On a sunny Saturday morning, several carloads of climbers drove up from Sacramento to Lovers Leap. A great crowd of more enthusiastic climbers met us there, as many had chosen to spend the night at the campground to get in some more climbing.
The park rangers arrived exactly on time and were full of ideas and supplies! We split into groups and began preparing the campsites and some approach areas for the upcoming season.
While we moved from site to site, someone commented how it felt like we were providing room service to the campers. It did feel like that! The campers left their belongings at the sites while they went out to climb or hike, and we came through during the day in a flurry of housekeeping activities, leaving the sites sparkling clean for their returns.
All the picnic tables were scraped of old paint and repainted (mostly by our youngest helpers, who ended up wearing a lot of paint themselves). Apologies to the parents (who were wonderful at supervising and exceptionally patient with the extra paint!). :-) We also had teams of volunteers raking and sweeping all the trails through the campground as well as within the sites. It was incredible how much fresher the sites looked after their careful work!
Fire pits were emptied, and loads of new firewood (from fallen trees) was chopped and stacked. I wish I could have seen the looks on campers’ faces who returned to find a stack of new nice wood waiting in their sites. Our wood choppers did a lot of hard labor and made huge progress in just a few hours.
Another group headed up near the main wall to rebuild a retaining wall. One of those volunteers remarked that he’d been wanting to fix it for ages. With a good team of motivated people, the job was quickly accomplished.
Around 1 PM, the sites looked ready, wood was chopped, steps were built, and everyone was hungry! Our injured leader Brian, eager to participate where he could, manned the grill despite crutches, and everyone enjoyed lunch together while sharing what they had been off working on. Several groups hiked off after this to squeeze in a few climbs before sunset.
The Leap is one of the most spectacular climbing areas in northern California, and CRAGS was excited to partner with local park services in this adopt-a-crag event in order to show our support and bring people together in the climbing community. Special thanks to all the new faces that came! We are excited to meet you and look forward to seeing you at more events.
Photos coming soon!