Leavenworth’s rock climbing is world famous. Visiting climbers from all have ascended our area’s granite mountains, crags and boulders for 60 years. Those visits have had an accumulative effect on the trails and staging areas of popular climbing areas around the valley. The USFS teamed up with citizen action organizations and local volunteers to do some serious trail work to the original Leavenworth crag, Castle Rock.

castle rock trail5-1772

Several areas of the trail were rerouted and stabilized, greatly preventing future erosion and visitor impact on the areas surrounding popular routes. No imported materials were used in the construction, instead relying on granite blocks and gravel from onsite. Icicle TV is no stranger to climbing and was happy to help out and make some new friends in the process. He spoke with several of the hard working folks onsite, let’s hear what they have to say.castle rock trail3-1777

Morgan Foster and Adam Greenstreet, USFS Climbing Rangers, thought it was great to see the turnout form all the different organizations involved in climbing and get out there for the trail project. “Projects like this are an important part of our climbing ranger program” said Foster. “The rangers work with climbers that utilize the areas and manage to get out in the woods to get hands on climbing experience. We’re developing productive relationships with our partner organizations like Chelan County Mountain Rescue Association, Washington Climbers Coalition, The Mountaineers, and the Access Fund to accomplish goals that benefit both the environment and the climbing community” added Greenstreet.

Kurt Haire, Chelan County Mountain Rescue Association Volunteer- “We’re happy to see more accessible trails because it makes our job easier when we’re assisting with  rescues. When the local EMS management system gets a call that is beyond the capacity of the sheriff’s professional rescuers (ex: wilderness or technical rescue) that’s when we get involved. CCMRA is all volunteers. Currently we have about 20 active people on call.”

castle rock trail4-1784John Race, Owner, Leavenworth Mountain School-“It makes sense that local climbers and local climbing organizations make an effort to protect our great climbing resources and that the forest service is open to volunteer labor in the face of a very limited budget. Olivia and I were happy to see everyone pitch in, get along, agree on goals, and sweat a bit. Hats off to the Washington Climbers Coalition, the Access Fund, and the Leavenworth Ranger District as without those three making it happen it would not have come about. We are looking forward to being part of the discussion moving forward and happy to provide strong backs and weak minds when the dirty work needs to be done.”

Finally we talked to the man who spearheaded the trail building day. Matt Perkins has worked tirelessly to protect climbers rights to access public lands. ” The Washington Climbers Coalition is committed to protecting our state’s climbing heritage. Castle Rock hosted the first technical climbs in the state, so it’s a good place as any to continue to build a lasting partnership for the future.” Any way you slice it, trail projects like the Castle Rock trail day are the way of the future.