Missing Summit Registers Rant

Missing Summit Registers Rant

Dan
Dan

October 12th, 2010, 11:40 pm #1

I would love to hear from the person taking the registers off of peaks and hear how they have decided on their own that they don't belong. I am guessing you realize it is a questionable act and therefore are afraid to come out and admit it and defend your actions.

While having a large cairn or mess on top of a peak isn't ideal to me, a small register with historical data in it is not hurting anything. It doesn't "take away" from your adventure and it isn't an environmental issue. It is simply a man-made object hidden in the rocks atop a peak. Whether we agree on that or not, there is no disputing the fact that summit registers ARE a means for search and rescue to narrow down a lost hikers location and you are removing that datapoint from their ability of finding someone.

I guess it could be worse. Someone could decide on their own that vehicles should not be driven and vandalize our vehicles at the trailhead. Or someone could decide trails are not natural and start destroying them or putting up barricades so we can't access them. Sounds crazy, but neither of those things are too far off from what you are doing.
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Joined: December 20th, 2007, 3:45 pm

October 13th, 2010, 2:48 am #2

It's not just in Idaho. I read this article last month:

http://climbing.about.com/b/2010/09/20/ ... -peaks.htm

If it is elitist environmentalists, I wish they would start with picking up trash at the trailhead parking lot and THEN move up the mountain.

I'm not a peak-bagger, per se, so it doesn't bother me to not have a summit register. But the people that like to record their summit, should have the privilege. I sign in off and on, but I usually try to read who was up there in the last little while. The loss of history aspect is another thing that bothers me when they are taken. I know there is a database for the Tetons' registers with scans taken, maybe there is a historical society that may be concerned with it here?

I personally like the good old summit splattski and a picture of the USGS marker. But those that wish to sign in, should have a weathertight, non-obtrusive container hidden under a cairn to do so.

But on the other hand, what is really the big deal with signing a register? Is it a Tchotchke that needs to be collected by signing in? An external motivation to reach a summit? Write what route was taken and all the hardships endured? Proof? Photos, video and a blog/website work as well.
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Joined: January 15th, 2008, 6:19 am

October 13th, 2010, 3:34 am #3

I would love to hear from the person taking the registers off of peaks and hear how they have decided on their own that they don't belong. I am guessing you realize it is a questionable act and therefore are afraid to come out and admit it and defend your actions.

While having a large cairn or mess on top of a peak isn't ideal to me, a small register with historical data in it is not hurting anything. It doesn't "take away" from your adventure and it isn't an environmental issue. It is simply a man-made object hidden in the rocks atop a peak. Whether we agree on that or not, there is no disputing the fact that summit registers ARE a means for search and rescue to narrow down a lost hikers location and you are removing that datapoint from their ability of finding someone.

I guess it could be worse. Someone could decide on their own that vehicles should not be driven and vandalize our vehicles at the trailhead. Or someone could decide trails are not natural and start destroying them or putting up barricades so we can't access them. Sounds crazy, but neither of those things are too far off from what you are doing.
I wish you would come out with it too. This has gone on long enough and we'd all like to know what your reasons are. Even if you don't frequent this forum I hope someday, somewhere you'll find out that you've irritated a lot of people and removed a lot of interesting and valuable information from Idaho's climbing history. If you're doing it just to be a jerk then don't worry, you've accomplished your goal.
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Dan
Dan

October 13th, 2010, 4:11 am #4

It's not just in Idaho. I read this article last month:

http://climbing.about.com/b/2010/09/20/ ... -peaks.htm

If it is elitist environmentalists, I wish they would start with picking up trash at the trailhead parking lot and THEN move up the mountain.

I'm not a peak-bagger, per se, so it doesn't bother me to not have a summit register. But the people that like to record their summit, should have the privilege. I sign in off and on, but I usually try to read who was up there in the last little while. The loss of history aspect is another thing that bothers me when they are taken. I know there is a database for the Tetons' registers with scans taken, maybe there is a historical society that may be concerned with it here?

I personally like the good old summit splattski and a picture of the USGS marker. But those that wish to sign in, should have a weathertight, non-obtrusive container hidden under a cairn to do so.

But on the other hand, what is really the big deal with signing a register? Is it a Tchotchke that needs to be collected by signing in? An external motivation to reach a summit? Write what route was taken and all the hardships endured? Proof? Photos, video and a blog/website work as well.
I personally don't care much about the summit register myself. So I can't answer the questions you posed. I don't even have a summit ritual and have sometimes forgot a summit photo on occassion. I will read the register if it is there and have found them amusing and information on a few occassions. I am more addressing the arogance of taking it.
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SeanD
SeanD

October 13th, 2010, 6:08 am #5

I would love to hear from the person taking the registers off of peaks and hear how they have decided on their own that they don't belong. I am guessing you realize it is a questionable act and therefore are afraid to come out and admit it and defend your actions.

While having a large cairn or mess on top of a peak isn't ideal to me, a small register with historical data in it is not hurting anything. It doesn't "take away" from your adventure and it isn't an environmental issue. It is simply a man-made object hidden in the rocks atop a peak. Whether we agree on that or not, there is no disputing the fact that summit registers ARE a means for search and rescue to narrow down a lost hikers location and you are removing that datapoint from their ability of finding someone.

I guess it could be worse. Someone could decide on their own that vehicles should not be driven and vandalize our vehicles at the trailhead. Or someone could decide trails are not natural and start destroying them or putting up barricades so we can't access them. Sounds crazy, but neither of those things are too far off from what you are doing.
As one who has placed over 100 registers in various locations (Sawtooths, Zion, Lost River Range, Boise Mountains etc), it's just disappointing to not know the history of who has climbed, and when. It's also interesting to see comments about wildlife, route taken, and weather. I suppose I just need to climb more difficult and remote peaks, and it's pretty easy to bring a new one up a trade route on a commonly climbed peak. (my standard summit log is 2" x 6" black PVC with yellow caps. I usually have 2 pencils and 1 pen with paper sealed in two baggies)

So if it's some type of Leave No Trace Extremists, it makes no sense- they are only stealing history because myself or someone else will just bring a new summit register.
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Joined: January 15th, 2008, 6:19 am

October 13th, 2010, 6:39 am #6

As I said in another recent thread, I'm a Leave No Trace Trainer and I can tell you that removing a summit register would violate the "Leave What you Find" guideline of LNT. If they are a LNT extremist they are an ignorant one.
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Joined: December 20th, 2007, 3:45 pm

October 13th, 2010, 3:10 pm #7

I don't think that removing a register violates the "Leave What You Find" Principle. The register would have to be so old that it's protected under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. In fact, building a cairn or depositing an man-made object violates one of the LNT principles. Not that I agree with the removal or disagree with their placement. I really like Sean's PVC registers. They are small and durable. When I climbed Beaverdam, there was a PVC pipe register with a sign-in form that had the peak name and elevation. Pretty tight rig!

I don't even want to start in on the Boy Scout LNT thing. In my opinion there is another term for an ingnoramus in the woods and it rhymes with "Schmoy Schmout"...
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Joined: January 15th, 2008, 6:19 am

October 13th, 2010, 5:31 pm #8

Leaving what you find is not only about archaeological artifacts. That's only a small part of it.

Anyone can differentiate between trash and a summit register. One serves a purpose and one does not. If there's a reason for it being there you should leave it alone.

You would be surprised how many resources the "Schmoy Schmouts" have invested in partnering with the LNT organization. Is there anyone else in the area that offers LNT Trainer and Masters courses or even any kind of LNT training? I didn't think so. When was the last conservation project or outdoor ethics training you took part in?

You should come meet some of the "ignoramuses" I know who have dedicated a good part of their live to outdoor ethics. It's fine to have an opinion about something but until you actually come and find out what we "ignoramuses" are actually doing don't make judgment calls.
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Joined: December 20th, 2007, 3:45 pm

October 13th, 2010, 7:08 pm #9

What if it's a lawn chair on the summit? Serves a purpose, right? I could agree with you on the exact verbiage or the "translation" the LNT principle, but then we would both be wrong. I don't care how many courses a person goes to or how much training they have, if it's distorted when used or not used at all, it doesn't matter. Fact is that if it doesn't negatively impact another's enjoyment of the outdoors it seems right and no amount of training will instill common sense. Summit registers and cairns, once again my opinion, are expected to be seen on a summit. But if you asked a LNT Master Educator if it was okay to leave a water bottle or PVC pipe filled with paper in the outdoors or build a rock cairn, you might have a different answer. I don't know, maybe like most organizations, they may be hypocritical.

I participate in the Adopt-a-Crag and am a member of the Access Fund. And just this morning I got my LNT Awareness Workshop Certificate. I am also a diver and have helped clean up Alturas and the Boise river through organized events. Could I do more? Yes. Could we all do more? Yes. I do appreciate that you are working to instill respect for the outdoors in the next generation.

I don't need to come meet anyone in a static display of ethics. I have witnessed Schmoy Schmouts in the outdoors first hand on more than one occasion. Not impressed. So I can make a judgment call based on what I have witnessed. My youngest wanted to check out the Cub Scouts and I took him up to the school (Pack 92) on the sign-up night. We didn't sign up. I still have a hard time with the Scouts since I grew up in a small Idaho town and didn't wear the right underwear. Always seemed like organized bigotry.

Like I posted before, the removing of registers is a wide-spread problem. I don't know if there was a "cool" person that was doing it and now others want to be "cool". We have that problem with the chopping of bolts on routes. After the "Reel Rock Film Tour" showed Didier with his bolt collection, bolts were chopped at the Black Cliffs. People can decide not to clip a bolt just like they can decide not to sign a register. Just don't make the choice for the rest of us limited to what you feel is right...
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Joined: January 15th, 2008, 6:19 am

October 13th, 2010, 7:51 pm #10

Luddite, I agree with pretty much everything you've said. Like you said, the most important thing to remember is just use common sense. You're right that no amount of training can instill that in people but it can help gain a foundation of understanding.

The LNT principles are guidelines to be followed and tempered with your own judgment. They are not clear cut rules to be kept or broken.

I also appreciate that you do what you can to help with conservation. I just wanted to know if you were actually doing anything and I'm glad you are. We just have different ways of doing it.

I'll be the first to admit that scouts have not always been model outdoorsmen. They're still not perfect. I've been appalled by some troops I've seen. The problem is not with the organization, it's the fact that many of the leaders and boys don't avail themselves of the training resources that are available.
Believe me, we're trying very hard to turn things around and get everyone in the scouting organization on board with being better stewards of the land. Like I said, we don't have a perfect record and I'm sure there will still be irresponsible scouts and scouters in the future but we're doing what we can to make things right. We're working for the same thing anyways.

There may be some LNT people who have a problem with summit registers. I personally do not. I feel that although they are not natural they do no harm to anyone or anything. Removing one is selfish like you said. It takes away the opportunity of others to sign one if they wish, which is not "Respecting Other Visitors."

I know we disagree on a lot of things but we're probably on the same side when it comes to the great outdoors. I hope there's no hard feelings.
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