Mount Saint Helena is arguably one of the premier sport climbing crags in the Bay Area – with tons of routes and a wide range of difficulty it does have something for everyone. Which is why it attracts climbers from all over the Bay Area and in decent numbers too. On the day of the event we saw at least 50 climbers from every corner of the Bay Area.
The Bay Area Climbers Coalition is always looking for new projects at the most popular crags in the Bay Area. Back in April we met the awesome folks from the Rock, Ice & Mountain (RIM) Club, who have been supporting this crag for a very long time. They were psyched to work with us to take on some needed stewardship projects at Mount Saint Helena and we were equally as psyched to have a partner organization to take on the number of heavy projects at this crag.
Jump ahead to October 17….we have a great crew of project leaders from the RIM Club and the Bay Area Climbers Coalition and 30 volunteers who are eager to help with making this local climbing area even better for the community.
With all of these amazing climbing stewards in attendance we were able to get a huge amount of work done:
1. We had a crew clean-up all the trash in both parking lots and then they walked the road both ways to clean-up trash near the other pull out parking options.
2. We had another crew that worked with two of the State Park employees to clear out a ton of downed trees and limbs.
3. A crew of volunteers built a rubble wall in front of the eroding gully that some folks have been using to go up to the Quarry area – the erosion on this hillside was really really bad, please use the established trails. The trails are actually quicker, easier, and cause far less damage to the area.
BEFORE – eroding gully leading up to the Quarry
This is the real climber’s trail.
AFTER – rubble wall installed plus we worked to cover up the terrible path leading up the gully
4. That same crew also closed off a number of social/short-cut trails that were causing erosion issues on hillsides and exposing tree roots.
5. Another crew of trail folks worked on the upper part of the climber access trail for the Quarry – again closing off multiple social trails and diverting folks out of the eroding gully and onto the established and more solid trail. They also fixed a number of the switchbacks on this upper part of the trail. Cairns were placed to mark the correct way, thank you for keeping on the trail!
6. And at the very end of the day we all rallied to do some work on the “Shortcut Trail” that leads from the parking lot area up to the “Stevenson Homestead Site”. This work involved clearing of the loose rock from the trail, closing of a couple of social trails, and clearing of downed tree branches from the trail.
Post event celebrations included some excellent sandwich fixings from CalMart, beer from New Belgium, cold beverages from Guayaki, and of course a great raffle where everyone was able to win something.
Thank you again to all of the amazing volunteers for putting in their hard work, love, and passion to support this awesome local crag!