Scrambling ticket at GoG


Original Post
Mark Ra · · Frange, CO · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
SimonMooncalf00 wrote:"So, today I was found guilty for Scrambling in "The Garden of the Gods" in Colorado Springs. What happened? I was at the "Snake Pits" bouldering. I followed a hiking trail across the street to "Kindergarten Rock" where I was stopped by a police officer. I was rude to him and he wrote me a ticket for Scrambling. I wasn't even on the rock. I went into court today and provided the Judge with a definition of Scrambling and Bouldering as defined by the information provided on the Climbing Permit. The Prosecutor argued that the Rock Formation actually goes underground, so even though I was only on the trail leading to the rock, I was actually 60 feet from the valley floor. I feel like I was railroaded. Is there anything I can do about this or anyone who can help? How can you possibly be found guilty for Scrambling when you're on a trail leading to a rock and not even actually on a rock?"
https://www.reddit.com/r/climbing/comments/59ssjl/what_is_scrambling/

Not my story, just saw this on reddit and thought it might be interesting to discuss here. I'm familiar with the scrambling ban but not familiar with the exact area described by the OP. Anyone know about the trail vs. floor discrepancy?
steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 105
SimonMooncalf00 wrote: the Rock Formation actually goes underground, so even though I was only on the trail leading to the rock, I was actually 60 feet from the valley floor
That is such an incredibly bizarre stretch of logic.
curt86iroc · · Golden, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 63

maybe not be a douche to the officer...

steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 105
curt86iroc wrote:maybe not be a douche to the officer...
100% agree, but the consequence shouldn't be a fabricated ticket if you do
Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,752

Prob not the whole story... what judge would rule that walking on the designated trail is somehow scrambling in an undesignated area?

curt86iroc · · Golden, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 63
steverett wrote: 100% agree, but the consequence shouldn't be a fabricated ticket if you do
usually in situations like this, there is always more to the story that the OP isnt telling...
steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 105
Morgan Patterson wrote:Prob not the whole story... what judge would rule that walking on the designated trail is somehow scrambling in an undesignated area?
One who is tired of listening to some obnoxious smartass kid with no lawyer, so he goes along w/the prosecutor, and moves on to the next case?

One side is never the whole story, but this sounds like the cop/prosecutor were making it up as they went along.
the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Does not pass smell test. He states that he had to interview with probation, & that placement on probation is likely. That constitutes loss of liberty, which means that he is entitled to counsel at no cost (public defender). Also, is this a misdemeanor or an infraction? If the latter, then probation should not even be on the table.

steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 105
the schmuck wrote:Does not pass smell test. He states that he had to interview with probation, & that placement on probation is likely. That constitutes loss of liberty, which means that he is entitled to counsel at no cost (public defender). Also, is this a misdemeanor or an infraction? If the latter, then probation should not even be on the table.
Yes, that seems odd. Penalty is up to $500 fine according to the parks page.

1. The failure of any climber to abide by the rules promulgated in Section 1 above shall be subject, upon conviction, to a maximum five hundred dollar ($500.00) fine, loss of climbing privileges for twelve (12) months, or both.

On the other hand, the code has this definition of "scrambling" (which differs from that on the permit page):

B. Rock Climbing:
1. Rock Scrambling: Climbing on a rock formation more than ten feet (10') above the valley floor or base of the rock formation without using proper equipment.

That "valley floor" wording is odd. Maybe the guy was standing at the base of a rock, but the rock was 60' above the valley floor? Then he would be "on a rock" and "more than 10' above the valley floor".
the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Right, so an infraction then. One cannot be placed on probation if imprisonment is not a sentencing option. This is maximum 364 days for a misdemeanor, and maximum 182 days for a petty misdemeanor in most jurisdictions. He would be appointed a PD in either case, unless he declined.

Caveat: I have no experience with Colorado, but the constitutional principles are the same.

Mark Ra · · Frange, CO · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
steverett wrote: That "valley floor" wording is odd. Maybe the guy was standing at the base of a rock, but the rock was 60' above the valley floor? Then he would be "on a rock" and "more than 10' above the valley floor".
That seems like it could be the case.

I don't think this photo is the area in question but it seems to show a situation where this might occur:



Hiking the dirt hill near the middle of the formation could put you more than 10ft above the "valley floor" while still being "on the ground".
steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 105
the schmuck wrote:Right, so an infraction then. One cannot be placed on probation if imprisonment is not a sentencing option. This is maximum 364 days for a misdemeanor, and maximum 182 days for a petty misdemeanor in most jurisdictions. He would be appointed a PD in either case, unless he declined. Caveat: I have no experience with Colorado, but the constitutional principles are the same.
Yes, he mention he couldn't get a PD b/c it was only a fine. Sounds like he didn't educate himself much about the legal system before or after his case, which would definitely not help when he went to court. I've been more prepared for traffic tickets than it sounds like this kid was for his hearing.
Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365

There is literally a sign at the beginning of that trail, right off the road, that says to go no further without a permit and technical climbing gear. I am sorry for this guys luck.

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

Why even bother with regulating climbing at all? The state and national parks don't require permits, but do regulate how climbs are put in.

Stagg54 Taggart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 10
Stich wrote:Why even bother with regulating climbing at all? The state and national parks don't require permits, but do regulate how climbs are put in.
because they can and they are on a power trip.

It's amazing how drunk some people can get on such little power...
Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

It's fascinating when you simply provide a way to record the names of everyone climbing at city parks, but not doing anything other than that, and then calling it meaningful regulation. It's as if, and I know this is a long shot, the bureaucrats just wanted the *appearance* of doing something to justify their existence. I know, I know. It's a crazy idea.

Really, just give it up.

Stagg54 Taggart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 10
Stich wrote:I know this is a long shot, the bureaucrats just wanted the *appearance* of doing something to justify their existence.
I thought that is all bureaucracy was...
steverett · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 105
Dan Cooksey wrote:There is literally a sign at the beginning of that trail, right off the road, that says to go no further without a permit and technical climbing gear. I am sorry for this guys luck.
Ah! There it is. Funny that he left this out of his story.
Stagg54 Taggart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 10
steverett wrote: Ah! There it is. Funny that he left this out of his story.
There are definitely signs everywhere there.
Matthew Tuttle · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

If he didn't see the sign, he was not on a designated trail.

The Ranger at GoG doesn't go out of his way to find the problem kids, he usually gets a call about them from concerned patrons in the park.

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

True. The ranger is a good guy and is just following the rules as laid out by the city. There are a disproportionate number of scrambling accidents at the Garden due to the low angle of many areas, as opposed to Eldorado Canyon where the steepness tends to keep people off the rock.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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