Submitted by austin on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 13:46


Several days ago some friends and myself hung an inflatable Coors can off the top of a difficult new route in the Main Fork of Hyalite after we had been climbing on the route all day.  We wanted it to be a sort of practical joke, and that if you could climb the route then the can was yours... Considering the praise the new route had gotten we didn't think it would stay on the climb very long.

Yesterday and today a few members of the more elite local climbing community have gotten a hold of me and expressed their serious distaste for my actions and those of my climbing partners that day.  The can was deemed trash/litter and likened very much to the treatment of the outhouses in the grotto falls parking lot, and it was made very clear that we were in the wrong.

In retrospect I agree wholly with their feelings and at the very least it was in no means a step in the right direction; especially after all the recent successes with climbing access in  Upper Hyalite.  Furthermore it sounded like it was a total pain in the ass to deal with for the climber who was going for an onsight of the route while he was trying to clip the anchors.  My apologies once again to him and his partner.

I want to extend my apology to everyone that uses Hyalite be it on a regular basis or just once a season for my behavior that day. I say that genuinely; and I intend on moving in the right direction from here on out. 


P.S.If there is anything that I can do further please contact me.




Thanks for stepping up to the plate to take responsibility. Unfortunately you were the first one identified and thus it was all pinned on you. You are a solid man for unilaterally taking all the blame and responsibility while others cower in the shadows. In my humble opinion, there is nothing more for you to do but continue carrying the Hyalite torch forward to the rest of your generation and beyond.

As schmaltzy as that sounds, Hyalite is a spiritual place for many and practical jokes involving trash simply don't belong there. Finding gear bootie on a climb is one thing, a plastic Coors Can? Not so much. I mean REALLY! Do any of us actually drink that piss? Now PBR...

Looking forward to seeing you around Hyalite for years to come Austin.

Viva Hyalite!

*Edited for length and excess "SPRAY"*

My argument is that our relationships with people matter more than routes, climbing areas, books, money, trash, etc.

Before going off ranting and raving at people with religious fervor, whatever your view - myself included; consider that what you consider to be "spiritual", someone else may not.

(deleted rant about the "elite" clique, real or imagined). The attitude that heats up these little incidents was put into perspective for me recently. Someone who just moved here noted that people around here take it (ice climbing) a little too serious... to quote Conrad when he put me in my place earlier this year, "We don't need that attitude here do we?"

Some have pondered: "What would Alex do?" From what I've read he'd climb with about anyone willing. I wish I'd known him, it sounds like he was fun to be around and he didn't have a big head.


Thanks Austin for being a stand-up guy.  I agree with JoJo, too, in the sense that Hyalite really is a spiritual place for many.  In fact, over the years the drive, gearing-up in the parking lot, the approach, the actual climb, etc., etc. has almost become a form of ritual for myself and others.  So, I'd hate to see anything possibly put an end to that.  I don't think there's any doubt either that we all can still learn a thing or two from Alex.  








I am sorry for my ignorance...but what route are we talking about?  I am no longer living in the area but still would like to know where this incident occured.