Black Canyon of the Gunnison - Ticks?


Original Post
Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35

I am from New England and have been talking about a trip to Black Canyon with my partners.

To put all else aside, we are extremely competent at big wall, aid and self rescue. Regardless, we know its dangerous. Moving on.

We heard ticks are a big problem at the Black Canyon. Being from New England we are well aware of the dangers that ticks bring and are well aware of preventative measures.

Can anyone compare the tick problem of Black Canyon to what you would encounter in New England? It seems like New England has a tick problem and the Black Canyon has a tick infestation?

I'm just looking for some input on this matter and maybe a comparison.

Thank you very much!

Grant Kleeves · · Ridgway, CO · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 45

If you can deal with the ticks in New England you will have no issue with the ticks in the black, the ones out here are a lot bigger, slower, and less numerous.

For what it's worth I don't think I've ever found more than one or maybe two on me on any single day there and I've never had one bite, they seem to crawl around for a while looking for a place to settle in and you usually feel them and get rid of them before they actually bite.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 871

Well, on the approach, both me and my partner had two or three on us. There are lots of them. I've had two burrow into me in the last two years, not in Black. No consequences. Lyme's disease is rare in Colorado. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is possible and some other diseases. The good news, ticks are slow to bite, maybe hours. So, just do regular tick checks on yourself and your partner, especially on the approach.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
Grant Kleeves wrote:If you can deal with the ticks in New England you will have no issue with the ticks in the black, the ones out here are a lot bigger, slower, and less numerous. For what it's worth I don't think I've ever found more than one or maybe two on me on any single day there and I've never had one bite, they seem to crawl around for a while looking for a place to settle in and you usually feel them and get rid of them before they actually bite.
Ah I see, Yeah i've pulled 8 deer ticks off myself and had 10 pulled off my head after a single hike before in N.E. That was the worst that I FOUND on me but not that far from an uncommon scenario. After reading posts about the tick problems In Black Canyon I was starting to lean towards expecting nests of hundreds of ticks on one bush...I read somewhere on M-Proj that some people wear disposable suits which I would assume to be satire, but the tick problem around here gets pretty serious with lyme and the abundance of them and all... Not to mention the handful of other diseases that are almost as bad as lyme that ticks carry here.

So I think you could see where our brains were headed after reading about Tick problems out there... haha
Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 175

climbing friend,

the only tick problem you would be having is if oyu cannot send your preferred route and then come home and through tubes of internet tick the route on mountain project.

Alicia Sokolowski · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,045
Tylerpratt wrote: I read somewhere on M-Proj that some people wear disposable suits which I would assume to be satire,
I agree satire, but I always thought that was in regards to the poison ivy. I think that might be a thing in more summery months, though.
doligo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 277

It's awful in there! Rockfall, ticks, poison ivy, rangers are assholes. Don't go!

Craeg Dubh · · grand jct. · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 155

The suits are for the p.i. Much more prolific than the ticks.

Jordan Moore · · Berthoud, CO · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 80

They're not that bad, especially early season. To approach some routes you don't even walk down the infamous tick infested, poison ivy chocked, choss funnels. You can just rap the south chasm view down the astroslog if you want to climb Astrodog, Tague Yer Time, and a few others (South Rim). If you're headed to the North Rim and this is your first time, I'm assuming you're looking at climbing on North Chasm view. The two gullies accessing that wall: SOB gully and the Cruise gully, are both comparatively chill. PM me if you want any beta on specific areas.

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 95
Aleks Zebastian wrote:climbing friend, the only tick problem you would be having is if oyu cannot send your preferred route and then come home and through tubes of internet tick the route on mountain project.
Naw, tick marks are a huge problem, too. Rifle has so many tick marks that you can get limestone disease.
slevin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,003

The tyvec suits were first worn in the Black as a gimmick for a mid-1990s Climbing Magazine photo shoot, and yes, they were for poison ivy, not ticks.

Luna Luna · · New Haven, CT · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 55

The ticks in the gunnison/ cb area are NOTHING compared to CT ticks. ... however the crowds, especially in the spring (wildflower gawkers)... that's another story.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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