SoCO CRAG co-founder Ben Bruestle recently completed and published a new book relating the history of exploration, route development, and key contributors to technical climbing in southern Colorado’s Wet Mountains and Crestones. Our first printing is SOLD OUT, so check back or send us a note if you need a copy!
USFS updates as of May 18, 2012:
1) After many years of no access we can climb again at Scene of the Crime and Ego’s Nest. This time around the USFS does not allow camping along the road. Big thanks to the USFS for working with the county and the landowner whose easement the South Hardscrabble Road crosses from North Creek Road.
2) Speaking of Camping, even though the pit toilets have been removed from Oak Creek campground, it is still open to dispersed camping.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be requiring a hunting or fishing license to be on CPW land or state trust land as of July 1, 2020. Their rationale is those lands are paid for by hunting and fishing licenses as well as excise taxes on hunting and fishing gear. Most of the users of their lands statewide aren’t hunters or anglers though and contribute very little towards CPW lands monetarily. There are signs for Turkey Gulch State Trust Land on the way to La Vista, but the actual climbing appears to be on BLM land. No need for a “climbing license” locally just yet.
The northern Wet Mountains closure due to the Adobe Peak fire has been lifted according to the USFS. Climb on.
Climbing north of Hwy 96 is closed due to the drought conditions, aridification of the Wet Mountains, and Adobe Peak fire. This includes Stultz Canyon/Voyageur, Lincoln Wall, Newlin Creek, Raven Buttress, Rattlesnake Gulch, Quiet Towers, and Twin Sisters. Tanner is still closed for raptors, as is South Hardscrabble from the fires two years ago. Most climbing areas south of 96 are still open. Areas open include Titanic, Bud Light Wall, Goliath Gorge, Midway, Black Hole, Junk Yard, and Green Wall to the north.Please respect the closures.
South Hardscrabble Road is closed indefinitely. Spoke with the USFS, they said the erosion after the Junkins Fire creates a situation that makes FS Road 386 dangerous to travel. If you want to climb at Ego’s Nest, Scene of the Crime, or Isabella’s Tierra you need to bike or hike from the closure.
Ben accepting one of the 2016 Access Fund Sharp End Awards at the 2017 Annual Dinner in San Francisco .
“Access Fund is proud to present Ben Bruestle with a Sharp End Award for his leadership of Southern Colorado Climbing Resource and Advocacy Group (SoCo CRAG) and his work to preserve and protect climbing areas in Southern Colorado. Ben has been instrumental in orchestrating Adopt a Crag stewardship events and climbing days at multiple sites, making strong inroads with a host of local land managers. Ben also dedicates countless hours to replacing worn, aging anchors and bolts in the Wet Mountains. ”
Steve House, Jimmy Chin, Hans Florine, Tommy Caldwell, Peter Croft and Phil Powers were among the audience of bad asses.
Titanic is open to climbing again. South Hardscrabble Creek climbing (Ego’s Nest, Scene of the Crime, Isabella’s Tierra) remains closed. The USFS will evaluate the road again after the winter snows and spring runoff and rains.
Per Michael Davis:
I’d just like to let you know that the Titanic Climbing Area near Westcliffe, Colorado is currently within the closure zone for the Junkins Wildland Fire. No one will be allowed into this area until the US Forest Service lifts the closure.
Thought you might want to share this information with the members of your organization.
Michael Davis, Public Information Officer
Great Basin IMT 1
Jenkins Fire Information Line 719-283-1710
South Hardscrabble climbing at Ego’s Nest, Scene of the Crime and Isabella’s Tierra also closed to climbing until further notice.
We did it. After two years of working with the State Land Board and the local land lessee, SoCO CRAG was allowed one day of legal climbing access to Beddows Dome. A special use permit was issued for one day of use on July 26. A total of 18 Westcliffe and Pueblo climbers met up for a spectacular time on the domes cracks, plates, and chickenheads. Seven trad lines were lead by local rockstars. A fantastic time was had by all on the best trad lines in the Wet Mountains. Thanks to all the help the Access Fund provided in terms of technical support and event insurance. This was a one time event, with climbing still seen as an illegal use of Beddows Dome. We hope that this single day of access will be seen by the state and our partners as a positive example of compatible use for future expansion.