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By Karsten
From Sacramento, CA
Jul 10, 2013
FA's can be scary.  Photo by DeAngelo
Recently saw a photo of the message I believe is near one of the Great Red Book belays. This has irked me for some time but thought I would see what others in our community feel about it.

Preserve this memorial and piece of climbing history.
Preserve this memorial and piece of climbing history.


I am all for a memorial for a fallen climber but perhaps chipping things in a very visible area is not the best choice.

Climbing history or graffiti in a state park? Interesting how a chipped message is history and a tagged spraypaint mark incites people to talk of fines and arrest.

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By Ellenore Zimmerman
Jul 10, 2013
me
I have seen many plaques in memory of fallen climbers. Usually done in good taste discreetly ....engravings bolted to rock. There are ways to express your memory but this is not tasteful. Graffiti? Not even. They ment well I guess...

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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Jul 10, 2013
I don't know when that was inscribed, but it's been there for many years. That was the climb he died on while guiding a client, I believe. I think it's appropriate.

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By Sorden
From inside the Bubble, Colorado
Jul 10, 2013
~Here to party~
A memorial block stashed discretely near the top of Tower 2, Redgarden Wall, Eldorado.  Found this soloing up east slabs descent route.
A memorial block stashed discretely near the top of Tower 2, Redgarden Wall, Eldorado. Found this soloing up east slabs descent route.


I think it's just cooler when a plaque memorializing a fallen climbing partner is left somewhere only climbers will see it.

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By Ellenore Zimmerman
Jul 10, 2013
me
^^^^THIS is really cool!

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By Woodchuck ATC
Jul 10, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Sorden wrote:
I think it's just cooler when a plaque memorializing a fallen climbing partner is left somewhere only climbers will see it.


Yes, that is way cool. A small memorial is at the base of a climb in the Red, where 2 climbers fell to their death about 4 years ago. Small and tasteful is appropriate, and viewable only by climbers is even better.

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By Johnny Y
From California
Jul 10, 2013
Dreams of Wild Turkeys
The totem pole halfway up the route on Angel's Crest has to be the best one I've seen.


It served as a memorial to a fallen climber (Ben), and there is a blog entry about it:

climblife.blogspot.com/2007/06...

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By Doug Foust
From Henderson, Nevada
Jul 11, 2013
new toy
I don't think comparing an inscribed memorial to graffiti is at all fair.

Randall contributed quite a bit to the history of Red Rock and I think the memorial is appropriate. It is at the first belay(EDIT - top of first pitch) of The Great Red Book, so only climbers will see it. It's a shame that someone made a poor attempt to scratch it out.

Doug

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Jul 11, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
I respect the sentiment but it looks kind of ugly to me and to someone not in the know totally like graffiti. Naming a route or trail or scholarship commemorating them seems more appropriate, or maybe a plaque on a rescue cache donated by friends. I would rather see a cairn like structure on a ledge with pictures and plastic flowers like something from Mexico than the scratched writing. At least that could eventually be removed.

I do like the totem pole.

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By Larry DeAngelo
Administrator
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 11, 2013
!
History for sure. Randal was not merely a "fallen climber," but a key player in Red Rock's climbing evolution. My view is that whoever tried to scratch off the memorial is in the same category as the tagger who spray painted over the petroglyphs in Willow Springs: historically illiterate, with neither appreciation nor knowledge of the pathfinders who have preceded them. No lesser luminary than Walter Bonatti has pointed out that "the value of a climb is the sum of three inseparable elements, all equally important: aesthetics, history, and ethics." I cannot imagine how any climber with a soul would not be enriched by this connection to the route's (and the entire area's) history.

5.10 Grandstone shoe next to the Randal Grandstaff memorial on the Great Red Book.
5.10 Grandstone shoe next to the Randal Grandstaff memorial on the Great Red Book.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Jul 11, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
I doubt Bonatti was referring to scratching "Our Bro (fill in loved fallen climber's name)" into the cliffs when he mentioned history and the aesthetics certainly got a beating with the writing.
How is this scratching in any different than if I went around and wrote "Bro Smith" on routes my friends had put up, other than they are still alive? At least there they would be able to read it (and go "WTF")

Remembering a friend, history - all good, but isn't there a better way?

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By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Jul 11, 2013
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.
To my eye, the style of the inscription (the style of the lettering and the medium chosen) say "graffiti". It doesn't give me any sense of who Grandstaff was or his connection to the area - it makes me feel like he was a small-time hood, even though I know much better. I'd rather there was some other memorial ... but I think scratching at it is even worse.

Significance is in the eye of the beholder.

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By Weston L
From Summerlin, NV
Jul 11, 2013
Me at the good rest on Doggie Do
I didn't know Randy, but maybe placing a plaque over the crude inscription and subsequent scratch-out might give it something a touch more dignified?

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By Doug Foust
From Henderson, Nevada
Jul 11, 2013
new toy
I never met Randall and I don't know who scratched in the memorial, but I would guess it was someone who knew him well and cared about him.

Memorials are for the living to help us cope and remember people we cared about. So if it was someone who knew and cared about Randall then I think it is totally appropriate.

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By Larry DeAngelo
Administrator
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 11, 2013
!
M Sprague wrote:
I doubt Bonatti was referring to scratching "Our Bro (fill in loved fallen climber's name)" into the cliffs when he mentioned history and the aesthetics certainly got a beating with the writing. How is this scratching in any different than if I went around and wrote "Bro Smith" on routes my friends had put up, other than they are still alive? At least there they would be able to read it (and go "WTF") Remembering a friend, history - all good, but isn't there a better way?


There may be lots of "better" ways. (In fact, I have made my own modest attempts at noting Randal's place in Red Rock history...) But, as it happens, this was the way chosen by some folks with reasonable knowledge of both Randal and Red Rock. That alone makes it meaningful, and even a part of the ongoing history.

As far as how is it different-- I think you are just being argumentative. A single notation marking the place of the death of a notable historical figure does not seem at all equivalent to slapping an inscription on routes with no additional significance.

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By Larry DeAngelo
Administrator
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 11, 2013
!
Weston L wrote:
I didn't know Randy, but maybe placing a plaque over the crude inscription and subsequent scratch-out might give it something a touch more dignified?

I appreciate this sentiment, but I am going to bow out of this and just say that the existing inscription is meaningful to me, and contains an element of personal caring and involvement that would be missing from a more formal cenotaph.

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By Brian in SLC
Jul 11, 2013
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Larry DeAngelo wrote:
I appreciate this sentiment, but I am going to bow out of this and just say that the existing inscription is meaningful to me, and contains an element of personal caring and involvement that would be missing from a more formal cenotaph.


I dunno. I guess I'm kinda on the fence about this type of thing. I can hardly fault people for not not knowing this specific history.

A modest plaque with "in the memory of Randall Grandstaff, Red Rocks pioneer" would be a bit more self explanatory and look less like random graffiti.

Although...I have mixed feelings about seeing memorial plaques on routes that I'm actively climbing.

Bolt replacement on the route with his name engraved on a hanger? I think that'd be kinda nifty.

Hmmm.

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By adamx
Jul 11, 2013
Meaningless to who? There is graffiti that means the world to me... My mother would walk past and say it's meaningless. Who gets to decide?

And how old does seemingly-meaningless graffiti need to be before it gets a pass? I've done routes with graffiti and besides the guidebook reading "Climb left towards JIBBY JOE graffiti", nobody says a word about it.

And when does it become OLD enough to become historic? I love love love finding carvings from the great depression era. Oldest graffiti I've found was late 1800s. Heck, I enjoy seeing "Bill Stevens was here 2-13-72 westbound to reno" written in some obscure place. Something about it being older than ME that makes it interesting. In the year 2050 is our bro RG going to be some kind of RR legend?

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By R. Moran
From Moab , UT
Jul 11, 2013
REtro
Our Bro RG is a red rock legend. RIP

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By s.price
From PS,CO
Jul 11, 2013
 Morning Dew ,self portrait
The only thing wrong with this is that someone tried to scratch it out.

Good hunting here chipped the Native. Good bro died here chipped his contemporaries. Same IMO.

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Jul 11, 2013
a few scratches in the rock when you permanently scar the red rock with every chalked hand placement? Rock climbing is so ironically emo.

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By Laine
From Reno, NV
Jul 11, 2013
Approach to Washington Column
I've enjoyed many of RG's route and when I did that climb my initial reaction was positive. He did a lot in RedRocks and the memorial should be grandfathered in not scratched out. Yea it would be cooler if the memorial was a fat pair of engraved anchors but it is what it is. The greater concern to me is the increase of actual graffiti and vandalism in the park.

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By John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 12, 2013
South of Windy Peak
The original inscription was an unobtrusive memorial to a local legend. Whoever defaced it by scratching over it did us all a disservice and created an unsightly blemish on the rock. It angers me that someone would do that. If the initial inscription was seen as graffiti, who's the genius that would think the rock could be somehow repaired by further damaging the rock? I'd support the placement of a plaque.

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By Tom-onator
From This Galaxy
Jul 12, 2013
Tom-onator
John Hegyes wrote:
The original inscription was an unobtrusive memorial to a local legend. Whoever defaced it by scratching over it did us all a disservice and created an unsightly blemish on the rock. It angers me that someone would do that. If the initial inscription was seen as graffiti, who's the genius that would think the rock could be somehow repaired by further damaging the rock? I'd support the placement of a plaque.

Unfortunately, even a well placed plaque is not immune to random douchebaggery.
The fact that another climber did this, is even more deplorable.

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By Karsten
From Sacramento, CA
Jul 12, 2013
FA's can be scary.  Photo by DeAngelo
RG should be admired for his contributions to the Redrock climbing community and believe some sort of memorial is not uncalled for in his honor.

I remember the first time I came upon the etching I had no idea what it was. I thought some hoodrat from Vegas had TR'd his way up and scratched a memorial to his "bro" that was a victum of a drive-by or something. Knowing the history sort of changed my idea about the memorial but got me to thinking . . .what if people started chiseling in memorials to people all over the park. If these etchings caught on like the way building randoms cairns seems to be proliferating we might we walking through a sea of carvings instead of a scenic park setting. Maybe some of you are fine with this since that area is already rifled with bolts, tourist gawkers, etc but it bothers me. How could we even say a small, tasteful spray-painted memorial to someone on say a popular boulder in Calico where some "bro" and his friends used to drink and have fun is wrong. Everyone is meaningful to someone and the park is used by many other user groups who are probably more than ready to add their own plaques.

I guess, while I understand sentiments for wanting to remember a person I would like to see the natural setting altered as little as possible. A more fitting memorial, in my opinion might even be a small kiosk or plaque at the visitor center or at one of the pullout trailheads.

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jul 12, 2013
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.
Sorden wrote:
I think it's just cooler when a plaque memorializing a fallen climbing partner is left somewhere only climbers will see it.


I'm glad you like how that memorial was done. :-)

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