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LRC and Leda fees
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By Jaime M
From Chattanooga, TN
Jul 23, 2014
Much love for the rock
From Stone Fort Bouldering's Facebook page :

Attention Climbers ~

Effective August 1st, 2014 our daily rate will be $6.00 plus tax. Children 12 and under will be $1.00 plus tax.

Just a little reminder of some of the rules. Everyone, even spectators, that enter the boulder field must sign in at the clubhouse, pay & obtain the daily wristband. We are located inside a residential neighborhood so all climbers/visitors must leave upon nightfall. Night climbing & camping is not permitted. Glass of any kind is not permitted in the boulder field. Outside alcoholic beverages are not permitted. No pets! Please leave your pets at home. We will not allow pets to stay inside a hot vehicle during the hot summer months.

Visitors and climbers of LEDA are also required to come into the clubhouse, sign the waiver, pay and get a receipt/wristband/sign to display on the dash of your vehicle.

Please follow the rules so everyone can enjoy Stone Fort Bouldering. Complete rules are posted onsite & the S.E.Climbers website.

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By eli poss
From Chattanooga
Jul 23, 2014
you're joking about the Leda part right? if not that's fucked up. there is absolutely no reason for me to pay some country club to go climbing at leda unless I'm using their parking lot. I'm not going to pay money to go climbing

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By Thierry
From Murfreesboro, TN
Jul 23, 2014
eli poss wrote:
I'm not going to pay money to go climbing


Unless you only climb on private land (your own), you HAVE paid for climbing or somebody else has paid for you.
AND if you've climbed on many public (or private open to the public) land areas in the Southeast, the SCC has done a lot of work and paid for a lot to keep climbing 'free'. You should join, it's a lot cheaper than golf fees, and you'll be paying your own way.

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By sharyl
From Chattanooga, TN
Jul 23, 2014
I understand the fees for stone fort because they allow us to use their facilities and parking, however those services are not provided at Leda. Even the current parking area and approach trail was put in by volunteers from a local school. Agree it's pretty lame but at the end of the day the land is theirs to do with as they please and apparently they want to make $$$. It would be nice if the landowners would put some of this money back into Leda...the trail near vogen slab needs some major attention and I'm sure the SCC wouldn't mind some financial assistance for bolt&anchor replacement.
I am a member of theSCC, I pay my taxes, and I support local climbing community.... See y'all at Foster Falls!

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By Whipper
From Douglasville, GA
Jul 24, 2014
Definitely understand Stone Fort fees, but Leda??? Come on....that's lame.

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By Will Eccleston
Jul 24, 2014
Are you guys cool with Henry Luken using your property any time he wants for free, and participating in activities on your property which could very well result in serious injury? Injury for which you could be sued? Obviously these questions are rhetorical...

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By Bobby Hutton
From Tanzania
Jul 24, 2014
Fisheyed fool 10b foster falls
Closing down the parking areas has already severely reduced traffic to LEDA enforcing a fee would all but wipe out most of the regular traffic. As it is where many of the areas newer climbers learn how to climb out side,(I learned to climb there)I am very curious to see the impact on the areas other climbing if this area is effectively closed.
Does anyone know if this fee will effect Lower LEDA as well. Do the Henry Luken own that property as well.

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By sharyl
From Chattanooga, TN
Jul 24, 2014
Mr. Luken is more than welcome to hang out in my backyard anytime he wants, but i would ask that he sign a waiver before traveling from soddy daisy to my house by vehicle. Driving is a very dangerous activity and I wouldn't want to be held responsible in the event of accident or injury. Don't mean to be sassy just trying to bring a little humor to the discussion. :)

liability is a serious issue for all landowners, but the rule is and has been to sign a waiver releasing Mr. Luken from responsibility if someone is injured on his property climbing. This has been passively required at the crag - so maybe people are climbing there and not signing. Fine, make us drive up and sign at the golf course, sign via the SCC website, or gate & lock the parking like at deep creek.

Charging a fee is about making $$$ and Mr. Luken is a smart business man. He has profitted from the bouldering community during the winters when his golf course doesn't make $$$, and I'm sure is looking to cash in on the popularity of leda as well. Again its his property, and his purogative. Its also my purogative to voice my opinion and climb elsewhere.

Hopefully access fund and SCC will get something worked out with Mr. Luken

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By Alexander Blum
From Charlotte, NC
Jul 24, 2014
Why should he let everyone use it for free?

Just curious.

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By Brian Payst
Jul 24, 2014
grayson highlands
It's probably worth noting that if you use the "I'm not going to pay money to go climbing" as your decision point, you'll never climb at the Gunks, Hueco Tanks, Yosemite, Zion or a number of other places in the US that charge day use fees or require an annual pass.

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By Brad Caldwell
From Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Jul 24, 2014
Brian Payst wrote:
It's probably worth noting that if you use the "I'm not going to pay money to go climbing" as your decision point, you'll never climb at the Gunks, Hueco Tanks, Yosemite, Zion or a number of other places in the US that charge day use fees or require an annual pass.


Word!!! Not to mention HP40 & Rock Town, the other 2 of the Big 3. There's no logic in feeling like you have a right to use someone else's resource without compensating them...all of these spots are cheaper than most daily passes at a local gym and the value of taking care of these areas by contributing your part is immeasurable to the sustainability of being able to continue bouldering there.

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By eli poss
From Chattanooga
Jul 24, 2014
why should we have to pay money to enjoy nature and the rock it provides? it is on private property but the owner is in no way liable for any injuries of mine as i signed a waiver at the kiosk. i fully understand and accept the fees with stone fort but that is because i would be parking in his lot. the climbers lot is not owned by the golf club nor was it built by it. it was built by McCallie and SCC to provide access to Leda for climbers. if they are going to charge us money, the golf course should provide some services to climbers at Leda. oh and i compensate the owners by helping keep the crag clean. every time i go there i pick up at least 5 pieces of trash and pack it out so the crag doesn't become a landfill, although landfills are so very fun to climb (sarcasm)

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By AD_Ange
Jul 24, 2014
If you think paying six dollars and signing a waiver is going to get the landowner off the hook if someone gets hurt you are fooling yourself. Fact is the landowner puts himself, his family, and his business at risk every time he allows someone to climb at Leda. Do you know how much he pays per month for the land you want to use for free? What about insurance?

Problem is everyone wants something for nothing.

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By Alexander Blum
From Charlotte, NC
Jul 24, 2014
eli poss wrote:
why should we have to pay money to enjoy nature and the rock it provides?


Because you don't own this particular piece of land, it's not publicly held, and the landowner has decided he would like to charge for access. The service they provide you is the privilege of climbing on their land. I see ZERO problem with this. Are you saying that if LRC still abutted the golf course, was still owned by the same man, but had public parking, you would throw the same shit fit about fees? It's okay to charge for parking, but not to actually use the property the man owns?!

My mind is blown by the level of entitlement shown by this line of thinking. He owns a piece of property that has value to you (good climbing). He would like compensation in exchange for providing that value. What, exactly, is wrong with that? If you don't feel that the value provided is in line with the cost, then don't go. There is a TON of climbing around you that is free.

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By Khowe765
From Knoxville, TN
Jul 24, 2014
Linville Gorge
This seems unfortunate only because it's been free for so long, but I do think it's a nominal fee. Like others have voiced, most of the best climbing in the US requires entrance fees/day passes, etc to climb. SCC, of which I am a member, has done an incredible job of purchasing private land to make climbing more accessible, legal, and "free." I understand the news is a bit "lame," but hey, at least the landowner didn't close down Leda altogether! Up here in Knoxville, Cherokee Bluff, right on the Tennessee River, was open to climbing up until 2009 when the landowner finally said "no more climbing!" I would be thrilled to pay $6 to climb at Cherokee Bluff, but instead I have to stare at it every day from across the river hoping one day the landowner will be gracious enough to open it back up.

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By Jaime M
From Chattanooga, TN
Jul 24, 2014
Much love for the rock
^^^^ This.

My first reaction was to be pissed, too. "All the way to the clubhouse!?! Six bucks?!?"

But all things considered, it's not that bad. I'd rather have the option to pay to climb than not be able to climb at all.

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By Jay Perry
From Chattanooga, TN
Jul 24, 2014
bouldering at LRC
Leda isn't worth more than $1/day to climb at, maybe less.

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By Douche
Jul 24, 2014
Are there other places to climb in town?

6 bucks for world class climbing is a steal

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By sharyl
From Chattanooga, TN
Jul 24, 2014
I have absolutely no problem paying for access, but prefer to spend my money where I know it will be at least partially used to improve or more importantly maintain the area. I see it as an investment. He could easily turn a profit here and at the same time help keep Leda maintained, something that has been done by volunteers and the scc to date. I guess time will tell on this one.

It is 100% the landowner's right to charge for the privilege of using his land...absolutely. It's also well within my rights to voice my disappointment in this decision. that doesn't mean I am entitled. After years of being free access, I do question his motives and I really don't think liability is the motivation here. I would very interested to see the number of personal injury lawsuits that have been brought against Mr. Luken as the result of climbing at Leda and/or stone fort.

I do think it is a good point that the area is not shut down completely and hopefully it won't come to that...mr Luken would probably loose a nice bit of income if he closed climbing down...especially at stone fort.

There is plenty of other fantastic climbing in this area, paid and "free". Just my 2cents.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Jul 25, 2014
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
Brad Caldwell wrote:
Word!!! Not to mention HP40 & Rock Town, the other 2 of the Big 3. There's no logic in feeling like you have a right to use someone else's resource without compensating them...all of these spots are cheaper than most daily passes at a local gym and the value of taking care of these areas by contributing your part is immeasurable to the sustainability of being able to continue bouldering there.


Are you comparing Leda to these places? Haha. No where close to quality or quantity. Could you imagine an amusement park where the paying customers maintain all the rides and walkways to the rides... This is an investors paradise. Climbers are being fleeced, plain and simple. While the $6 is worth the Stone Fort pass, it is not for Leda. I agree with the statement that there are better, free climbing locations around that area. If this money were being used to recoup the cost of paving the new parking area, that would be fine. Make it free after that. Paying to recreate seems like a regressive tax system.

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By the schmuck
From Albuquerque, NM
Jul 25, 2014
"Paying to recreate seems like a regressive tax system."

Just how exactly is using private property for a fee a "tax system?" I do not think that private entities have the power to tax. And what is wrong with owner using private property for profit? Does a private land owner have a duty to make their land available on a non-profit basis? Also, I'm sure the land owner in this case carries insurance, which is probably where your $6.00 go.

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By Brad Caldwell
From Deep in the Jocassee Gorges
Jul 25, 2014
TomCaldwell wrote:
Are you comparing Leda to these places? Haha. No where close to quality or quantity. Could you imagine an amusement park where the paying customers maintain all the rides and walkways to the rides... This is an investors paradise. Climbers are being fleeced, plain and simple. While the $6 is worth the Stone Fort pass, it is not for Leda. I agree with the statement that there are better, free climbing locations around that area. If this money were being used to recoup the cost of paving the new parking area, that would be fine. Make it free after that. Paying to recreate seems like a regressive tax system.


Not comparing Leda's quality to these places at all 10 Finger Tom. This is the current model of private property access, like it or not. Owners take a risk and are sued constantly because they allow climbers/outdoor recreation on their land. Some sort of compensation is due for using up/deteriorating an owners resources, that's just obvious to me. It would be awesome if the owner helped make the place better, I agree, but I'm sure this guys primary motive in life is not to get rich while running a climbing crag. Leda may not be worth paying for, in my opinion its not that quality of a place, its just super convenient with 45 second approaches, but its not on public property...so folks must be at the mercy of the owner if they want to climb there. No crag is free...we all pay taxes to foot the bill for the state parks and national forests. Still, $6 is cheaper than a day pass at any local gym.

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By Brian Payst
Jul 25, 2014
grayson highlands
TomCaldwell wrote:
. Make it free after that. Paying to recreate seems like a regressive tax system.

That would be true if taxes were used to pay for upkeep on private land, which they are not. What this comes down to is a private land owner who has chosen to charge a fee to access his property. That's his right as a landowner. Given that the alternative is probably no access to the cliff at all, climbers can make a choice - either pay the fee or go somewhere else. There is no such thing as an inherent right to climbing on private property.

I will add that in some states (NC for example), charging to access property can put the land owner in conflict with any recreational use statutes that might be in play and would protect him or her from liability. That's a fairly complicated legal question and varies by state, I don't know the law on it in TN and I am not a lawyer.

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By sharyl
From Chattanooga, TN
Jul 25, 2014
Brian Payst wrote:
I will add that in some states (NC for example), charging to access property can put the land owner in conflict with any recreational use statutes that might be in play and would protect him or her from liability. That's a fairly complicated legal question and varies by state, I don't know the law on it in TN and I am not a lawyer.


I actually had a case of insominia last night and was reading about recreational statutes on the access fund website. pretty interesting stuff. The way I understand it (again i was reading this at 2am so please correct me if I'm wrong) by charging for access the land owner opens himself up to more potential legal issues

accessfund.org/atf/cf/%7B1F572... (around page 6ish)

...there are 3 types of "users" when it comes to recreational use of private land 1) trespassers - don't have permission to be there, therefore there is no legal expectation that the landowner would be held responsible for injury etc. 2) licensees - have permission to freely use the land by way of a verbal or written agreement. The legal duty generally owed to licensees consists primarily of warning them of any dangerous condition,unless exempt by state law (**more on this later). 3)invitees - a person coming onto the premises for a purpose related to the business of the owner such as fee recreation. "the legal duty to protect the invitee is actually higher than that owed a licensee."

"Under recreational use statutes, recreational users, who under common law are licensees, are treated the same as tresspassers and thus are owed no duty of care by the land owner. The protection of the statute is lost however if the land owner charges for use of the land or is guilty of maliscious conduct."

There is also the "assumption of risk doctrine"...someone engaged in an obviously risky activity like rock climbing assumes the risk of injury as a result. used frequently in liability cases to shift responsibility to the recreational user and not the land owner.

going to get more coffee now...

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By eli poss
From Chattanooga
Jul 25, 2014
and what about the people who spent their hard earned money and time bolting climbs at Leda so that others could climb hassle free? this seems like a slap in the face for them. and my reasons for not thinking it is fair for him to charge us to climb is because i was raised with the philosophy that land and natural resources is to be shared within a community rather than kept to the "owner". plus i'm not made of money and cannot afford to pay $6 each time i go climb. and how much can one really "own" a cliff? He doesn't own the bolts, hangers, or anchors that are now a part of the rock. they were put the for climbers to use for convenience. what's next, are we going to have to pay for each route we do? or each hanger we clip? it would be very different if he maintained the area or put up the routes because we would be paying him for the work he put into it. but this isn't the case; he doesn't maintain the trails or the rock, nor did he pay to put up or maintain the fixed hardware on the rock.

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By Brian Payst
Jul 25, 2014
grayson highlands
eli poss wrote:
and my reasons for not thinking it is fair for him to charge us to climb is because i was raised with the philosophy that land and natural resources is to be shared within a community rather than kept to the "owner".

Which is all well and good, but the property laws in the U.S. aren't in agreement with your personal philosophy. Private property is private property, there is no greater public good involved. Do I personally think that's the best way? No. Is it the same around the world? No (see Europe, where public access to cross private land is common). Does any of that matter? No.

This is why organizations like the SCC and the CCC (my personal experience) buy land, so that we can open it up to everyone. However, until that happens, the land owner makes the rules. So, if you want to invest your few dollars to maximize your own best interests - donate them to the SCC and climb somewhere where there are no private land owner use charges.

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