Pat Frank thought that I was being a little sarcastic of the rigors of updating tree ring collections at Niwot Ridge. However, I’d like now to give what is perhaps a better example of what Mann had in mind when he explained the inability of paleoclimatologists to update tree ring collections. Just to review, here’s Mann’s explanation of why they use proxies from the 1970s:
Most reconstructions only extend through about 1980 because the vast majority of tree-ring, coral, and ice core records currently available in the public domain do not extend into the most recent decades. While paleoclimatologists are attempting to update many important proxy records to the present, this is a costly, and labor-intensive activity, often requiring expensive field campaigns that involve traveling with heavy equipment to difficult-to-reach locations (such as high-elevation or remote polar sites). For historical reasons, many of the important records were obtained in the 1970s and 1980s and have yet to be updated.
Hare a couple more examples which prove Mann’s point: two high-altitude Graybill sites sampled in the 1980s and not updated for over 20 years.
Frosty Park (PIFL) is located at 38 46N; 104 59W and was sampled at 3218 m (10,555 ft); Almagre Mt (PIAR) is located at 38 46N and 104 58 W and was sampled at 3536 m (11,565 ft). Both were sampled by Graybill up to 1983, with the bristlecones at Almagre Mt being previously sampled by Lamarche up to 1974 (co071). Lamarche and Stockton  reported large remnants above present treeline on Almagre Mt, ranging back to 1300 BC, but the modern chronology starts only in AD560. It would be interesting to do a study similar to Miller et al  here.
At an interesting website about American Ghost Towns, I located the first map below, which shows both "Frosty Park" and Mt Baldy. Mt Baldy is a local name for Almagre Mtn as stated here:
"Just south of Pikes Peak is smooth topped Almagre Mtn, which is also called Mt Baldy. A six mile jeep road is the access to the reservoir and antennas, and makes scenic ride on a bike. The road is a steep, high altitude lung burner, but panoramic views are worth the effort if you can make it. ..The road tops out at 11,800 feet when the ride ends at the gate for Stratton Reservoir. Hikers can continue past and explore the dual peaks of Almagre Mountain and Stratton Reservoir. And then you can enjoy the six mile downhill back to the car."
The Frosty Park limber pine samples were probably taken pretty close to the road; based on the sampling height of 11,565 ft, the sampling location for the bristlecones was presumably on the road up to Stratton Reservoir, which is at 11,800 ft.
Location Map showing Frosty Park and Mount Baldy (Almagre Mountain)
Just in case readers feel that access to the site by hikers means that the sites are not all that hard to get to, they will be disabused once they see the rigors of getting to the access road. If you look at the next map (comparing to the first map), the turn-off to Frosty Park is off the road from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek (called the Gold Camp Road below) and takes place just to the right of the d in Road in the figure below, where a little lake is shown to the south of the road on the map at the right (matching the detail in the first map).
The turn off occurs about 15 miles to the SW of Colorado Springs on the road to Cripple Creek, which is said to occupy the route of the former railroad to the gold mines:
"A hundred years ago Gold Camp Road was the railroad that connected Colorado Springs to the gold mines at Cripple Creek. Today, this secluded twenty mile stretch of road twists through some of the area’s most beautiful country".
If you google Cripple Creek, you will see much interesting local history of the gold camps in the late 19th and early 20th century.
To get to these sites from UCAR headquarters in Boulder, a scientist would not merely have to go 15 miles SW of Colorado Springs and go at least several miles along a road where they would have to be on guard for hikers and beware of scenic views, they would, in addition, have to go all the way from Boulder to Colorado Springs. While lattes would doubtless be available to UCAR scientists in Colorado Springs, special arrangements would be required for latte service at Frosty Park, though perhaps a local outfitting company would be equal to the challenge. Clearly updating these proxies is only for the brave of heart and would require a massive expansion of present paleoclimate budgets. No wonder paleoclimate scientists have been unable to update these records since Graybill’s heroic expedition in 1983.