CMC Boulder’s Grant to the Front Range Climbing Stewards Goes to Needed Trail Work


The Boulder CMC offered a conservation grant in 2015 to the BCC Front Range Climbing Stewards, a full-time team of three trail builders who work with volunteers to fix trails for Boulder climbers.

Climbing is one of the fastest growing sports in the world today, putting huge pressures on the environments that foster the sport. Approaches and descents from crags damage trails, creating the need for single, durable approach trails that everyone can use.

In order to maintain and create trails like these, the Boulder Climbing Community and the Access Fund partnered to launch the Front Range Climbing Stewards in 2014—a mobile crew that builds durable approach trails in loose, delicate terrain.

In 2015, the team performed trail work on the Turkey Rocks and Castleton Tower climber’s approach trails, using the CMC donation to get quality and necessary work done on federal land where climbing access often falls low on land managers’ priorities.

The Turkey Rocks Approach Trail project took place on September 30, and the FRCS improved the approach trail by creating “hardened, durable surfaces for the trail tread and mitigating the erosion that takes places because of the trail’s alignment.” They enhanced the trail with stone structures and off-trail log check dams.

The Castleton Tower Campground/Approach Trail project near Moab took place between October 17 and 27 and focused on providing maintenance on the climber’s access trail, campground, and trailhead—all of which serve as access to multiple crags with over 35 routes, including the famed Kor-Ingalls route that is one of the “50 Classic routes of North America.”

The FRCS raised over $27,800 in 2015 through fundraising. In 2016, they are planning work on the iconic Third Flatiron descent trail, the Plotinus Wall, the Castleton project, access trails at Turkey Rocks and Lumpy Ridge, and the Dark Side boulders near Morrison.

The cost of running the three-person FRCS crew in 2016 will be around $120,000, of which between $70,000 and $100,000 comes from land manager contracts and other for-fee programs and services. The remaining money comes from fundraising, making it a vital part in the group’s success and ability to maintain and repair trails.

“On behalf of all of us at BCC and the Front Range Climbing Stewards, thanks for your support,” said FRCS program director Roger Briggs.


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