Fixed anchor on the North Face of Pioneer.
Attention Climbers: The May 2011 Draft Chugach State Park Draft Management Plan has recommended “permanent rock anchors” be prohibited in Chugach State Park (CSP).
If the proposed ban is not stopped then all technical climbing within CSP will essentially be banned. Permanent anchors are an integral part of climbing and are used by climbers to safely protect portions of climbs that would otherwise require a high degree of risk. Given the poor rock quality and lack of natural protection in Chugach rock, permanent anchors are a necessity for climbers’ safety. Likewise permanent rappel anchors are needed on any technical mountaineering, ice, or rock route that lacks a walk off descent.
It is also likely that the ban would prohibit replacement of existing fixed anchors, thwarting efforts to upgrade old bolts and other fixed gear (some of which have been in place for over 60 years) and prohibit any new route development that requires fixed anchors (bolts, fixed pitons, slings left behind, fixed nuts, etc.).
Currently all of the rock and ice climbing areas along Turnagain Arm from Anchorage to Girdwood lie within CSP boundaries and many of these climbs utilize permanent rock anchors – either for protection or for top-rope / rappel anchors. Other affected areas include Ptarmigan, The Wedge, O’Malley, Yukla, Dew Mound, Eklutna Canyon, Pioneer Peak, Hunter Creek, and any other CSP technical mountaineering route that requires a rappel.
This Proposal Must Be Challenged. The 10 minutes you take to make a comment is essential to the future of climbing in Chugach State Park.
EVERY COMMENT IS IMPORTANT. PLEASE COMMENT NOW!
Send Comments to:
Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Chugach State Park Planning
550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1050
Anchorage, AK 99501
Tel: (907) 269-8145
Fax: (907) 269-8915
To learn more about the plan visit: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/units/chugach/planning.htm
Note: This flier was put together in response to a single line inserted in the 145 page May 2011 Draft Chugach State Park Draft Management Plan. The line in question is on page 51 where Public Uses are listed for Chugach State Park. After listing uses such as land based motorized vehicles, other power-driven mobility devices, snowmobiles, weapons, trapping, recreational gold panning and geo-caching as “Compatible” the plan lists rock climbing but adds the following line: Compatible, except the use of any permanent rock anchors is prohibited.
There is a lot going on in the Draft Management Plan – but the above line is left in the plan then it gives park managers the right to implement restrictions on climbers. It is unlikely that park managers will start doing things like pulling rap stations off Polar Bear and it is unlikely that they’ll want to remove anchors from established routes like Ripple or Crack in the Woods. However – management plans are only revisited every 2-3 decades so unless the line is removed there is potential for future restrictions on anchors and bolts.
So write your letter and go enjoy the rock one last day before the snow gets here.
Update 10/19/11: The Access Fun has put togehter a nice easy-to-use letter-writing tool. Click here to use it to contact park officials.