Last Sunday September 11th the 2016 Rocky Mountain Rendezvous was held in Estes and Rocky Mountain National Park. The Event is organized by the BCC (Boulder Climber Coalition) and the FRCS (Front Range Climbing Stewards) in conjunction with us the NCCC (Northern Colorado Climbers Coalition). The goal for this year was to close a series of social trails used by climbers and non-climbers alike in the Emerald Lake and Chaos Canyon areas.
Peter, Erin, Cosette, Shaw and myself arrived bright an early at the NPS Trail Building to meet with the NPS Trail Staff and Scott Rennak of the BCC. A pretty large group of 40-50 people had turned up and everyone was ready to get after it. After our shuttle to Bear Lake and a chilly hike up to Lake Haiyaha we started work near the Lower Chaos Canyon access point. This area has been trampled for almost a decade and in desperate need of rehabilitation. After the long hikeup from Beak Lake climbers are typically just too excited to get to the boulders and have been cutting off the “main trail” for years, leaving a nasty network of unnecessary social trails and human impact. We used large logs to create deadfall snags to deter people. We also used McLeod’s and pick-axe’s to break up all the compacted soils so vegetation can begin to thrive again. We exceeded the NPS’s expectations yet again and had cleaned up most of the Chaos Cayon social trail issues by noon. With time left to spare we went back down to the Dream Lake vicinity and cleaned up more social trail damage there.
In all, RMR 2016 was a great success. RMNP is a treasure for everyone and it was a welcome sacrifice to give back to this great place climbers and non-climbers want to see protected for years to come.
Ben Scott – NCCC President