Estes Park has long been a gathering place for top climbers from around the world. Many world renowned climbers settle here, while others can’t resist returning to climb. A unique generational mix of climbers are drawn to Estes Park, including Scott Kimball, who wrote the 1986 Lumpy Ridge and Estes Park Rock Climbs guidebook, stunt rigger Douglas Snively, AMGA ski-mountaineering guide Mark Kelly, and Paige Claassen, one of the top sport climbers in the United States.
The 10th annual Lumpy Trails day event brought those top climbers, and more, back to Lumpy Ridge. They celebrated over 50 years of climbing on Lumpy with a social gathering at Ed’s, free climbing clinics provided by Colorado Mountain School/Boulder Rock Club, a slide show by Lumpy Ridge pioneer Scott Kimball, and trail building camaraderie on the Sundance climber access trail.
The Saturday slide show was hosted by Greg Sievers and highlighted local climbing legends, including Harry Kent, Billy Westbay, Michael Covington, and others.
Everest ascensionist, and owner of Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder, Gary Neptune observed a CMS offwidth crack clinic taught by Clint Locks on Crack of Fear, Twin Owls. Climbers from the front range, Estes Park, California, Great Britain, and Israel took advantage of crack clinics offered by the CMS guides.
Climbers are known for giving back and following the Access Fund’s “Leave No Trace” ethics. On Oct. 3, 46 volunteers plus National Park Service trail employees constructed 60 rock stairs and installed 90 wooden water bars to prevent erosion on the 500 vertical feet of trail. AMGA heli-ski guide Mark Kelly once again helped on the trail crew and says there were “three times the number of people I’ve seen in the past. Basically all the projects the park service had lined up for us were finished.”
The event gathers support from climbing gear manufacturers, who set up a tent festival in the Lumpy Ridge/Gem Lake parking lot. In 2010 the North Face, Trango, Camp Equipment, LaSportiva, Colorado Mountain School and Neptune Mountaineering took part. Local businesses also support the event, including: Estes Park Mountain Shop, Kind Coffee, Ed’s Cantina, Poppy’s, the Egg & I, Starbucks, Estes Park Brewery, the Donut Haus, and Catering for All Occasions.
Local climber Greg Sievers and Chris Pruchnic, Front Range Section chair of the American Alpine Club organized the 2010 event. Chris is proud of taking part in the “biggest year yet” of the Lumpy Ridge Climbers Reunion and Trails Day. Look for hard core climbers to gather again to celebrate climbing heritage in fall 2011.
Author Michelle Hurni is a local climber whose book “Core Climbing: Pilates For Climbers” is available at michellehurni.com.