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LA Times piece on missing registers

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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby aermotor » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:11 pm

Awesome read, thanks for that. Just getting into mountaineering this really makes me very sad. Like the father and son in the article, wanting to be in a book of legens only to find it missing is just madness.

I disagree with climbers taking them down and giving them to the Bancroft, I understand their logic, but disagree with taking the matter into their own hands.

It's absolutely sickening climbers would pilfer such things for personal collection or gain.
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby KathyW » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:12 pm

I think the less said about summit registers, the better. I don't think either publishing photos of them or publishing a list of the peaks with missing registers is a good idea. The photos are nice to see if they have old signatures, but they do make those registers targets for removal. The list of peaks without registers the Sierra Club publishes just provides a list of peaks that potentially have registers (by process of elimination) for those who are interested in removing registers either because they want to own the old signatures or because they think they are trash and shouldn't be there.

In the end, a summit register does nothing to enhance a climb.

That's my last comment on this topic that has been hashed and rehashed.
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby Kahuna » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:30 pm

KathyW wrote:In the end, a summit register does nothing to enhance a climb.


Well said.

I have "really" only signed a dozen or so registers in the past thirty plus years. My longest was a four liner which was last July when I dispersed my parents ashes on one of the peaks (that I will not mention) in close proximity of the Whitney region. All previous signings, except this particular one, were Name and Date. Simple. Most of what I have read in these registers the past ten or so years is just plain ignorant. One to two page thesis like scribbles of ones life story that led them to the summit. Ironically, I see the exact same scribble notations from the same people in other summit registers. All quite humorous actually.
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:11 pm

In the last 10 years, I've seen a lot of register entries written diagonally across the page, one signature taking up and entire page... often after skipping a few blank pages.

I've also come across registers that were left on the ground outside the cairn, even left without reassembling the jar/box, with the notebook just sitting exposed to the elements. I don't think the people who leave registers in such state are malicious-- just self-absorbed.
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby Augie Medina » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:50 pm

The article on the mountain lion attack was the more interesting piece. It sounds like one of those "wrong place at wrong time" scenarios. Fortunately, the guy lived to tell about it.
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby TheGeneral » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:08 am

KathyW wrote:In the end, a summit register does nothing to enhance a climb.


I would disagree. To handle and sign the same book as the pioneers of Sierra mountaineering is akin to saying you pitched to Babe Ruth.

But, whatever.
“The carping and bickering of political factions in the nation's capital reminds me of two pelicans quarreling over a dead fish.” -- William Tecumseh Sherman
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby Diggler » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:08 am

What a shame... I remember reading about this bullshit years ago. I kept my mouth shut, though, re: the register on the Black Kaweah. Reading through that thing on the summit of that proud peak touched me in a very unique way- it's a shame that some piece of shit so selfishly took that away from all subsequent summiters. Where else could one see actual signatures of legends such as Ellingwood, Clyde, Walt Starr Jr. (in his own blood!!), ... This makes me very sad. If in fact this person is removing these registers over philosophical differences (reminds me of people chopping bolts b/c they don't think they should be there in the first place- this strikes me as much more damaging, though), they should have the balls to tell the world that they're doing it & why, instead of doing it when no-one is watching... Would it be possible to install undetectable tracking devices in some of those remaining to find this person???

BTW- if anyone has a desire to see any of the pages of the Black Kaweah register digitally, give me a shout- I took photos of every page of the register when I did the ascent (a couple of years ago in the meantime...).

To the coward who is removing these priceless registers- FUCK YOU.
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby dan2see » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:09 am

I don't think it matters.

I don't say that registers are irrelevant, but registers are what they are, and climbers are what they are.

It's easy to understand the feeling of respect for those who came before, and it's fun to imagine how they felt when they signed the same register.

On the other hand, the mountain is what it is. I mean, when I'm sitting on a rock enjoying the vista, I always like to look at the mountain itself, its shape and size, and just-plain impressiveness. I thank the Gods of Orogeny for sharing it with me, and maybe offer a brief prayer that the rocks will remain, and the plants and animals will enjoy it forever.

So! you like to sign the register? OK do it. Or you like to record it all? Wonderful. Hmm maybe it's a great souvenir, and you want to sell it somewhere? Fill your boots.

There are no rules. Nobody owns the register. Nobody has any rights to it. Nobody can tell me what to do with it.

For myself, I like to keep the summit register neat, clean, and dry. I'll even bring along a new container, or note-book, if necessary. But it definitely takes second priority to the summit itself.
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby x15x15 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:22 pm

TheGeneral wrote:
KathyW wrote:In the end, a summit register does nothing to enhance a climb.


I would disagree. To handle and sign the same book as the pioneers of Sierra mountaineering is akin to saying you pitched to Babe Ruth.

But, whatever.


i'm not a register guy. i don't like to look at them, or even see the container on a summit.

but, i climb for myself, not to say i "pitched to Babe Ruth!"
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby surgent » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:51 pm

On my SAR days, we would check a summit register to see if the subject of our search had made it to the summit. The lack of a signature meant little, but the presence of one meant a lot since that provided a waypoint and a possible lead on his whereabouts.

Granted, most of our searches and rescues tended to be along trail networks where summitting a peak was not the objective. But on the rare occasion when it was, the register could be a lead.

Personally, if there is a register, I'll sign in, but if there isn't one, I don't lament it. It's amusing to see the same 10 people signed in to each regsiter and that I know 8 of them (these being the peaks in SW AZ). They also give an indication how frequently a peak is climbed. I don't sense the presence (or lack thereof) of a register on a summit is as big a deal in Arizona as it may be in the Sierra Nevada, where the mountains have more "fame" attached to them.
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby Marmaduke » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:53 pm

The registers provide a bit of historical reference. And if the old registers would have been left alone, I think most would agree rather you sign it or not that to look at the register and seeing names of the past legends of climbing would be pretty cool.
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby thegib » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:58 pm

Almost all my peak-bagging is a solo effort. When I come to the summit I greatly enjoy the "company" of names I know I can rely on finding - when I can find the register. I never feel lonely during a climb/scramble, but I'm disappointed not to see the roll cal of names, and to rejoin that list, that little community of names which is, for me, the community I'd wish to be known by.
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby Rick Kent » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:14 pm

I've been hitting Sierra Peaks every weekend for about the last 3 months. An occaisional missing register is to be expected, but what I've seen (or rather not seen) in these past few months makes me think that someone is being systematic. There are just too many missing registers. It's truly pathetic. I just don't understand why somebody would go to so much trouble. I keep looking all around the summits to see if maybe it's been tossed off but so far I've not come across any evidence of such. It's particularly annoying on peaks where the true summit isn't obvious. I spent about 45 minutes on one peak before giving up and assuming the register is gone. Recently where possible I've started "checking in" to peaks on Facebook but usually I can't get a signal. Perhaps that's the future. I don't know. I just wish whoever is doing this would stop.
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby butitsadryheat » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:43 pm

as offered before, if anyone is interested in replacing the registers and hauling up a new watertight ammo box, PM me. I have hundreds of them at my disposal, including some nice new(er) smaller ones.
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Re: LA Times piece on missing registers

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:24 am

Rick Kent wrote:... An occaisional missing register is to be expected, but what I've seen (or rather not seen) in these past few months makes me think that someone is being systematic.


Sad to say, but you are probably right. I just want to think well of people, so I'm inclined to over-emphasize accidental register loss.

The hatred that some folks have for registers seems to come from a very basic, territorial part of the brain. It is such a strong reaction... it seems related to dogs and cats pissing on some other animal's territorial marks. I've heard all the usual arguments for register removal, which seem to have some rational basis; such as "they are garbage" spoiling the outdoors. But then the same person (who hates the register garbage) will justify leaving slings and hardware all over the mountains. There is something deeper, more visceral here, which people try to dress up in the clothes of higher purpose.
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