Monday, May 30, 2011

Great Video of Peter Croft and Lisa Rands on the Hulk

I recently came across a cool video of Peter Croft and Lisa Rands climbing the Venturi Effect (IV 5.12+) on the Incredible Hulk in the northern Sierra. Croft put this one up with the prolific Dave Nettle in 2004. Impressive route and impressive video. Great footage of Croft flowing up the crux corner, as well as Lisa Rands fighting hard on the upper crux. It was cool to see Lisa Rands doing her best to fight and maintain composure while onsighting 5.12+. While she expresses some self-doubt in this video (pretty crazy since she's done Gaia), it might be an indicator of how intimidating it must be to "partner up" with Croft.
Croft is famous for his amazing solos, unbelievable alpine traverses, and incredible list of First Free Ascents. Examples of some of these include: the Shadow (onsight of the 5.13 crux corner) in Squamish, the first one-day link-up of the El Capitan and Half Dome, and the first free-solo link-up of Astroman and the Rostrum. Rands is famous for winning World Cup Bouldering Comps, being the first female to climb the distressing E8 grade, and incredibly hard and high bouldering, among other accomplishments.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Eldorado Canyon State Park raptor closure lifted today

The seasonal raptor closure in effect on Redgarden Wall was lifted today. Feb 1 - July 31 is the normal seasonal closure on Redgarden Wall, between P3 of Naked Edge to Sidetrack. Since 1990, this restriction has been in place to protect nesting and roosting sites of prairie falcons.  It exists as part of the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks mission to balance resource use and preservation, and has been a success (numerous fledged prairie falcons) due to the cooperation of the climbing community. According to park ranger Steve Muehlhauser, it's policy to lift the closure if there isn't any nesting activity observed by mid-May.

Redgarden Wall is completely open!  It's open season on the uber-classic routes Naked Edge (5.11b), Redguard (5.8), and Anthill Direct (5.8+).
Getting ready to descend the East Slab on Redgarden

Monday, May 16, 2011

Comment NOW on City of Rocks Proposals and General Management Plan

Have you climbed at City of Rocks National Reserve? Are you planning a visit? Do you want to be an active citizen and participant in future planning of an element in our National Park System? If you answer yes to any of these questions, please review the recent newsletters concerning the alternatives to the current General Management Plan for City of Rocks, available at:, and comment.
The "Inner City" and Circle Creek viewed from Bath Rock
Public comment is welcome through the end of May. Comments received by June 1 will be considered as part of the draft General Management Plan (GMP).
There are four general alternatives being proposed. These are conceptual in nature, but they will affect park planning for the next 15-20 years. Some important considerations for climbers are how the proposed alternatives affect camping and climbing. Make sure to read the newsletters and understand what some of the suggested alternatives might entail.
There is talk of expanding the park boundary to include the BLM dispersed camping near Smoky Mountain Campground. Incorporating this into the Reserve would likely put an end to the free camping. Seeing the current crowded conditions and reviewing helpful comments from Reserve Superintendent Wallace Keck, it seems like climbers may need to consider alternatives. We have used drop in camping, the reservation system, Smoky Mountain, and the BLM land, and I believe it adds to the flavor of the area to keep the BLM dispersed camping available, or consider something similar (Sunnyside/Camp 4 concept?). In the meantime, it seems critical to keep a very low profile on the BLM land by not building fires, packing out the poo, sharing sites, etc. Demonstrate to the Reserve and to the BLM that the dispersed camping is not at overflow levels.

Climbing is mentioned in the GMP alternatives, and it may be an opportune time to comment on the climbing restrictions on formations in the California Trail Corridor, for example, the Twin Sisters. I believe that responsible climbers do not take away from the appearance (preserving the "cultural landscape" might be the NPS verbiage) of the area any more than the grazing, passenger cars, signage and miles of fencing. Who knows, maybe this would be a step towards acquiring climbing access at the Twin Sisters and the Dolphin in the future...

From the City of Rocks website:
"To receive information on the planning process, including the third newsletter, or to make a comment, email the Reserve Superintendent at, call 208-824-5911."