Rock climbers = litter

  Rock climbers = litter

Dear HCN,

Armando Menocal needs to open his eyes (HCN, 8/17/98). Rock climbing in wilderness causes impacts which are inappropriate to areas where the signs of man are to remain unseen. Bolts, nylon straps, chalk marks and bare patches left when lichen is removed by climbing shoes are unsightly. The trails which evolve through use from a staging area or camp, to the cliff base leave clear evidence of growing human use. They also become erosional channels when such trails are located on the aeolian soils of the Colorado Plateau.

And if he's been to Indian Creek Canyon in San Juan County, Utah, he can't help but notice how unpleasant it can be to approach the cliffs: Human waste lies everywhere. Garbage, including PowerBar wrappers and toilet paper, festoon the shrubs. Until rock climbers show greater respect for the environment, the Forest Service is doing the right thing. Other managers of wilderness should get with the same program.

C. Lyman Taylor

Monticello, Utah

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