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crystal cave closed?
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By Tim Lutz
Aug 9, 2012

This post violated Rule #1. It has been removed by Mountain Project.


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By smassey
From CO
Aug 9, 2012

This from the Access Fund's newest Vertical Times. "The Forest Service was impressed by the action (removing fixed draws-addition mine); however, the concern has been elevated to a level at which the Forest Service will likely issue a temporary closure to the cave in order to conduct an archaeological survey to determine what, if any, impact climbing may have had on the resource."

The entire article can be found here: www.accessfund.org/site/c.tmL5KhNWLrH/b.4992351/k.9093/Verti>>>
The issue is Summer 2012.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Aug 9, 2012
Stoked...

Don't u guys have a lot of caves down that way?


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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Aug 9, 2012
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place to stay for the night before doing a day of wine tasting and heading to Buoux.

Morgan Patterson wrote:
Don't u guys have a lot of caves down that way?


Um, NO.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 9, 2012
Bocan

Morgan Patterson wrote:
Don't u guys have a lot of caves down that way?


haha!! Seen one cave...seen em' all.


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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Aug 10, 2012
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.

chufftard wrote:
looks no one knows or doesn't care. thats cool.

I thought the Access Fund story did a decent job of summarizing the issue. Sounds to me the cave is not officially closed yet but being a good climbing steward would mean not climbing in the cave for the time being.

From the latest Stone Age Climbing Gym newsletter: NM CRAG plans to host a meeting at Stone Age Climbing Gym on Tuesday August 14 at 7:00 pm to discuss the current status and future actions by the climbing community.
You may get your questions answered there.


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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Aug 13, 2012
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.

Thanks for the bump, chufftard. If you have the time and energy after the meeting I'd love to hear a recap here after the meeting (I won't be able to make it down from Los Alamos.)


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By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Aug 13, 2012

Perhaps those involved with this issue could research how Cova Gran at Santa Linya, Spain was handled. That is also an archaelogical site and a major climbing area. Local climbers were able to work out an arrangement that allows continued access and protecting the archaelogical resources. Since the climbing occurs on the roof of Crystal Cave and the resources are under the ground there really isn't a valid reason to close this area.

In Spain they built wooden platforms over the digging sites and fenced off a couple of spots, but that was about it. Seemed to work OK for Chris Sharma & all the locals. Sounds like the USFS is handling this in a biased manner.


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By A.S..
Aug 15, 2012

I was at the meeting and I think that it is an important enough issue that I will take the time to discuss. At this current time, the climbers who attended the meeting have decided to remove any tat or fixed gear and NOT climb in the cave until this is resolved.

The Access fund may have dropped the ball but that is because the ball is huge and made of molten lava. The real problem seems to be much larger than one cave and one recreation group.

The cave is not really that unique in designation, as the c-tard mentioned, but it is the perfect place for the tribe to begin a process of reclamation, and who knows where it all will go. Jemez Pueblo would like an agreement with the FS that gives them joint "custody" of the archeological area that is the Jemez National Forest, not just Crystal Cave (I am not a lawyer, so I probably have the wrong term). This is the beginning of a process and not the end, that much was made clear when Bryan P. read the notes of the last Jemez/FS/climber meeting.

Crystal cave most likely has no "real" archeological significance because of recent excavations. I read several studies that claimed the site had been "completely excavated". There have been several excavations, not just one. Perhaps William will post these for everyone. We discussed covering the floor, as has been suggested and done before, but then the concept of a 3-D artifact was introduced and I got lost. Soot? According to our climbing friend archeologist that is a last ditch effort, indicating that any real scientific evidence is long gone.

However, the access fund lawyer believes that it is possible to close the cave without any real scientific evidence to support the archeological claims. Sadly, our archeologist friend agreed, leading me to believe that this is just one huge song and dance for the public. Song and dances concern me.

The archeological site that is the Jemez National Forest was not protected by the Govt. and it should have been. The largest impact of these vandals is the road that was blasted between Crystal and the Soda dam by our own government years ago. The damage is done. There is no more damage being committed to this National Recreation Area, but this is a way for a few in the FS with dirty consciences to try and make right their lack of oversight in the past. These people blame climbers because it is so much easier to scapegoat a small group of people than to take accountability for your own actions (this is not the entire FS and certainly not the director of the region).

So yes, we do need to be proactive, very proactive. We need to demand management plans, to volunteer in any way to correct the situation, to see into the future, to make the public aware that this is going on and let them know that the situation effects all of us, not just a few sport weenies on parade but multiple user groups in multiple sites. There are thousands of sites like this in the Jemez National forest and even more outside. Where you like now, someone else liked thousands of years ago, so it is part of the equation.

Some of the climbers decided to set up a meeting before the closure to begin this process of proactive activity. I will let the public know about it when I do.


AS


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By J Q
Sep 7, 2012
Me again!

So did you all just give up on this one and take it in the rectum or what?


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By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Sep 7, 2012

Someone, preferably from NMCrag should be contacting a sympathetic senator or congressperson to address this problem. Usually these kinds of things are the result of an agency employee fostering their personal politics or agendas through their official position. Elected officials are generally pretty responsive to their constituents and can often get these kinds of things reversed. Of course if the NM climbing community supports this action then I guess it's go find another crag time.....


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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Aug 16, 2013

It has been a year. Any news?


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