Abelman's Gorge - Management Plan Comments


Original Post
SteveSchultz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2006 · Points: 2,525

Hey everyone, we need your help!! Abelman's Gorge(Rock Springs) is currently under review in the Tier 3 Management Plan as part of the larger Master Planning process in the state of Wisconsin. As of right now Abelman's Gorge does not allow rock climbing of any type in accordance with State Natural Area guidelines. That said, Abelman's has a rich history of climbing in the past and is one of 7 SNA's that the WCA has identified as being worthy of an exception, similar to exceptions that are already in place at Devil's Lake and Rib Mountain.

Now, what we need from you is this:

1 - Contact Thomas Meyer and tell him that with over 50 years of climbing history and no adverse effect on the cliff bands or surrounding environments, this area needs to be re-opened to climbing. Comments are currently open until March 21, 2017 so speed is of the essence here as we only have 15 days to make our voice heard!!

Thomas Meyer, conservation biologist
thomas.meyer@wisconsin.gov
608-266-0394

Or by mail:
Thomas Meyer
Wisconsin DNR, NHC/6
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707

2 - The second thing we need you to do is to share this post on Facebook if you have a profile! Additionally, when you share this please don't just post the link and walk away. Add your comments and copy/paste Thomas Meyers information so that climbers know who to contact and how.

Actions like this are vital to the future of climbing in Wisconsin and we have a unique opportunity to shape the future of our community here.

Do your part. Make your impact.

More info here dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/mast...

Mason Mueller · · Milwaukee, Wisconsin · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 419

Thanks for putting the word out Steve! Gonna jump right on this!

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 613

Hey Steve,

All I remember at Abelman's is the quarry near Van Hise rock. Is there more to it? Can you provide a little history?

Doug Hemken · · Madison, WI · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 5,243

Sandwiched in between the quarries is some beautiful, darkly colored quartzite. The DLFA put up some routes there, and the CMC (including Pete C.) have been back there since the 1970s. At least two people have written mini-guides to its walls.

Climbing was a regular thing there until it was caught up in the State Natural Areas climbing ban of the late 1990s. There was never any particular reason to shut down the climbing there, it just happened to be a State Natural Area.

Alan Rubin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

I posted a thread asking about developments in this area a few months ago. Confirming the "over 50 years of climbing" I can say that I was a member of 2 groups from the Hoofers who climbed in this area in the '60s after earlier 'reconnaissance'--my best memory is that these visits were in the spring of '67. We climbed routes on both sides of the road. We didn't see any signs of previous climbing activity but there is plenty of rock and we weren't looking too hard. Good place.

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 613

Thanks Doug. And thanks to the WCA for working on this.

Doug Hemken · · Madison, WI · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 5,243

Found Al's comment from last October:
"... but I am curious about the climbing in Rock Springs/Ableman's Gorge. I remember climbing there a couple of times in (I think) the spring of 1967. We saw no signs that the area had been climbed in previously (that doesn't mean it hadn't been) and I have wondered what development has occurred since, as it seemed to contain the tallest quartzite walls in the region. We climbed a couple of routes (my recollection is top-rope)on a buttress on the north (right heading west)side with sandstone low transitioning to quartzite for the upper portion. Across the road I remember doing a 2-pitch route on the tallest face--catching a factor-2 fall right off the hanging belay with a waist belay in the process!!!! My impression was that access there was pretty 'iffy'--especially due to the proximity of then-active train tracks. Obviously after so long the details are fuzzy, but I am interested in any information about both earlier climbing there and more recent developments."

50 years of gnarly climbing, there you go! (Ropes were a lot shorter back then, seriously. Not two pitches.)

Hoofers were still visiting the area in the early 90s, that's who I first went with.

Alan Rubin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

The "2 pitches" aspect. My memory---noting that it was 50 years ago--is that we traversed in from the left as the lower part of the line looked too hard for us, belayed at the end of the traverse, then headed up--and ropes were shorter--120', 11mm, Goldline during my years at Wisconsin. We were also training for a route on Devil's Tower, so likely the hanging belay was part of the 'deal'. Still my memory is that the wall was the tallest quartzite face we ran into in Wisconsin. I'd love to see copies of the mini-guides that you mentioned up thread.

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 613

John J. might have the guides. I know he was working on a collection of historical WI guides.

jon jugenheimer · · Madison · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,425

I have "on the DL" the drytooling/mixed and ice guide to the Baraboo region, but noting on the actual rock climbing there. I didn't even know there was something written for the rock climbing there. I would love to see it.

And BUMP! I wrote an email, and sent a letter in the mail. Now to make a phone call next.

Brian Seegers · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0

Thanks for bringing our attention to this. In the email I wrote, I also made mention of the conservation work (graffiti/trash cleanups etc...) that climbers currently do at the lake.

TravisK · · Phoenix, AZ · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 345

Did my part for the folks back home. Keep us posted on how things develop!

Mikeyy · · Glendale Heights, IL · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 30

Posted Chicagoland FB Group

jon jugenheimer · · Madison · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,425

https://www.facebook.com/events/857207341084776/

Boulders Climbing gym in Madison will be hosting a letter writing evening this wednesday 6-8pm. The WCA will be supplying postcards and stamps, all you have to do is come to the gym that night, get your climb on and in between pitches write a short message to the DNR on why you believe climbing should be legal again at the gorge.

CRAG-list-KILLA · · Wisconsin · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

That's fn dope^ I wish either adventure rocks would this especially with how many people climb at the Milwaukee location. My buddy showed me this last night. I'll send out something short and sweet!!! Doesn't hurt right

SteveSchultz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2006 · Points: 2,525
CRAG-list-KILLA wrote:That's fn dope^ I wish either adventure rocks would this especially with how many people climb at the Milwaukee location. My buddy showed me this last night. I'll send out something short and sweet!!! Doesn't hurt right
You asked and you got your wish! We'll be doing a second letter writing night at the downtown Milwaukee Adventure Rock this coming Friday, March 17th. The WCA will be there from 6-8 with postcards so make sure you come by!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1876804592591356/
CRAG-list-KILLA · · Wisconsin · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Awesome see you down there!!

jon jugenheimer · · Madison · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,425

The rock in this photo is where most of the rock climbing took place when it was legally open. The formation on the bottom right is called The Fin and an excellent landmark to grab your eye and then explore from there. South of this shot there is the remains of a quarry, long ago shut down. To the North, there really isn't any climbing as the rock is too short or broken.

Looking west

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 613

There may have been dry tool shenanigans in that quarry. Maybe.

CRAG-list-KILLA · · Wisconsin · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Calling all AROCK MILWAUKEE CLIMBERS BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!!!!!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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