Adventure Journal: Climbers Placed Bolts in Ancient Petroglyphs Near Moab

Darrin looked up the Sunshine Slabs on Mountain Project and found that the routes were bolted by climbers from Colorado Springs in late March. The worst offender, a route called “Peaches,” weighs in at a hefty 5.3. Jeez, kind of pathetic to illegally bolt a 5.3 route!

Darrin, part Native American, told me that he “pulled all 3 of them down. I thought about leaving them up for the sake of reporting them. But I just couldn’t leave them up, religious reasons. It was my duty.” He later said, “I still have the photos of the first time I went out there 14 years ago of that panel. Never would have noticed it if you hadn’t told me to look for it.”

As a skier once said after being told that backcountry skiing activities were endangering the local bighorn sheep: “Well, the sheep have had these mountains for 10,000 years. Now it’s our turn.”

Let’s hope this situation continues to be an exception, not the rule. Or nip it in the bud and make the Sunshine Slabs a locals/invite-only climbing area—an area exclusive to those who might actually care.