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Know the West

Leave wilderness out of your climbing plans

  Leave wilderness out

of your climbing plans

Dear HCN,

I, for one, and I suspect there are others, applaud the Forest Service's ban on fixed anchors. Wilderness areas are not to be permanently marred by man - regardless of how insignificant the marring is (HCN, 8/17/98).

We don't allow motorized vehicles, bicycles or hang-gliders in our wilderness areas. Why should we allow the permanent placement of climbing anchors? The tracks from bicycles and the damage caused by the landing of a hang-glider are surely not as permanently damaging to the wilderness as a bolt driven into the living rock; a bolt, which for all practical purposes, will be there forever. Why should climbers be given the right to damage wilderness areas while the other aforementioned user groups are not?

It appears to me that Armando Menocal is more concerned with climbing than he is with the welfare of wilderness. May I suggest that he do his climbing outside of wilderness areas, where he can drive all the bolts his heart desires!

Jerry D. Orr

Tucson, Arizona