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Front Range Crag Care: Canal Zone Trail Day, September 21, 2013
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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Sep 5, 2013
Lincoln Lake
Join Jefferson County Open Space, Boulder Climbing Community, and the American Alpine Club on September 21, 2013 from 12pm-5pm for an afternoon of trail building to improve and formalize the access to the Canal Zone climbing area in Clear Creek Canyon. There will be a BBQ for volunteers after the event from 5-7 with food and beverages provided.

Contact Mike Morin at mmorin@jeffco.us to sign up!

As many people know this area sees a significant amount of traffic and as such the impacts created by unsustainable trails is significant. In the last two and a half months we have recorded 3,200+ visits by climbers at this crag. This is a significant number at any climbing site and speaks to the need for a sustainable trail.

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Following the trail day there will be a slide show at the AMC starting at 7 PM. Everyone is welcome with a suggested donation of $1 or more to help support Boulder Climbing Community stewardship efforts.

Slide show.
Slide show.

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By ChefMattThaner
From Lakewood, co
Sep 5, 2013
ducking ropes at Copper
+1 bump, great event, will be there!

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By Matt Pierce
From Denver, CO
Sep 5, 2013
View from the first belay ledge on The Staircase (5.5)
So that's like 42 climbers every day for 2.5 months straight? (not counting those that don't sign in) That's a lot...

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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Sep 5, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.
I will make the grueling, arduous 20 minute walk from my front door to Canal Zone, but only because it's for a good cause. ;-)

Anything we should bring? Work gloves, etc.?

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Sep 5, 2013
Lincoln Lake
Hey guys, really glad that you're psyched on coming out to help. I really need you to send me an email at mmorin@jeffco.us though so I can get your email address.

I'll be communicating with registrants via email, sending things like liability waivers out prior to the event so having your email address is important.

Thanks!

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Sep 5, 2013
Lincoln Lake
Bring gloves, water, and sturdy closed toed shoes.

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Sep 6, 2013
Lincoln Lake
The Open Space Trail Crew has been out prepping the site for the upcoming trail day. We're all pretty psyched to get this project done, thanks to those that have signed up already. We're hoping for a big turnout so if you're available please consider signing up.

Thanks!

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Sep 6, 2013
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.
Mike, I'll be joining you at some point that day.

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Sep 11, 2013
Lincoln Lake
Great Tony!

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Sep 17, 2013
Lincoln Lake
Bump

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Sep 18, 2013
Lincoln Lake
We have our signs ready for the new trail! Thanks to everyone that has signed up for the trail day!

Canal Zone sign.
Canal Zone sign.

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By nicelegs
From Denver
Sep 18, 2013
Mike Morin wrote:
We have our signs ready for the new trail! Thanks to everyone that has signed up for the trail day!


I don't think those signs are necessary, for the greater good, or are a good expense. I think the crag clean up and trail building is awesome though. I have to work over the weekend or I'd join you.

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Sep 18, 2013
Lincoln Lake
Thanks for your feedback. Part of identifying trails that we manage includes signing them. This differentiates unmanaged trails from managed trails and sets expectations for the experience you'll encounter. We also use signage to direct the masses in the direction we would like them to go. If we didn't sign the trail how would be let visitors know that this is the route we endorse and would like them to follow?

Edit to add, these are made in-house with a computer operated router so the overall expense above and beyond the piece of plastic used to make the sign is pretty minimal.

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By Kirk Miller
From Golden, CO
Sep 18, 2013
Bugaboos, 1978 <br />Photo by Ken Trout
Well done sir! My hat's off to you for getting this together.
And thanks to all who volunteer to contribute, props. for sure!
In addition to the trail, I think it would be great to excavate, level, and expand the belay zone for the Canal Zone warm up routes on the left.
Are you going to be working on improving the Twilight Zone "trail" as well?

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Sep 18, 2013
Lincoln Lake
We won't be working on the Twilight Zone on Saturday, perhaps someday.

We've talked about excavating the dirt below those routes as the best remedy to the issue up there. We're not to that point yet, but it seems better than trying to shore that slope up.

I'll be sure to let you know if we decide to go that route so you can add bolts to those routes, since removing that dirt would add another 8-10 feet to the climbs.

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By Kevin Capps
From Golden, CO
Sep 18, 2013
DMG
Excellent Mike! I look forward to it

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Sep 19, 2013
Lincoln Lake
Thank you to everyone that has signed up for the trail day. We have reached our participant cap and can no longer accept any more volunteers for this project!

Thanks to everyone for their enthusiasm and interest!

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By Matt Pierce
From Denver, CO
Sep 20, 2013
View from the first belay ledge on The Staircase (5.5)
nicelegs wrote:
I don't think those signs are necessary, for the greater good, or are a good expense.

Have to agree here - are people really having that much trouble finding the Canal Zone? No signs please...

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Sep 20, 2013
Lincoln Lake
With the network of social trails that exist along that hillside, in some ways it appears that they are.

This is way-finding that identifies the sustainable and Open Space endorsed route up to the crags.

Development for sustainable recreation management and access is coming to the canyon guys. The days of Open Space being an absentee land manager at the climbing areas that we manage is coming to an end. We are the closest and most accessible foothills experience to the Denver Metro area. Clear Creek is a front country recreation experience. To successfully balance recreation with natural resource protection we need to manage it as such.

I'm just trying to be frank and straight forward here, I understand why some folks in the community would prefer our presence be limited, but in our view it's not responsible for us to continue to ignore climbers and the areas that they play.

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By Dave Alie
From Golden, CO
Sep 20, 2013
Photo Credit: The talented Pete Garceau
Mike, thanks for all you're work in clear creek. we as climbers are extremely lucky to have someone in open space championing our cause and pre-empting access issues by taking a proactive stance on resource management.

For everyone who is irked by the addition of established trails, sign-in books, and signs directing us to the crag, I sympathize with the aversion to these developments. Without question it erodes the outdoorsy feel of getting to and being at the crag, and makes places like canal feel more like outdoor gyms.

That having been said, I have to politely disagree that these interventions are unnecessary, if not ideal. with 3200+ (recorded, mind you) visitors to canal alone over the past ~3 months, something needs to be done. With that much foot traffic, getting there becomes a choose your own adventure of new "trails" springing up all over the place from all the trampled vegetation. This is the reality, easy as it is to resent. Pushing back against that fact is to willfully ignore the situation at great risk to our access.

If this infringes on your sense of wilderness at canal zone, I don't think anyone could disagree. However, if canal zone is your destination for a "wilderness" climbing experience, well, I'm not sure what to tell you.

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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Sep 20, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.
Dave Alie wrote:
However, if canal zone is your destination for a "wilderness" climbing experience, well, I'm not sure what to tell you.


What, clipping pre-placed bolts 200 yards from a highway while belaying off a cement wall isn't wilderness!?

I'm all for signs, and I don't really see any good reason not to have them. We're not talking about the Galapagos Islands here.

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