Moab petroglyphs bolted for sport climbing

MOAB, Utah. — Climbing Magazine reported this week that 1,000-year-old petroglyphs in Moab were briefly bolted and maimed before a climber dismantled the new routes. The routes, named on Mountain Project (and since deleted) as Yote Dawg, Peaches, and 23 Flavors, were 5.3-grade sport-climbing routes directly adjacent to ancient petroglyphs.

Climber Darrin Reay found the three routes last weekend, and promptly removed the bolts.

Discovering the bolts shocked some, and raised issues of outdoor and climbing ethics in the community about the widely embraced Leave No Trace ethos. Tampering with, defacing, or even touching petroglyphs is prohibited and considered to be disgracing history.

The incident was reported on Facebook by Stewart Green, a fellow climber and friend of Reay’s.

My friend Darrin Reay, a climbing guide and Naked and Afraid star, called me this afternoon while he was driving back to…

Posted by Stewart M. Green on Sunday, April 11, 2021


Climbing Magazine spoke with Darrin Reay about his discover. He said he had an exchange on Mountain Project with the alledged route bolter, and said the bolter denied that the artwork was native art.

“What’s really significant about this panel is there was not one bullet hole in it,” said Reay. “Not one cowboy’s initials on it. It had been 100% unmolested because you had to climb up 30 or so feet of 5.3 terrain to get to it. This is one of the few panels in the region that’s never been vandalized or molested.”

The Bureau of Land Management commented on Facebook, saying, “It’s up to all of us to care for our public lands.”

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