Mountain Project Logo

Issues at Rifle


Original Post
Andrew Bisharat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 10

Hi

The Rifle Climbers Coalition has been working closely with the Town of Rifle to help keep the park clean, safe and running smoothly. The town has expressed a few issues that they've had with climbers, and I'm trying to get the word out.

There are city ordinances against all of these problems, and the town is looking into ways that park officials can gain the power to dole out fines. Please be aware of these issues and avoid them.

1. Climbers at Project Wall standing in the road. Don't stand or sit in the road!

2. Public urinating. Go pee in the port-a-potties. An offense for urinating, especially into the creek, would get you registered as a sex offender!

3. Camping issues: People are camping in day-use areas. Don't camp anywhere but in designated camp sites. People are also leaving their camping gear in camp sites, and not paying for their sites. The town can confiscate your belongings, and classify you as trespassing.

4. Not paying for day use. Please paythe $5 entrance fee, or better yet, buy an annual pass. We're trying to get annual passes to be sold at the Rendez-SPEW on Saturday at the Feline parking lot to make it easy for everyone to get one.

5. Dogs. Dogs running free is illegal. Please always keep your dog on a leash, even if your dog is well behaved.

They have mentioned other issues, but these are the big ones. Thanks for helping to get the word out. Good behavior is essential to keeping climbing access open in Rifle.

Also, this weekend is the Rifle Clean up: the "Rifle RendezSPEW" ... We're also trying to raise money to help us open the front half of the canyon, which is on public land but currently closed due to rules in place by the Department of Wildlife. Currently, we owe an extra $800 for a bird study we commissioned. We will be using this report when we approach the DOW with a proposal that will allow climbing to exist in areas where there are no eagle nests. We're collection donations for this, as well as for hardware replacements, etc. Any extra donations will be appreciated. Thank you.

AB

Ben Walburn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 670

Info received, Thank you.
In the event that rifle police feel it necessary to issue citations for any of these issues I would like to call attention to a large concern for all user groups. The speed at which traffic drives through that canyon. I see people from all user groups driving way to fast. In particular, the ranchers seem to have an entitled, bull dog attitude driving around blind corners in the middle of the road sometimes in excess of 25 mph while hauling large trailers. I have had to ditch my truck to avoid an accident more than once. What is it going to take to see the speed limit enforced a flat bicycle and a dead child? Maybe speed bumps should be installed in the canyon, at the project wall if nowhere else.

Respectfully, my 2 cents

JPVallone · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 195

Thanks for posting this, It's a sad reality that Climbers of all user groups need to be reminded of this .

Lets raise the bar and not be the perceived dirtballs that we are,

Andrew Bisharat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 10

Ben

I completely agree.

We will be meeting with Park officials. They will voice their concerns, and I am planning on taking the opportunity to mention ours. I will definitely bring this up that speed is definitely an issue through the canyon. I will also be reminding them that, even though there are things that climbers are doing wrong (standing in the road, peeing etc.), as a whole we're a pretty good user group--and not to lose sight of that because of a few bad apple incidents.

Anyway, it's good for all parties to be aware of the good and bad, and try their best to adhere to the rules.

OK, thanks for helping to get this word out. I think a lot of this is going to come down to climbers policing each other. If you see your buddy doing something out of line, please let them know in a polite way.

Thanks!
AB

ZachS00 · · Denver, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 15

Just an FYI: HB 10-1334 relaxed the public indecency law for public urinators; you won't necessarily get registered.

Let's elevate the public urination discussions to the factual level. Also, use the Johns as Andrew suggests.

ralphy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2011 · Points: 30

Can you imagine the mind of the person who decided that urinating in public should be a life changing experience that you should never recover from? When I put that in the context of human history all I can say is, WOW. Glad we cleared that one up.

AB, could you mention that if toilets were put closer to where people climb a lot (project, skull, aresenal) there would be less public urination. Perhaps we could move toilets from one location or add more, but a couple of areas have toilets more than 5 minutes away and I just don't see people taking that walk right before their proj.

Another issue. I paid twice this summer and was accused of not paying by the couple patrolling the park. I know that someone with a key to the box stole my cash, for I saw it go into the tube, and I had no problem paying the fee. I had paid for a week of camping which was almost 50 bucks in cash. I also know of another couple who was accused of the same thing who swore they paid as well. This to me says that someone in their system is stealing campers cash and then blaming climbers for stealing. I am not saying this is not an issue, I am just saying that there is more to it than the hosts are telling their bosses.

Thanks for the info, keep up the good work.

Ben Walburn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 670

Mike's experience with the hosts...
I have heard several accounts from friends that had "talks" with the host this year. The Hosts that were there for June/July apparently don't like climbers, supported by quotes like "..all you climbers are the same" in regards to being a nuisance. At the very least they are inconsistent with their predecessors of the last two decades. This attitude struck me off guard as I was under the impression that we have a good relationship with the city.

Mike Anderson · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Nov 2004 · Points: 3,130

AB, any idea how much revenue that park generates for the city from climbers? The day use fees and camping permits should be pretty easy to calculate, other expenditures less-so.

The AF should be commisioning grad students to do these kinds of studies....

James Glover · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 5

Well, it seems simple enough :

1) Pay for using the park, it is Rifle's park
2) Follow the rules

As for climber's not willing to walk 5 minutes to a port-a-pottie?
How lazy are we? The canyon is small and it really sounds lame on our part to say 5 minutes is too far to walk. We could be asked to walk all the way back to the campground toilet if the port-a-potties weren't made available by the city. Face it, if you rest between burns (20 to 45 minutes) on your project you have plenty of time to make the round trip to a port a pottie. Even if you don't rest I still say you have no cause to complain.

Andrew, as for climbers in the road at Project Wall : lots of climbers, limited space out of the road. Is there any flexibility to clearing a small spot on the opposite side of the creek?

ralphy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2011 · Points: 30
James Glover wrote: As for climber's not willing to walk 5 minutes to a port-a-pottie? How lazy are we? The canyon is small and it really sounds lame on our part to say 5 minutes is too far to walk. We could be asked to walk all the way back to the campground toilet if the port-a-potties weren't made available by the city. Face it, if you rest between burns (20 to 45 minutes) on your project you have plenty of time to make the round trip to a port a pottie. Even if you don't rest I still say you have no cause to complain.
It's not about climbers being too lazy, complaining, or saying they are unwilling to use port-a-potties, what I suggested was a way to make the system work better for everyone involved. The better the system works, the easier it is to use it, the more we can all get along. I agree that it sounds lame the way you stated it, but I want improve the situation, not to simply pontificate about what already is and call people names. It might not be possible, it might not happen, but what is the hesitation to improving the system? There are jon's that get used more than others and they move around once in a while anyway. Perhaps moving a porta jon nearer the aresenal, skull, or project is indeed possible. We don't know if this is possible until we ask, so why resist the idea prematurely? This issue was obcviously creating a problem for someone, so what is it about making the system better that is so offensive to you?
Yarp · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 0

Walking 10 minutes to drop the kids off at the pool doesn't sound too bad to avoid leaving shit and TP all over the place but your telling me they want me to run to the porta john every time I gotta take a wiz?

Nah. If I ever climb at Rifle there is no way I'd walk 10 minutes to take a piss if I could just step behind a bush. Don't really care what the city wants. I wouldn't whip it out in the middle of a crowd but someone telling me I can't piss outside behind a tree when no one is around is really wasting their breath.

James Glover · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 5
Mike R. wrote: It's not about climbers being too lazy, complaining, or saying they are unwilling to use port-a-potties, what I suggested was a way to make the system work better for everyone involved. The better the system works, the easier it is to use it, the more we can all get along. I agree that it sounds lame the way you stated it, but I want improve the situation, not to simply pontificate about what already is and call people names. It might not be possible, it might not happen, but what is the hesitation to improving the system? There are jon's that get used more than others and they move around once in a while anyway. Perhaps moving a porta jon nearer the aresenal, skull, or project is indeed possible. We don't know if this is possible until we ask, so why resist the idea prematurely? This issue was obcviously creating a problem for someone, so what is it about making the system better that is so offensive to you?
Mike, I'm not taking offense to trying to improve the situation. I am putting myself in the city's shoes so to speak and imagining how they will react to the suggestion. An assumption obviously, but I can easily see that they might feel they have enough port a potties for the canyon as is (despite them not being serviced enough) and will see it as an additional expense (money/city employee time). If they do feel that way then climbers as a user group will be viewed negatively, which I think we all agree want to avoid. Otherwise, if the situation can be improved I am for it.

Yarp, while I tend to agree with your sentiment, it's their park, their rules and the 'I don't care what the city wants' attitude is part of the problem. Whether urinating behind bushes, camping in day use areas, [insert other violation here], choosing to use Rifle Mountain Park while ignoring the few rules the city of Rifle has does not reflect well on climbers as a user group.
Yarp · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 0

James, as I implied in my post, I haven't climbed at Rifle but I don't really care how big of a fine the city says they would levy against me. That fine would have to stand up to the scrutiny of a judge (who probably knows a little more about the constitution than a group of city bureaucrats) because there is no way I would pay it without a fight.

Camping in a day use area is one thing and I would respect that rule as well as most of the other ones, but telling me I can't take a piss outside even if I have a reasonable expectation of privacy? How about if I hide my unmentionables with a rope bag while pissing in a milk jug that I pack out at the end of the day? Would this be OK in Rifle or do I have to piss in their designated hole regardless of where I'm at in the canyon?

I can understand that you don't want people pissing at the base of routes and such but If I can find a spot that gives me at least a modicum of privacy I'm gonna let 'er whiz no matter the city ordinances and I'd encourage others to do the same. Porta potties are for people who need to shit or for those among us that lack a penis and can't bear to squat in the dust.

James Glover · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 5
Yarp wrote:James, as I implied in my post, I haven't climbed at Rifle but I don't really care how big of a fine the city says they would levy against me. That fine would have to stand up to the scrutiny of a judge (who probably knows a little more about the constitution than a group of city bureaucrats) because there is no way I would pay it without a fight. Camping in a day use area is one thing and I would respect that rule as well as most of the other ones, but telling me I can't take a piss outside even if I have a reasonable expectation of privacy? How about if I hide my unmentionables with a rope bag while pissing in a milk jug that I pack out at the end of the day? Would this be OK in Rifle or do I have to piss in their designated hole regardless of where I'm at in the canyon? I can understand that you don't want people pissing at the base of routes and such but If I can find a spot that gives me at least a modicum of privacy I'm gonna let 'er whiz no matter the city ordinances and I'd encourage others to do the same. Porta potties are for people who need to shit or for those among us that lack a penis and can't bear to squat in the dust.
I did understand your post, and like I said I tend to agree. I don't care about a fine for any single violation, I care about climbing access. Repeat: their park, their rules. I choose to climb there and want to continue climbing there, I'll follow their rules. Regardless of how either of us feel about whizzing on a bush, not following the few simple rules the park has shows poor judgement and does, if only slightly, risk access to the park, the entire point of this thread.

Edited for typo.
Mr.Bun · · Bailey, CO · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 25
James Glover wrote:As for climber's not willing to walk 5 minutes to a port-a-pottie? How lazy are we? The canyon is small and it really sounds lame on our part to say 5 minutes is too far to walk.
You're talking sport climbing here... A 5 minute walk starts getting into the whole concept of alpine climbing. :)
D-Storm · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 295

Given the choice between pissing outside or in a port-o, I go outside, partly out of courtesy for the ladies and others who really need the port-o-s. If fewer guys are pissing in 'em, they don't fill up as fast and they're generally cleaner (because no matter how good a guy's aim is, piss is going to splatter at least a little bit unless he's sitting down). If every single person in the canyon starts voiding in the port-o-s, those things will need to be serviced twice as much.

Ben Walburn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 670

Andrew,
What kind of standing are we in with the City of Rifle? It would be news to me if there was an overall negative association.

wankel7 · · Indiana · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 10
antagonist69 wrote: Obviously it is and I believe that is what Mike was talking about, the assumption you made that prevents any progress from being had. No, it's not "their" park. It's a park that was made for citizens of the United States. It was given to the town of Rifle by the federal government to create a place for recreation. Given the political climate, the place needs to pay for its self. The only way that park is going to pay for its self is through dedicated users. Who do you think the dedicated users are? Public land is ours, not "theirs". This attitude does us all a disservice due to the fact that it is incorrect, it chips away at the rights we all possess, and it tends to reinforce the idea that it is not us who are in charge of our government but our government who is in charge of us. Your supporting the idea of Thomas Hobbs who said our government is supposed to protect us from ourselves. Our country was based on the ideas of John Locke who said our country should serve the people. I really wish people would pay more attention in high-school.
It sounds like if the city doesnt like the negative things happening they can shut down the climbing. Not the area to other users...just climbers.

Play by their rules or folks might have to go build their own canyon
Andrew Bisharat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 10

I agree that the pissing thing seems a little absurd ... It actually seems environmentally better to piss in the dirt and let the ground filter it than to put it into a waste water treatment facility, where they skim off the "water" on top and put that back into our water systems anyway ... Maybe just stop waving your Johnsons (and 'Ginas) at the City officials!

Anyway, the city and climbers are still on good terms, but they have communicated issues that they have had with climbers to us, and it is my job to pass on their words to you. We will be meeting with them tomorrow to hash out some of the issues, and I plan on taking that opportunity to remind them what a good user group climbers are, in general.

I think the big thing is standing in the road at the project wall and dogs off leashes running in the roads. It's one thing to stand on the sides, or sit on the bridge--it's another thing to set up camping chairs essentially in the lanes where people drive.

One of the clean up projects for tomorrow is to fortify and perhaps even widen the retaining wall beneath the PW warmups. ...

That said, drivers also go way too fast through that corridor...

ralphy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2011 · Points: 30

Thanks Andrew, I know that "we" appreciate it. Good luck.

Ben Walburn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 670

Hey Andrew, how did that meeting with the city go?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "Issues at Rifle"
in the General Climbing

Log In to Reply