Dean Potter unter starkem Beschuss nach Besteigung des Delicate Arch in Utha

Der amerikanische Spitzenkletterer Dean Potter sieht sich derzeit harscher Kritik ausgesetzt. Der Solospezialist hatte vor kurzem den weltberühmten Delicate Arch, das Wahrzeichen des Arches National Parks in Utah, free solo bezwungen. Haken an der Sache: Das Klettern an den benannten Sandsteinbögen ist strengstens untersagt.
Manche Beobachter sehen in Deans Aktion einen reinen PR Gag, der seinen Marktwert weiter steigern soll.
Bei Dean Potters Sponsor PATAGONIA hagelte es im Anschluss massenweise Proteste. Dean selbst versteht die ganze Aufregung nicht, schließlich hätte er keine künstlichen Hilfsmittel verwendet und der Fels hätte auch keinen Schaden genommen. Wie es scheint, spitzt sich derzeit aber die Lage so zu, dass Dean schon E-Mails versendet, durch die er auf Mithilfe hofft. In dem E-Mail bittet Dean darum, PATAGONIA entweder anzurufen oder eine E-Mail zu senden, in der man sich zum einen einverstanden mit Deans Aktion zeigt und zum anderen versichert, dass man diese im Einklang mit PATAGONIAs Firmenpolitik und Naturphilosophie sieht.

E-Mail von Dean Potter:

"Dear everyone, Patagonia is being flooded with complaints by people who are saying I broke the law, hurt the environment and disrespected nature by free soloing Delicate Arch. None of those accusations are true, but people keep repeating them. It would help morale and give a balanced set of comments if they heard from people who support judgments based on fact. Here are the facts. You would be doing me and Steph a favor if you would either put this message in your own words or just copy and paste it into an email, then send it to the CEO of Patagonia: Additionally, if you have time, a phone call would be great. The free number is 1-888-344-4567 x4802. Please keep it short if you do call...."I support Dean and his climb of Delicate Arch. It"s in line with Patagonia 100%." Also, please forward this to other people you know who would send this message. The more the better, as there have been a lot of complainers. Thanks, Dean "I object to the criticism of Dean"s climb of Delicate Arch. It was not illegal. No harm was done to the rock. It is unfair and libelous to criticize Dean on the basis of inaccurate reports and unsubstantiated opinions. I respect Dean"s no impact climbing style, and I think it is completely in line with Patagonia"s strong environmental ethics. Thank you for supporting Dean." Official statement of PATAGONIA concerning Dean Potter"s climb of Delicate Arch

Patagonia ambassador Dean Potter’s May 7 free solo of Delicate Arch has generated significant controversy about the legality and appropriateness of the climb of what has been described as a national icon. We’ll be interested to follow the controversy and to listen to views of those on both sides.

A few facts are in order. First, no crime has been committed. The National Park Service has conceded that its regulations were ambiguous and that they will not cite Dean for the ascent. They have said they will seek to clarify their regulations to prevent a second try. The Park and a number of opinion leaders have argued that Delicate Arch is an icon that should not be climbed.

allimg2006/dean_potter_yosemite.jpgallimg2006/dean_potter_yosemite.jpgIt is important to note that Dean did no harm to the route or to the rock. He free-soloed the arch, placing no anchors and creating no impact beyond blowing dust off the holds. As he says, "No one reveres rocks more than me. I consider all rocks sacred, as do most climbers."

Dean, like all Patagonia ambassadors, undertakes his own climbs on his own terms. He told us about the climb afterward.

We have taken positions in the past on a number of issues of climbing ethics, including bolting. We take no position on this one. As Casey Sheahan, our CEO, notes, "From the early days in the Tetons to the rebelliousness of Yosemite’s Camp 4, every generation of climbers has had its run-ins with government regulations that attempt to restrict climber’s freedom of expression. At Patagonia we don’t control the ways our sponsored athletes conduct themselves except to encourage respect for the environment and uncommon approaches to every challenge. Dean is at the pinnacle of free solo climbing, makes decisions for himself, and has our complete support."

Patagonia, with sales last year of $240M, is noted internationally for its commitment to product quality and environmental activism. Its Environmental Grants Program has contributed over $22M to grassroots environmental activists since the program began in 1985, and its Environmental Internship Program allows employees to work for environmental groups while receiving their full paycheck.

Incorporating environmental responsibility into product development, the company has, since 1996, used only organically grown cotton in its clothing line, and is noted worldwide for using recycled soda bottles in many of its polyester fleece garments. Known for a unique corporate culture, the company has been recognized for many years by Working Mother magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers," and is a regular recipient of recognition by Fortune and Human Resources Management magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work for in America. "