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July 6 2005 at 9:40 PM
Roger Williams  (Login rogerac)

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

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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