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Two Colorado 14ers, Mts. Lincoln and Democrat, to reopen this weekend

Two of Colorado’s most popular fourteeners, Mount Lincoln and Mount Democrat, will reopen on Friday, restoring legal access to all but one of the four so-called DeCaLiBron loop peaks.

Landowner John Reiber closed the peaks in March following the failure of a bill in the legislature that would have amended Colorado’s recreational use statute to protect landowners who allow the public to recreate on their land. In order to climb the peaks legally now, hikers will need to sign an electronic waiver of liability. A similar waiver has been required this year for competitors and spectators in the Leadville 100 series of races in order to protect private landowners there.

Reiber collaborated with the U.S. Forest Service and the town of Alma, in cooperation with the Colorado Mountain Club and the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, to reopen the peaks. The solution is being called “temporary” while a coalition of user groups lobbies the legislature to “fix” the recreational use statute.

“The reopening of these peaks is the result of a lot of collaboration, hard work and financial investment,” Reiber said in a news release distributed by the Fix CRUS Coalition. “While it does take a significant amount of effort to manage this, I believe it’s a worthwhile endeavor for the time, both for our local community and for those who want to climb all the fourteeners, but it’s a stopgap measure. For a long-term solution, join the Fix CRUS Coalition.”

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