This past weekend, I rode from the up over Rollins Pass to Winter Park. While passing Yankee Doodle Lake, where many people were camping, my riding partner and I heard some rock fall near the Needle's tunnel area. We stopped and waited a minute to make sure that the slope was stable before crossing below, then proceeded carefully past. As we get closer we see two people in red shirts riding dirt bikes launching the largest boulders they could pick up off the side of the mountain onto a scree slope. We yelled up to them to stop, but they only stopped when my partner screamed *******s really loud.
As a climber I am aware of the dangers of rock throwing, and I didn't think it was possible that anyone who spends time in the outdoors would do such a thing, but apparently people are dumber than I thought. I was totally baffled that people were getting enjoyment out of starting mini rock slides above a commonly used road that people, including many kids, were using.
Watching this was especially disturbing because of the recent news about a climber being killed by a rock tossed off a cliff. Rocky Mountain News
This climbing incident has brought up a lot of discussion the stupidity of throwing rocks on mountainproject, so I won't elaborate on why throwing large rocks, especially above a scree slope, is a bad idea. While climbing it is important to be aware of what is above and below you, but I have rarely thought about rockfall dangers while biking, and I realize that I should start. So bikers, be aware of your surroundings and try to educate others about the dangers of rock throwers.
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