Question to knowledgeable Wisconsin climbers


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

I was just wondering if climbing is still closed at Gibalter rock? And if it is, why was it closed in the first place? Just out of curiosity I know we have other areas to climb near Lodi. I personally have never been IN GRNSA but have seen it from the road a bunch of times and it's looks pretty badass cruising through the area! Also was it predominantly a sport climbing area or just mainly traditional style climbing... that roof looks pretty narly

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

Not legal, yet. Why it closed was a long story. It remains closed because of its State Natural Area status.

You absolutely should go check it out. Best access is around the west end. Search the MP forum for previous discussions.

I think Scott's Roof has only been climbed twice?

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

KILLA,
Like Doug said, yes it is still closed to climbing. I call into the SNA about once a year to ask "can I climb at Gibraltar" and the answer is always no. I do it just to keep climbing on their radar. Last summer I was given the answer as why not, as there is a flora issue on the rock face. I don't remember if the person even said what species was the issue, or what exactly the issue was, I just know that I know nothing in this field to put up a proper reply so I didn't. I thanked him for his time and we hung up.

The climbing there is a mix of Sport and Trad. Some of the bolts are still really good glue ins, and others are rusted 5 piece that don't inspire confidence. I was just out there in Mid January hiking around the base of the wall. The routes are all dirty, just need some traffic some day to clean them back up nicely!

And Scott's roof? That rock is crap, it was aided I would 100% assume, and I would NOT trust the mank there now. Maybe this summer one day we should do a clean up of that garbage from the 80's and patch those holes?

Steve Sangdahl · · eldo sprngs,co · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 695

We (DLFA) use to climb there a lot back in the late 70,s and early 80,s. Pretty fun trad climbs and no sport climbs yet. I once aided Scott's roof on pins and some old fixed crap. Good times ! It was always amazing how much crap got thrown off the top......even while we were climbing. It was definitely red-neck central back then and that has a lot to do with why it got shut down. Consume swill and throw off the top. Not that we would ever do anything like that.

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

Well, you just didn't do the Throw part of the equation.

Steve Sangdahl · · eldo sprngs,co · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 695

Red-neck lite?

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

Thanks guys next time I'm in the area I'll swing by and take the time to hike it and take a gander up close. It's a shame, looks pretty badass... but thanks for the replys!!!

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

It's only a shame if we do nothing. Drop the DNR a note about climbing there twice a year. I will if you will.

Burt Lindquist · · Madison, WI · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 2,860

Back in the day when anybody could drive up all the way to the top is when the most trash got thrown off the top.... I too about every 4 months or so inquire with the DNR about climbing at GR.... always the same answer.... It's sad because I remember the best condition the place ever appeared to me to be in i.e. trash picked up at the base and very little mustard garlic was when climbers were climbing there and making a great effort to pick up trash and knock back the vines on the rock faces. I know every so often groups still gather and go up to GR to pick up trash and stuff but I think it was much more taken care of by concerned climbers...

Burt Lindquist · · Madison, WI · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 2,860

I have always thought the big long 5.9/5.10 Trad route "Locomotive" at GR to be one of the very best routes in the state of Wisco....

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

I'll write them about it, it cannot hurt. Would be nice to have another area to climb.

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

Got a copy of the old guidebook the other day (second edition) by Eric who I've run into a few times. I'm drooling over all those routes overlooking the farmland and Lake Wisconsin there - It would be nice to see this place open to climbing. Who are you guys writing to?? Is WCA working on anything with this?

Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 613
Doug Hemken wrote: Not legal, yet. Why it closed was a long story. It remains closed because of its State Natural Area status. You absolutely should go check it out. Best access is around the west end. Search the MP forum for previous discussions. I think Scott's Roof has only been climbed twice?

Doug, I want to know the "long story." All I ever heard were rumors.

Chris treggE · · Madison, WI · Joined May 2007 · Points: 8,590
Mikeyy wrote:

Is WCA working on anything with this?

Yes.  Steve, Remo, and Dobbe met with the DNR on Monday and Gibraltar was brought up, as well as other areas.  It remains unclear if and when Gibraltar may again be open for climbing, but it's on the radar.  

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

Dylan, the long story involves a local, county official, who was adamantly opposed to climbing, period.  Back then it was a county park.  The park was transfered to the State maybe 10 years ago, so the initial reason for the closure is no longer relevant, other than as a cautionary tale that people like this official exist.

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

I was up there yesterday.  This is the best time of year to see the place, before the trees leaf out and obscure many of the views of the rock.  The trash at the base is really beginning to pile up, and the walls of the Party Hole are covered in graffiti.

It is very quiet there on weekdays.

Burt Lindquist · · Madison, WI · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 2,860

Doug... A bit off topic but I could not believe all the trash I saw up at DLSTP West Bluff Prospect Point Rampart last week.....  but then this time of the year it is always more visible.

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

Dylan, the long story involves a local, county official, who was adamantly opposed to climbing, period.  Back then it was a county park.  The park was transfered to the State maybe 10 years ago, so the initial reason for the closure is no longer relevant, other than as a cautionary tale that people like this official exist.

Not such a long story.

As I heard it, she was a wealthy local muck-a-muck who had a nephew or grandson who died either in a climbing accident, or falling off the cliffs at DL. Any truth to that?

Doug Hemken · · Madison, WI · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 5,243
Dylan B. wrote:

Not such a long story.

As I heard it, she was a wealthy local muck-a-muck who had a nephew or grandson who died either in a climbing accident, or falling off the cliffs at DL. Any truth to that?

A cousin is what I remember her telling me and Eric L.  

The whole story of the initial closure involved a climber who actually had an climbing accident there, and needed rescue.  And then numerous meetings with local officials etc etc.  Eric and others put in a ton of work trying to reason with and incentivize folks.  It was one of the distant threads in the origin of the WCA.  

But in the end it came down to her.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply