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Ehgadsman t1_ja234pr wrote

this is possibly some really bad science. rock climbers specificly look for areas of a rock face without loose material and without vegetation, areas were plants can live are dangerous to climb. so any areas climbers have been using are areas they found to be devoid of things like moss and lichen and cliffside foliage. of course there are exceptions but they are rare.

as well, the amount of climber accessed rock versus untouched rock is tiny, probably .001% or less. It takes special conditions to make a route up a rock face attractive to climbers.

this reminds me of helping with a government survey of mollusks on a commercial dive boat where they looked at sandy areas the rock dwelling mollusks could not survive and counted those areas in the survey as habitable zones, thus coming up with a very inaccurate count of the species numbers per square meter or 'reef'.


jadbal t1_ja3hc83 wrote

If you’ve never participated in establishing new climbing routes, you may be underestimating the amount of cleaning that is usually required. We climbers don’t look for areas without loose rock and vegetation so much as we clean loose rock and vegetation while establishing new routes.


Moose-Daddy t1_ja59dok wrote

I have to agree with Jadbal here. Frequented routes are usually clean and without loose rock, but that isn't because routes are only established on clean solid rock, it is because routes are cleaned and trafficked. I've seen local clean solid routes have access prohibited by the powers that be and develop lichen and plant life within several years. Least frequented routes are always the dirtiest. Just like a hiking trail that is being "rested for rehabilitation". It really does come down to whether the volume of routes is a significant portion of the ecosystem. I'd imagine in the western portion of the country where the geography is still young and abound with cliffs it'd be less substantial. Over here on the east coast is different, cliffs are few and far between and climbers flock to every square foot of cliff face to get their fix, myself included.


ghostofpostapocalive t1_ja51y24 wrote

Every single rock face I see is attractive to me, it just depends on how much time I want to spend cleaning a route. Sometimes it's a lot. There are only so many first ascents left on the planet ;)


ItchyK t1_ja4prq0 wrote

Somebody needed to make up a problem to make a "report" on so the government will keep giving them money.


MakeMineMarvel_ t1_ja16sbx wrote

Plants: I know the perfect place to stay safe. The side of a cliff! No predators there.

Humans: sike you thought


mayayahee t1_ja29hxn wrote

Where there's climbers there's also hikers and mountain bikers too. Also, there's sooo much rockface that climbers would love to touch, but can't and never will. Like way less than 1%


billsil t1_ja5hs3z wrote

Mountain bikers destroy trails. At least climbers are pro-environment. Don't leave trash, pick up other people's trash, follow the park rules regarding pets, etc.

New routes are definitely cleaned and there are effects there, but I'd imagine the effects are a lot less than what a hiker would do.


Reasonable_Ticket_84 t1_ja8zc4q wrote

>Mountain bikers destroy trails.

Where I live, mountain bikers are the ones maintaining the trails both from construction to long term maintenance and cleaning. The dog walkers with their dogs off the lease are the ones trespassing on the trails marked by the state as no pets to go harass wildlife and leaving their empty bottles of soda everywhere.


nnomadic OP t1_jaa7ktl wrote

Outdoor sports people in general usually do some mutual aid protection of their playgrounds.


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Kickstand8604 t1_jab4iky wrote

Must have been a slow week for the author.