Reader Input: Climbing quarry a good thing

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Good Grief! What got Evan (R. Keating) down on climbing (“Keep climbers clear of quarry,” Reader Input, Nov. 11)?

Sixty people have died jumping off the Foresthill Bridge, one-to-five people die every year in ASRA rivers, no one has died climbing, and he wants to ban climbing for safety reasons?

Evan’s attitude makes about as much sense as the climbing ban did. State Parks didn’t ban all rock climbing, just “technical rock climbing.” And they defined “technical rock climbing” totally in terms of safety equipment that is used to prevent serious injury or death in the event of a fall. Throughout those nine banned years, rock climbing was legal if you didn’t use safety equipment, and were willing to die in the event of a fall.

Certainly, safety wasn’t the real reason for the climbing ban.

Teichert (Aggregates) was going to have to close their profitable Cool quarry just outside the park unless they could expand into more accessible rock, so they talked to the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) about leasing the upper part of the historic quarry.

Obviously, that would have a serious impact on climbing recreation in the park, which would look bad on the environmental documents, since recreation is one of State Parks’ and BOR’s main purposes.

So BOR leaned on State Parks to ban climbing, and consequently, the subsequent environmental documents were able to state that Teichert’s lease would have no effect on approved recreation.

That’s history. Teichert has their lease, the bottom two-thirds of the historic quarry is open to protected climbing, and Auburn gets more tourism.

Gordon Ainsleigh, Meadow Vista