The White River National Forest seeks comments on Arapahoe Basin’s proposal to construct a new summer climbing route.
“The proposal is within A-Basin’s Special Use Permit area on the National Forest and is consistent with their Master Development Plan,” said Dillon District Ranger Adam Bianchi. “As we begin our environmental analysis of the proposal, we want to hear any comments or concerns from the public.”
Currently, Arapahoe Basin has a technical climbing route on the upper East Wall rock face known as a via ferrata, which includes steel cables, ladders, and other fixed anchors that help inexperienced climbers traverse and ascend steep terrain under the supervision of Arapahoe Basin climbing guides.
Arapahoe Basin is proposing a second via ferrata route in the East Gully Cliffs on the Lower East Wall that is shorter and less exposed, providing summer visitors with more diverse options for adventurous nature-based recreation. Arapahoe Basin anticipates offering three-to-four-hour guided tours across the proposed route to up to 50 visitors daily.
Visitors would access the lower zone by riding the Black Mountain Express chairlift and then hiking an approximately 0.3-mile section of the existing Half Moon hiking trail. Approximately 0.1-mile of new trail would be constructed to connect the existing trail to the base of the proposed via ferrata.
Additional details about the proposal and information about how to comment are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=65444
If approved, construction of the new via ferrata is expected to begin in the summer of 2024.