Mountain & Trail News

    Access Fund Announces Second Round Grant Recipients

    The Access Fund, the national advocacy organization that keeps US climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment, is pleased to announce that it has awarded over $18,000 in this second round of the 2012 Climbing Preservation Grants Program. Each year, the Access Fund awards up to $40,000 in grant money to local climbing communities with worthy projects that preserve or enhance climbing access. The Access Fund Climbing Preservation Grants Program is an example of membership dollars at work in local climbing communities across the country. Again this round, Access Fund members got the opportunity to review qualifying grant projects and rate them, providing valuable input to our grant selection committee as to which projects they want their dollars to support. We are pleased to announce funding for the following worthy projects.

    American Alpine Club: Vantage Toilet Project

    Together with the Washington Climbers Coalition and the Mountaineers, the American Alpine Club will receive funding to install a permanent toilet facility at Vantage to mitigate climbers’ impact and promote stewardship of the area for years to come. An arid climate and high volume of climbs make Vantage a popular climbing and camping destination in central Washington. Traffic has been increasing for years, despite the lack of a proper toilet facility within ten miles of the area. Now, the impact of climbers on the fragile desert landscape is becoming evident through the accumulation of human waste and a permanent facility is necessary.

    Boulder Climbing Community: Front Range Trail Team

    The Boulder Climbing Community will receive funding for a 3-person team of trail building experts to improve heavily impacted access trails to climbing areas in the Boulder, Colorado Front Range area. Working closely with land managers and volunteers from the community, the team will establish sustainable trails that reduce the impact of climbers in areas of Boulder Canyon, Eldorado State Park, and other areas in need.

    Friends of Muir Valley: Muir Valley Restroom Facilities

    The Friends of Muir Valley will receive funding to address a serious human waste issue threatening access to the Muir Valley Nature and Climbing Preserve. As user numbers continue to grow (over 30,000 in 2011), the toilet facility at the trailhead can no longer mitigate human waste alone. This has created unacceptable amounts of human waste deposited in a sensitive ecosystem. The solution is to build two small, waterless, unisex restrooms approximately one mile apart in the highest traffic areas of the Valley. These toilets would help maintain human and ecosystem health in this world-renowned climbing area.

    Northern Colorado Climbers’ Coalition: Carter Lake/Fawn Hollow Trail Project

    In an on-going effort to ensure continued climbing access at Carter Lake in Loveland, Colorado, the Northern Colorado Climbers’ Coalition will receive funding to create a unified trail system to improve access to the climbing resource and allow eroded slopes and social trails to re-vegetate. This phase of the project also includes a trailhead sign and kiosk that outlines the history of climbing at Carter Lake and Northern Colorado, clearly displays regulations for use of the area, and provides guidelines for climbers to follow to ensure continued access to the bouldering.

    Somerset County Park Commission: Sourland Smackdown/Adopt a Crag

    Working with local climbers, gyms, and outdoor shops, Somerset County Parks will receive funding for trail work supplies and materials to expand and improve the Devil’s Half Acre bouldering area in the Sourland Mountain Preserve of New Jersey. This project will add an additional 200 feet of access trail in order to minimize braided trails and reduce the environmental impact of bouldering in the park. Funding will also be used for a trash clean-up of the bouldering area. Sourland Mountain’s bouldering is an important resource for New Jersey climbers, where resources and legal access are few and far between.

    Western Colorado Climbers’ Coalition: Unaweep Canyon Trail Signage and Property Investigation

    The Western Colorado Climbers’ Coalition (WCCC) will receive funding to install permanent signage at Unaweep Canyon in order to foster Leave No Trace ethics, build support for the WCCC and Access Fund, and ensure proper insurance coverage for commercial and educational uses of the crags. WCCC will also receive funding to investigate and appraise other properties in Unaweep Canyon that show promising cliff lines and would significantly add to the area’s climbing resources if acquired.

    Yosemite Climbing Association: Yosemite Facelift

    Yosemite Climbing Association will receive a grant to help host the 5-day Yosemite Facelift, where members of Yosemite’s local climbing community and other volunteers from around the country work together to clean up as much trash as possible from Yosemite’s trails, roadways, river corridors, campgrounds, lodging areas, and climbing areas. There are also several special projects planned, including the removal of abandoned infrastructure, non-native species removal, old dump site removal, and climbing trail restoration. This grant will help bring hundreds of climbers together to give back to one of the most cherished climbing areas in the world, year after year.

    Logo courtesy Momentum Media PR/Access Fund

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