Thursday, March 15, 2012

Logic Flaw

Whoah boy, good times. Last week was a good one around Los Alamos--great weather followed by a couple of small storms late in the week had me running in a t-shirt and shorts after work on Monday, shirtless during my lunch run on Tuesday and then backcountry snowboarding in 6 to 10 inches of new snow on Friday and Saturday. Sunday was spring-like weather again so we got out rock climbing at the Overlook before going to see an up-and-coming band called Electric Guest at a live show at Santa Fe Sol. Now that's a great week!

My evening run last Monday was a speedy new PR for me up my "backyard" trail, Mitchell Trail, to Guaje Ridge. This is a great course to gauge fitness and I was feeling pretty fit and speedy in my new Saucony Peregrine shoes. I ran the 2.45 miles/1,400' vertical gain in 32:52 which was definitely a PR. I descended swiftly too for a RT time of 53:26. I was psyched.

Friday I got out for a 4,000' vertical day of backcountry snowboarding at our favorite local stash in the Jemez with Andy and Sarah. Roughly six inches of new snow on the good base made for some great turns. The turns got even better on Saturday during a big tour in the Sangres near Ski Santa Fe with Aaron, Andy and Bill. We rode some great treed lines in ~10 inches new snow. That outing had to be one of better Sangres backcountry outings ever. A great group of friends and perfect timing with the new snow. New Mexico's backcountry riding may be limited and often short with variable snow but when it's good, it's great.

Andy ripping a turn in our Jemez stash

Super sweet tree riding in the Sangres

Sunday's climbing at the Overlook was surprisingly warm after the two storms Friday and Saturday. It was the last day of climbing we'll have with our good friend Nat for a while. He left Los Alamos yesterday loaded up in his Toyota Sienna minivan for a year of living the climbing life with his first stop being the amazing Red River Gorge. Nat's a great guy and I'm psyched for his adventure.

Later that evening Allison and I met our friends Hunter and Allison for a very intimate (~25 people) music show in Santa Fe. There were three bands playing but we had interest only in the first band, Electric Guest. EG is a new-on-the-scene band that seems to be making some pretty good waves. They were some super cool, humble dudes to chat with and put on a nicely energetic show. Their four-song EP just dropped this week and the full length album is due out on April 24th. And they'll be on the David Letterman show in early May.

And after all this cool shit, now for a rant about some lame-ass shit that spurred the title of this post. Just this past Monday, my friend Brett and I went down to White Rock to descend a canyon called Pajarito Gorge. He's a big canyoneer and he really enjoys training in Pajarito Gorge and taking new partners down the canyon for canyoneering practice. He wanted to install four bolted rappel anchors in the canyon and since I was interesting in checking out the descent and have a lot of experience placing bolts in rock, I went down the canyon with him after work. We took my 36v power drill and bolts/hangers and webbing/quicklines for four bolted anchor stations. The canyon was a fun, deep-but-short romp and I enjoyed going down it and seeing the gorge from the bottom instead of from above. Sadly, though, local kids (and probably some adults) have found entertainment (and probably convenience) in tossing large amounts of household trash into the gorge. We saw tires, bicycles, microwaves, latex paint cans complete with latex paint streaks down the rock and even a snow blower down in there. Brett and some friends had hosted a clean-up day in the canyon last year and piled the big trash objects into nice piles (it would be incredibly difficult to haul most of that stuff out) which helps the atmosphere a bunch. Nonetheless, it's worth checking out the gorge if you like rappeling and canyoneering.

But now for the bullshit and my rant. Brett returned less than 48 hours later to find the third rappel anchor chopped. What the fuck? Some self-righteous MF seems to be pro-latex paint and pro-household trash but feels the need to remove a bolt anchor that actually serves a purpose and wouldn't even been noticeable to anyone walking along the canyon rim? That's just straight up backwards. This bolt chopper needs to get his priorities straight and perhaps do something about the paint on the rock or the trash in the canyon bottom instead of ruining the work of some people trying to make the canyon an enjoyable recreational outing for others to enjoy. Furthermore, the fact that this anchor was removed so soon after we put it means it was highly likely the dude was watching us put it in that night and instead of being open and honest and yelling down to us to state his objection, he chose the cowardly method of return after we finished to anonymously chop the anchor. Boo to anonymous cowards!
I just don't understand people who can view some issues in complete black and white without trying to exercise some reason instead of just saying, "all bolts are bad." I've got news for isn't black and white. Think about it. (And please return our hangers so we can go back in there and put them in again. Because we will.)

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