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Racism In Rock Climbing On This West Virginia Morning

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On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about racism found somewhere you may not expect – rock climbing. We explore the history of some racist and offensive language used for route names, and the debate over whether to change them.

A new federal rule is changing the process for citizens to file complaints about polluting coal mining operations. As Brittany Patterson reports, Ohio Valley environmental groups fear the changes weaken their ability to protect communities and the environment.

Here in West Virginia, the New River Gorge boasts some of the best climbing anywhere. For decades, it has attracted climbers from all over the world, who come to West Virginia and create new climbing routes. As the first people to climb these routes — the “first ascensionists” in climber lingo — these pioneers have the privilege of naming the routes. Over the last few months, climbers asked the New River Alliance of Climbers to change some route names to get rid of racist and offensive language. Reporter Zack Harold went down to the Gorge last month to find out more.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

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