Guidebook Update

Posted on 03. Mar, 2010 by in News

Monday Fred Knapp and I drove to Idaho Springs to meet with a ranger from Mt. Evans Wilderness to discuss the possibility of a guidebook. The ranger was open, honest, friendly and sincere. Here are the highlights from our discussion.
He was very excited that we had taken the time to meet with him and discuss the guide, its potential impacts, and what we hoped to achieve with it. He was very supportive of our endeavor to write a guide, and was very supportive of bouldering as an activity.

-His primary concerns were:
A) He does not want to see any stashed pads or litter at the boulders.
B) He does not want to climbers to cut down trees to make room for new problems.
C) He encourages climbers to not use the road, but to do the hike in, as to minimize conflict.
D) “If climbers do a few simple things to treat the area with respect, I see bouldering at Mt. Evans as a win win situation.”
E) He felt the trails that existed now were acceptable, but that we should keep the impact on the those trails
F) He was definitely aware if the negative impact of the Horan guide and the subsequent uproar, and felt that a well written guide could go a long way to correcting the mistakes.

He was in fact a climber himself and was even impressed at the difficulty of some of the problems. He couldn’t have been more friendly and reasonable. We spent 10 minutes or so sharing our love for the work of Edward Abbey. It looks like Areas A and B will be included in the book, and C,D, E, The Aerials, and Lincoln Lake will be left out, due to access concerns.

4 Responses to “Guidebook Update”

  1. chuffer

    03. Mar, 2010

    Very nice. Glad you developed a good rapport with the wilderness ranger. Good work Jamie and Fred and good luck going forward!

    A few comments about his concerns (A-F):
    A. Hopefully, this problem has been resolved due to our heated discussions and the disappearance of stashed pads in seasons gone by.
    B. Cutting down trees has not really ever been a problem that I’m aware of. Trails were blazed through the scrub willows early on, but these merely need to be maintained to allow passage through them.
    C. This situation has improved, but we – as a user group – can do better. Respect the landowner’s privacy and desire for solitude. We all know the loopole for Clear Creek County residents and the City of Idaho Springs … it doesn’t mean we have to have a key to the gate. What’s wrong with walking 3 or 4 miles in to warm up and improve our fitness once or twice a week?
    D. That’s positive!, although I’m not sure what the “few simple things” are. I guess he’s talking about the concerns voiced in A-C, E and F.
    E. Keeping the impacts to existing trails is difficult, but all visitors can do their part by staying on existing social trails as much as possible. Overhead topos of existing and preferred social trails should be provided in the guide. In addition, it’s largely up to the regulars. Instead of all of us going around that puddle in the middle of the trail and inevitably widening the trail or creating a new one, we need to spend a few minutes figuring out a way to divert the water away from the trail or across the trail.
    F. Damn, that’s positive stuff JE! Now, it’s your job to educate the masses about proper wilderness etiquette at and around the boulders. This includes bouldering ethics as well as other backcountry behavior. Strongly encouraging folks to not camp in the middle of or on top of the boulders. If an overnight trip is planned, camp a few minutes away and not on the main trail where hikers, rangers, etc. can see you in the morning.

    Just my 2 cents – chipper

  2. sweatpants

    04. Mar, 2010

    I read ur post about how nobody posted anything here (except for my responsible, gossip free friend chipper) and felt guilty. I think it’s a great thing what you are doing with the guidebook Jamie! Though I don’t get out there like I used to, it makes me happy to know that you’re helping secure access to these areas that provided me with such great times. Thank you for all your hard work buddy.

    John Freaney

  3. Andy

    05. Mar, 2010

    Glad to hear and I am looking forward to it.

    However my concern is leaving the boulders at: C,D, E, The Aerials, and Lincoln Lake out may cause even more problems.

    People know that these areas exist and once they get comfortable with Areas A/B they will most likely want to explore these other areas. Without them detailed in the guidebook the potential for more social trails, more people wandering around loss, etc continues to increase.

    At minimum I would expect topos of those areas with disclaimers on why they are not included.

    Or hopefully you can come to some consensus on what is the proper access for those areas with the rangers (even if it is not the best/most popular route today) and include the detailed topos even if you do not include specific problem info.

    It just feels that if those areas are left out, people are still going to make the trek to those areas (using their own access methods) and could probably create more issues in the future.

    Anyways just my 2 cents.

  4. B3

    05. Mar, 2010

    Andy, the ranger was explicit about not including those areas in the guidebook. Since he is the one enforcing the rules, and even allowing this guidebook to come to fruition, those areas will be left out. In the end it is his call. He wanted to keep traffic down at those areas and keep a wilderness feel to them.

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