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Ground upMy passion is to establish first ascents ground up using clean protection. From time to time I will use fixed protection to link up discontinuous weaknesses, but I try to limit this as much as possible. This is the style in which many of the best climbs in southern Arizona were established, and I find it to be very thought provoking, challenging, and fun. I also find that when I approach first ascents in this manner that I tend to make better use of clean protection (it's faster and easier than stopping to drill a bolt) and to follow natural weaknesses.
Responsible StewardshipAs climbers we must understand that climbing on public property is a priviledge. We do not own the land or have any more right to it than any other user group. We also must understand that our resources are shared and limited. Because of this, each of us needs to practice responsible stewardship of our resources. This includes:
1) Limiting our impact in climbing areas. Leave No Trace is an excellent resource for those who enjoy outdoor recreation. Climbers can begin limiting their impact by utilizing their suggestions. Additional practices specifically applicable to climbing include maintaining a low profile and obeying closures/restrictions when applicable.
2) For those developing routes, utilizing clean protection whenever possible and avoiding over-development significantly reduces impact to climbing areas.
3) Glue is best avoided. It is ugly, it does not last (glued holds break off after a few years, leaving behind uncovered glue), and it tends to be overused. If discovered, blatant glue jobs could be considered very unfavorably by land managers. There is absolutely no need for glue in backcountry areas; there is plenty of climbing that can be done without manufacturing additional climbs out of glued holds. Such climbs should be removed.
4) Chiseling is shunned by almost all climbers, and for good reasons. If even a single chiseled hold is tolerated, a precedent is set allowing a second, then a third, etc. Entire pitches can (and have been) chiseled down to the developer's ability level. It creates an ugly mess and is the best example of lousy stewardship. Additionally, tolerating chiseling shows land managers that climbers condone needless, willful destruction of public property, placing access at risk. And it should! If we can't take care of public property we have no business being there. All chiseled routes should be removed as soon as they are discovered and the chiseled holds carefully filled.
5) Bolts are not sacred. If a route is established that is found to be unacceptable to the the local community the route should be removed. FAs who have a problem with this need to grow up and realize they are no more important then the rest of us.
Example of chiseling. Do not do this.