A Short History of the FCC
Beginning in the mid 1980s, the relationship between climbers and the land manager of the open space containing the Flatirons deteriorated to the point where a complete bolting ban was imposed. This ban epitomized the lack of dialogue between climbers as a user group of the Flatirons and the City of Boulder’s land manager, Open Space Mountain Parks (OSMP). As a result, new route development in the Flatirons came to a standstill, and climbers felt disenfranchised from a beloved climbing venue.
In 1997, a group of climber/activists began brainstorming meetings to determine how best to address this impasse. To address the concerns of OSMP regarding the impacts climbers have in the Flatirons, this group set out to demonstrate that climbers are not just users of the Flatirons, but also stewards. Sponsoring trail and restoration projects, educational outreach efforts, and attending numerous OSMP sponsored community gatherings, these climber/activists (eventually incorporated as the Flatirons Climbing Council [FCC]) slowly but surely built a relationship with OSMP based upon trust and open communication.
In conjunction with its stewardship, FCC proposed a pilot project to re-open the Flatirons to the creation of new, bolted routes. Starting with a few crags in the Dinosaur Mountain area, the pilot project proved successful. The number of crags now within the permitted areas has grown to 18 as of 2015, and 39 new routes have been created. From 5.8 to 5.14, these new routes are enjoyed by, and challenge, climbers of all abilities. The work of the FCC continues to this day, and will continue into the future. The privilege of climbing in the Flatirons should never be taken for granted, but will always require diligence and awareness.
– David Turner, FCC Founder