Defaced petroglyphs force rock climbers to reckon with sport’s destructive past

Defaced petroglyphs force rock climbers to reckon with sport’s destructive past

The Guardian

.

.
.
.

Climbers still fail to recognize sport depends on stolen land, Indigenous observers say, after bolts drilled into cultural site

Richard Gilbert claims he had no idea he was doing anything wrong when he drilled bolts into a rock wall in Utah to establish three new climbing routes, illegally defacing a 1,000-year-old Indigenous cultural site.

Climbers know the rock Gilbert bolted as Sunshine Wall, a crag north of Moab and Arches national park hosting the centuries-old petroglyphs of the Fremont people. Gilbert has said he didn’t realize the carvings’ significance, even though most climbers make it a point never to disturb Indigenous cultural sites.

Continue reading…