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The Flatirons post-flood
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By Flatirons Climbing Council
Sep 21, 2013

From City of Boulder – Open Space and Mtn Parks:

“After historic rain and flooding that caused extensive damage to trails, trailheads and natural resources, the Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) is announcing that it will open a limited number of trails in Chautauqua on Saturday, Sept. 21.

OSMP anticipates opening up more trails within the week. However, many trails in the system will require substantial rebuilding, and OSMP asks for the public’s patience as the department rebuilds and restores those trails.

Chautauqua trails that will be opened on Saturday (Sep 21) are:

A portion of Chautauqua trail.
Bluebell Road to the shelter.
Bluebell Spur
Bluebell Mesa.
A portion of the Ski Jump trail.

Trails will be opened from dusk to dawn on-trail only because of existing safety risks. Trails will be closed at night because of hazards not visible in the dark. All other OSMP trails remained closed under an emergency order.”

While this announcement doesn’t allow climbing access, it demonstrates that OSMP has been busy working on re-opening trails. The Flatirons Climbing Council will assist OSMP with organizing trail workdays to expedite the re-opening of climbing access. Please bookmark this page as we'll have more updates.


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By The Blueprint Part Dank
From FEMA Region VIII
Sep 21, 2013
And then you throw for a Gaston, like seriously guys. I onsighted the shit out of Levi's Stadium

Nice work guys, we all appreciate the long hours you've undoubtably been putting in. Is there any need for some type of trail day in the Flatirons? I'm sure there'd be no shortage of volunteers.


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By Flatirons Climbing Council
Sep 25, 2013

Additional trail openings in Mt. Sanitas area:

•Mount Sanitas
•East Ridge
•Dakota Ridge
•Goat Trail
•Sanitas Valley remains closed (except the portion needed to reach Dakota Ridge). Also, the Centennial Trailhead parking area remains closed. Visitors to Sanitas trails must walk into the trail area.

The FCC is in contact with the City Of Boulder - OSMP to schedule trailwork so we can regain climbing access. We'll need a pool of volunteers to draw from for multiple traildays. If you're interested in helping, please send an email to news@flatironsclimbing.org with 'volunteer' in the subject line and a note re: availability, e.g. weekends, weekdays. There's much work to be done. Thanks.


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By Ryan Watts
From Bishop, CA
Sep 25, 2013
Flatirons

Is bouldering at Mount Sanitas okay then? Or is that still off limits?


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By Flatirons Climbing Council
Sep 25, 2013

If you're referring to the trailside bouldering (most of which faces west) along the Mt Sanitas Trail, which runs in a northerly direction from Sunshine Drive, then yes, that's open for bouldering.


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By Mike Walley
From Louisville, CO
Sep 26, 2013
Mike on West Gully RMNP

When will climbing on the 1st and 3rd Flatirons be open again? Also, how about access to other climbing areas in the Flatirons? I hiked at Chautauqua on Tuesday and the trails were in bad shape with many closed and for good reason.

Anyone know about access for bouldering at Flagstaff?

A State Trooper told me this week that the road may be open in Boulder Canyon in 10-14 days up to Four Mile Canyon or even Sugarloaf. CCC will be crowded for awhile!


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By Flatirons Climbing Council
Sep 26, 2013

The North and South Fork Shanahan Trails are now open. These trails get us closer but all Flatiron climbing access remains closed. I hope to have more news later today and shall post what I learn from Open Space Mtn Parks (OSMP).

Flagstaff remains closed.

Once we get the green light we'll ask for volunteer help. The Flatirons Climbing Council and Boulder Climbing Community will call on volunteers to, quite literally, join us in the trenches!


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By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Sep 27, 2013
Stairway to Heaven

This is bizarre. The approach and descent to the 1st Flatiron have now reopened - see https://bouldercolorado.gov/pages/osmp-trails9-21 - but climbing the face is still officially off-limits. What's the rationale for that? Is OSMP concerned that the floods might have made the rock too dangerous to climb? Do they have to dispatch teams of rangers to inspect the routes before they reopen?


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By CJC
Sep 27, 2013

if I had to guess I'd say maybe the difficulty/risk of getting rescuers and vehicles to an injured party and getting everyone down safely may be a factor. that's just a wild guess though. hope we're able to climb up there soon, this is prime season.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Sep 27, 2013
At the BRC

CJC wrote:
if I had to guess I'd say maybe the difficulty/risk of getting rescuers and vehicles to an injured party and getting everyone down safely may be a factor. that's just a wild guess though. hope we're able to climb up there soon, this is prime season.


Rescue would be just as challenging if a hiker got hurt. Not sure this justifies the differential treatment.


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By J1.
From Boulder, Colorado
Sep 27, 2013
Towliee

Ya, can't have another group of College kids going up there right now and epic-ing 50 feet off the deck now can we... :)


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By TBlom
Sep 27, 2013

So... nature must be made 'safe' for us by governmental agencies?
What a load!


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By Spencer Anderson
From Fort Collins, CO
Sep 27, 2013
game face

What Tevis is saying makes sense to a certain extent. I can understand why the city doesn't want the million+ people that use these destroying an already destroyed trail system. On the other hand, I can't understand why keeping the "climber trails" closed makes sense. Climbing is always going to be dangerous and I'm sure we've all been on way more sketchy trails.


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By nicelegs
From Denver
Sep 27, 2013

It's almost as if there is no political or monetary motivation to open them.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Sep 27, 2013
At the BRC

nicelegs wrote:
It's almost as if there is no political or monetary motivation to open them.


If the recreation community would finally stop voting for open space tax increases when all we ever get is less and less actually OPEN space, then maybe something would happen.


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By CJC
Sep 27, 2013

Mark E Dixon wrote:
Rescue would be just as challenging if a hiker got hurt. Not sure this justifies the differential treatment.


the kind of injuries you can sustain climbing are not at all comparable to those from hiking

think 'life threatening'

but as I said before who knows what the real reason is


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Sep 27, 2013
Stabby

"The city property most heavily damaged, according to the assessment, is open space and mountain parks. Those areas suffered an estimated $17.67 million in flooding impacts." -Daily Camera 9/26

Mind boggling. $17.67M. I don't get it.


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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Sep 27, 2013
Bucky

Mike Lane wrote:
Mind boggling. $17.67M. I don't get it.


Which is exactly why many people complain so much about how high their taxes are. News Flash: Infrastructure and services aren't cheap!!!


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By Spencer Anderson
From Fort Collins, CO
Sep 27, 2013
game face

haha, It's funny to think that the billion people along the front range that use the flatirons would keep it from becoming a disaster area on their own. Not a black or white issue to me. I don't mind paying some taxes and tolerating some regulation to keep it the way it is. That being said, I'll happily complain about climber trails not being open unless someone can provide a compelling explanation. ("more people will hurt themselves on the unstable trails and we don't want to rescue them" is not a compelling explanation. These trails have always been unstable, that's why they're called that).


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Sep 27, 2013
Stabby

J. Albers wrote:
Which is exactly why many people complain so much about how high their taxes are. News Flash: Infrastructure and services aren't cheap!!!

Yeah, but its open space; not the city itself. Trails, some foot bridges, benches....
I'm interested in seeing an account of how the hell it got up to $17M.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Sep 27, 2013
Bocan

Mike Lane wrote:
Yeah, but its open space; not the city itself. Trails, some foot bridges, benches.... I'm interested in seeing an account of how the hell it got up to $17M.


Costs alot of money to have five people stand around watching one person work.


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By s.price
From PS,CO
Sep 27, 2013
 Morning Dew ,self portrait

Mike Lane wrote:
Yeah, but its open space; not the city itself. Trails, some foot bridges, benches.... I'm interested in seeing an account of how the hell it got up to $17M.

Exactly. Seems like a lot of money for something that will surely be done with tons of volunteer work.


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By brenta
From Boulder, CO
Sep 27, 2013
Cima Margherita and Cima Tosa in the Dolomiti di Brenta.  October 1977.

The OSMP page explains the current situation very well: business as usual.

"The lands shape the urban mosaic of the Boulder Valley and provide citizens with passive recreation opportunities. Trails are used by walkers, hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders, dog walkers and other passive recreational uses."

  • Passive recreation: Take your Soma and stop whining. I'm watching TV.
  • Climbers must not be passive enough. That's why they are ignored.
  • Trails are used by uses? The thought that taxpayer money supports this kind of writing is hard to bear.


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By Greg D
From Here
Sep 28, 2013
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />

J. Albers wrote:
Which is exactly why many people complain so much about how high their taxes are. News Flash: Infrastructure and services aren't cheap!!!


News flash. Climber access trails are dirt and rock and a bit rough. After the flood, the trails are... well... dirt and rock and a bit rough. . Same as a million years ago. Give a private contractor a chance to fix them and it will be done faster, better and for less.

News flash. Inefficiencies aren't cheap.


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By nicelegs
From Denver
Sep 28, 2013

The governor said he estimates 1.5 billion to fix the state. The OSMP just wanted part of that.

Doesn't matter if it's only $10k worth of bridge materials and three weeks worth of volunteers. We can call that 17 million.

I would like to think that we're way past the $5000 staplers that the govt is well known for. We're not.


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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Sep 28, 2013
Bucky

Greg D wrote:
Give a private contractor a chance to fix them and it will be done faster, better and for less. News flash. Inefficiencies aren't cheap.


Riiiight. Ha ha. I love it. Private enterprise is always more efficient and competent than those stupid, slothful, inefficient government employees. What a load of crap. The more accurate statement is probably that most people, government or private, could stand to be better at what they do. For every inefficient government entity or worker that you can find, I will guarantee that I can match it with a private sector employee. Nice try though.

Mike Lane wrote:
Yeah, but its open space; not the city itself. Trails, some foot bridges, benches.... I'm interested in seeing an account of how the hell it got up to $17M.


Yeah, I hear you. I would be interested to know why it cost so much to fix this stuff up.


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