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Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

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Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby Scott » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:43 pm

Apparently a commercial group of about 55 people from Camp Gladiator camped three days at Willow Lake in the Sangre de Christo Wilderness (max group size is supposed to be 15).

Report is that they didn't bury and feces and crapped right next to the stream in addition to leaving a huge amount of toilet paper all over the place.

Some comments from other hikers that were trying to visit the area. Each comment is from a different group or individual that was unlucky enough to meet the Camp Gladiator group.

This group was not burying human waste. To put it nicely, I find this to be very disrespectful to nature and other Willow Lake campers.
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Our group happened upon that horrid mess too... Ick! :shock:
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My wife (Sarah) and I had the inconvenience of camping directly below that group on Friday night, and the conditions were appalling. The smell wafting through our camp site was foul. I took photos of the mess, including bare feces within 12-inches of running water in Willow Creek. I tried warning those camping below the mess to filter water upstream.
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I confronted several people in their group about the gross neglect on their part. One person, whom I suspect was one of the guides/organizers (but who told me they were not part of an organized group, which is a lie), said he would talk with the people in the group about the issue. Another person, whom I happened to catch in the act, retorted angrily that toilet paper and feces are biodegradable and that I should mind my own business.

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I too was a witness to the disgusting aftermath of this behavior this weekend. I stumbled upon a huge pile of s**t and toilet paper while trying to find a good campsite. If it had only been a few pieces, I would have packed it out with my own... However, there were literally hundreds of pieces of toilet paper, and it would have filed my whole backpack :-& I had never experienced anything like that and it truly pissed me off. I talked to one of them briefly while I was heading up to Willow Lake and they were heading down. They tried to convince me to join their group... :roll:
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The largest mess was below the waterfall which exits the bottom of the lake. There is a fairly large, open meadow on the south side of the trail and north side of Willow Creek. The group was camped in this meadow, and their primary defecation point was just down stream of the meadow and about 10-feet north of Willow Creek. However, this was NOT the only location of toilet paper and unburied feces. I think the primary defecation point became so vile that they started dispersing to other areas. Upon returning to camp after hiking all day on Saturday, we even found a fresh deposit just a few feet from our tent.
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Keep in mind that we're talking about ~50 people who were in the area for 3 days. That's roughly 150 exposed piles of feces with accompanying toilet paper. Add to this the toilet paper from each time a female urinated.

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Here is their video of the trip:

http://cglive.tv/cg-adventures/mountain ... re-part-1/

Some of their quotes:

"Look at all DESE tents. CG Nation taking over the mountain"
"whoooos mountain? CG Mountain!"

*"We decided to take 55 people in a charter bus from Austin, TX to Lake City, CO and we're climbing two of Colorado's most prominent 14ers.
So we've got people sprawled out.
There's probably room for 10 tents and we've got 30.
Um, probably room for about 15 people and we've got 55,
but that's how we do things CG-style."

(edit, adding source) -- CG Co-Founder Jeff Davidson


Also, they have done this for at least four years in a row now, and the videos are all pretty similar.

Entire thread on 14ers.com in case anyone wants to read:

http://14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t ... 51#p499151
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby mrchad9 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:59 pm

Scott wrote:They tried to convince me to join their group... :roll:

Its a cult! A poop cult!
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:38 pm

It might be worth sending a letter to the land managers. Commercial groups are supposed to have concessionaires/special use permits in certain areas and if they are violating regulations or do not have permits the authorities might be able to take some action.

Edit to fix grammatical error.
Last edited by ExcitableBoy on Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:09 am

Tattletale.
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:29 am

mrchad9 wrote:Tattletale.


Someone is:

"Thank you all for the heads up on this issue. We (Rio Grande National Forest) can't be at all places at all times, so we rely on others to provide us tips about issues like this. We have a law enforcement officer investigating the situation. If anyone was an eye witness to this issue and has more info to provide, please contact the district ranger (Jim Pitts) or recreation program manager (Dave Hosack) at the Saguache Ranger District at 719-655-2547. Thanks!"
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:50 am

That's good. They could be taking action.

Then again they could be blowing them off so who knows. If they are from out of state or don't have a permit then I am not sure how the USFS does anything.

Unless they come back next year.
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:33 am

Wow:
http://campgladiator.com/

"outdoor poop fitness."

There is a local hiking group that talks about "owning" or "dominating" mountains -- seems to be a similar train of thought, strangely self-centered.
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby Scott » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:57 am

That's good. They could be taking action.


They are sending a Forest Service Ranger up there to assess the damage. Apparently it was pretty bad.

The fines for illegal guided hunts is substantial:

http://www.examiner.com/article/colorad ... -illegally

I don't know what it is for guided backpacking trips.

In Zion National Park someone was recently fined $800 per client for illegal guiding, but I don't know what it would be in the National Forest.
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:03 am

In Inyo and Shasta-Trinity National Forest they don't really do anything about illegal guiding. Sierra Mountain Group has been illegally guiding for years and even has a website advertising it. They've had several close calls but the forest service just turns a blind eye.

I suppose when something more tragic happens they will start paying attention to the 20:1 client to untrained guide ratios.
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby haha1 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:52 am

These people should be made to go back and clean up all the trash and shit left behind. How disgusting!! If you don't know leave no trace and wilderness ethics, then get out and stay out.
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby mason » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:32 pm

Hello SummitPost.org members,

My name is Mason and I was the lead guide on this trip. I accept full responsibility for this.

The recent thread on the 14er.com site pertaining to complaints about our groups irresponsible and reckless behavior is being taken very seriously by me, our companies founders, and our leadership team. I want to assure all the members of this website that your concerns have been heard loud and clear, and that we will take immediate action to ensure that this never happens again. This has been a valuable and humbling learning experience for me as the leader of these trips. We apologize sincerely for any errors our group made and we will put in place steps to prevent any future problems.

We understand now that our group was too large according to the rules set forth by the Sangre De Cristo Wilderness Forest Service and that some in our group did not comply by the Leave No Trace principles. I will personally work with my fellow guides, our leadership team, participants of this years trip, and certainly participants of future adventure trips to ensure that the following steps are taken and implemented to ensure that expectations are clear regarding Leave no Trace, prior to any future travels.

We will review the wilderness regulations of any areas that we plan to visit and apply, if necessary, for permits so that our presence there is abiding by the rules and regulations of the US Forest Service. Prior to a future Colorado wilderness outing, I will contact the US Forest Service office in the area to discuss the potential need for permits and discuss the local rules with their recreational manager.

For future trips, I will inform all participants of what it means to be respectful of both the wilderness and the other visitors in the area. We will utilize, as a learning tool and educational resource, information from the LNT.org website to properly prepare our participants and even require that they take the ‘Online Awareness Course’ offered by the website. In addition, information packets that get distributed to trip participants will be fortified with more Leave No Trace information, including, but not limited to: LNT.org, 14ers.com, the book ‘Wilderness Ethics by NOLS’, as well as copies of select posts written in the above mentioned thread in order to drive home the critical points regarding the importance of Leave No Trace.

We will also make a donation to the CFI in an effort to support those who dedicate their time, energy, and resources to improving the wilderness area of Colorado. In addition, we are working with our guides in hopes to send a team to clean up our mess this weekend.

Our group and I appreciate the beauty of Colorado and I assure you that we have learned, humbly, from this experience. We want to preserve the environment for future generations. For any mistakes made by anyone in our group, we sincerely apologize, and again we will work diligently and strategically to avoid future mistakes.



Sincerely,

Mason
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby AndyJB444 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:07 pm

I bet they're from Texas. ;)
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby Hungry Jack » Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:46 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:
mrchad9 wrote:Tattletale.


Someone is:

"Thank you all for the heads up on this issue. We (Rio Grande National Forest) can't be at all places at all times, so we rely on others to provide us tips about issues like this. We have a law enforcement officer investigating the situation. If anyone was an eye witness to this issue and has more info to provide, please contact the district ranger (Jim Pitts) or recreation program manager (Dave Hosack) at the Saguache Ranger District at 719-655-2547. Thanks!"


Probably was me. I spoke with Dave Hosack last Tuesday afternoon, and pointed him to the thread on 14ers.com, which has several first-hand reports of the behaviors and impacts of the CG group at Willow Lake.

Trust me, I am happy to be a "tattletale" or whatever. The more one learns about how this group behaved and its attitude toward our (ie, every US citizen) wilderness, especially the attitude evidenced by CG founder Ally Davidson (on video and FB), the more repulsed one becomes.

Because it is a commercial group that conducts large scale events like this each year, breaking federal laws in the process, we simply cannot "let this slide." No way.
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby moonspots » Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:38 pm

mason wrote:Hello SummitPost.org members,

My name is Mason and I was the lead guide on this trip. I accept full responsibility for this.

The recent thread on the 14er.com site pertaining to complaints about our groups irresponsible and reckless behavior is being taken very seriously by me, our companies founders, and our leadership team. I want to assure all the members of this website that your concerns have been heard loud and clear, and that we will take immediate action to ensure that this never happens again...

We will also make a donation to the CFI in an effort to support those who dedicate their time, energy, and resources to improving the wilderness area of Colorado. In addition, we are working with our guides in hopes to send a team to clean up our mess this weekend...

Sincerely,

Mason


"...we are working with our guides in hopes to send a team to clean up..."???


"Hope" to send a team? Sure you do. Had you been serious you would have written that a team was already on-site (at every location used in the past) and you were reporting that ALL had been cleaned up by now.

There is no plausible excuse for not knowing about LNT and dealing with this PRIOR to organizing such an obnoxious outing. I don't buy it. Had your organization not been "called out" on this on 14er.com, you would have continued on your merry way in the future, I have no doubt. The good thing is that now the entire hiking/climbing world knows about the CG group. Thanks for making your entrance a grand one!
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Re: Trashing the wilderness-Camp Gladiator (Willow Lake)

Postby WyomingSummits » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:18 pm

moonspots wrote:
mason wrote:Hello SummitPost.org members,

My name is Mason and I was the lead guide on this trip. I accept full responsibility for this.

The recent thread on the 14er.com site pertaining to complaints about our groups irresponsible and reckless behavior is being taken very seriously by me, our companies founders, and our leadership team. I want to assure all the members of this website that your concerns have been heard loud and clear, and that we will take immediate action to ensure that this never happens again...

We will also make a donation to the CFI in an effort to support those who dedicate their time, energy, and resources to improving the wilderness area of Colorado. In addition, we are working with our guides in hopes to send a team to clean up our mess this weekend...

Sincerely,

Mason


"...we are working with our guides in hopes to send a team to clean up..."???


"Hope" to send a team? Sure you do. Had you been serious you would have written that a team was already on-site (at every location used in the past) and you were reporting that ALL had been cleaned up by now.

There is no plausible excuse for not knowing about LNT and dealing with this PRIOR to organizing such an obnoxious outing. I don't buy it. Had your organization not been "called out" on this on 14er.com, you would have continued on your merry way in the future, I have no doubt. The good thing is that now the entire hiking/climbing world knows about the CG group. Thanks for making your entrance a grand one!

I agree. Ignorance is no excuse in a court of law, and it's no excuse for me either. As a (hopefully) fully functioning adult male, you have a responsibility to research laws and regulations prior to an activity....ESPECIALLY when leading a group. As a LEADER, you and YOU ALONE should accept responsibility, hop your @#$ on a plane, and go out there and clean it up by yourself if you have to. LEAD by example or you're no leader at all.....just the head of a mob.
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