Touchstone Blog Archive
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
  Help Stop Lake Mead from Chopping 200 + Bolts
Lake Mead National Recreation Area has put together a plan to remove over 200 bolts from the Christmas Tree climbing area located in Southern Nevada. The NRA made these plans without informing the Access Fund or contacting any climbing affiliated advicates. A number of climbers are gathering together to send letters of objection as well as comments on the plan.

Their plan, means that "Rock climbing and scrambling is allowed without the placement of fixed anchors in designated wilderness areas in Lake Mead National Recreation Area and on the adjacent BLM lands. No new permanent means of support (i.e., bolting) can be left in place on routes. In general, fixed anchors discovered in wilderness areas will be removed and the holes patched if removal would not cause undue damage to the rock. Areas close to sensitive resources, such as bird nesting areas, will be closed to climbing or scrambling during nesting periods. Use of climbing equipment (including climbing chalk) within 50 feet of rock art will be prohibited. Climbing, scrambling, or walking upon rock art surfaces will be prohibited. has a well written letter that can be copied and pasted.

Below is the Supertopo Sample Objection Letter
Sample Text of Objection Letter

Lake Mead National Recreation Area – (702-293-8990)
Park Superintendent – (702-293-8920)
601 Nevada Hwy
Boulder City, NV 89005-2426
Via Fax to: 702-293-8936

SUBJECT: Objection to LAKE Draft Wilderness Management Plan/EA -
April 2010
Demand for Extension of Comment Period to July 1, 2010

I strenuously object to the LAKE Draft Wilderness Management Plan/EA - April 2010 - as written because it discriminates against Rock Climbing, Rock Climbers and wilderness camping.

Because the Lake Mead NRA failed to inform the Rock Climbing community [including but not limited to the Access Fund -] that it was planning to constructively prohibit rock climbing in thousands of square miles of the Lake Mead NRA:

I demand that the comment period for the LAKE Draft Wilderness Management Plan be extended to at least July 1, 2010.

• Grape Vine Canyon, where there are significant historical resources, is at least two miles away from the main Christmas Tree Pass rock climbing area.
• The area of Christmas Tree Pass where Rock Climbing has been an established recreational activity for the last 35 years has zero sensitive historical resources.
• Constructively prohibiting climbing by prohibiting climbing bolts in the Christmas Tree Pass established rock climbing area tramples on the right of rock climbers to use public lands for recreation.
• Climbing bolts are virtually invisible to the naked eye from even a short distance away. In fact, finding the bolts while climbing is frequently very challenging.
• In most other USA National Parks and Recreation Areas including Yosemite National Park, climbing bolts are permitted as long as they are at least 50 feet from any historical resource [i.e. Petroglyphs].
• There is no rational basis for prohibiting new climbing bolts and/or removing existing climbing bolts in Christmas Tree Pass, NV, or anywhere else in the Lake Mead NRA.

If the air space above and around Spirit Mountain is a sensitive historical resource, why did the National Park Service allow the placement of at least a dozen large Cellular Telephone Towers at the tops of the peaks immediately adjacent to Spirit Mountain? Clearly, these Transmission Towers are a much greater disturbance of the air space around Spirit Mountain than a bunch of virtually invisible climbing bolts more than two miles away.

If climbing bolts are prohibited in Christmas Tree Pass, more than 40 multi-pitch rock climbs and many shorter climbs established in Christmas Tree Pass over the last 35 years would be rendered unclimbable.

Prohibiting climbing bolts in Christmas Tree Pass while allowing climbing bolts in Yosemite National Park and hundreds of other National Parks and Recreation Areas throughout the United States is capricious and arbitrary and is a violation of rock climbers’ equal protection rights.

If the Lake Mead NRA finds that climbing bolts are disturbing the “sensitive historical resources” of Christmas Tree Pass, then the LMNRA must also apply the same logic to the Christmas Tree Pass Cell Phone Towers.

Without climbing bolts, there will be virtually zero climbing in Christmas Tree Pass, Nevada and throughout thousands of square miles of the Lake Mead NRA where there are smooth rocks that do not have natural cracks.
To Submit your letter of objection send it to the National Park Service.

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