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Eldo Status Update
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May 11, 2014
For those stuck indoors: a hopefully brief, informative summary of progress in Eldorado post-flood.
Rock Climbing Photo: Angry creek.
Angry creek.

Climbing areas:

As of today, almost all climbing access is normal - there are a few exceptions:

Shirt Tail Peak is currently closed to protect a golden eagle nest.

Access to Supremacy is a little different - park in the Rincon lot and walk across the bridge. At some point this summer, the area will close for a week or two to rebuild the road. (I did just enough road repair there to get the honeywagon in to hoover the pit toilets)

The West Ridge should be approached with caution if using the Streamside trail. The creek just seems fast this year.

In the fall, access to the Bastille will probably be restricted. More in the "roads" section below.


The big repair at the Bastille is going to take place this Fall. In the most likely scenario:
  • Most of the parking at the lower (East) end of the park will remain open.
  • Climbing on the North side of the canyon (Rotwand-Cadillac) will remain open.
  • Vehicle access to the western end of the park will be very restricted.
  • Climbing at the Bastille will be closed to keep people out of harm's way.

We'll be negotiating with the contractor to try and have improved road/Bastille access on weekends - but there's a good chance they'll want to work seven day weeks to get the job finished.

Be wary of any climbing gym rumors about Eldo. We've done everything possible to maximize climbing access during repairs and will continue to do so.

The Picnic Area:

Closed. It'll probably re-open in August.


Shameless plug: If you'd like to help with trails, this is your year. There's a lot to do.

A bunch of gnarly volunteers got a lot of the big repairs done. Some of the most notable:

Over the winter/spring, I'd bet we moved 50+ tons of material to rebuild the Streamside Trail from the bridge to the coffer dam. Yeesh.

Rock Climbing Photo: During.

Rock Climbing Photo: After.

The Eldorado Canyon Trail - we moved a LOT of material to repair the 100 yard, 2-foot deep rut that was left after the flood.

Rock Climbing Photo: Ben, rock.
Ben, rock.

Rock Climbing Photo: Almost done.
Almost done.

Rock Climbing Photo: Final product.
Final product.

The Front Range Climbing Stewards

Over the last few years, some folks have been busting butt to build a professional trail team for front range climbing access. This year, the team started working in Eldo.

So far, JB, Matt, and Ben have done some amazing work at the Roof Routes:

Rock Climbing Photo: Much improved Roof Routes trail/staging areas.
Much improved Roof Routes trail/staging areas.

Currently, the team is working on the big blowout just before the West Ridge:

Rock Climbing Photo: JB and Ben slingin' rocks.
JB and Ben slingin' rocks.

In case you're curious, we use shackles (not steel carabiners) for rigging.

The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail is still closed. The trail contractor should start work in the next month or so. They'll build a pedestrian bridge across the big blowout.

All in all, thanks to everybody

who's helped out, and thanks to the Eldo climbing population for your understanding while we get everything back in order.

Mike McHugh
Park Resource Technician
Eldorado Canyon State Park
Mike McHugh
Joined Jan 6, 2013
434 points
May 11, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: gg
Thanks, Mike. And thanks to the Front Range Climbing Stewards for the nice stone work! Gregger Man
Joined Aug 15, 2004
1,187 points
May 11, 2014
A super hooray for JB, Ben, and Matt!!!(of course, Mike too)! Steve Williams
From Denver, CO
Joined Jul 15, 2005
191 points
May 11, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: With the Golden Bullet
Thanks for all the hard work! Adam Pecan
From Moab, UT
Joined Apr 17, 2012
145 points
May 11, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: black nasty
Bump for the good work folksÂ… I have not been in Eldo for awhile. (sigh..)

In looking at those photos of moving big rocks with ropes, etc..
Could we get ClimbTech to donate some removable bolts??
Looks like you guys were putting a bolt in to help facilitate moving things in the pictures.

Cheers All !!

Joined Mar 6, 2006
1,488 points
May 11, 2014
Yeah, Cor, what's up?

We're using the Climbtech Swivel Hybrid - it's got a decent WLL. A lot safer for crew than using slings, lets us get rocks closer to the skyline to use the rigging more efficiently. (It's painful even to me how much I geek out about this stuff).

Vinny at Climbtech has been pretty helpful over the years. If he's reading, I'm sure the crew and I would take a t-shirt or something, though ;)
Mike McHugh
Joined Jan 6, 2013
434 points
May 11, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: Clark Canyon
Wow, the trails/stairs are looking good. Thanks to the trail crew for all of the heavy lifting! fossana
From leeds, ut
Joined Apr 30, 2006
12,869 points
May 11, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: sandwich time
I traveled through Boulder on my road trip a month ago and spent a bunch of great days at Eldo. Every time I went, I saw Matt, JB, and Ben hard at work at their latest project. I was as impressed by their professionalism and great attitude as by the fantastic improvements they were making to the trail - you guys are super lucky to have such a great crew hard at work on your crag!

Thanks to the crew for their work and beta, and to all the area climbers who showed me around!
From Bishop, CA
Joined Mar 3, 2013
108 points
May 20, 2014
Supremacy and environs will be closed from May 27th until June 17th. Heavy construction will be taking place on the road immediately adjacent to the "Pyramid".

If construction proceeds more rapidly than expected, we'll re-open the area ASAP.

There may be further periodic closures during the summer as needed for picnic area reconstruction.

Some climbs on the North facing slabs - in particular Quartzite Ridge through Right Wall, may be accessible during construction.

Contact the park (303 494 3943) or PM me for status and specifics.

Thanks for your patience.
Mike McHugh
Joined Jan 6, 2013
434 points
May 20, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: black nasty
Mike.. That's awesome ClimbTech is helping you(all of us) out!!

I will be back! :). Just been busy in Boulder Canyon on some new routing.
And right now I am in Taiwan! Hoping the rain stops when it when it is time to head to Long Dong for some climbing.

Holly shit, and to add to that I am staying in a hotel on the top floor (12) and just thought I was tripping !! The whole building/room just started to shake.
Earthquake!! I have felt minor ones years ago, but while on the ground, but never up so high.
That was freaky!

Joined Mar 6, 2006
1,488 points
Oct 7, 2014
Some minor updates. At this point, there are three big projects pending, and they're (mostly) in the hands of project managers and contractors.

1) The picnic area may be sorta kinda nearing completion. The project has run months over, but it's getting there. I'd say if you want to do a Thanksgiving day picnic, it might be ready.

2) Construction on the road at the Bastille is slated to begin in Spring 2015. My opinion ain't worth much, but my hunch is that they'll reconsider putting big equipment in the creek during high runoff and the project will probably get booted back to late summer or fall of 2015.

3) Rattlesnake Gulch is open again! Long story short, the bridge project planning/approval is going wayyyyyy slower than anybody expected. About three weeks ago, the park staff got tired of waiting and decided to punt and reopen the trail.

Big thanks to Eldorado Springs' Ian - he volunteered for a very long day of building and really got the project started the right way. If you're interested in some of the details, read this post or this pdf .
Mike McHugh
Joined Jan 6, 2013
434 points
Oct 7, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
Huzzah to park staff not wanting to wait any longer! The park is in good hands. Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,641 points
Oct 7, 2014
Great stuff, Mike.
Did you finish your rock wall?
Steve Williams
From Denver, CO
Joined Jul 15, 2005
191 points
Oct 7, 2014
Eldo is an amazing place and it as much because of the people, as the rocks. Robots and Dinosaurs
From boulder, co
Joined Jul 3, 2013
51 points
Oct 7, 2014
Steve Williams wrote:
Great stuff, Mike. Did you finish your rock wall?

Had to ditch the wall for a while to build RG stairs. Finally get to get back at it this week...

Rock Climbing Photo: Wall.
Mike McHugh
Joined Jan 6, 2013
434 points
Oct 8, 2014
Nice work, Mike!
I was up in Yellowstone a couple of weeks ago and got a picture or
two of a wall they're building near Tower Junction.
Once I get them uploaded I'll share. . .
Thanks for the pics!
Steve Williams
From Denver, CO
Joined Jul 15, 2005
191 points
Oct 9, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: getting ready for the creek
AMAZING work! Well Done! Matt Pierce
From Denver, CO
Joined May 11, 2010
291 points
Oct 9, 2014
I walked by that wall a few days ago, amazing work, really beautiful Mike. Mark Hammond
From Eldorado Springs, CO
Joined Oct 17, 2006
187 points
Oct 10, 2014
Rock Climbing Photo: who did name you?
Your work and the work you help coordinate is stellar. Thank you all for helping fix Eldo. Eliot Augusto
From Boulder, CO
Joined Dec 29, 2013
78 points
Oct 11, 2014
Awsome work on the new trail between darkness till dawn and disappearing act. Wow, it's hard to imagine moving those rocks. Beautiful job fitting them together. Thank you for sacrificing some of your lower back for current and future climbers. climberz
Joined Apr 27, 2007
115 points
Feb 19, 2015
Some kinda interesting developments:

Lafayette water will begin reconstructing the coffer dam just upstream of their sand trap (it's the big concrete structure beneath NED (Nothing Except Dynamics)). They'll start by building a road down to the creek from the main canyon road, just west of The Bastille. They'll break ground in the next week or so.

The oh-so-moderately bad news is that there will be some traffic control on the road. It sounds like they're going to work mostly weekdays, but may do some weekends if there's a time crunch. Be prepared for delays if you're going up to the west end of the canyon (Rincon, Cadillac, and such).

The mildly good news is that the temporary road down to the creek might make the reconstruction of the road at the Bastille quicker and easier.

As a side note - with the freakish freeze/thaw this winter, the road has been super-dicey. We're plowing/sanding thoroughly - *but* please drive cautiously, use 4WD/AWD, put on some decent tires, or just park in the main lot and hike if your vehicle isn't up to spec. This happened yesterday (driver totally okay - I woulda soiled my panties, personally)

Rock Climbing Photo: One very lucky dude.
One very lucky dude.

Keep your stick on the ice,

Mike McHugh
Park Maintenance Hombre
Eldorado Canyon State Park
Mike McHugh
Joined Jan 6, 2013
434 points

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