Beautifully written by a Friend, Nikki Hodgson.
In 1927, a Swedish immigrant built a small house on top of a hill in the middle of the Lost Horse Valley, just south of Quail Springs. John Samuelson, who was later acquitted of murder and escaped from a state hospital in 1930, spent his free time carving his political beliefs into the rocks alongside his homestead. Over 80 years later and you can still read his misspelled words carved neatly into the rocks of what is now Joshua Tree National Park. His messages have become part of the park, the ugly scratches turned into artwork, reclaimed by the desolation of the desert.
I try to remember this when I hear that parts of the park are now closed to the public because of repeated vandalism, struggling to view the defaced and spray painted rocks through the lens of history.
Is there anything climbers can do about this?
The popular Indian Cove accessible crag known as Rattlesnake Canyon has been closed to all access while the JTNP deepens the investigation of the vandals defacing rock and creating blight in our National Park.
Here is what the mainstream media is saying http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-joshua-tree-graffiti-20130413,0,3668905.story
This link will take you to the official announcement by JTNP on the closure.
“We hope it’s isolated. We’re hoping that the public will help us out by reporting any damage or vandalism that they see.” One ranger said to the Press.
FOJT and the Access Fund are in dialogue with the Park on remedies and potential activation of the climbing community to combat this epidemic of impact and poor taste. Please feel free to share your feelings, or better yet solution ideas, to this blog and we will air them at our Board Retreat nexst week.
This is sad and so utterly clueless… please let your friends know that this happened in one of our country’s treasured National Parks and is plain stupid. Though this is clearly not the work of climbers, it encourages the Park to focus on it’s mission of protection as opposed to improving the experience for outdoor rec enthusiasts.
Here is a recent LA Times article announcing the closure of access to the Dam and some surrounding trails that access it.
Climb Smart Oct. 19-21 is building up to be the biggest and best ever, with
double triple! the registrants and supporting organizations than last year and still a few days until it happens… The event will sell out, so if you are interested to attend, click here.
Glimpse a gallery of images from the 2011 Climb Smart event
Meet JTree legendary climbers, network with fellow climbers, brush up skills, give back to the park and stay informed on latest developments that affect climbers nationwide. Join Us!
Before you move on to the high elevations, mark your calendar for Climb Smart 2012, October 19-21 at JT Lake Campground and in the Park. Climb Smart is the kickoff event in Joshua Tree for climbers, bringing the local and global climbing community together for education, celebration and inspiration. Last year’s event was a breakthrough success for FOJT and JOSAR, with new venues, new clinics, a new format and even the Cactus Pricks live performance! See images from last year’s event below, and click here to get beta on the 2012 event, or see a photo gallery of CS11.
This year’s event will sport three full days of clinics, two evenings of live entertainment, and even lower pricing for participants, with new food options, and more swag! “Pie for the People” will have their world famous pizza pies, salads, and baked ziti available for purchase at the camground Friday night, and Saturday night we are bringing back our popular spaghetti dinner as part of the evening’s events.
Register early, by September 10th., to be entered in a drawing for a new climbing rope! Winner will be announced at the Saturday dinner party.
This year the Lake will be open for fishing, so bring your fishing poles, or rent them at the country store next to the Lake. More details when you register.
NEW THIS YEAR: Special Keys Ranch Tour, Sunday 9am! Register early. Only 25 spots available.
It’s a great time to visit the park, with the peak wildflower season beginning, perfect climbing temps and just to top it off, National Park Week… no charge to enter from April21-29! National_Park_Week_at_JOTR_2012
There is also a Jr. Ranger event on April 21, and April 28-29 the 2nd annual Joshua Tree Biodiversity Hunt, this year focused around the 49 Palms Oasis… learn more here.
Mark Butler, JTNP Superintendent, says “The people of southern California have long looked to Joshua Tree as a place of refuge and recreation. We hope that as they visit us during National Park Week, they will also think about how they can get even more involved. There are many ways people can support the park, and rangers will be happy to suggest ways people can make a difference.”
See the NPS press release here
Visit our photo galleries here and get inspired for your visit…
Volunteers needed for revegetation project March 24; afterglow ‘Spring Cling’ gathering for AAC that night!
Friends of Joshua Tree is partnering with American Alpine Club with the SPRING CLING event Saturday March 24th 6:30 pm in Downtown Joshua Tree, after a day of revegetation work in the central Hidden Valley area of the Park.
See/Download the Spring Cling spring cling flyer!
There’s room for more volunteers to participate (click here for details) in the park project with AAC & Threshold Climbing Gym on Saturday. Specs are for about 200 plants, vertical mulch and delineating trail with rocks along the swath of old road by the Old Woman (see pic above).
The Evening event will be at the Starlite 61738 29 Palms Hwy – 1 block west of Park Blvd.
Our show starts promptly at 7pm with images and narrative by Damon Corso.
The presentation will feature images of free soloing (Michael Reardon) amazing bouldering images, as well as sport climbing and adaptive climbing. Don’t miss this free event!
Grab a bite to eat at Pie for the People – we receive a special price on any pizza slice(s) & beverage between 6 & 9pm)
The tranquil and beautiful patio is a perfect place to mingle with fellow climbers, make new friends, hang out and enjoy a slice of the best pizza west of New York.
Learn about the March 24 special project in the Park here
You can email us at email@example.com, or call the Park directly with questions;
Climbing Ranger – Resource Management
Joshua Tree National Park
(mention FOJT please!)
With the perfect weather window, a brand new venue, a slew of amazing and talented pros, the partnership of the Park and awesome sponsors from retail to brand to advocacy groups to the Cactus Pricks, Climb Smart 2011 broke through in completely new style on the 14 year old annual event. Huge THANKS to all of you who contributed to an all-time great time in and around JTNP.
If you want to get a glimpse of what happened last weekend, check out these links UPDATED:
Climb Smart Video incl. Lynn Hill at Thin Wall (thx to Smoking Chimp Productions!)
our Facebook page, with Pics!
JTree Astronomy Arts Theater (the venue and amazing multimedia platform)
The Cactus Pricks (featuring climbing icons Al Bartlett, Don Reid, and Pat Brennan on stagecraft!)
More to come as folks get their film processed and back from the darkroom (!).