US Government worse than Colorado Flood

I find myself this morning with sore legs and shoulders from climbing The Smear of Fear, one of Colorado’s finest ice climbs. Just yesterday, September 30, my friend Kevin Cooper and I bagged season's first and the last legal ascent of the climb before the government imploded. I should be basking in that post-alpine glow, but instead I’m a bit bummed. The US Government just closed the National Parks and now the ice climb is closed too.

Kevin Cooper starting the runout on the second pitch of the Smear of Fear. The climb lived up to its name yesterday. 

The one little bright spot in Colorado floods – tons of water in the high country that is now turning to ice – just got snuffed by government bickering. Our state is in chaos, and the Feds now close our National Parks. M#$%*r F#&!#@s!


Thursday a cold snap is forecast to pass over the area, fattening up these ice smears and turning on what could be the best early season ice climbing conditions in 10 years in Rocky Mountain National Park. Yesterday I saw ice features that I’d never seen in 30 years of ice climbing in the area.


Fresh ice in the Chasm Lake cirque after the Colorado floods. 

 Looking out at the scar left by the huge landslide that ripped off of Twin Sisters during the flood, I thought about the flood of stupidity that is currently going on in Washington. Right now the US Government is doing to America what the rains did to Colorado a couple of weeks ago – and I don’t think they’ll send in FEMA to fix it afterwards.

The huge landslide scar on Twin Sisters from the 2013 floods. 

Not only that, but the congressional babies who shut down our government are still getting paid! That’s almost the worst of it. Can’t we fire them? That is certainly what would happen in private industry. Or what about giving congress a bunch of muskets and bayonets and cut them loose in a big field to fight it out revolutionary style?

The rappel off the Smear of Fear.

If RMNP had remained open, I was going to post these photos and conditions report as an early season Christmas present to Colorado climbers who suffered through the floods and now have had their local rock climbing closed by land managers after the flood.  Instead, sadly, I’m posting these photos of an area that is now off limits thanks to poor management and bad decision-making by a government that cares more about power than people.

I love this country like my own children, but I'm beginning to hate the powers that control it. 

Ice climbing doesn’t really matter in the bigger picture, but the situation is symbolic of the whole American disaster. Here we are, surrounded by opportunity, and the state and federal government has cut off our ability to take advantage of it.  We the people are taking it in the shorts.

Note the color of Chasm Lake after the floods washed debris and silt into it - too bad nobody can go there now.