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Stashed Crash Pads in RMNP

Original Post
CDB Solar · · CO · Joined Jun 2005 · Points: 0

Hey all, I was wondering if i could get a few opinions on how other climbers/boulderers feel about stashed crash pads up in the park. Last summer I went bouldering at Emerald Lake and came across some pads that had been left. At first I thought that I would come across the owners of the pads and that they were not actually abandoned. Later in the day I was told by other climbers that people stash them so that they don't have to carry so many in each time. I think this is pretty lame. I also seem to remember that the NPS was none to thrilled with the idea as well, and that they view the pads as trash.
Last Sunday I went bouldering in Chaos Canyon for the first time. I was by myself and tagged along with some other climbers I met who new the area. This area is great and there was no shortage of climbers utilizing it. My problem is that I still saw a lot of stashed pads. This bothers me because I don't really see any reason for it. Not only is it in my opinion unnecessary to leave pads behind but it threatens future access to this area. The group I was with was ten people and we had nine crash pads. More than enough to make even the worst landings in the canyon relatively safe.
I will be heading up there again on Sunday and am thinking about removing as many of the stashed pads as I can carry. I'd like to make it known that I don't need these pads and am not trying to piss people off I just worry that we, as climbers, are not respecting The Park. I'd love to here from the climbing community on this, and if it seems like I'm in the wrong I won't do anything.


Tom T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 105

I think that stashed crash pads are completely lame. I don't mean to launch any sort of personal attack on people i don't know, but personally i think leaving trash in the park is pretty bad. RMNP is a beautiful place that deserves a "leave no trace" mentality. I would never leave a bunch of cams (or any other equipment)at the bottom of a climb and expect them to be there the next day. I say you remove as many as you can and sell them on e-bay/craigs list; donating the proceeds to the access fund.

James Beissel · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 915

You might head over to as there is already a lengthy discussion going on.

I don't consider myself a boulderer, but I think stashing pads in RMNP is poor form.

John Hegyes · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2002 · Points: 5,625
Tom Tresslar wrote:I would never leave a bunch of cams (or any other equipment)at the bottom of a climb and expect them to be there the next day.
I cached my rope and rack overnight near the base of Tahquitz Rock recently. The Tahquitz approach is not the worst in the world, but I'd hate to do it five days in a row with all my gear on my back. Just curious, do you really think that is the wrong thing to do?

I get the point about leaving crashpads, that's pretty trashy, but, hey, I'm no boulderer either so I'm not real sympathetic with their situation.
Tom T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 105
John Hegyes wrote: I cached my rope and rack overnight near the base of Tahquitz Rock recently. Just curious, do you really think that is the wrong thing to do? I get the point about leaving crashpads, but, hey, I'm not a boulderer so I'm not real sympathetic with that situation.
Sorry John, i guess i fired off a response too quick. I don't think there is anything wrong with what you described. Stashing some gear that you plan to use and take home with you the next day is different because of your intent to remove them after use. Leaving crash pads in a pristine place like the park, just so you don't have to carry it next weekend is something i disagree with. I mentioned leaving gear out in the open because i don't think these people should be surprised if there pads aren't there after several weeks.
Chris Florian · · Boulder, Co · Joined May 2007 · Points: 5

I agree that leaving pads at the base of the boulders is completely lame. It is disrespectfull to all the other people that use the area as well as climbers like me who climb in the high country for a pristine experience. Leaving pads at the base of boulders because you don't want to carry them is just like leaving a toprope up so you don't have to lead the climb everytime you want to do it. If you can't handle the approach don't do the climb. Sketchy landings are part of bouldering, if you don't want to deal with them then climb in the gym.

J. Thompson · · denver, co · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,425

I can't believe people actually do that!! It's a freaking wilderness area!!!
The bouldering fad has already done enough damage to the fragile alpine environment...but to leave a crash pad because they don't want to carry it? What do they weigh...10 pounds?

I'm actually tempted to hike up there and start disposing!


JP.8d · · Menlo Park, CA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 45

I have heard recent reports of many pro's (sponsored climbers) hiking up to Chaos with nothing on their backs. Does this mean that some elite climbers are stashing pads? If this is the case, it is unfortunate that those in the spotlight are not doing their part to keep the area pristine. One of the problems with stashed pads occurs when a marmot chews them up, leaving a mess. I know many that boulder at Chaos and all of them carry pads up and down. Are the pads really that heavy? Is it the continuing trend of our lazy society creeping into the climbing community? Does carrying a pad up only allow you to pinch V11 instead of V12? I feel the climbing/bouldering community could agree that these pads be removed COMPLETELY. The alternative may be NPS involvement. Let's not let a lazy few spoil what some have worked so hard to establish.

Gregory Schrodt · · Lyons, CO · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 65

Pack it in... pack it out... This is how we roll in Colorado. If anyone needs a free crash pad I guess we all know where they are now. It's sad to go to such a beautiful place and see a bunch of stashed gear. Hiking with weight only makes you stronger, quit being a bunch of pussies and leave with what you brought...

Daniel Crescenzo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 25

Two ways to go about it:
Claim them in the name of making the park a more beautiful place.
Pour salt water on them and let the marmot feast commence

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,430

Hey guys, those are fixed pads and are there for someones project. Probably something too hard for you to climb, so leave them there, they aren't booty. No one bailed off those pads.

B Gilmore · · AZ · Joined Nov 2005 · Points: 1,250

I heard this story from an old-timer, some non climber partiers in Camp 4 were sleeping in post all-nighter and some annoyed climbers drained the oil from Tuna in Oil all over their tents etc. Apparently they woke to a massive raccoon and bear infestation... bet that'd do a number on those pads!

Buff Johnson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 1,145

okay, "fixed pads" ??

Scott Edlin · · boulder, co · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 155

there are so many things wrong with this, I don't know where to start. maybe the Code of Federal Regulations will do:…

[CITE: 36CFR2.22]
Sec. 2.22 Property.
(a) The following are prohibited:
(1) Abandoning property.
(2) Leaving property unattended for longer than 24 hours, except in locations where longer time periods have been designated or in
accordance with conditions established by the superintendent.
(3) Failing to turn in found property to the superintendent as soon as practicable.
(b) Impoundment of property. (1) Property determined to be left
unattended in excess of an allowed period of time may be impounded by
the superintendent.

Jeff Bevan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2000 · Points: 10

"Fixed Pads" ??????? What part of this is just plain ludicrous or am I way to Old's Cool. Get them the f**** out of the park. End of Discussion in my book.

Allen Hill · · FIve Points, Colorado and Pine · Joined Jun 2004 · Points: 1,410

What's really despicable about this sort of thing is the short sightedness of these jokers. Plus when the Park service shuts down an area due to over use, it's shut down to everyone not just jive talking boulders. I have some fond memories of upper Chaos as a kid, fact is nobody went up there at all except Hallet climbers foolish enough to try that descent....

Naomi Guy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 25

I think it's really sad, while access issues are so fragile there are still those who insist on leaving their pads at Chaos Canyon & Mt Evans. They try to compare pad stashing to leaving fixed ropes & quick draws on routes. Check out the recent posts on

I took a hike to Mt Evans recently & found stashed pads. I am not totally sure how many as there was a lot of chewed up cordura & blue foam chunks that rodents had chewed, from a larger piece of foam, blowing about all over the grass & in the bushes. I guess I'm reluctant to say exactly how many pads I saw as it's shameful.

Pack it out, thats all I have to say. I used to Boulder regularly in Chaos Canyon 6 years ago, I remember seeing a pad. People are just plain lazy. These boulderers are fit enough to hike up several times a week & write all about it on their blogs. I went up 2 years ago & couldn't believe the trash & many new trails, severe erosion & stashed pads. In 2005 2 friends of mine tried to organise a 'Clean Up' of rotten pads from RMNP. They recieved so much slander & anonymous threats they wondered why even try to do some thing positive. Quite sad really. Most pad stashers are kids who need educating. Most boulderers think it is wrong to stash pads. I'm just wondering how long before they ban bouldering in the park, or wilderness areas like Mt Evans.

John J. Glime · · Cottonwood Heights, UT · Joined Aug 2002 · Points: 1,165

I would like to preface by saying that I hate bouldering, and the Bouldering Issue in the mags turns my stomach. That said, when "alpine" climbers in Yosemite backcountry, Winds, Lone Peak Cirque, base of the Diamond (the list could go on and on) stash gear (sometimes for a few days, sometimes for the summer), it is not a problem. In fact, it is almost given the "Dude, right on. Your smart" attitude. At the very least, I have never heard anyone really complain about it before, using environmental and access reasons and such. So what bothers you about the pads? Are they just lying all over the park in plain sight? Are they hidden under boulder overhangs?

I can see both sides of the argument. I don't feel strongly one way or the other. I just find it humorous that this has been a technique used in the backcountry by roped climbers for decades, but now everyones pantys get all in a bunch?

Naomi Guy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 25

Nobodys panties are in a bunch. Crashpads get chewed up by rodents & make a mess in wilderness areas. They have foam in them & rodents like to make nests, THAT is the problem. Having stashed packs myself I know they fit into a smaller hole or crevice than a large crashpad. Rodents generally don't like chewing on ones rack.

Lee Smith · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2003 · Points: 1,545
caughtinside wrote:Hey guys, those are fixed pads and are there for someones project. Probably something too hard for you to climb, so leave them there, they aren't booty. No one bailed off those pads.
You are so in the minority that either you are trolling or really incredibly misinformed--dare I say ignorant?

I would take exception to stashed gear of ANY sort in wilderness areas (or even the local crag). Crash pads are exceptionally intrusive. A pack full of project gear is also intrusive. Don't be lazy. Pack it in and pack it out.
Daniel Crescenzo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 25

Allright cacheing gear is something that Is good or bad depending on the context. If you are stashing your trad rack under a rock @ the diamond (or anywhere for that matter) b/c you frequent the place there really isn't an issue, chances are that it is out of sight (unless you are wealthy enough to replace a trad rack on a dime)and precautions have been taken to keep the critters from turning your slings into confetti. A giant piece of foam, cordura, and microfleece is another story. Firstly, anyone who has encountered a marmot knows that the creature is not vicious enough to cut off your johnson, but it will chew anything that is salty into little pieces. Secondly, it takes a big rock to hide a bouldering pad, so chances are they are not well hidden. Dude, you paid money for that thing, why are you gonna just leave it out for the taking? As we have read the laws on pack in pack out we all know there are exceptions to the rule. I say out of sight, out of mind so long as it isn't refuse. Personally I value what little gear I have accumulated far too much to just leave it somewhere. I personally could give a shit about someone stashing their gear at a crag as long as I can't see it or find it. I would be stoked to find it though, they say it's good to have a lot of duplicate cams @ Indian Creek and I already have my plans to go there in the fall.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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