Friday, August 28, 2009

Lumpy Ridge Trail Day

Lumpy Trails at Lumpy Ridge, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado.

For the 9th consecutive year the Central Rockies Section of the American Alpine Club will be hosting a trail improvement day at Lumpy Ridge in Estes Park, Colorado. This project is in conjunction with the Access Fund ‘Adopt-A-Crag’ program. A full day is scheduled on Sunday, October 18th. Interested persons should register early by emailing event organizer Greg Sievers at, or 970-586-4075 to be assured of receiving a free lunch at the work site and T-shirt. The group should plan on meeting at 7:30am at the Estes Park Town Hall parking lot on MacGregor Ave (downtown next to the police dept. and behind the library) where coffee and donuts will be provided. National park staff will supply tools and transportation to the trail head. Volunteers should bring gloves, plenty of water, dress appropriately and are encouraged to stay for the full day (but part day help is very welcome). All volunteers in attendance at 4pm will be eligible for gifts and raffle items that are sure to please and thrill.

In the 6 years this small event has taken place the attendance has grown from 18 to 70. Volunteers have been drawn from the American Alpine Club and Access Fund memberships, Colorado Mountain School, Front Range schools and National Park Service as well as local Estes Park, Boulder and Fort Collins residents. This growth in turnout proves that not only are ‘climbers’ good stewards of the land and considerate users but proactive about our interaction with one of this countries largest land management agencies. This year’s goals include work on the badly eroded “Sundance” approach trail. In 2005 this event won the Access Fund’s “Adopt-a-Crag of the year award”. Be part of this energetic proactive event and the beauty of splitter Lumpy granite.

Projects like this highlight that Park employees, who are also climbers, are excited about working with other climbers to improve the local climber habitat. We have heard first hand just how many miles of trails the NPS is responsible to maintain and how an ever tightening budget is stretched. It was pointed out that the heavier the trail use the more maintenance that goes into it; meaning the climber descent trails get very little attention due to the low volume of use. With this information we understand how vital it is for us to volunteer and achieve these goals that will generally serve climbers only.

Another huge part of this particular project is the growth in the affiliation of the Access Fund and the American Alpine Club. These two organizations serve a wide, often very diverse, and strongly protective group of American climbers. I think it would be very sad if climbers didn’t have both these organizations to support their interests and all climbers should be members of both. Projects like this are a powerful reminder to us all, of that value. The most important value of these two organizations is: we really need to maintain access to our climbing areas, as well as maintain a historic record of our predecessors, current events and still setting precedent for the future.

Projects like these afford us the interaction of all ages of climbers and help the local communities to get involved, realize our ‘user group’ exists and that we are willing to maintain a positive image with our land use managers.

The Central Rockies Section of the American Alpine Club looks forward to working with the Access Fund on local, regional, and national issues; and supporting the camaraderie of all climbers. We especially enjoyed working on this years Adopt A Crag project and have ideas for next years Lumpy Trails.

The American Alpine Club was founded in 1902 and is the leading national organization in the United States devoted to mountaineering, climbing, and the multitude of issues facing climbers. With an emphasis on adventure, scientific research and education. Find out more or join on line at:

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