The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department worked closely with local climbers and the Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance to reach this decision.
Importance of conservation
Taking into account the number of rock climbers that scale Garden of the Gods each year, even the smallest of traces left behind from individual climbers, such as chalk marks or dust, can create monumental impacts. By eliminating the use of chalk and chalk substitutes, rock climbers at the park will play a role in keeping the Garden’s extraordinary rock structures sustainable and stunning for years to come.
This decision puts outdoor ethics into play by enhancing and promoting the practice of responsible recreation.
Other regular conservation efforts in Garden of the Gods include regular park maintenance, like removing trash and litter; trail maintenance efforts that help ensure existing trails are safer and more sustainable; reclamation using native seed and mulch to restore disturbed land; trail corridor cleaning; and noxious weed inventory and removal. These efforts often take place in partnership with groups like the Rocky Mountain Field Institute and Mile High Youth Corps.
Working with recreation groups creates the best outcomes
Statement of support from the Pikes Peak Climber’s Alliance
“The Pikes Peak Climber’s Alliance has been happy to work with the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department to help preserve and protect our beloved cliffs and natural resources in Garden of the Gods Park. We support a ban on chalk use on climbing routes to make sure that its iconic cliffs are used by climbers with a sustainable Leave No Trace ethic. As local climbers, most of us learned how to climb on the Garden’s red rock formations and we love the place. A no-chalk ethic goes a long way to preserving the Garden of the Gods and our climbing freedoms.”