Four More Colorado Fourteeners Called Off Limits Due to Private Property Issues

Four More Colorado Fourteeners Called Off Limits Due to Private Property Issues

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 2nd, 2005, 7:37 pm #1


The AP reports that four additional Colorado Fourteeners have been called off limits because of private property issues.

The Forest Service is issuing warnings about Mount Democrat, Mount Lincoln, Mount Bross and Mount Cameraon in Park County near Denver unless hikers have permission from landowners who acquired the access routes through old mining claims.

Access to at least two other fourteeners - Culebra Peak in the Sangre de Cristos and Wilson Peak near Telluride - is at issue because of the 1872 Mining Act, a Civil War-era law meant to develop the mineral wealth of the Western States, said T.J. Rapoport, executive director of the Fourteeners Initiative. The original claims were patented, meaning they were transferred to private ownership.

Mary Reiber, one of the landowners, said she is concerned about possible lawsuits if somebody falls into one of the mines.
http://americasroof.com/wp/archives/200 ... rty-issues/
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Joined: November 25th, 2000, 10:31 pm

July 7th, 2005, 1:40 am #2

Democrat, Lincoln & Bross (& Cameron, a little bump on the way) off limits by private property? I can hardly believe this; I'm glad I climbed them years ago. No sign of any property, except some old mines and arrastres in the valley the road went past. If this is true there's going to be a real dust-up over it.

Since the Taylor Ranch, which greatly restricted access to Culebra, was sold, access to this peak is uncertain. I hope the new owner lightens up. The last owner allowed one visit a year, starting low down at the ranch house, while he logged the daylights out of the place. Local residents are now allowed traditional land access again but I don't know if this includes peaks.

Other mountains blocked by hostile land owners: Coal Creek Peak in Jefferson County (just N. of Coal Creek Canyon & Rt. 72); allegedly Two Buttes N. of Burlington (a small hill on the E. Plains); Cheyenne Mt. S. of Colorado Springs (the one with the television transmitters on top; I don't know how you get up there); and in Wyoming, Elk Mt. (off I-80 between Laramie and Rawlins); Inyan Kara Mt.; and allegedly Sundance Peak though it rises right behind Sundance on I-80 N. of Inyan Kara. I did manage to climb the two highest of the 5 Mo. Buttes near Devils Tower though they're on Lake Ranch.

Pidurutalagala, Ceylon/Sri Lanka's highest point, a grassy hill of some 8000' near Nuwara Eliya, is now allegedly off limits because a radar station has been built on it, like Mt. Parnes near Athens. I'm glad I climbed it (twice) years ago. Adam's Peak near Maskeliya has stairs up it and a little temple over its rocky summit, allegedly the footprint of Adam, the Prophet, or you name it; but to my annoyance there was a No Photos sign and a guy sitting there, so I didn't get to take one proving it's just another rocky summit. I'd heard Mt. Katherine, 2642 m., Sinai's highest (357 m. higher than Mt. Sinai or Jebel Musa everybody climbs), had a radio facility on top, but you can climb it anyway with a required guide; it overlooks a plateau with several other peaks with radio stations on them. I had no camera so don't know if you could get away with pictures; you can buy cards overlooking Mt. Sinai (with snow), in Al Milga or Katherine, the nearby town.

Despite stories in tourist brochures about a fence and only one climb a year, a foot race, I'm told you can still climb Mt. Gillen W. of Alice Springs which I've done twice. A trail starts near John Flynn's grave, or you can scramble up the ridge by Heavitree Gap S. of ALice Springs, then follow it W. It offers a good view of the "hush-hush" Pine Gap facility (everybody knows it's for recce or "spy" satellites), a bunch of radomes like Buckley Field in Aurora here.

Mt. Kailas (in Tibet, I think) and Kangchenyunga are "off limits" for religious reasons; but those who summitted the latter apparently stopped just short of the untrodden summit. Mt. Silisili on Savaii in W. Samoa, highest in the group at over 6000', used to be blocked by a stupid ban from Aopo village on anyone crossing village lands; I hope this idiocy is now history. Mt. Fito, second highest, is now a national park and presumably has a trail up it; trails in Samoa tend to peter out in mud or the nearest taro patch.

Roger Williams, Boulder.
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Joined: January 21st, 2004, 6:08 am

July 7th, 2005, 3:39 am #3

Roger, let me preface this with a couple of items: 1) I'm not trying to ignite an acrimonious battle here and 2) if I end up with 1/10 your climbing resume I'll be happy.

I am interested in what you think the benefits are of land ownership. It seems from your comments that you believe denying access to a hiker/climber is not, or at least should not be, among these. If I haven't misunderstood your position, the logical next question is what conduct rises to the level that it can be controlled by the landowner, and who gets to decide that a given action has crossed that line?
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 7th, 2005, 1:18 pm #4

Olivier:
I'm not quite sure what your point is.

I merely reported a news item.

As long as desirable hiking areas are on private property these issues are going to keep coming up and people should be aware of them.

Roger.
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Joined: January 21st, 2004, 6:08 am

July 7th, 2005, 1:34 pm #5

Sorry, Roger Williams, not Roger, Keeper of the Forum.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 9:10 pm

July 7th, 2005, 4:37 pm #6


The AP reports that four additional Colorado Fourteeners have been called off limits because of private property issues.

The Forest Service is issuing warnings about Mount Democrat, Mount Lincoln, Mount Bross and Mount Cameraon in Park County near Denver unless hikers have permission from landowners who acquired the access routes through old mining claims.

Access to at least two other fourteeners - Culebra Peak in the Sangre de Cristos and Wilson Peak near Telluride - is at issue because of the 1872 Mining Act, a Civil War-era law meant to develop the mineral wealth of the Western States, said T.J. Rapoport, executive director of the Fourteeners Initiative. The original claims were patented, meaning they were transferred to private ownership.

Mary Reiber, one of the landowners, said she is concerned about possible lawsuits if somebody falls into one of the mines.
http://americasroof.com/wp/archives/200 ... rty-issues/
I echo Roger W's sentiment. Landowners who 'own' mountains, acceess thereto, or other interesting natural features, have to certainly expect that they'll be approached for access. If they don't want the hassle then they should not have bought the land. Or, they can set up a reasonable access program that benefits them as well as the climbers both.

The previous owner of the lands surrounding Culebra Peak seemed to me, IMO, to make access a big headache not only for interested hikers but for himself as well. Plenty of other mountains have access that cross private property where both parties have come to some sort of plan, usually through easements or something as simple as asking for permission first. Landowner fears of hikers 'falling into mines' or other somesuch I think are a smokescreen. Draft a waiver absolving the landowner of any responsibility and move forward. It's been done and there are plenty of good models in place that can be followed.

I am curious if the landowners actually live on the land and actively work it as a livelihood, or if they are located apart from the land and simply own it as property.

Not that I officially condone this sort of thing... but park somewhere hidden, get an early start and lay low. The mountaintop will be yours. Theoretically
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 7th, 2005, 5:33 pm #7

I have to put a standard disclaimer on the above post which was is the opinion of Scott and not this site.

We officially are opposed to trespassing in all forms.
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Joined: January 24th, 2004, 8:34 pm

July 8th, 2005, 4:21 pm #8

Roger, let me preface this with a couple of items: 1) I'm not trying to ignite an acrimonious battle here and 2) if I end up with 1/10 your climbing resume I'll be happy.

I am interested in what you think the benefits are of land ownership. It seems from your comments that you believe denying access to a hiker/climber is not, or at least should not be, among these. If I haven't misunderstood your position, the logical next question is what conduct rises to the level that it can be controlled by the landowner, and who gets to decide that a given action has crossed that line?
These people don't actually own the land -- its public land that they are gaining rights to at essentially NO COST under 130 year old mining law that is ridiculous to apply in modern colorado.

NOBODY wants mines on those public lands, they are too precious for recreation. This is nineteenth century land policy, cronyism, and gaming the system run amok.
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Joined: January 21st, 2004, 6:08 am

July 9th, 2005, 3:26 am #9

I echo Roger W's sentiment. Landowners who 'own' mountains, acceess thereto, or other interesting natural features, have to certainly expect that they'll be approached for access. If they don't want the hassle then they should not have bought the land. Or, they can set up a reasonable access program that benefits them as well as the climbers both.

The previous owner of the lands surrounding Culebra Peak seemed to me, IMO, to make access a big headache not only for interested hikers but for himself as well. Plenty of other mountains have access that cross private property where both parties have come to some sort of plan, usually through easements or something as simple as asking for permission first. Landowner fears of hikers 'falling into mines' or other somesuch I think are a smokescreen. Draft a waiver absolving the landowner of any responsibility and move forward. It's been done and there are plenty of good models in place that can be followed.

I am curious if the landowners actually live on the land and actively work it as a livelihood, or if they are located apart from the land and simply own it as property.

Not that I officially condone this sort of thing... but park somewhere hidden, get an early start and lay low. The mountaintop will be yours. Theoretically
I'll have to plead ignorance as to the facts and history of the Colorado situation.

Scott, are you saying it matters whether the landowner lives on/works the land when it comes to his ability to deny access completely...or simply when it comes to one's ability to find that hidden parking spot and get there anyway?

I'd imagine most landowners would expect to be asked for access if something people want to go to is on their land, but they can always say no - for whatever reason.

...and oh yeah, since I see MarkS has been posting lately, let's not get started on the waiver thing!
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 5:18 am

July 9th, 2005, 10:07 am #10

Coal mines ... private property. You know I'm chomping at the bit here. But I'll be good.
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