Unfortunately, we have two acts of trail terrorism to report this week, to remind our readers to stay safe and alert while out there on the trail. Both of them come from my home state of Colorado.
Wire at 18 Road, Fruita
Update: August 22, 2016 at 1:56pm MDT
According to the Bureau of Land Management, the wire found strung across a trail in Fruita, CO was not a booby trap. Rather, according to a Facebook post distributed by mountain bike advocacy groups in the area, “it was an old electric fence that took the rider down, not a malicious booby trap. Fences and remains of fences are all over the West and caution should be used when riding un-official trails.”
This was determined by BLM officials who spent an entire day riding through the area investigating the incident.
Also, according to the re-shared Facebook post as well as CBS Denver, the trail where this wire was found isn’t an official system trail at 18 Road, despite what was insinuated in the initial video. Rather, this was a cow trail created by ranging cattle, which are common in the Western US.
According to CBS Denver, they are not sure if the BLM is investigating the recent incident in Gunnison as well, but they did note that trail booby trapping “is a trend that we are seeing across the country.”
Update: August 17, 2016 at 8:42am MDT
It’s possible that the wire strung across the trail was an electrical fence to reroute cattle. However, no official information has been posted to that effect as far as I can tell. And regardless, as the initial video poster, Christopher Brown, noted on Facebook, “were it [a fence], it’s still not marked. Were it, it still crosses a trail.”
This weekend, a wire was found to be strung across the trail about three feet off the ground at 18 Road in Fruita–one of the most popular trail systems in the state, if not the country. The rider who discovered the wire hit it, and was thrown over the bars as a result. He’s since removed the wire, but please exercise caution when riding out there! Check out the video below for an extremely low-res view of the booby trap.
Debris Below Drop at Hartman Rocks, Gunnison
Debris was deliberately placed below a blind high speed drop at Hartman Rocks in Gunnison. The debris was placed in the exact landing zone of the jump, and could have easily caused a crash. Brian Riepe, Editor for Mountain Flyer Magazine, discovered the debris, but successfully avoided it while landing. While he was able to easily clear it away, caution at Hartman’s is highly recommended.