Q & A with Greenbelt Rock Climbing Legend Charly PivertPosted by Whole Earth | 03.05.2023
Q & A with Greenbelt Rock Climbing Legend Charly Pivert
Austinite Charly Pivert is a climber and Anusara Yoga instructor who is working to prevent erosion on the Greenbelt trails and climbing walls. We thank him for taking the time to answer our questions about his work.
How long have you been working to prevent erosion in the Greenbelt? Are you working on both the trails and the climbing walls?
I started working on the Greenbelt in September 2021. Erosion prevention in the climbing area and their access trails have been my main focus.
What problems do you see there, and how are you responding to them?
With the increase in climbers' population and overall use of the Greenbelt, most areas near the climbing walls show severe signs of erosion. Tree root exposure, unstable slope, caved-in trails, and trampled vegetation can be observed. I use rocks of all size, gravel and sometimes cedar logs to create staircases, establish and reinforce existing trails and terrace slopes. A shovel, two 5 gallon buckets, and a saw are the tools of the trade.
Do you target specific areas?
I started at New Wall climbing area, and I am currently working at Gus Fruh main access point.
What inspired you to get started on this work?
In 2021 we lost three trees including a Cedar elm) right below the cave at Gus Fruh. Their roots were fully exposed from erosion and they toppled over. At that time I was mostly climbing at New Wall and started to observe the same pattern take place.
How long have you been climbing? in the Greenbelt?
I have been climbing for the past thirty years and almost twenty here on the Greenbelt.
What thoughts would you like to share with climbers and other folks who frequent the Greenbelt trails?
Barton Springs and the Greenbelt are the crown jewels of Austin. They benefit from our use and care. With access comes responsibilities such as protection, restoration, and education. Protect free access. Protection does not mean restricting access to those who can pay to get in or afford to live nearby. Restoration - start small, take charge don’t wait, do it now. Education - share the trails with others including children. Nature is the teacher, observe and enjoy.
We hear that you start your day swimming at Barton Springs. How does it prepare you for the day ahead?
Barton Springs offers such a multitude of blessings to my day. This daily immersion that blends beauty, solitude, the witness of a new day, and the fellowship of my swim buddies is such a gift.
How does your work in the Greenbelt, climbing, and swimming relate to your Yoga practice?
All of these movement awareness practices inform, support and nourish one another. I am so grateful for each of them.
And finally, perhaps the most important question for an Austinite, what is your favorite taco?
Torchy’s chicken fajitas with poblano sauce.