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Thread: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass

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    Default Sheriff to close BlackBear Pass



    from Expedition Portal..

    Black Bear Pass is one of the most scenic and challenging trails in all of southwestern Colorado, and by its very nature draws thousands of visitors every season. Travelers come from around the world to ply its switchbacks overhanging the picturesque town of Telluride in everything from rented Jeeps to Hummers. As is the case nearly every year, some of those vehicles never complete the trail in one piece. Despite signs signaling the route’s inherent dangers, accidents are rife.


    This weekend included one more incident as a couple from Florida rolled their vehicle causing a dispatch of rescue resources and the closure of the road for several hours. The couple escaped with non-life-threatening injuries, but this latest event may have been the straw to break the camel’s back. San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters is calling for a permanent closure of Black Bear Pass to all motorized vehicles.

    “At this time of year we are seeing hundreds of vehicles traveling on this extremely hazardous terrain. It’s not safe, and it’s not safe for our community when all of our resources are tied up for an incident like this.” – Sheriff Masters.
    Reports say the couple from Florida arrived at the trail’s famous “steps,” and decided to turn around. While navigating around a rock in the trail, the driver said the embankment gave way and the vehicle slid off the road before rolling several times, coming to rest on its roof. More than twenty responders from the local Search and Rescue team as well as EMS, Fire and Sheriff Deputies were on the scene to conduct the 90-minute extraction of the injured parties. Lined up behind the scene were more than 100 vehicles.

    This call to close the pass comes on the heels of Sheriff Masters recent comments about other stresses placed on the community and it’s limited resources. In May he spoke out against increased abuses to local camping areas and the massive amounts of trash collecting in the pristine outlying areas around the town. With visitations to the area increasing with each year, something will have to give.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    These same tourists are going into town and spending money, paying taxes, etc. Without Black Bear Pass, quite honestly I have absolutely no reason to visit Telluride. It would be a shame to close. It certainly is the most spectacular pass in terms of scenery.

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    Default Re: Sheriff to close BlackBear Pass



    mattzj98 previously posted:
    "the driver said the embankment gave way and the vehicle slid off the road"

    "The driver said..." pretty much eliminates driver error, right? Maybe they should shut down I70 since there are so many accidents, injuries and deaths there.
    ___________
    Chris in Florida

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    Default Re: Sheriff to close BlackBear Pass



    mattzj98 previously posted:
    "Reports say the couple from Florida arrived at the trail’s famous “steps,” and decided to turn around."

    Trying to place where this happened. Sounds like they were on the one-way section.
    ___________
    Chris in Florida

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    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    hmm i edited my post's title, looks like it didnt take

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    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    mattzj98 previously posted:
    "hmm i edited my post's title, looks like it didnt take"


    Only Jim can change titles.
    ___________
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    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    I moved to Colorado after a vacation to Telluride in the late 90s, and they were advertising the area so heavily that I saw ads in the Miami New Times (same as Westword) for real estate and vacation stuff here, includng Jeep rentals in Telluride with BBP on the list of possibilities. So now they have the tourism they asked for...

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    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    They also have residents like Oprah so they don't need 4x4er's chicken feed.
    ___________
    Chris in Florida

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    Default Re: Sheriff to close BlackBear Pass



    Damn and here we sit in Ouray planning on running Black Bear tomorrow.
    ___________
    Tom
    -.- . ----- .-- - -.-.

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    Default Re: Sheriff to close BlackBear Pass



    On re reading its not closed yet I take it.
    ___________
    Tom
    -.- . ----- .-- - -.-.

  13. #11

    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    Its not closed they wanna close it

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    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    Maybe they should have a sign at the beginning saying "If you have no idea what you are doing and you most likely don't, turn around and spare everyone the trouble you are most likely about to cause "

    Really I am not as upset about the pass trying to be closed as people disrespecting the campsites and the mountains. People need to know if you go and treat stuff like it's expendable and someone else is getting paid to clean up or take care of the mountains and nature it's going to be ruined for all of us. I could go on a long tangent about how strongly I feel about this subject but I'll spare all of you.

    One solution is they could not allow rentals on the pass and have some ranger at the beginning check to see if it's a rental or not. This way people touring the area can't go run the trail cause more times then not they will have little to no experience off roading and this trail isn't a good one for a first or atleast from what I have seen. While this is a impractical in reality and probably wouldn't work, but for people who drive their own rigs up there I'd believe they are more knowledgeable in what they are doing but they also may not. It's just an idea, it wouldn't work but atleast it wouldn't completely close the trail.

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    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    I agree just last week i was up in estes park running pole hill and a nice jeep was coming out. I stopped them and asked how the trail was and they said they turned around at the bottom of the first hill. Come to find out they were from out of state in a rented jeep (that would have had no problems handling this trail)

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  19. #14

    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    just put up large signs saying no one will come help you . you are on your own have fun . let natural selection have some power again

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    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    dscowell previously posted:
    "One solution is they could not allow rentals on the pass and have some ranger at the beginning check to see if it's a rental or not. This way people touring the area can't go run the trail cause more times then not they will have little to no experience off roading and this trail isn't a good one for a first or atleast from what I have seen. While this is a impractical in reality and probably wouldn't work, but for people who drive their own rigs up there I'd believe they are more knowledgeable in what they are doing but they also may not. It's just an idea, it wouldn't work but atleast it wouldn't completely close the trail."

    Those Jeep rentals down in the area state in their agreement several trails are off limits to rental jeeps, but people disregard it.

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    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    Time to post signs like on Holly Cross
    X point this is the cost to you for extraction.
    At the next point and so on and so on.
    And then actually collect it!

    Back county extraction is not covered by auto insurance and should not be on the tax payers.

    Little known fact: get your fishing license, it has a back country insurance with it.
    Should you need search and rescue operations it covers it!
    At least in Colorado it does.

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    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    Same goes to OHV stickers

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    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    I have done that road several times and never thought I was in over my head. I pay attention just like I do on any road, and I always get down in one piece. The only thing I can think of, and I am not trying to be mean, but there are a lot of people that just don't belong "behind the wheel." I go to Telluride every other year for the Bluegrass Festival. Doing the Black Bear Pass and eating at the Baked In Telluride was my tradition things I always did. There are a couple of other roads around there that are fun to do, but nothing compares to the grandeur of the Black Bear Pass. Some stuff is just unexplainable.

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    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    dieseldoc previously posted:
    "Little known fact: get your fishing license, it has a back country insurance with it.
    Should you need search and rescue operations it covers it!
    At least in Colorado it does."

    mattzj98 previously posted:
    "Same goes to OHV stickers"

    It is not insurance. That extra $0.25 fee goes to the search and rescue fund and it give the search and rescue people the ability to be refunded for expenses as they are all volunteers. Search and Rescue will never charge, they don't because the don't want people to be hesitant to call them. Other agencies may charge if you did something stupid regardless if you paid into the search and rescue fund or not.

  26. #20

    Default Re: Sheriff Closes BlackBear Pass



    This trail has been on my list for years ever since I heard C.W. McCall sing about it. It's happening this year.

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