Power Drilling In The Wilderness


Original Post
Tony Lewis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 155

Laws aside: Your thoughts.....

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 120

Extremely simple. Don't. Power or otherwise.

Okay, longer answer: part of wilderness is to put aside land for future generations to enjoy. It isn't like there's no place in the US to climb, so?....

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 234

I believe hand drilling is allowed in most wilderness areas.

As for power drilling-

1) why do you ask?

2) don't

3) try not to say stupid things on public forums which are followed by land managers and can be followed by anti-climbing extremists.

beensandbagged · · R.I. · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

I had a paragraph written then I remembered we are not suppose to be a jerks so I deleted it and will just say for the obvious reasons don't.

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 120

Tony, unless there is a real compelling reason, wilderness is a finite commodity. I personally would rather chase the principle of that, leave no trace, then the technicalities. It's hard enough to keep it protected from the Big Boys drilling. There is still millions of acres of public land to recreate on.

Helen, and I'm in Idaho

Mike Lane · · Centennial, CO · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 210

That depends entirely upon how compliant you are to obeying the people who use badges and guns to enforce their will. Do you agree with the law, the wilderness designation itself? Are you infringing upon the rights of others to a demonstrable degree of actual harm? Is the result of your actions desirable enough to face the consequences handed down from the authorities?
Do you consider yourself to be the sole authority over your life? Do you own yourself or have you delegated self ownership to the collective by agreeing to the existence of a social contract we subject our actions to?

Heinlein

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,040
Mark E Dixon wrote:I believe hand drilling is allowed in most wilderness areas. As for power drilling- 1) why do you ask? 2) don't 3) try not to say stupid things on public forums which are followed by land managers and can be followed by anti-climbing extremists.
+! This.
Just delete this thread and move on.
Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 120
Mike Lane wrote:That depends entirely upon how compliant you are to obeying the people who use badges and guns to enforce their will. Do you agree with the law, the wilderness designation itself? Are you infringing upon the rights of others to a demonstrable degree of actual harm? Is the result of your actions desirable enough to face the consequences handed down from the authorities? Do you consider yourself to be the sole authority over your life? Do you own yourself or have you delegated self ownership to the collective by agreeing to the existence of a social contract we subject our actions to?
Very respectfully, Mike, unless you are being so sarcastic even I can't follow it, really? We aren't talking about drafting 18 year olds into the military, with no right to vote. Bolts. For playing.

Heinlein's a favorite of mine. :-)

Best, Helen

And, I would add, Idaho is so anti guv stop signs are often considered merely advisory! Adds a lot of spice to the bike commute, Lol!
Tony Lewis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 155

Muscrat.......Thanks for your opinion (Seriously). Just trying to get a read on it. And as for your reference to Mark's post, I haven't inferred anything for land managers to dwell on. I can't speak for Mark but I think he is saying be careful with what you say? At any rate, it's happening and I wont delete the thread........

Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,430
Old lady H wrote:Extremely simple. Don't. Power or otherwise.
Power drilling in the wilderness is illegal, which I think is appropriate.

But otherwise, which I assume means no bolts at all? A pretty significant amount of all climbing is located in wilderness areas - essentially all of the climbing in Yosemite, including El Cap and Half Dome, most of the climbing in Red Rock in Nevada, most of the climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Tetons and Wind Rivers, the Sawtooths in Idaho, etc.
Jason Halladay · · Los Alamos, NM · Joined Oct 2005 · Points: 9,851

Even if it's a way-off-the-beaten path area where "no one will know", think of the consequences...climbing access, and fixed anchor placement, is already often touchy and scrutinized that something like this could ruin it for the masses. Do you want to be *that guy* that got access restricted or entirely closed? If someone is doing this they gotta look at the big picture, not just their routes and their civil disobedience. Don't be selfish.

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,040

PM'd.
We are not talking about wilderness use issues. It is legal to hand drill in wilderness areas. It is illegal to use mechanical systems, including and not limited to:
Power drills
Mountain bikes
motor bikes
mining dredges
snow mobiles
ATV's
Drones
etc.
We all have our thoughts on the above. But the point is we are talking about;
a) the impact on other's experience in the area
b) the implications of getting caught ($ and record)
c) the future of use in the area
Abuse it, Lose it
$.02

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 120
Andrew Gram wrote: Power drilling in the wilderness is illegal, which I think is appropriate. But otherwise, which I assume means no bolts at all? A pretty significant amount of all climbing is located in wilderness areas - essentially all of the climbing in Yosemite, including El Cap and Half Dome, most of the climbing in Red Rock in Nevada, most of the climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Tetons and Wind Rivers, the Sawtooths in Idaho, etc.
Andrew, National Parks are a separate case. They certainly have rules to follow. The Sawtooths are a recreational area on the lower/outer parts where people, well, recreate, and the heart is wilderness, where you can find a real adventure. There are airstrips dotting our huge wilderness areas here in Idaho, grandfathered in. Wilderness that does not have bolts, or landing strips, or exploratory gas drilling and the roads that requires, should be kept that way.

It's a huge and hard won fight. I've lived here since 1980, and it is not to be taken for granted that these lands will be here for even your own kids to discover five years from now, let alone fifty.

Best, Helen

Edit to add: yes, if a place is still truly wild, protected or not, NO BOLTS. I for one will be heartbroken if we opt for taming the uncompromisingly wild, yes dangerous (yay!), places we have left, wilderness or no, legal or not.
the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Helen, this is not a bolts/no bolts issue. Bolts are allowed in wilderness, unless specifically restricted, if they are hand drilled. The real issue is power drills which are illegal. Although there is no difference between a bolt placed by hand and bolt placed by a Bosch, we probably should strive to our best ability to not poison relationships with land managers.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 87
Old lady H wrote:Extremely simple. Don't. Power or otherwise.
That's not the law, and that's not the commonly accepted practice. It might be your opinion, but that doesn't mean it applies carte blanche to other climbers in other areas.

Lots of wilderness areas have significant climbing development, and lots of that includes bolts. The law states that you cannot use power tools, hand-drilling is perfectly acceptable so long as there is not an area-specific reason not to (such as the current regulations in NCNP).

Consider 2 important points:
1. Climbers will climb the routes regardless, so bolts are often an alternative to ugly and potentially unsafe nylon/dyneema rats nests for rappelling and anchors. Not to mention that a bit of steel is probably healthier for the area ecosystem than a bunch of degrading plastic.
2. Trail development is allowed, accepted, and frequently utilized in wilderness areas (presumably by you too). The argument that bolts have an impact even approaching trail construction is ridiculous.
Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,430

Old Lady H - you should take a closer look at what areas are actually wilderness. National parks are absolutely not a special case - Yosemite National Park is nearly all a designated wilderness area outside of the valley floor and other areas close to roads, and the same is true in Joshua Tree, RMNP, the Tetons, etc. Land that is in a national park can be and often is also designated federal wilderness.

A national park can mean extra restrictions like in Canyonlands, but it can't loosen wilderness restrictions. Your stance of no drilling power or otherwise in wilderness areas would eliminate every big wall route in Yosemite. Hand drilling in wilderness is absolutely fine.

t.farrell · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Sometimes I'll take projects that I'm working on to the wilderness if I think it'll be too noisy to work on in my apartment. Pretty easy to set up a small work bench with cordless tools out of the back of a car. I've only ever encountered one person while doing this, so I think it generally does not have a large impact on the surrounding community. Gotta love public land.

JK- · · SLC · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 13

An important distinction here is capital W Wilderness or wilderness. Capital W, don't power drill. Period. If drilling is allowed its by hand drill, and do so judiciously and according to the local ethic (and any rules put in place by the land management agency). If it's little w wilderness check with whoever owns the land, they make the rules (public or private land), and again respect the local climbing ethic.

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 15

depends on what kind of wilderness. some of the rulze are fcking stoopid. I am all for setting asside land that can not be developed and areas of total wilderness but some of the rules are silly. We have wilderness areas here in vt withing sight and sound of major highways. they have stone walls and old metal sheep fence running through them. you can clearly see and loudly hear the log truck from the cliff but I am going to ruin this experience with a few bolts?

John Badila · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 0

There are still lots of places to legitimately rap-bolt with a power drill, if that's your thing. If it's in (W)ilderness, and it's worth doing, it's worth doing like this:

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Well, yeah. On the face of it, restricting electric power drill is silly. But if you allow power drills, then why not chain saws, and if chain saws, then why not ATVs, etc, etc. I have no issues with bolts in wilderness, but I do have issues with dangerous precedent such as allowing 'some' motorized equipment.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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