​Conservation Teams Head Out on 2018 Tour

And they’re off! Meet our 2018 Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team crews, and get the scoop on where they are headed this year to improve climbing areas. Be sure to stop and say hello if you run into any of these hard working crews. They love to hear from Access Fund supporters, and they are always up for making new friends.

Conservation Team National Crew
Annabelle McClure and Andrea Hassler—we call them “The A&A Show”—are returning for their second year as the Conservation Team National crew, focused on stewardship and community engagement. These two hard working ladies are kicking off their tour in the Southwest with stewardship events in the Tucson area, Dixon Lake in San Diego, and Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas. They’ll be heading to Indian Creek in March to host the annual Work Week in the Creek, leading volunteers to reconstruct the approach to Scarface Wall. They will continue in their tour clockwise, helping out at the annual Smith Rock Spring Thing; training US Forest Service staff in Mazama, Washington; and then heading east through spots like Duluth, New Hampshire, Breaks Interstate Park, Linville Gorge, Foster Falls, and Denny Cove.

Conservation Team East Crew
Kate Johnson and Chris Wu are returning for their second season as the Conservation Team East crew. Both Kate and Chris grew up out east, learning the ropes from regional trail and conservation programs, and their technical abilities and work ethic are helping to build sustainable climbing areas east of the Mississippi. Kate and Chris will return to the Chattanooga area this spring to continue building out two new climbing areas—Denny Cove and the Old Wauhatchie Boulders. They’ll then head to the Red River Gorge to help save part of the staging area at the popular Roadside Crag. April will have them in the Birmingham region to wrap up our 3-year initiative to restore Moss Rock Preserve, then on to Butchers Branch in May to partner with the New River Alliance of Climbers at the annual Not Work Week. Once the humidity in the Southeast reaches peak misery, Kate and Chris will head up to New Hampshire to work alongside Friends of the Ledges to reconstruct staging areas throughout Cathedral Ledge.

Conservation Team West Crew
Carolyn Prescott and Allen Jircik have joined as our new Conservation Team West crew. These two make a great team, with Carolyn bringing extensive experience in community engagement and outreach and Allen bringing an impressive set of trail skills. Carolyn and Allen will begin their season in Joe's Valley, Utah, continuing to improve sustainability of this increasingly popular bouldering destination. Then they’ll head west, with several weeks helping Salt Lake Climbers Alliance steward the newly secured Gate Buttress, before heading to the Lake Tahoe area in June to partner with the Truckee Donner Land Trust and local climbers to stabilize and improve access at the historic Black Wall. Carolyn and Allen will wrap up their year with a four-month project in Washington State, leading the second phase of the Washington Climbing Conservation Initiative in a highly technical project to restore the delicate alpine approach to the Liberty Bell Group.

The Conservation Team program is made possible by the generous support of title sponsor, Jeep, and supporting sponsors REI, CLIF, Therm-a-Rest, La Sportiva, Yakima, and YETI.

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