthful and read

Ice cold beer water and soda - 100ft - $5.00 all you can drink .

The worst carriage road sign would immedately follow saying:

Restrooms - $25.00, next restroom 5mi

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#14582 - 05/17/05 01:03 AM Re: Carriage Road Signs? [Re: minbo]
Steven Cherry Offline

veteran

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1300
Loc: New York, N.Y.
Ice cold beer water and soda - 100ft - $5.00 all you can drink .

Hey, that's my retirement plan. A giant cooler with $5 beers and $3 waters, and a sling of #4-6 Camalots for rental ($5/day).

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