04/18/2007

Climbing Access to Allen Spur, MT

4/19/2007

By Tom Kalakay

In 2004, after many years of closure, the Allen Spur climbing crag was reopened. The reestablishment of climbing at Allen Spur came after much hard work by SMCC members who negotiated an easement with landowners, surveyed the trail location and constructed trails to the crag. Now, less than 3 years later, closure of the crag is once again possible.

Recently, a few careless individuals have been accessing the crag via routes other than those built and maintained by SMCC. In other words, they are trespassing in order to make their hike shorter. This is a strict violation of the easement agreement SMCC has with landowner Hilda Harper. If this activity continues, landowners will have little choice but to once again close the crags.

The climbing access at Allen Spur is simple.

1) Park only at Carter Bridge fishing access. For the month of April, 2007 the Montana FWP will be doing construction to expand the Carter Bridge access site. Please do not block construction machinery during that time.

2) After parking, walk north on the gravel road marked 'private drive'. Continue walking until you pass a small culvert. Turn right, after the culvert, onto a marked climbers trail. Follow the trail along a fence line, cross a gravel road and continue uphill past several switch-backs. You will then be on BLM land where the trail turns south and continues to the climbing areas.

Despite rumors to the contrary, this is the only legal climbing access to Allen Spur crags. DO NOT drive on the gravel road beyond Carter Bridge access. DO NOT access the crags by 'shortcutting' straight to the crags from East River Road. Both of these routes require trespassing across private land. Those who choose to trespass run the risk of arrest and may also cause landowners to close the area once and for all.

If you see or know of someone who insists on violating SMCC's easement agreement you should tell them to stop, or report them to authorities.

A map showing access at Allen Spur in detail is available for download at:cobalt.rocky.edu/~geology/allen_spur_access.pdf