Guidebook discussion with Rangers

Guidebook discussion with Rangers

Posted on 20. Dec, 2009 by in News

Sunday Fred Knapp and I drove up to the visitor center at Rocky Mountain National Park to talk about a bouldering guide with the three rangers.
I am going to share what I learned, and some of what you can expect to see in the guide.

1. The rangers are not shutting down bouldering in the Park.
2. The rangers in no way approve a stashing pads, and it will be explicitly stated in the guide from both my perspective and their perspective that this is not appropriate behavior.
3. The rangers know and have documented most of the major problems in the park with photos and GPS coordinates, to help in a rescue. Included in this notebook, which I was allowed to peruse, were photos of and popularity ratings for problems like Wildcat, Jade, Dead Raccoon and most of the other major problems in the Park. Sadly, the rangers had downrated Jade to V12.
4. Speaking of which, they had no idea that Bob Horan had written a guidebook and had never been contacted by Bob about his endeavor. They were hopeful that a new book would correct the errors in Bob’s book. They also hoped to glean accurate information from our guide that would help them in S&R, as injured climbers they saw as a potential concern, but not a reason to close bouldering there.
5. The rangers want people to come and enjoy the park. That is one of the mandates of the Park. They want people to act respectfully. They also are mandated with taking care of the place, and they want to emphasize a Leave No Trace ethic.
6.The social trails that now exist, the one to Lower Chaos which breaks off early, before the bridge, and the one that leads into Upper Chaos are considered acceptable, as long as there are no further web of trails created.
7. They are very open and enthusiastic about creating a dialogue between themselves and climbers. They were surprised at how quickly the area became popular, and are interested in doing what they can do to manage that popularity. They cannot endorse the guidebook officially, but they were very supportive of the endeavor and are going to submit a page or so of what bouldering in the Park means to them. They were very appreciative that we had approached them and thanked us profusely for doing so.

15 Responses to “Guidebook discussion with Rangers”

  1. Colorado MoJo

    21. Dec, 2009


    Thanks so much to you and Fred for taking such a proactive approach to dealing with land managers. I’d like to do a preview article about the guide at Colorado MoJo and link to this blog post. Could you email me some details about the scope and timing of the guide?

    Thanks, Dougald

  2. Andy

    21. Dec, 2009

    Y’all. You doing the right thing…keep it up

  3. Chris Webb Parsons

    21. Dec, 2009

    Hey Jamie,
    Great to here about the guide for the park,
    Me and my mate Dave just finished doing the Bouldering guide for the Grampians in Australia and its a lot of work, so i wish you all the best with it:)

  4. mike

    21. Dec, 2009

    One thing that I enjoy seeing in some guidebooks is dogs recommendations/beta, even if it’s as simple as “dogs are not allowed, leave them at home”…

  5. campusmang

    21. Dec, 2009

    mang reason for not stashing pads in The Park-

    leave no trace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111

  6. meow

    21. Dec, 2009

    dogs are not allowed in rmnp.

  7. chuffer

    21. Dec, 2009

    I’m thrilled that it went well. It sounds as if it could not have gone better. Good luck during your initial discussions with the rangers at Mount Evans. It sounds as if Cam and the Mt. Evans cleanups have laid the groundwork for – at a minimum – civil discussions with National Forest officials regarding a bouldering guide to some areas within the Mt. Evans Wilderness Area.

    I would highly recommend that you, and anyone who is interested for that matter, read about our system of Wilderness Areas, what it means to be “wilderness,” why a federally protected system of Wilderness Areas was established and the most basic elements of the Wilderness Act of 1964 (which is actually very short compared to most acts of Congress … only a handful of pages). It’s available on hundreds of websites and is fairly straighforward except for the meaning of a dozen or so terms which have been the subject of litigation.

    A couple useful links:

  8. sockhands

    21. Dec, 2009

    this is amazing, jamie… nice work!

    very glad to hear that things are getting off to such a great start.

    i’ve said it a few times already, but i would like to request that something is mentioned to the rangers regarding the attitude towards and treatment of boulderers with resepect to using the bus system.

    in the first year of the busses, drivers were very congenial and helpful to climbers.

    now, they regularly refuse climbers spots on relatively or literally empty busses because of our pads while not blinking an eye to massive external frame backpacks, stroller/diaper bag mayhem, and extended fishing rods poking folks in the eyes.

    i’m not sure if pad people have been regularly rude to bus drivers to start this strange unspoken policy of blocking access, but i needs to be addressed in order for the park to facilitate a non-stashing ethic.


  9. Brian

    21. Dec, 2009

    Jamie, it sounds like you are dealing with some good rangers. That is great to hear. Whether or not to create a guidebook is as endless a debate as grades, but bottom line, it will dramatically increase the number of visitors, so best to do it well. Good luck.

    Also, if you weren’t aware, the NPS and Access Fund signed a MOU this year. It is a quick read.

  10. bean

    21. Dec, 2009

    wait did I just read that jade is no longer v15

  11. TDOG

    22. Dec, 2009

    Likely that “They” just had written it down wrong. You know that no ranger climbed it and downgraded.

  12. B3

    22. Dec, 2009

    that was an attempt at humor.

  13. BS

    22. Dec, 2009

    Why have you not contacted Cam about any of this?
    He has done tons of work on this already with Mt Evans Rangers.
    What is the hold up?
    If your going to be thorough, you should have picked his brain before going public with any of this.

    I am confused?

  14. B3

    22. Dec, 2009

    I didn’t think that was necessary as Fred has already talked with the rangers there once, and we are scheduling a meeting with them to sit down in person.
    Ben you know I would happily talk to Cam about this, although hasn’t he moved to France already?

  15. Blake B.

    04. Jan, 2010

    well isn’t it true that two of the park rangers flashed Jade? That’s probably why they downrated it. I flashed it last year and thought it was v10 instead of 12.

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