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My Actions, My Responsibility, And My Mistake

Joe Kinder, writing on his blog about an incident that took place recently near Tahoe:

To make a long story short, I was recently informed that I had done something wrong last month while establishing new routes at an underground crag in the Tahoe region of California. I cut down two trees. Not just any trees, either. Junipers.

I’d like to try to address and speak about the specifics of my actions, but in doing so, I want to make no mistake that this was a regrettable error on my part. I am deeply apologetic about what I did. I was wrong. I F’d up. And I’m very sorry. Now, I’m using my blog, my voice and my position in the climbing community to bring awareness to an important issue of route development in order to prevent people who may be as ignorant as I once was from doing this in the future.

There’s no doubt that this was a bad mistake, and Kinder should have known better1.  He only compounded his problems when he tried to hide from the situation by deleting any evidence from social media and denying what happened according to this story on the Adventure Journal.

Unfortunately, in today’s time there is the story about what actually happened and then there is the story about how people respond to what happened.  Kinder puts himself out there more than most climbers do which is usually to his benefit, but this has also put him in the position that many people are looking for the first reason to tear him down.  This nearly 500 post long SuperTopo thread got hundreds of posts deep before anyone even knew what they were really yelling about, and the armchair internet judgement from most post posters has been swift and resolute:  Joe Kinder is the worst person ever.  This sort of mob mentality is not unique to the climbing world by any stretch, but its seeming ubiquity in our society today doesn’t make it any more right or constructive.

At this point no amount of criticism or apologizing will change what happened, so in my mind what is most important is what can happen going forward.  Actions speak louder than words.  The ball is in Kinder’s court.

  1. Incidentally, this is not the first time he has issued a mea culpa for his actions as a route developer
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Government Shutdown Closes Climbing Areas Across the Country

The Access Fund has setup a page to make it easier for you to let Congress know how you feel about them shutting down the government and the National Parks we all pay for.

The good news is that in an effort to save face the House is apparently considering passing some small bills to do things like re-open national parks.  The bad news is…well…this is still Congress we’re talking about here.

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Save Oak Flat


There is a vote scheduled for this Thursday, September 19th in the US House of Representatives on legislation that would trade away the popular Oak Flat climbing area in Arizona to Resolution Copper Mining, a foreign owned mining company. All 435 members of the House of Representatives will have the opportunity to cast a vote on this legislation, yet many of them know little or nothing about the bill–except what the bill sponsors have told them.

If this bill (HR 687) should become law, it will result in the largest loss of a climbing resource in the history of the United States.

The vote is tomorrow, so if you want to attempt to make your voice heard today is the day.

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Behind The Founding Of The Bighorn Climber’s Coalition

Nice piece on DPM about an important step being taken to form a climber’s coalition for the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming which are home to the increasingly popular Ten Sleep Canyon.  Once an area you just heard rumors about1, Ten Sleep has become one of the most popular summer climbing destinations in the U.S. and non-climbing land managers have started to take notice.  Forming a group to represent climber’s interest in the region is a great step.

This is also a good time to give props to DPM editor Mikey Williams who, unlike yours truly, is actually a pretty good climber in his own right.  Most recently he climbed Masters of the Universe, a 5.14c in Ten Sleep.  Nice work!

  1.  I recall hearing about it back in 2001 while visiting the Wild Iris
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Between Rocklands And A Hard Place


Discarded climbing tape and litter are an everyday find at the climbing areas; faeces and toilet paper are hidden in caves and under rocks; and huge tick lines and graffiti are abundant. It’s important to stress that the majority of climbers are considerate of the environment when at the crags, but there are always exceptions to the rule. The closure of one area here in Rocklands is solely due to us and, if we’re not careful, we will lose this stunning destination altogether.

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Rocklands Bouldering Crisis

Rocklands Bouldering Crisis

Rocklands bouldering access is in jeopardy

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If You’re Not An Access Fund Member, What Are You?

Louder Than 11’s Jordan Shipman:

The sad truth, however, is that less than 1% of the climbing community are members of the Access Fund. There are millions of climbers out there in the US but the Access Fund only has around 10,000 members or so.

Given the number of people who seemed to be very concerned about growth in climbing, overcrowding at crags and environmental impact when it was announced that climbing wouldn’t be in the 2020 Olympics—I find this last fact pretty shocking. I mean, what the f*ck?

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