Adopt-a-crag trail building at Lover’s Leap

The Access Fund’s adopt-a-crag program gives me a good opportunity to check out the Lover’s Leap climbing area for the first time, and help improve some trail while I’m there.

The day begins without the usual tools or guidance of the Eldorado National Forest personnel due to a mysterious fire that destroyed their warehouse down the road. Eight of us grab all the tools we can find anyway and spend the day improving the trail as best we can between the lower buttress, Dear John buttress, and West Wall. The primary problem is erosion on steep rocky hillsides, and it’s interesting to observe my brain and hands as they tackle the problems, slowly developing basic principals of terracing in miniature by trial and error. I finish with lunch on top of the lower buttress – face showing the only evidence I collected of my labors.

It's dirty work

Lover's leap west buttress

The Access Fund folks provide dinner for all at the Strawberry Lodge afterward, as well as an engrossing slideshow by Kevin Jorgeson – mostly about his work with Tommy Caldwell to establish a free route on El Capitan (Dawn Wall). There’s even a small raffle that lands me a new chalk bag. Definitely a bigger event than I expected – hit one of these if you have the opportunity!

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