Dry-tool Crags

Gripped - - NATIVE STONES - A re­flec­tion by Rock­ies’ ice ace Eric Dumerac

I think that there are grey zones that need to be care­fully con­sid­ered. For ex­am­ple peo­ple have dr y tooled at Grassi Lakes, Alta. on the clas­sic sport routes. This is not ac­cept­able on many fronts. Then there are some ar­eas that share both mixed climb­ing and sport climb­ing such as Grotto and ev­ery­one seems to re­spect that the routes are for dif­fer­ent sports, which is good. I think we need more dr y-tool crags. I just think the de­vel­op­ers need to be mind­ful that it would be a poor choice to de­velop a crag for dr y tool­ing that would oth­er­wise be an ex­cel­lent sport or trad crag. The rea­son for this is sim­ple, there are much more peo­ple who climb sport and trad, the sea­son for sport and trad is longer than the dr y-tool­ing sea­son and beau­ti­ful ex­panses of good rock are far bet­ter to climb sport routes in the sum­mer sun. So, as with ever ything there is a bal­ance. I do not see it is a big is­sue in ter ms of what should be des­ig­nated as a sport, trad or a mixed crag, be­cause in the end, the de­vel­op­ers are all trad, sport and mixed climbers who I’m sure would make the r ight choice based on logic and es­thet­ics. Ba­sic guide­lines for a dr y tool­ing crag: Pick an area where the rock is not the best or has steep rock with lit­tle in the way of nat­u­ral hand­holds. Stay well away from main sport or trad ar­eas that have al­ready been de­vel­oped. If ex­pand­ing a dr y-tool area that al­ready shares sport or trad routes, make sure that the new dr y tool­ing routes you are de­vel­op­ing are away from the main rock climbs, do not de­velop dr y tool­ing routes in the National Parks where it could cause pub­lic scr utiny, such as along a pop­u­lar trail or sen­si­tive area. For ex­am­ple, John­ston Canyon, Alta. has fan­tas­tic po­ten­tial but has sen­si­tive lichen and lots of pub­lic view­ing.

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