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The Flatirons post-flood

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Flatirons Climbing Council · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 52

From City of Boulder – Open Space and Mtn Parks:

“After historic rain and flooding that caused extensive damage to trails, trailheads and natural resources, the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) is announcing that it will open a limited number of trails in Chautauqua on Saturday, Sept. 21.

OSMP anticipates opening up more trails within the week. However, many trails in the system will require substantial rebuilding, and OSMP asks for the public’s patience as the department rebuilds and restores those trails.

Chautauqua trails that will be opened on Saturday (Sep 21) are:

A portion of Chautauqua trail.
Bluebell Road to the shelter.
Bluebell Spur
Bluebell Mesa.
A portion of the Ski Jump trail.

Trails will be opened from dusk to dawn on-trail only because of existing safety risks. Trails will be closed at night because of hazards not visible in the dark. All other OSMP trails remained closed under an emergency order.”

While this announcement doesn’t allow climbing access, it demonstrates that OSMP has been busy working on re-opening trails. The Flatirons Climbing Council will assist OSMP with organizing trail workdays to expedite the re-opening of climbing access. Please bookmark this page as we'll have more updates.

The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 460

Nice work guys, we all appreciate the long hours you've undoubtably been putting in. Is there any need for some type of trail day in the Flatirons? I'm sure there'd be no shortage of volunteers.

Flatirons Climbing Council · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 52

Additional trail openings in Mt. Sanitas area:

•Mount Sanitas
•East Ridge
•Dakota Ridge
•Goat Trail
•Sanitas Valley remains closed (except the portion needed to reach Dakota Ridge). Also, the Centennial Trailhead parking area remains closed. Visitors to Sanitas trails must walk into the trail area.

The FCC is in contact with the City Of Boulder - OSMP to schedule trailwork so we can regain climbing access. We'll need a pool of volunteers to draw from for multiple traildays. If you're interested in helping, please send an email to news@flatironsclimbing.org with 'volunteer' in the subject line and a note re: availability, e.g. weekends, weekdays. There's much work to be done. Thanks.

Ryan Watts · · Bishop, CA · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 25

Is bouldering at Mount Sanitas okay then? Or is that still off limits?

Flatirons Climbing Council · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 52

If you're referring to the trailside bouldering (most of which faces west) along the Mt Sanitas Trail, which runs in a northerly direction from Sunshine Drive, then yes, that's open for bouldering.

Mike Walley · · Louisville, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 340

When will climbing on the 1st and 3rd Flatirons be open again? Also, how about access to other climbing areas in the Flatirons? I hiked at Chautauqua on Tuesday and the trails were in bad shape with many closed and for good reason.

Anyone know about access for bouldering at Flagstaff?

A State Trooper told me this week that the road may be open in Boulder Canyon in 10-14 days up to Four Mile Canyon or even Sugarloaf. CCC will be crowded for awhile!

Flatirons Climbing Council · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 52

The North and South Fork Shanahan Trails are now open. These trails get us closer but all Flatiron climbing access remains closed. I hope to have more news later today and shall post what I learn from Open Space Mtn Parks (OSMP).

Flagstaff remains closed.

Once we get the green light we'll ask for volunteer help. The Flatirons Climbing Council and Boulder Climbing Community will call on volunteers to, quite literally, join us in the trenches!

Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 382

This is bizarre. The approach and descent to the 1st Flatiron have now reopened - see bouldercolorado.gov/pages/o… - but climbing the face is still officially off-limits. What's the rationale for that? Is OSMP concerned that the floods might have made the rock too dangerous to climb? Do they have to dispatch teams of rangers to inspect the routes before they reopen?

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 912
CJC wrote:if I had to guess I'd say maybe the difficulty/risk of getting rescuers and vehicles to an injured party and getting everyone down safely may be a factor. that's just a wild guess though. hope we're able to climb up there soon, this is prime season.
Rescue would be just as challenging if a hiker got hurt. Not sure this justifies the differential treatment.
J1 · · Lafayette, CO · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 790

Ya, can't have another group of College kids going up there right now and epic-ing 50 feet off the deck now can we... :)

TBlom · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2004 · Points: 360

So... nature must be made 'safe' for us by governmental agencies?
What a load!

Spencer Anderson · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Sep 2003 · Points: 526

What Tevis is saying makes sense to a certain extent. I can understand why the city doesn't want the million+ people that use these destroying an already destroyed trail system. On the other hand, I can't understand why keeping the "climber trails" closed makes sense. Climbing is always going to be dangerous and I'm sure we've all been on way more sketchy trails.

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

It's almost as if there is no political or monetary motivation to open them.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 912
nicelegs wrote:It's almost as if there is no political or monetary motivation to open them.
If the recreation community would finally stop voting for open space tax increases when all we ever get is less and less actually OPEN space, then maybe something would happen.
Mike Lane · · AnCapistan · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 880

"The city property most heavily damaged, according to the assessment, is open space and mountain parks. Those areas suffered an estimated $17.67 million in flooding impacts." -Daily Camera 9/26

Mind boggling. $17.67M. I don't get it.

J. Albers · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,791
Mike Lane wrote: Mind boggling. $17.67M. I don't get it.
Which is exactly why many people complain so much about how high their taxes are. News Flash: Infrastructure and services aren't cheap!!!
Spencer Anderson · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Sep 2003 · Points: 526

haha, It's funny to think that the billion people along the front range that use the flatirons would keep it from becoming a disaster area on their own. Not a black or white issue to me. I don't mind paying some taxes and tolerating some regulation to keep it the way it is. That being said, I'll happily complain about climber trails not being open unless someone can provide a compelling explanation. ("more people will hurt themselves on the unstable trails and we don't want to rescue them" is not a compelling explanation. These trails have always been unstable, that's why they're called that).

Mike Lane · · AnCapistan · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 880
J. Albers wrote: Which is exactly why many people complain so much about how high their taxes are. News Flash: Infrastructure and services aren't cheap!!!
Yeah, but its open space; not the city itself. Trails, some foot bridges, benches....
I'm interested in seeing an account of how the hell it got up to $17M.
Scott McMahon · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,425
Mike Lane wrote: Yeah, but its open space; not the city itself. Trails, some foot bridges, benches.... I'm interested in seeing an account of how the hell it got up to $17M.
Costs alot of money to have five people stand around watching one person work.
brenta · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 75

The OSMP page explains the current situation very well: business as usual.

"The lands shape the urban mosaic of the Boulder Valley and provide citizens with passive recreation opportunities. Trails are used by walkers, hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, dog walkers and other passive recreational uses."

  • Passive recreation: Take your Soma and stop whining. I'm watching TV.
  • Climbers must not be passive enough. That's why they are ignored.
  • Trails are used by uses? The thought that taxpayer money supports this kind of writing is hard to bear.
Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 883
J. Albers wrote: Which is exactly why many people complain so much about how high their taxes are. News Flash: Infrastructure and services aren't cheap!!!
News flash. Climber access trails are dirt and rock and a bit rough. After the flood, the trails are... well... dirt and rock and a bit rough. . Same as a million years ago. Give a private contractor a chance to fix them and it will be done faster, better and for less.

News flash. Inefficiencies aren't cheap.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Colorado
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