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Reservation system for popular crags

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Bagel Sendwich · · Presidio Heights · Joined Oct 2019 · Points: 0

Do you think popular climbs/crags will ever have a reservation system (on the weekends) to control crowds and protect the environment from overuse? Perhaps one that even monetizes each reservation. I mean this seems already doable at places like the gunks where they could require people to have a preserve membership and then use an app, like the GunksApp. It could even GPS you like big brother and keep track of usage, etc. You could reserve a climb (depending on length) for say 2 hours, and pick like 4 for the day. Priority could be given in the system to those who haven't done that climb yet, and to those who get on and off the climb in timely manner.

I'm not promoting this, per se, but can see it being a reality. Thoughts?

5.Seven Kevin · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0
Malachi Constant · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 5

Tiger got to hunt, Bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, “Why, why, why?”

Tiger got to sleep, Bird got to land; Man got to tell himself he understand.

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,482
Malachi Constant wrote: Tiger got to hunt, Bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, “Why, why, why?”

Tiger got to sleep, Bird got to land; Man got to tell himself he understand.

I don't think you can improve on that answer.

Dallin Carey · · Missoula · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 192

A popular local crag recently changed ownership and the new owners are imposing stricter regulations. Climbers must obtain a daily permit via emailing the owners before hand. Once they receive an answer, the climbers must print out the email and carry it with them. The owners have also stated that if you do not receive an answer, you do not get to climb, mostly because too many requests have been put in for that day. 

Eric Chabot · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 45

At risk of feeding the trolls....

Honestly there are some areas that would benefit. I think a better system would be crag based, where your group gets a permit for a crag for a day or set period of time. That could also be used to enforce group size limits (i.e., no groups more than 4 people) which would also limit impacts as well as improving the experience of an individual user. It would also encourage people to get off the beaten path and climb at crags with less 'classic' routes, where a permit would be easier to get. Plus any time you interact with a regulator to get a permit that's an opportunity for the regulator to educate you on best practices.

Climbing permits are already happening on the Grand Teton. If you want to camp along the approach anyway.

Hikers (in sensitive, popular areas such as the enchantments in WA) and hunters (everywhere, but more so in the west more than in the east) are strictly regulated to balance access with resource availability and sustainability. If our user group keeps growing as it has been it is inevitable that we will face these issues as well. The good old days are gone at a lot of crags. 

shredward · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0

I have made this joke many times when walking up to a crowded crag. " hey we reserved this climb on MP, sooooo" .  I hope that is never a reality.

Stiles · · the Mountains · Joined May 2003 · Points: 840

I'll take the Hilton Bivy, for two, please, July 5 and 6. Also, the first two pitches of the Casual from 6am to one on the 6th.  

Brassmonkey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 115

Mountain Project has become a forum of trolls feeding trolls.  What a waste of time. 

J.Kruse · · Las Cruces, NM · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 328
Charlie S · · Ogden, UT · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 2,146

Reservation ranking should be based on amount of income tax paid.

Outta my way, all you unemployed Sprinter dwellers!  (Doesn't matter if you're a Benz or Promaster.)

Bagel Sendwich · · Presidio Heights · Joined Oct 2019 · Points: 0
Brassmonkey : Mountain Project has become a forum of trolls feeding trolls.  What a waste of time.

I'm not a troll.

Also, there's a chance this becomes a reality. The technology is there. By the time it does, however, I hope to be only climbing on weekdays.
Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,071

There already are crags that do this (e.g. Hueco), or attempt to do this (e.g. Torrent Falls at the RRG, at one point, when they reopened for partial access with registration/gate code received the morning of... I believe they are closed now, unless you know someone who knows someone, or you are staying at the cabin; Roadside, also at the RRG, is another example: before they recently closed, they attempted to say that there would be a finite number of permits for the day, and if the number is filled,. that's it for the day.)

Will it be more widespread in the future? Yes, I think so.

Artem Vasilyev · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 95
Bagel Sendwich wrote:
I'm not a troll.

Also, there's a chance this becomes a reality. The technology is there. By the time it does, however, I hope to be only climbing on weekdays.

I see this system as creating tons of additional conflict when the party that reserved the route shows up late to somebody "poaching" their route. Or even better, them showing up on time and having to confront a party on their route, mid pitch. 

Additionally this sounds like an enforcement nightmare. That being said if somebody is willing to pay me for it, I wouldn't mind hanging out all day at the top of a popular route in my lawn chair, ready to slap a ticket on the helmet of any climber bold enough to topout without their permit. 

But on a serious note, this system does sound like it would need to work out the kinks. Climbers, myself included, aren't the most bureacratically minded people on the planet.
Bagel Sendwich · · Presidio Heights · Joined Oct 2019 · Points: 0

I feel like poachers without a membership could be minimized. Also checking in and out on the app on each climb, and providing feedback through the app if the party ahead of you isn't finished, etc. could be used, along with GPS info. Then, people who play by the rules could be rewarded, and perhaps rule breakers could be reprimanded--perhaps via a point system that provides booking priority based on behavior, route popularity, when you last completed it, etc.  Anyway, sounds a bit like a nightmare.

Cocoapuffs 1000 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 10

As Lena said, a permit system was already in use at Roadside Crag at the Red.  And yes they have had lots of problems with people ignoring the permit system.  Roadside was closed this past week (hopefully temporarily) after a climber Instagrammed himself climbing there after dark without a permit.  Most likely Torrent gave up on permits for the same reason.  Even so, I can personally attest that Roadside was a MUCH more pleasant place to be after the permit system was implemented.  

I don't know if it will be the norm, but I see this becoming more common in the future, at least on publicly managed lands that have staff in place to enforce it.  Perhaps even on a climb-by-climb basis for popular long routes.  It wouldn't surprise me if you needed a permit to climb the Nose or Moonlight Buttress in the not too distant future.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Cocoapuffs 1000 wrote: I don't know if it will be the norm, but I see this becoming more common in the future, at least on publicly managed lands that have staff in place to enforce it.  Perhaps even on a climb-by-climb basis for popular long routes.  It wouldn't surprise me if you needed a permit to climb the Nose or Moonlight Buttress in the not too distant future.

Consider that Zion has a long established permit system (reservation if you will) for all the slot canyons in the park and there is a day permit for both the White Rim and Elephant Hill in Canyonlands, so it's already a precedent in the NPS lands.

Eric and Lucie · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 140

Apps, GPS,... Don't just assume that everyone out there owns and carries a stupid phone... I don't.

Nathan Sullivan · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Sep 2018 · Points: 0
Bagel Sendwich wrote: I'm not promoting this, per se, but can see it being a reality. Thoughts?

You are going to get a lot of hate for this idea, but I don't see the alternative to some kind of permit/reservation system long term for areas that are simply too crowded.  I'm neutral overall, personally - it would be annoying but would also mean a much more relaxed and civil climbing experience.


I mean, seems like a classic tragedy of the commons situation to me, and we do live in an engineered society.  Most of the time.
Robert Hernandez · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 15

Of course we do, because what we really need is to get more people out there in the nature; thankfully REI is helping with this initiative. Intercity kids. Alphabet people. Even maybe a few communist and white nationalist groups.  This way we can fight over the limited resource while respecting each others sexuality and views. Meanwhile, REI gets some good advertising and makes more money.  Win - Win scenario if I ever saw one.

Zachary Bright · · Escondido CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 33

My wife and I like to climb at a little crag by our house that’s inside of a small city campground/park. They closed it down for a few years because hooligans always graffiti it and throw trash everywhere and a small fire was started. They put up a gate and started doing a permit system to keep track of who was causing the damage and keep it from getting crowded. I was ok with this at first because a lot of climbers put effort into cleaning it up and keeping it that way. But the other day we took a friend to climb up there and we were denied accesses because a group had paid the city to reserve the entire area, all the walls and sections for an intro class. My friend had changed his work schedule around to be able to go and there has never been any reservation system or way for us to know if it is closed down without going there. It’s jusy a limit to the total parties of people there and we were the first and only group to show up that day but couldn’t climbed because someone paid the city to use it two hours later

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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