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Poudre Canyon (420's) Access Issue: Kingpin Boulder

Original Post
Cameron Cross · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 90

Access Issue Regarding the 420’s Bouldering Area in the Poudre Canyon:

Before climbing at the 420’s bouldering area located in the Poudre Canyon, please note the following closure.

The Kingpin boulder is clearly on private property and NO climbing is allowed at this time.

Throughout the years, there has been considerable hearsay regarding the status of the boulder, despite climbers being asked to leave repeated times by the land owners. I recently contacted the owners to learn the official status of the boulder and to try to resolve the conflict between the climbing community and land owners. This message has been reviewed by the multiple land owners affected by the situation, and reflects their expressed concerns as well as the solutions we have chosen to resolve the conflict. Please also note that this forum will be viewed by the owners (and has in the past).

To begin, I would like to thank the land owners of the Kingpin boulder and adjacent properties. Despite repeated trespassing and other disrespectful activities by members of the climbing community, all of the owners were more than willing to engage in a positive dialogue to help resolve the issues at hand. Based on my interaction with them, they all seemed to be wonderful, down-to-earth people who have no aversion to climbers as a user group beyond the issues they face on their own properties.

In addition, I would like to thank all of the members of the climbing community that have come together to take the necessary steps to help resolve the issues regarding Kingpin. The removal of Kingpin from scorecards, websites, blogs and popular media was (and continues to be) an excellent step in improving the situation for both the land owners and the greater climbing community. In particular, I would like to thank Jamie E, JJ, Chip, Andy M, Seth, James H, Ethan P, DW, PR, and all the others who have responded so quickly and been pro-active in resolving immediate issues.

In respect to the issues the owners (or neighbors) have regarding the Kingpin Boulder, I have chosen to include a full list of their voiced concerns so the climbing community is fully aware of the situation they face, and so everyone is able to see what has shaped our decisions on how to effectively resolve the conflict. My primary concern with the Kingpin situation is to act in the climbing community’s long-term greater interest by resolving any conflict that might influence our ability to access the 420’s in the future. Although the climbing community would love to have access to Kingpin, even on a limited basis, there is no dialogue about opening it to use at this time based on the history of misuse by climbers and personal wishes expressed by the owners/neighbors.

The issues directly related to me by the owners/neighbors are the following:

1. Climbing represents a large liability
2. Climbers have continuously trespassed on multiple properties to try Kingpin against the known wishes of the owners
3. Campfires were repeatedly built by climbers—The area is prone to wildfire, contains ample ladder fuels, and property damage/loss is a major concern of all land owners
4. Firewood was stolen from various cabins to make campfires
5. Trash was left near the boulder and in woodpile
6. Climbers have parked on the owner’s private drive (blocking the road) in order to access the boulder directly
7. Climbers have attempted to camp below the boulder
8. The owners have been offered a variety of bribes by climbers trying to gain access to Kingpin. The owners do not welcome bribes of any sort.
9. One private outhouse was broken into, while another has been used by climbers
10. Climbers are noisy when climbing on Kingpin
11. Climbing on Kingpin is a violation of privacy and desired solitude due to the boulder’s close proximity to multiple houses
12. Climbing on Kingpin attracts a large number of unknown people within close proximity of various houses, thereby raising concerns with security

Prior to my contact with the owners, the following actions were taken to try to discourage climbers from trespassing on the Kingpin Boulder:

1. Climbers were repeatedly asked to leave by multiple owners
2. The Larimer County Sheriff was contacted and notified of the situation regarding climber trespassing
3. The Larimer County Sheriff agreed to watch the situation
4. The owner of the Kingpin boulder warned climbers that continued trespassing could result in the defacement of the Kingpin problem

We have agreed that the following actions would be most beneficial to the landowners and the climbing community’s long-term goal of maintaining unrestricted access to the greater 420’s area:

1. Climbing on the Kingpin Boulder is strictly prohibited
2. “No Climbing or Trespassing” signs will be placed on property boundaries and pending USFS approval, a sign will be placed on the main trail advising climbers of the Kingpin closure, while encouraging them to stay on the trail
3. No camping, campfires, or general use is permitted at the Kingpin Boulder
4. Climbers should respect current USFS policy on building campfires and the theft of firewood from private property owners must stop immediately
5. Climbers should refrain from using the privately owned outhouses
6. Climbers are discouraged from approaching the land owners and bribes are unwelcome
7. Violators of the closure and/or theft issues will be dealt with by local law enforcement authorities
8. Internet sites that mention the Kingpin Boulder/Problem are strongly encouraged to remove any reference of the problem. Sites that offer online guidebooks to the 420’s area should state the Kingpin closure and that trespassing will not be tolerated

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding the Kingpin boulder or 420’s access, please feel free to e-mail me personally at the following address:
Thank you,
Cameron Cross

Avery N · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 650


I'm not really a boulderer, so I don't have a vested interest in maintaining access to the Kingpin Boulder; however, I am a climber. As such, I do have an interest in how access issues are handled, as it reflects on all climbers.

I think it's great -- the devotion and personal attention you've given to this issue and working with the landowners to help meet their needs. It's very unfortunate people have been so disrespectful of the owners and their property -- that reflects poorly on all of us.

Have you contacted the Access Fund yet, regarding the specifics of this issue? Are they involved, were they involved, or could they be involved?

As the speaking body for climbers, regarding climbing access issues in the US, I would think they should be involved to ensure consistent handling of the issue, while also ensuring the appropriate steps are taken to effectively communicate to the climbing population. This may also help the land owners to know what approaches have been successful in meeting their types of needs.

If you've already looped in the Access Fund, then great!


Cameron Cross · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 90

Hey Avery,

I contacted the Access Fund before the land owners, and they were an awesome help. They have a lot of great advice and resources for situations like this.

I also chatted with Brad McLeod from the SCC. He had a plethora of wisdom regarding private property issues, as well as several solutions that have worked in the Southeast that are mutually beneficial to the landowners and climbing community.

Thanks for your response and interest even though you aren't a boulderer. I appreciate feedback from all parts of the climbing community.

Happy Climbing,

Chad Kline · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 50

Cam, very nice and detailed explanation, this lays out the desires of the land owner and what action can/should be taken by the local climbing community.

Thank you for your hard work, yet again, on another climbing initiative here in Larimer County!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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