A Little About Me

I grew up in southwest Colorado. I joined Summitpost in 2011 because of my love for the land and my hope to convey a sense of its stewardship.

To that end, I try to maintain a presence as an active member and I do consider the quality of pages that I review. Here is my voting philosophy and what I think constitutes a good post.

I'm unhappy when 90% of the page "content" is a table showing only the highest and greatest peaks in a range. This only tells me that the page author can harvest secondary-source information and paste it in with good html skills. I also grow weary of pages expressing summit fever and checklist attitudes. But unless there is a true error on these pages, I generally do not vote on them. I am not here to chase points. Also if I am inclined to vote lower than a 7, I will always contact the page creator with suggestions first. I know it's easy to slap down a vote (see chasing points and checklists above) but my experience has been that it's much more productive to exchange a few honest suggestions, and I wish more people would do the same.

What I do like to see is a page that gives me a real feeling for the area. I want to see solid geographical knowledge that will prepare me for a visit. What skill level is the area is suitable for? What does the creator think of the routes through the area, the quality of the rock type, route obstacles, and variations to approaching the peaks? What makes this area unique and fun? What are the pitfalls? Are there any physical dangers that an outdoor lover needs to prepare for?

Does the creator provide a section to educate us on a non-sport topic? How about some geology, ecology, or a note on the political land status? A literary sense of the area's spirit, and maybe some history?

But above all, does a page diligently address land access, land protection, and land ownership issues?

Said otherwise, what constitutes our presence in these areas, and what impact are we leaving behind? Even if we do not agree with the restricted or protected status of an area, when we transgress environmental or political issues with rock-jock attitudes and actions, we degrade the reputation of the outdoors community. We forget that others will come after our visit, and they too will tread upon, make decisions about, and perpetuate attitudes toward public and private lands. Just like the impact we may leave in a physical place, what we post here is influential to those who read it.

So if you ever come back from a trip, and you remember:

-That tree whose green branches were stripped to build a new campfire on pristine tundra

-A scree pitch that was denuded by climbers taking shortcuts through material that shouldn't be crossed

-Fee demo in a high use area

-Or that guy who told you not to bother with a permit

...well, just reflect that no one has perfect solutions, but we are all capable of leaving great and cumulative impacts. Stewardship is how we think about these things, and then how we choose to act, whether we are outside, or conveying our perspectives here online.

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