One issue that hasn’t been discussed here is the issue of climbing on private property. Often times, especially in America, amazing boulders are found on land not accessible to the public. Here in Colorado the classic example is Gross Reservoir. Turn that Frown Upside Down V12 and Singular Objective V11 are two of the best granite problems in the state. These problems were put up “legally”, when the land was open to the public. In 2002, public access to the area was closed, (as I recall, its access is restricted in part due laws put in place that came about as a repercussion of 9/11). On a number of occasions climbers have tried to sneak into the area to climb the problems, but often with little success, and the people who have been caught trying to poach these problems could read like a who’s who list of top American climbers. No one has yet been prosecuted, but a number of stern warnings have been handed down. It is not my intention to call those out who have made this choice. It would be hypocritical of me to suggest that I have never climbed on private property. I have, and yet I continue to have mixed feelings about the issue.
Of course having that one special problem be “closed” can make it seem all the more valuable and difficult to attain. And sometimes the land is not heavily patrolled, making a quick ascent relatively easy and safe. It seems that climbing on private property (where the landowners do not approve) should be a definite no, however many climbers continue to break this rule in pursuit of their passion. It doesn’t seem they are hurting anyone, yet, if caught, they are setting a poor example for other climbers and are perhaps threatening access to areas that are open. That example is amplified when they publicize their ascent online for the world to see. What is the responsibility of climbers and filmmakers to show problems that are on private property?
It is also important to note that in Colorado, (as far as I know) it is legal for landowners to shoot at trespassers. I know several climbers who have been shot at with rock salt. Are these risks worth a rare and elusive tick?
Should climbing on private property remain as it is currently, as a “don’t ask, don’t tell” activity? Is it ever ok to hop a fence to tick that amazing and historical classic? Does the trespasser simply take matters into their own hands, and have the responsibility of dealing with the repercussions? How does that responsibility reflect on to the community, of which they are undeniably a part of? Thoughts?