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AAC, Central Rockies Section

AAC, Central Rockies Section. Perhaps it’s the proximity of the AAC offices or just that Coloradoans are being drawn to the great outdoors more than ever, but the Central Rockies Section continues to see phenomenal growth. Only four years after the division of the Rocky Mountain Section into two parts (North and Central), the Central Rockies Section has outgrown the previous total membership for the section. As we move into the 21st century, the CRS membership will break 1,400, and we may once again look into division to maximize the personal connection between the AAC and its membership.

The Central Rockies Section was involved in several events and projects in 1999 that we hope will show the climbing community that the AAC is an advocate voice and interested partner, able to attract new members while stimulating existing members to get involved. Naturally, it’s a shame that we can’t “just go climbing” anymore, that issues have arisen that require either response or the possible loss of our wilderness freedom. It is imperative that we help manage the land and freedom that we have taken for granted for so long.

Immediately north of the AAC offices in Golden are the basalt cliffs of Table Mountain, which offer sport and traditional climbs through most of the winter. The Section strengthened its alliance with the Access Fund in 1999 by donating $1,500 to the construction of the Golden Cliffs project, which provided a legal and formal access road, parking lot, trail system and restroom for the crag. The fund raising for this money was member-driven through support of the Annual Section Banquet, auction and sale items.

In April, the CRS wrote to the Jefferson County Planning Commission in Golden and attended public meetings to voice our concern regarding the proposed mining adjacent to Eldorado State Park. The open-pit mining proposal threatens the nature of the Park, which is an international destination for rock climbing. At the time of this writing, the proposal has been tabled.

In June, the Chairman met with leaders of two Russian climbing clubs in hopes of creating an exchange. Although the Russians are happy to receive guests, their economic conditions will prevent them from sending any of their climbers to this country for some time to come. If there are interested parties wishing to pursue an adventure in Russia, whether alpine ascents or rock climbing near the Black Sea, please feel free to inquire.

July saw Section members team up with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative to provide labor toward trail restoration on Mount Harvard (14,420'). This organization, with an office in the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, is working to create a sustainable trail system on all 53 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. In most cases our high peaks are being loved to death, and new trails are needed to get foot traffic onto rock and off the tundra.

For current events in our area, please visit our web site at http://crs.alpineclub. org. We have added a List Service for our e-mail members. On it, you may post inquiries, reports, gear wanted or for sale, or other news. It is exempt from solicitation and marketing and is solely for members’ use and enjoyment. To subscribe, please visit our web site and follow the prompt on the Home Page.

Greg Sievers, Chairman