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"Cremains" on the summit


Original Post
Andy Novak · · Golden, Co · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 355

What would you do?

You're sitting on a rock at a popular and scenic viewpoint about two miles from the car on a very popular public trail. You're enjoying the nice view of the mountains when two women walk up nearby. On says, "let me show you where Papa Joe is", and proceeds to point out little bits of white things all around you. Then she points out a very large pile of cremated remains about 10 feet from your shoes, complete with..larger bits. Those white bits all around you are pieces of Papa Joe.

Do you:

a) Understand that people have the right to honor their loved ones however they want, walk away, then ask the internet. 

b) Think its totally disgusting, give the women a dirty look, and then go complain on the internet.

c)Wait until they initiate a conversation then politely ask, "You know, I'm just wondering if there was a more private place for your loved one's remains?" and see what they say? Then ask internet.

d) Angrily proclaim how repugnant you think it is that you might literally have her loved one's bone fragments stuck in the treads of your shoes. Tell the internet. 

What would you do? Asking for a friend. 

Ronald B · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

I'm a bit torn about this. It doesn't bother me on a visceral level and I think it could be a nice way to honor someone who loved the mountains. On the other hand, I think it might fall under "this is why we can't have nice things anymore" now that there are so many humans in the world. Just like carving your name into a cliff or a tree trunk was fine 10,000 years ago when there were fewer people but now we have way too much graffiti everywhere, similarly I think it would be a valid argument that we don't really want to encourage this or else we could easily end up with large piles of cremains on the most accessible mountaintops, which I don't see as ideal either.

So in summary I think the answer is to have a 10 page mountainproject thread arguing about it.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

It's just ashes, right? No problem, in my opinion.

Are there actually bone chips? Still not a problem for me.

It will mix in with the dirt quickly, be blown off the rock by the wind or washed away with the rain.

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,470

Good night, sweet prince. 

Benjamin Chapman · · Small Town, USA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 13,267

^^^+1^^^

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

So is it going to piss you off when I have all my bones put all over the world on famous climbing routes as a scavenger hunt with each piece that is found and returned getting part of the $$ reward for finding them?

Dave Kos · · Temecula, CA · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 55

It's cool, as long as they didn't leave the receptacle. 

Jaren Watson · · Boise, Idaho · Joined May 2010 · Points: 1,205

E) respect, tell no one.

sherb · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 60

As long as no receptacle, okay by me. Might feel a bit gross but the cremation has killed all pathogens.

Always seemed like a waste to bury remains in a non-biodegradable receptacle, where the number is always growing to infinity, never receding.

I'd like to sacrifice myself to a starving polar bear when the time comes. Due to the melting of ice caps, food is hard to come by for polar bears. That way I can feed a bear (as long as it doesn't get shot because it ate me) and not leave any trace of a decomposing body. No crematory needed.

George Bracksieck · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 1,260
FrankPS wrote:

It's just ashes, right? No problem, in my opinion.

Are there actually bone chips? Still not a problem for me.

It will mix in with the dirt quickly, be blown off the rock by the wind or washed away with the rain.

Bone chips are more durable than orange peels and could be there for many years. A summit is no place for these or any other kinds of litter. Cremains should be placed where those can do some good: in a garden or in the compost.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
George Bracksieck wrote:

Bone chips are more durable than orange peels and could be there for many years. A summit is no place for these or any other kinds of litter. Cremains should be placed where those can do some good: in a garden or in the compost.

Could you tell the difference between bone chips of an animal or a human? I couldn't and wouldn't care. But I can appreciate different opinions.

ICTOAN Bond · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 5
George Bracksieck wrote:

Bone chips are more durable than orange peels and could be there for many years. A summit is no place for these or any other kinds of litter. Cremains should be placed where those can do some good: in a garden or in the compost.

"Bones out in nature aren't natural." 

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235
George Bracksieck wrote:

Bone chips are more durable than orange peels and could be there for many years. A summit is no place for these or any other kinds of litter. Cremains should be placed where those can do some good: in a garden or in the compost.

Cremains will hurt plants not help them, they throw the chemical balance off for them.

brian n · · Manchester, WA · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 91

I want someone to mix my ashes with climbing chalk and give it to some totally amazing climbers so they can do some epically hard routes that I can't do.

Peter L Scott · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 36

At Palisade Head, MN I had a whole urn of cremains dumped on me from 40' above. The North shore of Mn has a silly and failing no chalk ethic. So I "chalked" up with the cremains and finished the climb.

George Bracksieck · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 1,260
FrankPS wrote:

Could you tell the difference between bone chips of an animal or a human? I couldn't and wouldn't care. But I can appreciate different opinions.

Telling the difference is easy. What in nature leaves chunks of bones like that when it dies?

LL2 · · Santa Fe, NM · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

I think that would be one of life's more improbable and interesting experiences. The only more wondrous possibility would have been to be there when they spread the ashes. The spot you are enjoying is the very spot that someone else felt a powerful connection enough to be scattered at. What's the big deal? You wouldn't have known otherwise. It's not like there's a rotting body laying there in front of you. But that would be an interesting and improbable thing too. Creepy, however, if two people show up and say "let me show you where Papa Joe is" ;)

ICTOAN Bond · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 5
Peter L Scott wrote:

At Palisade Head, MN I had a whole urn of cremains dumped on me from 40' above. The North shore of Mn has a silly and failing no chalk ethic. So I "chalked" up with the cremains and finished the climb.

Just as they would have wanted.

Lena chita · · Cleveland, OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 250
Andy Novak wrote:

What would you do?

You're sitting on a rock at a popular and scenic viewpoint about two miles from the car on a very popular public trail. You're enjoying the nice view of the mountains when two women walk up nearby. On says, "let me show you where Papa Joe is", and proceeds to point out little bits of white things all around you. Then she points out a very large pile of cremated remains about 10 feet from your shoes, complete with..larger bits. Those white bits all around you are pieces of Papa Joe.

Do you:

a) Understand that people have the right to honor their loved ones however they want, walk away, then ask the internet. 

b) Think its totally disgusting, give the women a dirty look, and then go complain on the internet.

c)Wait until they initiate a conversation then politely ask, "You know, I'm just wondering if there was a more private place for your loved one's remains?" and see what they say? Then ask internet.

d) Angrily proclaim how repugnant you think it is that you might literally have her loved one's bone fragments stuck in the treads of your shoes. Tell the internet. 

What would you do? Asking for a friend. 

I would do nothing, and then tell my friends. :)

It is weird to me. While I think cremation is good, and scattering the ashes is fine, I usually envision some sort of scattering them over water, or something.. not sprinkling them on the ground. I think I would prefer burying the ashes and planting some tree over them to scattering them over rocks.

Derick Page · · Ft Collins · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 20

I think these guidelines seem reasonable. And remains bother me less than summits somebody has taken a dump on.

https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/scattering_ashes.htm

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 105

I only clicked on this thread because I wanted to make a Big Lebowski joke, but it looks like some other deadbeats beat me to it.  The bums will always lose.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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