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Colorado Climbing Areas Threatened by Wildfires


by Kelly Bates

June 11, 2002

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

Most of the South Platte is currently closed due to a large wildfire that is burning out of control in the Pike National Forest. The Hayman Fire has forced the evacuation of over 600 residents in the area and forced closure of the entire Pike and San Isabel National Forests. It appears that many climbing areas have been hit by the fire are are reported to be closed indefinitely.

The fire was first reported on Saturday evening, June 8. It has been fed by strong winds and (as of 6/8/02 8PM) already have burned over 77,000 acres and is only 5% contained. Several towns and communities have been completely evacuated, and there are more expected to come in the next few hours.

Local South Platte climber, Kelly Bates, said that the 12:30 Monday update shows the affected area roughly along a line from Westcreek to Lake George, meaning it has probably burnt Big Rock Candy Mountain and possibly Turkey and Sheeps Nose as well, and is moving E-NE and could threaten those areas if it's not there yet.

In a recent rec.climbing post, from looking at the US Forest Service fire perimeter map one climber wrote: "The closure does apparently affect almost everything in the SPlatte that's climbable, from 11Mile to Mueller to Cheyenne Canyon (question mark), west all the way to and including Sherman, Bross/Lincoln/Democrat, NE along the continental divide to the old Geneva ski area, and due east just south of Bierstadt to the JeffCo line, the forest boundary then turns roughly south and appears to just barely include Bailey, where it again turns east. Pine misses the apparent closure by a half-mile, and may be open; it's mostly private land north of Pine anyway. Sphinx rock is as far south as one can go on that road (126), apparently, and avoid the restriction. 126 has been reported to be closed at both ends for all access currently, regardless."

For more information there is a special website set-up to provide up-to-date information of the Hayman Fire. Updated throughout the day are news releases, maps, and photos to help document the incident. Visit

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