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New Area? Thacher State Park (Greater Albany)
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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Apr 16, 2012
Stoked...

It should also be noted that NY has a VERY strict Recreational Use Statue that does NOT include rock climbing. First and foremost, I would think that having that Statue amended to include rock climbing would be a big first step in removing any liablity concerns the State might have. I have been speaking some members of the Access Fund and some folks in the capital about it but nothing ever materialized. Let me know if anyone wants run the ball down the field a few more yards... and I can get you in touch with the AF folks and the guy who works with them in the NY legislature.


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By gmiani
From Rockland Cty, NY
Apr 16, 2012

Hey Morgan thanks for the info. PM me with your AF contacts. I'd be interested to know what they've got. I've been in contact with the Access Fund's Affiliate Director as well as their Policy Director...neither of which have mentioned any work in this respect. I'll reach out to a few other contacts I have that worked on the Peterskill deal to see if this was addressed in anyway. Cheers.
-gabe


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By Gunkiemike
Apr 17, 2012

Morgan Patterson wrote:
It should also be noted that NY has a VERY strict Recreational Use Statue that does NOT include rock climbing. First and foremost I would think that having that Statue amended to include rock climbing would be a big first step in removing the liablity concerns the state might have. I have been speaking some members of the Access Fund and some folks in the capital about it but nothing ever materialized. Let me know if anyone wants run the ball down the field a few more yards... and I can get you in touch with the AF folks and the guy who works with them in the NY legislature.


Changing laws in NY is really, really hard. Not a lot of legislators want to get involved if there's nothing in it for them, and once the issue is raised, i.e. the statute is opened up for revision, everyone wants to see their pet activity included. Amending the Liability law to include climbing would bring out the paintballers, the skateboarders, the trail runners, the geocachers, the hang gliders...all the folks who want to recreate on private land under some sort of veil of liability protection.

Changing regulations e.g. Minnewaska's Master Plan, to allow greater climbing access is hard enough. Changing statutes is effectively impossible.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Apr 18, 2012
Stoked...

I would say this much - it is def a tough task, agreed. But this past year in CT they had the Rec Use statue updated to deal with a decade old issue with muni and like muni liabilities. It was the Mnt bikers who mainly pushed for it... (proof: www.cga.ct.gov/2011/PDdata/Tmy/2011HB-05254-R000214-Represen>>> )why? I would contend because the climbers weren't and didn't pick up the ball likely because of similar perceptions as you state above Mike.

I think just adding climbing could be relatively attainable if the right contacts are worked (and I think AF might have those contacts from my discussions). I would also point out that the route that states like CT have taken is to include some verbiage to the effect of "Recreational purpose includes, but is not limited to," which gets around the 'all different users' issue you quoted.

Trust me I didn't anywhere imply that it wouldn't be work... it's likely a lot of work and BS.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Apr 18, 2012
Rumney

Morgan, it can't hurt to try and as long as you have people committed to following it all the way through I think you should go for it. :)


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By MikeWh
Apr 20, 2012
ProfilePic

WE HAVE A WEBSITE NOW:

www.usaro.net/ThacherClimbingCoalition

Lots of pics of the rock close up and details on the plan.

In reply to the last couple posts, yes it is difficult, but if we are annoying enough over many months we can make a dent. Climbers number in the thousands in Upstate alone (upstate meaning north of Catskill to Rochester to Plattsburgh) if we all work together we can achieve things like the Thacher project, and ice climbing in Moreau and Letchworth... Dont forget Whetstone Gulf which like Letchworth has good ice over the steep shale canyon walls in winter.

www.usaro.net/ThacherClimbingCoalition

Thanks for bringing up thinking from a State Level, perhaps if all of our coalitions work together we could achieve in the way that the snowmobilers and horseback riders have on a state level.


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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Apr 20, 2012

MikeWh wrote:
WE HAVE A WEBSITE NOW: www.usaro.net/ThacherClimbingCoalition Lots of pics of the rock close up and details on the plan. In reply to the last couple posts, yes it is difficult, but if we are annoying enough over many months we can make a dent. Climbers number in the thousands in Upstate alone (upstate meaning north of Catskill to Rochester to Plattsburgh) if we all work together we can achieve things like the Thacher project, and ice climbing in Moreau and Letchworth... Dont forget Whetstone Gulf which like Letchworth has good ice over the steep shale canyon walls in winter. www.usaro.net/ThacherClimbingCoalition Thanks for bringing up thinking from a State Level, perhaps if all of our coalitions work together we could achieve in the way that the snowmobilers and horseback riders have on a state level.


Good website, nice pictures. One critique, though. You state in the front page that the park has "the potential to stand among the other great limestone areas of the US including Rifle, CO; Bend, OR; Red Wing, MN; and more"

You were looking to name the major limestone crags of the US, but that doesn't seem to be the best list? Rifle is a good example- great climbing from marginal rock. But the other two? Bend, OR (I'm assuming you are referring to Smith Rock) contains zero limestone; that whole area is volcanic. And Red Wing, MN? Hardly a major area. Better examples are found in Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Alberta, etc. I'm just mentioning this because it was on the front header, so it really jumped out.

Otherwise, looks great. It looks like the is a lot of steep rock around there.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Apr 21, 2012
Rumney

MikeWh wrote:
Thanks for bringing up thinking from a State Level, perhaps if all of our coalitions work together we could achieve in the way that the snowmobilers and horseback riders have on a state level.


Or at lest remind them of the inherent risks shared by snowmobilers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and rock climbers... liability is liability!


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By MikeWh
May 1, 2012
ProfilePic

Hi Jon,

The wording has been changed on the page along with locations. Thacher could join other limestone areas... whether it will be among the "great" ones depends on how it's developed and by who's viewpoints. With 3.5 miles of cliff it can eventually have enough volume of routes facing different aspects to make it great. There certainly are lots of super smooth lines and huge roofs to make the pros happy. The question is how restricted will climbing be. Will the park make small zones for climbing, or open up 80% of linear cliff line. Also can we acquire the southern 1.5 miles of cliff which rests almost entirely on a single land parcel. That would double the amount of cliff that the park has. If we help the park conserve that land and give it to them, than they owe us access on that piece as a thank you.

-Mike


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By Eric G.
May 1, 2012

Website looks great--thanks for all your hard work.


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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
May 1, 2012

MikeWh wrote:
Hi Jon, The wording has been changed on the page along with locations. Thacher could join other limestone areas... whether it will be among the "great" ones depends on how it's developed and by who's viewpoints. With 3.5 miles of cliff it can eventually have enough volume of routes facing different aspects to make it great. There certainly are lots of super smooth lines and huge roofs to make the pros happy. The question is how restricted will climbing be. Will the park make small zones for climbing, or open up 80% of linear cliff line. Also can we acquire the southern 1.5 miles of cliff which rests almost entirely on a single land parcel. That would double the amount of cliff that the park has. If we help the park conserve that land and give it to them, than they owe us access on that piece as a thank you. -Mike


Sounds awesome. If this pans out, it could be a huge addition to climbing in the Northeast, and especially to the area's sport climbing. Steep limestone certainly is a novelty around here. Anywhere with over a mile of cliffline is a pretty big score. Even if only a fraction of that is good rock with good climbing and legal access, you are still looking at a good resource.

So one thing that hasn't been addressed: how is the rock? There has been some serious hand-wringing already on this thread about limestone as a theoretical concept, but how is the limestone on these cliffs? Are we looking at bullet, water-streaked limestone, or is it the sort of manky stuff that will be good for climbing after some serious crowbar-action. Also, how much of it is steep? Does moderate-trad crack and corner terrain dominate, or are there a lot of overhanging, sport-crag style walls?

An exciting possibility overall, especially in the Northeast. This area is pretty well picked over, climbing wise, so the possibility of a totally new area opening to development is a big deal.


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By handon broward
From Rochester, NY / Aspen, CO
May 1, 2012
Elk Range, CO

Website is great guys! Keep pushing! Nice to see the official AF endorsement as well. Looks like its going to be a long road with this project though. Im keeping my hopes up!


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By Eric G.
Nov 15, 2012

Any updates regarding ice climbing access? Thanks again.


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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 15, 2012
Rumney

My understanding is that there won't be any access related decisions until sometime next year at the earliest.

I may skip the rock climbing, but ice there would definitely interest me!


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Nov 15, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on

yes...ice climbing I might be interested in!


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