Access Fund Awards $15,000 in Grants to Replace Aging Bolts

Access Fund is pleased to announce the 2021 Anchor Replacement Fund grant awards. Now in its seventh year, the Anchor Replacement Fund provides grants to help local climbing communities address the problem of aging fixed anchors. Across the United States, bolts installed in the ’80s and ’90s are aging, and there is an immediate need to address inadequate fixed anchors and increase support for local and national partners leading these efforts. This year, we are thrilled to announce funding for eight worthy anchor replacement projects across the country.

BCC volunteers work to rebolt Castle Rock in Boulder Canyon, ancestral lands of Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute | © Boulder Climbing Community

Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia Southeastern Climbers Coalition
Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) was awarded a grant to revive climbing opportunities at Bee Rock in Monterey, Tennessee, where 24 established routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.13 are in need of new top anchors and lead bolts. Bee Rock is considered the first developed climbing area of the Cumberland Plateau, with aid climbing activity documented in the early 1970s and free ascents recorded in the early 1980s. As with many crags from this era, the hardware is in need of replacement. Grant funds will also address ongoing fixed anchor maintenance projects throughout SCC’s tri-state service area of Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia.

Front Range, Colorado Boulder Climbing Community
Boulder Climbing Community (BCC) was awarded a grant to purchase hardware for replacement efforts at the historic Thumb and Needle climbing area in Estes Park, Colorado. These spires were first climbed in the 1940s and saw new route activity throughout the decades that followed, up until the early 2000s. Many of the early routes have inadequate hardware that includes Leeper hangers and ¼” button heads, which are in dire need of replacement. In addition to this project, BCC will also address ongoing bolt replacement needs at several other Front Range climbing areas, including Boulder Canyon, Clear Creek Canyon, and North Table Mountain.

White Mountains, New Hampshire and Maine - Friends of the Ledges
Friends of the Ledges (FOTL) was awarded grant funding to facilitate volunteer bolt replacement efforts throughout the eastern White Mountains of New Hampshire and Maine. The organization has been actively supporting bolt replacement volunteers in the region since 2016 through donations of hardware and loans of its bolt replacement toolkit. By purchasing equipment to create a second bolt replacement kit, FOTL aims to increase its ability to support volunteer efforts and respond to bad bolt reports in a timely manner.

Red River Gorge, Kentucky - Red River Gorge Fixed Gear Initiative
Red River Gorge Fixed Gear Initiative (RRGFGI) was awarded funding to replace rusting and aging hardware on the steep sandstone cliffs throughout the region with 1/2” stainless glue-in anchors. RRGFGI is planning to replace over 300 bad bolts in 2021 and is striving to keep bad bolt reports in the region to fewer than 50 at any given time.

Lander, Wyoming - Central Wyoming Climbers’ Alliance
Central Wyoming Climbers’ Alliance (CWCA) was awarded a grant to address bolt replacement needs at crags around Lander, Wyoming, including Wild Iris, Fossil Hill, and Sinks Canyon. To date, the CWCA has replaced hardware on approximately 800 routes around Lander, with current replacement efforts focused on replacing hardware on the most popular routes in the region. The CWCA’s long-term anchor replacement goal is to replace all old, non-stainless hardware found on the approximately 3,000 routes in the region with modern stainless steel hardware.

Tahoe Basin, California - Tahoe Climbing Coalition
The Tahoe Climbing Coalition (TCC) was awarded funding to address ongoing fixed anchor maintenance needs in the region, as well as address anchor replacement needs that may arise as a result of the Caldor Fire that burned over many of the region's popular climbing areas earlier this year.

The Obed & Black Mountain, Tennessee - East Tennessee Climbers’ Coalition
East Tennessee Climbers’ Coalition (ETCC) was awarded funding to support its goal of rebolting the entire Obed and Black Mountain climbing areas. Since 2017, ETCC has replaced over 3,000 aging bolts with new 1/2“ stainless anchors. This grant will help facilitate the ongoing effort to replace the remaining bolts at the Obed, which are estimated to number around 450.

Unaweep Canyon & Colorado National Monument - Western Colorado Climbers’ Coalition
The Western Colorado Climber’s Coalition (WCCC) was awarded funding to replace aging anchors at Grit Wall and Four Blocks in Unaweep Canyon, where mechanical anchor bolts placed in soft sandstone have loosened over time. WCCC is also working with the National Park Service to replace aging hardware on the Lower Monument Slabs and popular tower climbs within Colorado National Monument.

The Anchor Replacement Fund is made possible, in part, by support from the American Alpine Club.

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