The Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance is here to be a voice and ear for our local climbing community and local land managers. Over the course of the last year, we have been involved in working with dedication to keep our community talking and trying to find resolve related to opinions and perspective on climbing Pikes Peak. We have seen division amongst individuals who feel access and routes should be done through different applications. Our first steps were taken in 2020 to try and find a solution from having members talking openly with the PPCA present and attempting to work through stances together. Shortly after, we felt it wise to gather outside input from other organizations who have faced similar challenges. We have been in ongoing conversations with other climbing coalitions, the AccessFund, National Forest Districts, and you the climbing community. In doing so, we strive to jump in before communication between folks is jeopardized with spite. Keeping people talking is very important to us. While the PPCA does not hold any authority to tell people what they can and can not do, we try our best to resolve situations where the means of authority would ever be needed. Earlier this summer, we released a public survey on how our region's climbers feel traveling on Pikes Peak’s granite should be upheld. This survey was live for an extended period of time to gather as much community input as possible. This is and will forever be reviewed to ensure conservation and heartfelt moments in this amazing alpine environment.
We are happy to share the results of our survey asking what YOU the community wants and feels is appropriate to work towards for years to come with Pikes Peak climbing. We received a wide spectrum of feedback from all levels of climbers in the community, and the following highlights the consensus.
93.8% of survey takers felt it appropriate to have experienced placement of planned fixed protection on Pikes Peak. As the PPCA has taken the time to read through all of the well written responses, 78.7% of survey takers felt that convenience anchors for faster access should be present due to the fixed amount of time looming by the gate of the Pikes Peak Highway.
95.2% of survey takers felt that fixed anchors should be present on routes that hold no areas for placement of gear or that do not provide safe paths for exit. This would also include rappel webbing and other less impactful ways to insure safety on Pikes Peak. At large, the community showed concern for impact on the alpine environment. We will be forming a PPCA committee for areas that can be monitored and avoid as much negative environmental shock as possible. There is a lot more feedback we have documented from the survey that we will be opening up to discussion, and we thank you so much for giving us your perspective on Pikes Peak!
The community has spoken, and the PPCA has voted and formalized plans of action! On Wednesday, August 4th, The Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance Board of Directors voted to uphold our community's feedback on fixed hardware on Pikes Peak climbing. YOUR communities climbing organization will hold a stance that fixed protection used in well sparingly pre thought and limited applications is what we as a community support for Pikes Peak. Bolting of cracks and areas that hold opportunity for removable protection, should not be protected with bolting and left to challenging placement climbing. There are more specifics as to where we stand on the “how” with fixed protection on Pikes Peak, but that will be outlined further in detail in the future. This very well could seem like a basic vote. However, since there has never been a community review on Pikes Peak climbing, we wanted to approach this the correct way. This information helps the PPCA in moving forward with conversations with the Pikes Peak Forest District for a Climbing Management Plan similar to how climbing is overseen in South Platte Forest District with the PPCA.
In regards to recent events of undesired removal of bolts and fixed protection currently happening on Pikes Peak, the PPCA has voted to lead the organization of work with experienced individuals to replace all fixed hardware that has been removed. The PPCA does not condone the actions taken in removing routes and hardware from Pikes Peak. We will be holding site evaluations moving forward on protection that was removed and where replacement would be best planned. This will give a chance for a group of experienced individuals to evaluate as a group the best placements that will enhance the life of material and safety. This group will include all first ascensionists and members of the PPCA. Funding for this project will be provided from the Jim DiNapoli legacy donation that was given to the Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance, Mountain Chalet & Springs Climbing Center. As well, an attempt has been made to contact closely involved members of the community about this decision prior to this public statement out of respect & consideration.
To conclude, the challenging dilemmas on what we are collectively going through in our backyard is something we never wish to see. Different perspectives are always welcome and encouraged, but being able to work through them as a composed community is what is crucial. We encourage everyone in our community to not let division lead to hateful thoughts and create fixed perspectives. We always need to be open to others opinions and take a breath to try and be understanding. If we don’t, this is how areas can be closed down because the community is not willing to work through less than desirable conversations. Pikes Peak IS "America's Mountain", and not just our local climbing communities private crag. We all should welcome those who seek to find euphoria on Pikes Peak. The Colorado Springs climbing community is one that has shown it is and can continue to be approachable. We all want the common goal to work together, and protect what we care most about. Let’s all make a pack to do this as a united climbing community. The PPCA is always excited to hear about our climbing communities members pushing new routes and stories on Pikes Peak, and throughout all climbing areas. We all owe it to these mountains to give our full respect in exchange for the wonderful opportunity to cross through its doors. Thank you for taking the time to care about others' climbing experience and helping push our community to new heights!
Hug a fellow climber. (Only if they have been vaccinated).