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Cairns and Registers

Minimally moderated forum for climbing related hearsay, misinformation, and lies.
 

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:23 pm

Muddeer wrote: leave the mountain as you found it."


That really doesn't happen. Each ascent we make leaves a subtle trail, that gradually builds with repetition. It starts far away, when a person drives a relatively gas-guzzling 4x4 to a trailhead, or alters the habits of the animals that either avoid, or seek humans on the route. If you take horses or mules on the approach, they leave even more non-native remnants.

I do agree somewhat; for example, I'm somewhat depressed when I find cell phone repeater towers on remote peaks that are reached by a brutal scramble ... or by a helicopter. I think of the cell phone repeaters as religious shrines to iPhones and teenage text-messaging.
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Postby rhyang » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:34 pm

I enjoy summit registers -- both finding them and signing them. They're just fun, like easter eggs, or the toy in a box of cereal. Sometimes I take a notebook & pencil with me in case an existing register needs a new one, but I have yet to place one.

I remember getting up top of Rainier and not being able to find the damn register .. oh well :) Several times on Shasta the register has been thoroughly buried. There are lots of cool peaks to scramble & climb that don't have registers, no big deal.

Some other possible summit antics -

Candlelight Peak (Whitney region)
Image

Laurel Mountain (near Mammoth)
Image

Crystal Crag (no register)
Image

Gonna have to look for little plastic llamas I can put in those big metal Sierra Club register boxes :twisted:
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Postby Muddeer » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:53 pm

MoapaPk wrote:
Muddeer wrote: leave the mountain as you found it."


That really doesn't happen. Each ascent we make leaves a subtle trail, that gradually builds with repetition. It starts far away, when a person drives a relatively gas-guzzling 4x4 to a trailhead, or alters the habits of the animals that either avoid, or seek humans on the route. If you take horses or mules on the approach, they leave even more non-native remnants.


Ok, MoapaPK. Your superior intellect and knowledge, already well established here on SP, convinced me that, as usual, you are right. I am trashing the mountains, so I shouldn't be upset that others are too.

Btw, have you found any more articles on the growing ice mass of Greenland? Or may be you have published your own paper, describing the areal averaging proving that.
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Postby Dave K » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:54 pm

I used to be a die hard cairn knocker. I've mellowed a bit, especially if the cairns are used to mark use trails where the impacts of travel are meant to be funneled into one spot. But in the middle of nowhere on cross country routes--zap! One of the points and joys of cross country hiking is to figure out your own route, which is completely contrary to the creation of cairns. If you made it through several miles of cross country travel, you don't need no stinking cairns to tell you which way to go.

Registers on the other hand are a joy.
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Postby Cascade Scrambler » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:08 pm

Did someone say cairn?

Image

This cairn leans just a little, but is bombproof. Over 7 feet tall and nearly three feet in diameter, this is the largest cairn I have ever seen.
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Postby Kiefer » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:22 pm

cp0915 wrote:
rpc wrote:I love summit registers. Esp. on obscure summits. Stuff like top of Whitney etc..., I could care less though.


Bingo.

There's nothing like reaching the summit of an obscure peak and finding some rotten, old register that hasn't been signed in years, filled with ladybugs. Places like Whitney, Rainier --- never even cracked open their boxes.


That is a cool feeling.
Just a few weeks ago down in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Southern Colorado, the GF and I were on a ridge scrambling over to UN 13,555 from Huerfano Peak. There was a summit register on 13,555 that dated back to 1971! That's pretty freakin cool in my book whether you regard it as trash or not.

And as Sarah said, it's cool seeing the 'usual suspects' sign in, people you know.
I usually tear down needless cairns though.
Some people go apeshit over those things. :?

Speaking of oddly placed cairns, this bad-boy isn't even on the summit! (Culebra)
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:08 pm

Muddeer wrote:Ok, MoapaPK. Your superior intellect and knowledge, already well established here on SP, convinced me that, as usual, you are right. I am trashing the mountains, so I shouldn't be upset that others are too.


Wow!

Did you enter this thread with a soft touch and humility? Go back and read your own words. I seem to remember a bolded F-bomb a few times as you disdained others' opinions.

I've (honestly) found some of your opinions on SP -- especially about equipment -- to be very valuable. But it's pretty easy to knock that chip off your shoulder. I'll bet you don't see it that way.

Btw, have you found any more articles on the growing ice mass of Greenland? Or may be you have published your own paper, describing the areal averaging proving that.


I've been paying more attention to the re-analyses of the Pinatubo and bristlecone data; that's much more fun, as the soft underbelly is exposed, thanks to Congressional mandate. Too frustrating to get the JPL guys to expose the details of the leading term corrections.
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:14 pm

Kiefer Thomas wrote:Speaking of oddly placed cairns, this bad-boy isn't even on the summit! (Culebra)


The surveyors often built enormous cairns, for the optical geodetic surveys before the days of helicopters and photogrammetry. The surveying cairns are usually well-built.

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Postby Muddeer » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:24 pm

[quote="MoapaPk"] Did you enter this thread with a soft touch and humility? Go back and read your own words. I seem to remember a bolded F-bomb a few times as you disdained others' opinions. [quote]

OP asked for our opinions; I gave mine, which happens to be strong in this case. But I did not attack others' opinions. I did, however, responded to your last post personally because you were trolling. Give me a break; how does driving to the trailhead equally detract from others' enjoyment of the mountain as finding garbage on the summit?

And, you are remembering wrong: I have never applied "F-bomb" or other obscenities to other people's OPINIONS. Don't do that even in real life. And I don't have a much of a chip on the shoulder since, unlike you, I know my opinions are just that, my opinions, no better than any others.
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Postby Andinistaloco » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:33 pm

MoapaPk wrote:
Muddeer wrote: leave the mountain as you found it."


That really doesn't happen. Each ascent we make leaves a subtle trail, that gradually builds with repetition. It starts far away, when a person drives a relatively gas-guzzling 4x4 to a trailhead, or alters the habits of the animals that either avoid, or seek humans on the route. If you take horses or mules on the approach, they leave even more non-native remnants.


Excellent point.
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Postby Day Hiker » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:35 pm

I like cairns on slickrock routes (class-2 to 4) in the Colorado Plateau. I have this belief that all routes should have one path, not a network of braided paths where people wandered around, wasting time and trampling cryptobiotic crust, etcetera. If someone wants to deviate from this one path, to be adventurous or take photos or whatever, that is his choice. But to me it makes sense for a marked path to exist to provide an "ideal" path for those that are looking for some efficiency in getting where they are going and for those that want to avoid trampling numerous paths through the desert between the same points A and B.

I have no problem with summit registers or cairns near summits. But I despise cairns that obscure the true summit or rise higher than the true summit, especially if they appear to be trying to make the mountain two feet taller, for example. A mountain may have a billion rocks, each of which has no particular significance, but there is only one point on one rock that is the highest natural point of that entire mountain. I don't think the height of that point should be altered by humans, and I don't think it should be obscured or overshadowed by a cairn. I don't always go to the trouble of dismantling these types of summit cairns when I encounter them, but I don't always leave them intact either.

What is the highest point in the contiguous United States? It's the stupid metal cap on the chimney on the Smithsonian Hut on Mount Whitney. This fact is rather irritating. Highpoints should be natural features.
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Postby Andinistaloco » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:43 pm

I really enjoy summit registers. I've found some that went back as far as the 1940's, with the names of many old climbing heros in them. There's one in particular which comes to mind, going back to the 1950's with about 2-3 ascents a year... the same badass having soloed it in like 1963, 1969, 1974, 1981, etc. I found one on a peak in Argentina that went back to 1945, with only a few names in it. A friend of mine found his dad's name in a register, and I've seen lots of long-lost friends and fellow climbers in them. I've placed a few myself and gone back and checked out who'd been up that particular crazy, obscure peak, and once or twice folks have even tracked me down and shared their stories about the climb. Great stuff!
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Postby MoapaPk » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:25 pm

Muddeer wrote:
And, you are remembering wrong: I have never applied "F-bomb" or other obscenities to other people's OPINIONS.


After a few people expressed their like of registers, you call the registers "F*CKIN' TRASH". If you don't see that as denigrating their opinions, then you have an unusual mindset.

What you call "trolling" is my attempt to get you to examine your own inconsistency. You can't champion environmental causes, yet leave all the heavy lifting to other people. It doesn't matter one bit if you have all the right PC opinions, if you don't practice them.

Bye now, this is getting too much like P&P.
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Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:33 pm

I AM THE DESTROYER.

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I HAVE BEEN CHOSEN TO DESTROY ALL CAIRNS, DUCKS, WALLS, BIVOUAC SITES, FIRE RINGS AND SHELTERS THAT I CAN FIND.

IF YOU BUILD IT, I WILL DESTROY IT AND RETURN THE AREA TO ITS NATURAL STATE.

FOR I AM: THE DESTROYER.

LEAVE NO TRACE
TAKE NOTHING BUT PHOTOS
TRY TO LEAVE NOTHING, NOT EVEN FOOTPRINTS
KILL NOTHING EXCEPT HORSE PACKERS AND PEOPLE WHO BUILD CAIRNS

THEY CALL ME: THE DESTROYER.

AND IT IS GOOD.

But otherwise, I don't have any strong feelings about ducks and cairns.
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