On Sunday, a 22 year old tried to replicate the viral video called “The World’s Largest Rope Swing” at Corona Arch in near Moab, Utah. While the video is incredible, I have to say I’m very much against stuff like this, though not for the saftey reasons.
Sandstone is easily eroded and I can’t help but think that this is just accelerating the eventual demise of the these incredible formations. While I don’t know as much about the erosion and formations of the arches in Utah, I have been to Red River Gorge in Kentucky many times, which is an absolutely awesome place. However, so many people either find nature as it is not good enough, or have a sufficiently sized ego that they decide to deface and vandalize the rock for a permanent sign of their visit. On so many rocks and formations, you’ll find intials, names, and the obligatory genitalia carve by someone.While rock climbers aren’t intentially defacing these objects, they undoubtedly do have an effect on accelerating erosion. With cliffs and mountains, it’s probably not much of an effect, but sticking anchors in these fragile arches is too far for me. It goes back to the “Leave no Trace” principles every good fan of the outdoors should have.
Lucky for the Corona Arch, the state doesn’t allow outfitters to run excursions for this purpose (anymore that is), but it apparently hasn’t taken to steps to ban activity like this on this specific arch. I for one would like to see them take that step.