Touchstone Blog Archive
Sunday, May 22, 2011
  Castle Rock State Park on Verge of Closure
Seventy state parks across California will close starting in September. Elizabeth Goldstein, executive director of the California State Parks Foundation, said, "It represents 25 percent of the park system and, for the Bay Area, it's a big hit." Most significant is the closure of Castle Rock State Park, located in the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The park has been a long time local bay area bouldering area- California's Fontableau with it's sloping sandstone boulders.

The closures are necessary to cover the two-year, $22 million cut in the state parks budget the Legislature agreed to in March. Those cuts were made to help shrink the state's then-$26 billion deficit to its current $15.6 billion. The funding for the state parks was going to come from an $18 increase in automotive registration, a bill that voters vetoed.

Park officials said rangers and maintenance workers will periodically patrol the shuttered parks and they are hoping volunteers will also step up. Some parks could remain open if nonprofit groups or local governments step in and take over their operation and funding, or if additional concession operators can be recruited, officials said. The Access Fund is currently working to stop the closure with a solid petition and political campaigning.

The closures will begin in September, Coleman said, and be completed by July 2012. The parks will be open through this summer, but there will be significant service reduction through the summer.

I visited Castle Rock over the weekend. Tons of climbers, and hikers littered the park. The very full parking lot was being manned by three rangers, one of whom took the time to speak with me about the changes. The ranger was unsure of the status of Castle Rock- if they'd be patrolling the area and ticketing people once it closed or what exactly the outcome of Castle Rock would be. The ranger informed me that things would remain the same through the summer but the fall would see changes.

Take a moment to write to your local politician about the closure using the easy to use letter writing tool at the AccessFund.

A frequent member of the Berkeley Ironworks crew, Michele Lombardo Goodhew climbs at Castle Rock State Park. Here's a video of her crushing The Lost Keys Traverse(V6), a neo-classic discovered by Chris Bloch a few years ago when he lost his keys. Check out the smooth moves she executes through the crux and into the hard mantle finish.

With competing beta, here's local hardman and Johnny Utah look-a-like Al Liu sending the Lost Keys Traverse as well.

Lost Keys from Al Liu on Vimeo.

Just below Castle Rock, a single hueco guards a series of bad slopers. The aesthetic problem was a long term John "Yabo" Yabolonski project until a few years ago when Santa Cruz local, Chris Sharma dispatched the first ascent of "Ecoterrorist" (V10/11). Here's some footage of Scott Chandler hiking the classic Castle Rock problem.

Ecoterrorist [v10] from scott chandler on Vimeo.

Below Indian Rock are a number of less developed and very good boulders. There's good information about them on a Supertopo Thread. There's some awesome new mantle problems down the hill. Get out there and check them out.

Make sure to voice your opinion about the state park closures- help keep Castle Rock open!

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I would like to make a note that two of the problems pictured are in Skyline-Sanborn park, not Castle Rock State Park. I am under the impression that only Castle Rock Park, which is 100% on the south side of 35 will be closed. Problems like Lost Keys, Indian Rock, and Nature Nazis will remain open.
Atom- A number of the problems are on the other side of the road and will not be affected by the closure but the changes are not good regardless.
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