What we are doing
NM CRAG and the Access Fund organized a crag improvement project at El Rito on March 4, 2017. Many years of use at the Rad Wall had resulted in eroded landings in need of repair. Twenty-four volunteers showed up to rebuild the landings at the Rad Wall and installed gabion baskets to decrease erosion. The base of the Rad Wall is now level and safer for both climbers and belayers.
WORKING WITH LAND MANAGERS
Members of NM CRAG are always in touch with land-managing agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. Maintaining these contacts with local and regional offices allows us to respond quickly when there are issues and to be seen as good partners for managing resources.
For example, many National Forests in New Mexico are in the process of revising their Forest Plans, which dictate how the forests are managed and what areas are appropriate for certain uses such as climbing. NM CRAG continually tracks these changes, informing the climbing community about any public meetings, and works with the Access Fund to provide comments to the agencies on their proposed decisions. Recent studies of potential wilderness areas on the Carson National Forest led NM CRAG members to attend multiple public meetings and comment on how access to bouldering across many areas in the Ortegas could be imperiled with wilderness designation. This outreach resulted in the Carson National Forest no longer considering these areas for wilderness designation.
IMPROVING OUR CLIMBING AREAS
NM CRAG and the Access Fund organized a crag improvement project at El Rito on March 4, 2017. Prior to the volunteer effort, Access Fund conservation specialists visited El Rito and concluded that the eroded landings at the Rad Wall were the crag's most needed repairs. NM CRAG worked with the Forest Service to determine what approach was best for fixing the situation and purchased gabion baskets to mitigate the erosion.
Twenty-four volunteers showed up to rebuild the base of the Rad Wall and associated trails. We spent the day removing old trails, constructing gabion baskets, leveling landings, and building new trails to improve safety and reduce erosion. NM CRAG will be continuing these efforts and plans to return and improve the landings at the Super Slab wall where erosion is also occurring. These ongoing efforts to maintain our own crags mean climbers now can enjoy this area for years to come and represent another successful partnership with the Forest Service to be good stewards of our shared climbing resources.