Gunks Graffiti

Posted by: Gail

Gunks Graffiti - 05/25/14 02:10 AM

Someone has written, in silver marker, \"Leave No Trace?\" near the base of Minty and High E. There may be more messages, I just haven\'t found them. Using my best graphology, I would guess that it\'s a female.

Very strange. Anyone else find those messages?
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/25/14 02:28 AM

Ugh. There were two incidents last summer; see But these new taggings involve walking down the Carriage Road and then heading up access trails, a development I\'d consider ominous for the security of gear left at the base of climbs.

I\'ve owned a Pacsafe for years but never used it in the Gunks. Perhaps it is time?
Posted by: Gail

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/25/14 02:45 AM

Good point. I guess I am going to have to figure out what to do with my phone. Break-ins, Graffiti...What\'s next?
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/25/14 03:41 AM

I\'m assuming the graffiti didn\'t come from climbers, although maybe that\'s not realistic any more...

But if the assumption is still valid and non-climbers are up there messing around, then we may be seeing an unintended side-effect of access trails that have prominent beginnings on the Carriage Road.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/25/14 09:40 PM

While working on trail crew today we were able to uncover some further info on the recent graffiti activity. The High E tag is hidden about twenty feet up in a small alcove, wet and moss covered. At the top left side of the alcove at the top of the crescent shaped left edge is a short straight edge. Look inside the alcove around the right facing edge and you\'ll find the phrase \"Leave no Trace\"

It\'s location would lead us to believe this tag is the work of a climber or at least an adventuresome tourist.

Another climber awaiting his turn to begin the High E reported that his party very recently saw a like graffiti tag on Roseland in the Nears. Again, about 20 feet or so up the route.

That\'s now three routes with this tag. Who knows how many routes may have been tagged seeing how the tags may not be in the most obvious and visible locations.

Posted by: Valpine

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/27/14 02:09 AM

I saw some on a rock near the base of Cedar Box/Finger Locks. \"Leave no trace?\" I think someone is trying to either send a message or protest something. It is hard to decypher what that message is though or on what side the \"artist\" stands hence it is just useless, meaningless garbage.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/27/14 02:16 AM

Does anyone know what sorts of solutions/chemicals are needed to clean that shit up? Because just saying \"I saw it\" doesn\'t cut it. We need to make a list of all the locations and erase that stuff.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/27/14 02:32 AM

Some answers to my own questions.

Have a look at ; some graffiti removers are way toxic! The best bet seems to be Graffiti-Gone. Here\'s the material and safety sheet: Seems to cost about $16 for a quart, Thorough rinsing is required; this could be a problem without some help from the Preserve.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/27/14 09:26 AM

Some claims on FB led me to Google. Toothpaste and water will remove Sharpie Marker. However, if it is Sharpie Oil Based Paint Marker than it is back to stronger solvent based or just a wire brush and elbow grease. Maybe a wire rotary brush on a cordless drill.
Posted by: joeantol

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/27/14 02:29 PM

I saw one just under the big step on Raunchy.

The medium appears to be blackboard chalk as I was able to rub some of it off w/ a wet finger and a little elbow grease.

The letters had loops and curly-cues suggesting a woman\'s touch (or deliberate misdirection). The tag on the Guide\'s Wall did not have these flourishes.

I believe the question mark is significant. My take is that the culprit is making a statement about the contradiction of using chalk on climbs, yet espousing a \'leave no trace\' ethic.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/27/14 02:50 PM

Minty, High E, Roseland, Raunchy, Cedar Box/Finger Locks…..

It is adding up. Who really knows when this began, or how many climbs have been tagged. If it is only chalk no worries eh? But, early reports were that it is some form of silver ink marker.

The writing on High E is immediately next to a very obvious chalked hold twenty feet up. It is not visible from the ground, but from only right there, from the climbers position.

Trail Crew is working below High E, we\'ll take a closer look at that one on Sunday.

I mentioned the earlier reports to Hank during our hiker rescue this past Sunday afternoon. He had not yet heard any word of these recent tags.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/27/14 06:00 PM

Transcon too, apparently.

Someone posted this to MP, from the NPS on graffiti removal:
Posted by: sketch

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/27/14 08:44 PM

There\'s a tag on Three Pines as well, about 20 feet up from the start. Someone\'s been busy.
Posted by: Julie

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/27/14 09:14 PM

Hm. Think the taggers are trying to divert ranger attention away from, say, the parking lots?
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/27/14 11:19 PM

At this rate, by the time anyone figures out the who and why, there will be dozens more. I\\\'m really hoping it\\\'s only chalk.
Posted by: timh

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/28/14 02:23 AM

The writing on High E is immediately next to a very obvious chalked hold twenty feet up. It is not visible from the ground, but from only right there, from the climbers position.

Could this be somebody expressing their opinion on chalked holds? If so, they\'ve picked a real poor way to do it.

Since there tags are scattered around, could it also be some sort of weird climber-centric geocaching game?
Posted by: joeantol

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/28/14 01:13 PM

If folks could upload some pictures we could cross-post to RC or reddit. Perhaps a handwriting expert could determine if this is the work of one or several people and whether they\'re male or female. We could also figure out if this is exclusive to the Gunks or a trend seen elsewhere.

My bet is that this is the work of work of at least two people (tagger and belayer) or a bold soloist.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/28/14 02:44 PM

Actually, I think the best way to handle this is quietly and as much as possible off the internet. Taggers want attention, and denying them as much as possible helps to keep down their stoke. Posting pictures of their handiwork all over the internet plays into their desires, and starting arguments about whether climbers come anywhere near leave no trace ethics is probably exactly what they want to stimulate with their destructive attacks.

It sounds as if the Preserve isn\'t on top of this yet, but it makes the most sense for them to collect data on the location of tags. Volunteers could work from a Preserve data base to erase the crap. The quicker the better.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/28/14 06:46 PM

A follow up: in coordination with the Preserve, I\'m going to collect tagging data and coordinate responses. Please send me all info on tagging you have, and contact me if you would like to be part of the clean-up effort. And per my comments above, let\'s deny the taggers the pleasure of seeing their efforts on the internet by just sending me the info and not posting about it.
Posted by: TerrieM

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/29/14 04:58 PM

Thanks for stepping up Rich!
Posted by: OldEric

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/31/14 03:05 AM

It\'s nice to take action and I\'m sure it feels good to do something. I just wish the same amount of angst was demonstrated for events that were more then just cosmetic without any real detrimental effect - things like throwing rocks off the top, breaking and entering, theft, etc.
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Gunks Graffiti - 05/31/14 05:36 PM

I\'ve been very busy with family stuff this week, but intend to have a look at the graffiti that has been mentioned next week and start the cleaning process. Please send me additions to the list if you encounter something, or any more precise location details than have been given either here or on Mountain Project.