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By Cultivating Mass
Jul 20, 2014
Leading on the only "fair means" rack.
I know this is going to get blasted for being posted in this forum, but most of the climbers I met at HV were from NC seeking steep bolted lines closer than the New.

My question is, what's up with recent experiences at this area? The rumors of Koma running around with a shotty policing the crag sound imaginary to me. Wondering if anyone's gone up just to hike around and see if there's chalk on any of the routes, or maybe run into Derek or some of the other locals and heard what the status is on the area.

If you don't want to blow up the spot, PM me. Thinking about driving thru the area and taking a look at some point. Last time I talked with Koma he hinted that new route activity had shifted to other nearby areas, wondering if any of those are seeing action too. Koma told me the place was full of rattlers so it must be good:)

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By Brian Payst
Jul 21, 2014
grayson highlands
Read the other posts on this topic here in the forum. HV is closed to climbing and remains that way, please do not jeopardize any possible efforts to restore access by trespassing on Koma's property.

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By Cultivating Mass
Jul 21, 2014
Leading on the only "fair means" rack.
Zappatista wrote:
I know this is going to get blasted


So, my first statement was correct. Putting it another way, wondering if any locals are still climbing there with Koma's permission, if anyone's taken a stroll down the trail to take a look, etc. My understanding is that the access from the original (non-improved) parking may be owned by Jineen (I was told by locals in the know that Koma himself owns none of it, that's being sorted out by the AF and others now, from all appearances), but the cliff line and surrounding land are not technically owned by them.

Regardless, I'm not posting up some chest-thumping proclamation of Manifest Destiny, just thinking of taking a stroll in the woods down the road from where I was conceived(yep, mom and dad lived in Abingdon when yours truly became a person according to Tea Party definitions).

Does it get more local than that? In any case, as stated above, feel free to PM me if you don't want to blow your experiences up online. I'm not showing up for a showdown at the OK Corral, just remembering some good times fishing and camping down the road from HV and might accidentally hike near the area not covered by man-made trails, rock gardens, and toilet seats and Godzilla toys hung from bolts. Ah, the pristine wilderness.

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By Brian Payst
Jul 22, 2014
grayson highlands
I would hardly call my response to your post "blasted", but seeing what you tend to post on MP I can see you are fond of stirring things up for fun. A significant portion of the cliff line and the land at the base are owned by Jeanean (at least spell her name right) and Koma and by wandering around up there you are at risk for trespassing and you would put efforts to open the cliff again at risk. Obviously I'm not the boss of you or anyone and you are free to do as you wish, but just wanted to let you know that your proposed "accidental hike near the area" might have consequences for the broader climbing community.

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By BigCountry
Jul 23, 2014
So is there a definitive answer to the land ownership? Koma owns the parking area but not the cliff line? Cause if that's the truth I'm going back to hidden valley. That's some good climbing!

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By Brian Payst
Jul 23, 2014
grayson highlands
Yes, it is clear that Koma and Jeanean own a significant piece of the cliff and the access along the base and have clearly stated that it is closed to cllimbing. The trail head parking is owned by the state for access to the hiking trail that goes up along the game lands property.

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By Alexander Blum
From Charlotte, NC
Jul 23, 2014
BigCountry wrote:
So is there a definitive answer to the land ownership? Koma owns the parking area but not the cliff line? Cause if that's the truth I'm going back to hidden valley. That's some good climbing!


In North Carolina, this attitude has gotten at least one excellent area shut down. What is it with people and the need to just stir things up instead of having faith that groups like the AF are, in fact, working with our best interests in mind and not just sitting on their thumbs? I know the processes can be a little opaque, but they ARE working on it.

A great example of this would be Sauratown in NC. It was shut down a long time ago, "temporarily". Climbers FLAUNTED this shutdown, going up there whenever they wanted anyway. This (surprise) didn't sit terribly well with the landowners, further prolonging the closure. It has just recently been opened back up on a very limited basis. This wasn't because of climbers like Zappatista and BigCountry, it was despite them and their attitude, which amounts to an act of sabotage within our own community.

Working as a team/group/people with common interests more and more areas will be opened to climbing. I know our past time was founded in counter culture and all that shit, but we are still a group of people with common interests and goals concerning climbing access. It would be neat if we acted that way sometimes.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Jul 23, 2014
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
Alexander Blum wrote:
In North Carolina, this attitude has gotten at least one excellent area shut down. What is it with people and the need to just stir things up instead of having faith that groups like the AF are, in fact, working with our best interests in mind and not just sitting on their thumbs? I know the processes can be a little opaque, but they ARE working on it. A great example of this would be Sauratown in NC. It was shut down a long time ago, "temporarily". Climbers FLAUNTED this shutdown, going up there whenever they wanted anyway. This (surprise) didn't sit terribly well with the landowners, further prolonging the closure. It has just recently been opened back up on a very limited basis. This wasn't because of climbers like Zappatista and BigCountry, it was despite them and their attitude, which amounts to an act of sabotage within our own community. Working as a team/group/people with common interests more and more areas will be opened to climbing. I know our past time was founded in counter culture and all that shit, but we are still a group of people with common interests and goals concerning climbing access. It would be neat if we acted that way sometimes.


What area got shutdown due to poaching in NC? Killis is asking about a place that is already shutdown, so I don't see how your example is related. Sauratown didn't get shutdown due to poaching. It may have slowed its reopening.

I guess we aren't as naive to believe access groups like AF or CCC will be able to open every cliff we want to climb at in our lifetime. Some of these cliffs, like the one Killis mentions has never been open in his lifetime, and he is old. We are only on this world for a finite amount of time, and an even smaller amount of time are we able to climb (well).

Poaching has it's importance. If it weren't for climbers exploring, these access groups may not even know a place exists or how good it is. Sometimes even when the cliff is known or highly visible from public areas, these cliffs often are left to obscurity and no attempts of access are made. You must be one of those delirious people that believes the owners of Roadside really want to reopen that cliff, but won't because people keep poaching it.

The only problem here is that Killis posted this to a public forum. I can't fault him completely, because his method of finding information about this cliff seems to have been effective.

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By Cultivating Mass
Jul 23, 2014
Leading on the only "fair means" rack.
I'm not familiar with Sauratown or that scene, HV definitely has been open during my lifetime, though. When I first came there it was a unique and kind of hippied out scene-all the major areas had some fairly Dan Osman-Cave Rock style improvements. I remember a carseat that may or not have been bolted down for belaying, decorative zen rock gardens, huge stick clips lying around, the sign in box was like a summit register with drawings and people gushing about the steepness. It was a show up, have fun, camping right down the road and no fees, permits, or crowds kinda place. Most people climbing there heard about it third hand and didn't have a guide, it was cragging without preconceptions, hard to find in this database world of ours.

Here's the thing about HV: it's never going to get as popular as places like the New, but ownership of the land and access and the reality of where the property rights lie still seem in question. It is a relatively small crag compared to the rest of the region and probably a tiny drop in the bucket of all the exposed rock in that part of Virginia. I would wager that there are at least six cliffs comparable to HV in the surrounding hills, I have seen 2 from the road.

If someone clearly owns a private cliff, they have every right to restrict climbing on it, whether that's the cool thing to do or not. Koma didn't close the area because of climbers, he closed it because tailgating locals took a dump in the sign in box. Koma was a nice guy and an epic strong climber at the time I knew him, it would be nice if the cliff was respected the way that he wants it to be and climbers could appreciate the quality and quantity of routes there. Maybe there are some compromises to consider, I don't work for the AF, so I have no idea what needs to transpire to make opening the area back up a reality. Maybe a bathroom in the parking lot paid for by a yearly access pass would be all it would take.

Just trying to get some conversation going.

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By courthouse
Jul 25, 2014
I think i may just, saunter down, to Sauratown.

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By BigCountry
Jul 25, 2014
Hit me up when it gets cold man I haven't poached suartown in a minute. Thanks tom

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By Brian Payst
Jul 27, 2014
grayson highlands
BigCountry wrote:
Hit me up when it gets cold man I haven't poached suartown in a minute. Thanks tom

When you do please be sure to post a full trip report with pictures here on Mountain Project where the land owner can see what an awesome member of the climbing community you are. That way they can recognize your visit by no longer talking to the the people who have worked for years to open that cliff legally. Ideally you will include your face in those pictures (after all, you want credit for your awesomeness, right?).

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By BigCountry
Jul 28, 2014
Hahaha oh man exactly! Cause that's just what I do butthurt paste. I mean I don't climb at accepted areas. I'm a poacher only! You want a link to my non existing Facebook page so you can keep up with what I do? Seriously you should be worked up cause what people say on Internet forums is never bullshit! Oh one more thing.... Let's go Duke!

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By Brian Payst
Jul 28, 2014
grayson highlands
Yes, Internet forums are full of crap, but they are also public. That means land owners can read them. Posting about trespassing at a crag by name isn't exactly the coolest thing to do. Lots of climbers poach, lots of my friends poach, I have poached, but none of that is sprayed on the internet where it might impact someone else's chances at climbing somewhere.

Am I sensitive about that? Probably. But that's because of the time I have put into trying to open crags, even for idiots that like to hang out on Internet forums.

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By Alexander Blum
From Charlotte, NC
Jul 28, 2014
People who post shit like you just did and then say "oh, I'm just kidding, you shouldn't take anything people say online seriously" never, never, NEVER use their real name. I find that disappointing.

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By BigCountry
Jul 28, 2014
It's Evan Snipes and that's some pretty common knowledge. I'm so serious Alexander. So take yourself serious too man its so important. Or did I mean impotent.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Jul 28, 2014
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
You don't know Big Country? You better ask somebody! The first time I met him, I didn't even know his real name, only Big Country. I wasn't even introduced. I just said, "your Big Country aren't you?", because it was obvious.

Brian, ever time you post, I feel like you are trying out for a moderator position. Your opinion is important due to your relationship with TNC, but also biased. It is funny that you call us idiots, because your post activity has been increasing lately. I guess your becoming dumber by association.

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By Brian Payst
Jul 28, 2014
grayson highlands
TomCaldwell wrote:
It is funny that you call us idiots, because your post activity has been increasing lately. I guess your becoming dumber by association.


Gee, you saw what I did there?

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By BigCountry
Jul 28, 2014
Yes BP even duke fans can read.

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By sean barb
From winston salem, north carolina,
Jul 29, 2014
just me and the van
Zappatista wrote:
I'm not familiar with Sauratown or that scene, HV definitely has been open during my lifetime, though. When I first came there it was a unique and kind of hippied out scene-all the major areas had some fairly Dan Osman-Cave Rock style improvements. I remember a carseat that may or not have been bolted down for belaying, decorative zen rock gardens, huge stick clips lying around, the sign in box was like a summit register with drawings and people gushing about the steepness. It was a show up, have fun, camping right down the road and no fees, permits, or crowds kinda place. Most people climbing there heard about it third hand and didn't have a guide, it was cragging without preconceptions, hard to find in this database world of ours.


^an accurate description of south east climbing in the 90s!

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By Cultivating Mass
Aug 1, 2014
Leading on the only "fair means" rack.
Sean, you must be mistaken. I definitely have no idea what I'm talking about.

PS Hidden Valley does not exist. Everyone happy now? Only the clique can climb there, we are all winners.

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By shannon stegg
Aug 5, 2014
Civil disobedience is sometimes a necessary evil. Had to save Laurel Knob from a small group of heretics. Now there are many routes by young climbers on the mountain who deserved to have the same chance the old guard had when they were poaching!

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