Red Rock weekend: Workers, climbers

       Red Rock Canyon Open Space had a busy weekend Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30-Oct. 1. LEFT: A crew cuts through thick vegetation along a switchback of the future Roundup Trail Sept. 30. 
RIGHT: With belaying help from his father, Ron, C.J. Sidebottom rappels down a route he had just completed on the Wailing Wall Oct. 1.
Westside Pioneer photos
       Activities included a corridor-clearing workday for the new Roundup Trail on Saturday, involving about 35 people; and the first-ever rock climbing competition Sunday, which had 27 entrants.
       The only setback was a broken leg, suffered by a trail worker who slipped on the hilly terrain. Emergency crews used existing jeep roads to get near the site, at the upper end of the open space, and bring her to a hospital. She was eventually treated and released.
       “It was unfortunate,” said Colorado Springs Parks Development Manager Chris Lieber. “I hate to see any volunteers injured on a project. We do everything we can to provide a safe and fun experience,”
       On the plus side, the future trail corridor was successfully cleared of vegetation, which will expedite a trail-building project by the Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) that's planned Saturday, Oct. 14. According to Lieber, about 200 volunteers are expected to sign up for that workday through the Denver-based VOC. Completion will allow the east-west Roundup Trail to connect three of Red Rock's canyons.
       Using pre-established routes, the climbing competition Oct. 1 benefitted from a “great sunny day,” according to Joe Groshong of the Rock climbing center in Monument, which worked with the Front Range Climbing Company and the Friends of Red Rock Canyon to put the first-time event together. “We all had a great time.”
       Prizes were awarded based on the number and difficulty of the climbs. Prizes, chiefly equipment and clothing, were donated by local businesses in the climbing industry for the winners in various men's and women's categories.
       One of the climbers, C.J. Sidebottom, said he was having such a good time that “part of me wants to not even turn in my scoresheet. The competition is just an excuse to climb, enjoy a nice day and meet new people.”
       Groshong said the competition “will be an annual event as long as the city allows it.”

Westside Pioneer article