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Follow-up~Dean Potter and Patagonia

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by davewyo1, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. davewyo1

    davewyo1 Guest

    After Delicate Arch stunt,Dean Potter and Steph Davis will no longer be Patagonia ambassadors. Jackson Hole News article: http://tinyurl.com/2grdzo Dave
  2. tom

    tom Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "davewyo1" <davewyo1@...> wrote:
    After Delicate Arch stunt,Dean Potter and Steph Davis will no longer > be Patagonia ambassadors. > Jackson Hole News article: > http://tinyurl.com/2grdzo
    Dave

    Thanks Dave - Good Article.

    The whole episode boggles my mind. Truly fantastic athelete and climber claims to climb the arch for the natural experience but has to take camera and video along to make the production? While I don't see the problem with the actual act of soloing the arch, the consensus among the climbing community (and park service) is that the arches are off- limits. Potter claims that the feelings of his partners and other climbers are important to him, but it evidently didn't occur to him that people didn't climb arches for a reason.

    We have such a tenuous relationship with the Authoriti as it is that it should not have required hindsight to see that something bad would have come of a highly publicised ascent. Potter complains that our wild places are too highly regulated (I agree), but stunts like this are one of the reasons that this is so. Now you have more regulation in Arches.

    I have an extremely high degree of respect for Potter and his ability, but when you gain such notoriety your actions tend to affect the entire community. So, just like I don't want Aron Ralston to be the face of canyoneering - I hope that Dean's mistake doesn't ruin it for everyone else through knee-jerk regulation.

    How does this affect canyoneering? Not so long ago climbing was a fringe thing mostly under the radar. Better for us to learn or be (over) regulated.

    -t-
  3. Randi Poer

    Randi Poer Guest

    I agree..."Good article! Thanks for posting it Dave. And Tom, you're spot on with your eloquently worded response.

    While I don't mind introducing people to the sport of canyoneering (I was introduced at one time) it's a bit of a double edged sword.

    When I first joined the canyons group I didn't see the big picture because I was an outsider to so many of the issues canyoneers faced: Increasing crowds, the permit system being put into effect in Zion, the bolt debate. Now we're seeing the same thing here in the San Gabriel's and I'm disturbed by it. I can't go into a canyon here (except in the winter) and not run into other people.....and find bolts everywhere when they were few and far between just five years ago. A large part of that is due to a local guide service invading the easily accessible canyons here, and a VERY large part of it is the "promotion" of the sport by Internet websites. That's how I discovered canyoneering ~ via the Internet!

    I don't think it's stories like Aron's that are drawing them in though...it's the access to beta and photo's and awesome sounding Trip reports. Canyoneering and climbing LOOK like fun to adventurous souls. On top of the Internet Appeal you've got all the recent newspaper articles advertising "canyoneering" in various forms and fashions. The first OC article I saw in a newspaper here was a two page spiel on Zion Adventure Company.

    Canyoneering coming out-of-the-closet was inevitable as was climbing. I think incidents like Potters are appalling. Like the article said, had he not had all the media hullabaloo it wouldn't have been an issue most likely. Who would've know? He obviously wanted to make some sort of statement with that climb, he wasn't just doing it out of the "purity" of climbing. Aron on the other hand wasn't looking for the media attention, it was simply an after effect of his ordeal. And his predicament may have deterred some would be canyoneers rather than draw them in. Both incidents of course are "publicity" of a negative sort. Arm pinned = dangerous (which in turn could lead to stricter regulations), callous disregard for delicate protected arches by notable climber due to "loophole" = more stringent regulations.

    Too late for canyoneering. It will never be under the radar again. The only thing that might be kept UTR are some of those pristine "secret" canyons...but they too will be out at some point.

    The only adventurous sport that might be safe from and influx of the masses is caving! Crawling around through the mud in constricted spaces isn't all that appeal ling to most. But then again, caving is already regulated to the nth degree....you don't get in unless you know someone or have a key!

    Advertise and they will come in most cases. The more they come, the more accidents/incidents are gonna happen, the more accidents the more attention, more attention....more regulations.....what do you do?

    ~Randi

    tom tj_wetherell@yahoo.com> wrote: --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "davewyo1" <davewyo1@...> wrote:
    After Delicate Arch stunt,Dean Potter and Steph Davis will no longer > be Patagonia ambassadors. > Jackson Hole News article: > http://tinyurl.com/2grdzo
    Dave

    Thanks Dave - Good Article.

    The whole episode boggles my mind. Truly fantastic athelete and climber claims to climb the arch for the natural experience but has to take camera and video along to make the production? While I don't see the problem with the actual act of soloing the arch, the consensus among the climbing community (and park service) is that the arches are off- limits. Potter claims that the feelings of his partners and other climbers are important to him, but it evidently didn't occur to him that people didn't climb arches for a reason.

    We have such a tenuous relationship with the Authoriti as it is that it should not have required hindsight to see that something bad would have come of a highly publicised ascent. Potter complains that our wild places are too highly regulated (I agree), but stunts like this are one of the reasons that this is so. Now you have more regulation in Arches.

    I have an extremely high degree of respect for Potter and his ability, but when you gain such notoriety your actions tend to affect the entire community. So, just like I don't want Aron Ralston to be the face of canyoneering - I hope that Dean's mistake doesn't ruin it for everyone else through knee-jerk regulation.

    How does this affect canyoneering? Not so long ago climbing was a fringe thing mostly under the radar. Better for us to learn or be (over) regulated.

    -t-
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