Letters

Red Rock climbing event a ‘first’
       The Red Rock Canyon outdoor climbing competition on Sept. 23 will be a “first” both for Red Rock Canyon and for the local climbing community. Red Rock Canyon was chosen as the site for this event because of the variety and quality of its climbing routes. We are indeed fortunate to have such an outstanding climbing area so conveniently accessible to climbers in the Colorado Springs area. And, the climbing competition is expected to highlight this resource and promote interest in local climbing.
       Friends of Red Rock Canyon thank the organizers of this event for generously donating 20 percent of the proceeds to Friends of Red Rock Canyon for use in developing and maintaining Red Rock Canyon Open Space for climbers and other users. We also appreciate the opportunity which this event gives Friends of Red Rock Canyon to connect with the local climbing community.
       Friends of Red Rock Canyon considers local climbers to be a unique resource because of their perspective gained from lessons learned “the hard way” over many years. Thirty years ago, local climbers faced a crisis. North Cheyenne Canyon rocks were scarred from innumerable pitons which had been driven during years of use by Fort Carson's Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command. The Garden of the Gods had become “a sad example of traumatic overuse” marred by many indiscriminately placed lines of bolts up its faces, eroded access trails with trash everywhere, and chalk smeared boulder routes. Climbers faced the prospect of being “regulated out of existence.” From this crisis, local climbers developed a new level of climbing ethics and gentleness toward the environment.
       The organizers of the September 23 outdoor climbing competition in Red Rock Canyon look forward to this event becoming an annual outdoor climbing festival. Friends of Red Rock Canyon certainly does, too.

Don Ellis, Friends of Red Rock Canyon