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Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby Vitaliy M. » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:58 pm

SpazzyMcgee wrote:I can't believe someone actually took Black Kaweah's register. I would have loved to see that in person one day. Dammit.


Exactly my thoughts. I heard a lot about that register and IT was a HUGE reason for me to get out to Black Kaweah and spent 30 minutes or so going through it in peace. I will not be going up there this year any more...I think some registers are very special, and could serve as a reason for some visitors to visit the mountain. I do not see why anyone should take it from where it belongs, no matter if it is to preserve a signature at a museum or to have it around home. As long as there is one authentic signature from your Clydes, Eichorns, Dawsons, Jensens, etc why take dozens of them?

If person who took the register (from Black Kaweah) is reading, please do your best to return it to where it belongs. It is a long ways in there, and if you do not want to hike all that way you can PM me and I can return it for you. 100% confidential, would not judge you in any way, and would actually respect you a lot for admitting your fault and doing the right thing. And to all others who have any historic registers in possession, please return them, or PM me, and I might return them if I am interested in the peak.

Actually, I want to make an effort to have some of the historic registers be returned to where they belong. Not sure if it will work but I think it is the right thing to do.
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby seano » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:39 pm

hvydrt wrote:This was in last weekends Inyo Register: http://www.inyoregister.com/node/1655

Heh, the photo "courtesy of SPS" looks kinda familiar... (I'm pretty sure the apple sticker was already there when I arrived. :-)
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby Gafoto » Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:52 am

Summit registers are useless in my opinion. I climbed an unnamed peak near Bishop on July 4th and was very pleased to find no evidence of human activity (besides a useless cairn). I saw no people or evidence of people all the way from where the trail ended to the summit.
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:25 pm

I don't see what the bother is about summit registers. I have plenty of them. Here's a summit register that was placed in 1934:

Image

Just kidding. They are historic documents. Leave 'em be.
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby oldsnowy » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:45 am

I love the old registers. It's great to see the names of old friends who mentored me and those i mentored and other folks and climbers we've touched. And it is a real shame to see the grand old boxes trashed. But "he who steals my gold steals nothing". The great register is in the memory of the wonderful days and companions. Nothing touches that.
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby clmbr » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:23 am

Vitaliy M. wrote:If person who took the register (from Black Kaweah) is reading, please do your best to return it to where it belongs. It is a long ways in there, and if you do not want to hike all that way you can PM me and I can return it for you. 100% confidential, would not judge you in any way, and would actually respect you a lot for admitting your fault and doing the right thing. And to all others who have any historic registers in possession, please return them, or PM me, and I might return them if I am interested in the peak.

This sounds very naive. If you want them to return it, give them some address (perhaps a Ranger Station) they could anonymously mail it to.

Some archives have to be removed because there is not enough capacity in the metal box to keep them in (e.g. Shasta, Rainier, Whitney).

Digitalizing and posting (and indexing) archives on the internet would be a cool approach (e.g. searched by summit, climber name, day). There are some websites you can register your summit after you come back but this may be faked.
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby Langenbacher » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:00 am

clmbr wrote:
Vitaliy M. wrote:If person who took the register (from Black Kaweah) is reading, please do your best to return it to where it belongs. It is a long ways in there, and if you do not want to hike all that way you can PM me and I can return it for you. 100% confidential, would not judge you in any way, and would actually respect you a lot for admitting your fault and doing the right thing. And to all others who have any historic registers in possession, please return them, or PM me, and I might return them if I am interested in the peak.

This sounds very naive. If you want them to return it, give them some address (perhaps a Ranger Station) they could anonymously mail it to.


See a mailing address at http://summitregister.org/contact/index.html "I will accept anonymous (or otherwise) information and/or materials (such as register books, register canisters/boxes/etc.), no questions asked. Any summit registers and/or containers returned to me will be photographed/scanned and returned to the proper summit or sent to the Sierra Club archives in Bancroft Library, as appropriate."

clmbr wrote:Some archives have to be removed because there is not enough capacity in the metal box to keep them in (e.g. Shasta, Rainier, Whitney).
Digitalizing and posting (and indexing) archives on the internet would be a cool approach (e.g. searched by summit, climber name, day).....

I agree.
I was disappointed that the reporter for the Inyo register failed to find the SPS policy on summit registers. As I told him, "... the policy is stated in the MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES, section 11" which is now at http://angeles.sierraclub.org/sps/mancomprocedures.html#pkregs

SPS Management Committee wrote:A register should not be removed, even if full, when less than 40 years old, unless it is seriously weather damaged and in danger of loss. A register may be removed for preservation if it is 40 years old or older and full. Illegible scraps of paper, business cards, etc. may be removed from a register container if, in the judgment of the leader, they have no particular significance. However, if such notes are records of early Sierra Club climbs or SPS climbs, they should be left. Scraps removed should be returned to the SPS Mountain Records Chair. Notebooks with historical significance shall be preserved by copying with a digital camera in place. Another notebook must be left on the peak when the original is removed. Removal should be coordinated with the SPS Mountain Records Chair. Copies thus made will be retained by the SPS Mountain Records Chair.


Brower's idea of preserving registers in Bancroft predates the advent of the digital camera by many decades - IT IS OBSOLETE. It takes only a few minutes on a mountain top to preserve 100% of the information in a register using a digital camera - and this data can be made accessible to everyone on the web.

Holding a genuine old register in your hands, in the wild, on top of a peak, has no comparison to seeing it under restricted access in Bancroft, and you can't sign it there.

IMHO - old registers should never be removed from summits except when "there is not enough capacity in the metal box to keep them in (e.g. Shasta, Rainier, Whitney)" and Muir and Langley and Dana and so on.

I maintain a ( crude and incomplete ) archive of summit register pictures at http://summitregister.org/mountains/ThumbNails.html, but I WILL NOT POST PICTURES OF "ANCIENT" REGISTERS which are still on the summit. Those pictures are only on my hard drives. If you should happen upon an old register on an obscure or unnamed peak with signatures from Norman Clyde, etc., - KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. The registers will do just fine without any publicity, as they have for so many years. There was a 'first ascent' register from the 19th century on a Woodworth until just a few years ago when a believer in Brower's philosophy became upset that it had pictures published on the web (unfortunately in the SPS archives :( ) - so he had it removed and sent to Bancroft.

I don't think the BK register has been removed by Brower's "disciples" - it is more likely to have been chucked off the summit by a lunatic ( as on Tyndall ) or dropped by accident ( as on Middle Pal ) or to be in some private collection ( as are rumored to exist ). It wasn't even bolted down. It might even be hidden up there for later retrieval. I am not expecting to see it again. It will be sorely missed by all.
Last edited by Langenbacher on Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby willytinawin » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:51 pm

Langenbacher wrote:If you should happen upon an old register on an obscure or unnamed peak with signatures from Norman Clyde, etc., - KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. The registers will do just fine without any publicity, as they have for so many years.


I couldn't agree more.
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby El Cuervo » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:29 am

Enjoying the register in place and leaving the excitement of seeing it with one's own eyes after having climbed the peak AND keeping thy mouth shut.....

Well, that is clearly too big a challenge for some Sierra visitors.

Maybe with all that driving going on each summer, some folks have ingested a little too much car exhaust and compromised themselves.
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby El Cuervo » Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:22 am

Bob Burd opined...

"I confess that I really dislike business cards dropped in the register and freely admit removing those whenever I find them - so I'm hardly innocent of imposing my own standard of ethics."

and then again...

"Robert Ingraham (of the SRC from the article) contacted me with his concerns that this will only help thieves located their next targets. I didn't agree and told him so in reply. And it's been debated continuously for years now. And so it goes...

I'll never stop enjoying the moments I discover yet another register left by Gordon and Barbara."



Hardly innocent is an understatement. You are like a smoker in a tiny, crowded cafe of people wishing to breath smoke-free air. Indulging your need to show the world what you found means that fewer of the rest of us will enjoy that very same moment you relish so."

Simply stating that you disagree with those of us that have pleaded with you for years to keep your mouth shut is a cop-out.

I know my pleas fall on your deaf ears. Perhaps others will read this and see the error in your selfish ways and take you task as well.

Let each climber enjoy the sense of discovery by reading a register that they found after scaling a peak.

Pounding your chest after driving and driving and driving all those miles serves only you Bob. And is a dis-service to many others.

Keeping quiet about what you have found on a summit in no way diminishes your effort, and preserves the adventure for all that may find their way to that same summit.
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby thegib » Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:45 pm

El Cuervo,

Publishing info on registers would help trophy hunters, but there's no evidence at all that trophy hunting is what's happening. Am I right that the one example of Mt. Woodsworth doesn't seem applicable anymore as the group (SRC) is no longer active?
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby El Cuervo » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:29 pm

While in the back-country I enjoy the wilderness in many ways. Scaling peaks is one of those ways. FInding an old register and reading it while I eat lunch, tucked in out of the wind is a great way to spend time connecting with those that came before me to these mountains.

I don't draw maps of the lakes where 20" goldens are.

I also don't broadcast the location of these old gems.

Whether it is trophy hunters, anti-litter folks, or plain old fools that can't place a register back safely, the easiest way to protect these registers in place is to, as Harry stated up above, "keep yer mouth shut".

I have pleaded with Bob off and on for years to do this, with little in the way of a positive outcome.

Take some pictures, show your friends over beers at your house. But posting this sort of info on the net is pretty selfish. Does keeping one's mouth shut really reduce the satisfaction obtained from reaching the summit of an obscure pile of rocks in the Sierra?
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby MoapaPk » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:18 pm

Don't we know the peaks that Norman Clyde climbed? Isn't it fair to assume that many of those peaks had old registers placed by him (or his coeval friends)?
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby Vitaliy M. » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:04 am

El Cuervo wrote:Bob Burd opined...

"I confess that I really dislike business cards dropped in the register and freely admit removing those whenever I find them - so I'm hardly innocent of imposing my own standard of ethics."

and then again...

"Robert Ingraham (of the SRC from the article) contacted me with his concerns that this will only help thieves located their next targets. I didn't agree and told him so in reply. And it's been debated continuously for years now. And so it goes...

I'll never stop enjoying the moments I discover yet another register left by Gordon and Barbara."



Hardly innocent is an understatement. You are like a smoker in a tiny, crowded cafe of people wishing to breath smoke-free air. Indulging your need to show the world what you found means that fewer of the rest of us will enjoy that very same moment you relish so."

Simply stating that you disagree with those of us that have pleaded with you for years to keep your mouth shut is a cop-out.

I know my pleas fall on your deaf ears. Perhaps others will read this and see the error in your selfish ways and take you task as well.

Let each climber enjoy the sense of discovery by reading a register that they found after scaling a peak.

Pounding your chest after driving and driving and driving all those miles serves only you Bob. And is a dis-service to many others.

Keeping quiet about what you have found on a summit in no way diminishes your effort, and preserves the adventure for all that may find their way to that same summit.


El Cuervo, I do not see why you think taking a photo and sharing it with other people online is 'chest beating?' I think Bob has the right to take and publish a photo of whatever he comes across on a peak. You sound like a paranoid person.
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Re: Thieves on the tops of mountains- Inyo Register

Postby Bob Burd » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:42 am

El Cuervo wrote:Simply stating that you disagree with those of us that have pleaded with you for years to keep your mouth shut is a cop-out.

I know my pleas fall on your deaf ears. Perhaps others will read this and see the error in your selfish ways and take you [to] task as well.


I've never simply stated I disagreed. I've given my reasons and have not had them refuted. Once again:

* Registers are disappearing on all mountains, roughly in proportion to their popularity. This strongly suggests there is no "targeting". That doesn't mean old registers on rarely visited mountains won't disappear - just that the rate is much lower than on highly popular ones.
* Missing registers have been a problem going back at least to the 1960s, probably even longer, well before the Internet age
* There is no evidence, only rumors, concerning "trophy hunters". Who would start a collection of registers that they could never show to other climbers without being labeled a douchebag? There is equally no evidence that anyone has tried to sell registers on Ebay or elsewhere as sometimes claimed.

Are "exposed" registers targeted for removal? Again, no evidence, just accusations. It's been four years since the first photos from the Black Kaweah register appeared on the Internet (2006) until the book went missing. That's not exactly being on the ball, considering it's perhaps the most coveted register in the range.

Your attributing of motivations is as absurd as your belief that my consumption of gasoline is somehow related to all this. Believe it or not, there are plenty of folks that thank me for giving them an additional reason to visit a peak they were considering, or perhaps one they weren't considering, or just thanks for showing a bit of history from a peak they will never visit. If a few more folks can see these original signatures before they disappear, I think that's a good thing. You and others don't. You think keeping your mouth shut will keep them safe on the summit. I think that's the crux of the disagreement. It was interesting that of all the lines of mine you chose to quote, none of them contained my actual arguments that were part of that post as well. Who has the deaf ears?
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