Climbers outraged after vandal destroys holds in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Posted at 7:56 PM, Nov 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-02 21:56:40-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY - Rock climbers on the Wasatch Front are left feeling shocked and outraged after a recent act of vandalism.

"Why would they do this," asked one climber.

"I was like no, no, no," said another. "We were very devastated."

Some time between Sunday night and Monday afternoon, climbers believe that someone with a sledge hammer or a pry bar chipped the holding spots on bouldering rocks in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Holding spots are naturally formed ledges and nooks used for leverage by climbers.

"My son cried," said Jimmy Keithly, the Vice Chair for the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance. "For the last four years, he was working on it, and he was hoping that Monday was the day he was actually going to be able to do it."

Keithly's soon-to-be 12-year-old son had attempted to climb the same spot, and thanks to a recent growth spurt he believed he might be able to do it Monday.

"Guess we'll never know," Keithly said. "It kind of makes you frustrated with humans in general. Why would they do something like this?"

He's not alone with that line of questioning.

“This is not good," said another climber. "This is our sacred zone, and you’ve messed with our church.”‬

A number of areas were hit in Little Cottonwood area, but, so far, no one has been arrested. However, SLCA encourages anyone with any information to reach out to police.

The Alliance has been handling vandalism for a while now, recently paying more than $1,000 to clean up graffiti on nearby climbing areas.