Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gold Bar Vehicle Access Revoked

I just received word from Jonah Harrison that Manke Lumber, the company that owns the land underneath the Gold Bar boulders, has revoked our status as "permittees" under its easement.  This means that climbers may no longer access the Gold Bar boulders by vehicle through the DNR gate on Reiter Road. 

Manke Lumber's decision apparently came as a result of DNR's communicated concerns about vehicle access, including the high levels of traffic, unauthorized use of the gate by non-WCC-members, and potential liability issues.  The WCC will work with DNR and Manke Lumber to try and alleviate these concerns.  We are also working on ways to secure permanent, long-term vehicle access to the property.  In the interim, please do your part to help secure vehicle access to Gold Bar by 1) fully cooperating with the closure, and 2) allowing the WCC to be the sole representative of the interests of climbers to DNR and Manke Lumber.  As I've mentioned before, climbers need to present themselves as an organized and compliant user group in order to engage in meaningful negotiations with these entities. 

This is obviously a very unfortunate development.  Restoring vehicular access to Gold Bar was a huge coup for Washington climbers, and was a major bouldering-related victory for the WCC.  However, Gold Bar is still open to foot traffic, and perhaps the silver lining to this cloud is that the boulders in the area will temporarily be restored to the quiet, pristine, and lonely place they once were.  I will continue to post updates here as the situation develops; information will also be posed on the WCC's web site as it becomes available.

'Till Next Time...

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