Boulderites yearning to climb at pristine off-trail crags will soon have to plan ahead. The city of Boulder now requires permits for areas designated for habitat conservation.
Off-trail permits are part of the implementation of the Visitor Master Plan. Managing off-trail use is intended to improve protection of natural areas.
The policy for off-trail permits is an alternative to closing the areas entirely. One can either stay on-trail or register for an off-trail permit, said Julie Johnson, a spokeswoman for Boulder open space.
Climbers need a permit to reach certain boulders and crags with the city of Boulder’s open space. The affected areas are:
- Cryptic Crag
- Adam’s Spire
- Metaphysical boulders
- Sacred Cliffs
Applications for off-trail permits may be obtained through the open space Web site or at the Chautauqua Ranger Cottage.
The permits are good for one day and are free. Getting caught without one is a $100 fine, according to the Flatirons Climbers Coalition.
The fine goes into a general city fund and not directly back to Boulder open space, said Johnson.
The program is postponed from its original effective date of Feb. 1 because of snowy weather. A new trail built to help deter off-trail traffic is very muddy, and not fit for travel.
“We want to start the program in one fell swoop,” Johnson said.
Reactions from CU student climbers are varied.
“I think it is overkill. It is a blanket approach to a problem that is small,” said Mark Jones, a senior marketing and international business major and frequent climber at the Boulder Rock Club.
Alternatively, some see the logic in restricting access to off-trail areas.
“It is a bummer to see a closure, but as someone who cares about the environment, I also understand the need,” said Hallie Bevan, a senior environmental engineering major.
For more information, Visit the City of Boulder Web site.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Kathleen Straney at Kathleen.Straney@thecampuspress.com.