Monday, April 10, 2006

Fourteener debate: Should climbers go, anyway?

The Gazette reported today that private land owners on four fourteeners (Lincoln, Bross, Democrat and Cameron) won't allow access to the peaks even though new legislation gives them immunity from lawsuits filed by injured hikers.

The land owners now say they won't allow hikers until clearly marked trails are built. The area already has trails that are easy to follow, I think. It's almost impossible to get lost unless the whole area is socked in with clouds - or you're trying to make your own trail to the summit.

This makes us wonder, what gives? Why push for something you don't need when the legislature just gave you what you wanted? In the end, it doesn't really matter, as I reported a few months ago, the land owners don't intend to enforce the no-tresspassing edict, and a steady stream of climbers visit the peaks year round despite their closed status.

Is it right to trespass on these peaks while this trail issue is being worked out? Do the landowners have a legitimate complaint? What do you think?

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