Inspiring a New Generation of Climbing Advocates: The Jim Ghiselli Scholarship Fund

07/11/2019

Today, the climbing advocacy movement is larger and more powerful than ever before: there are over 20,000 Access Fund members across the country and more than 130 local climbing organizations working in every corner of the nation.

It’s hard to imagine that a mere 30 years ago, you could count the number of climbing advocates on two hands. Access Fund was founded by these pioneers in 1991, and for many years after that, climbing advocacy in this country was advanced through the incredibly hard work of a handful of dedicated volunteers. One of the best among them was Jim Ghiselli.

Jim was one of the first Access Fund Regional Coordinators—representing the Colorado Front Range—and was instrumental in securing North Table Mountain (aka Golden Cliffs).

“Jim was an incredible role model, as both an advocate and a climber, and his infectious energy influenced many people’s perspectives on climbing and the importance of preserving access and the environment for future generations,” says Becky Hall, longtime friend and former Access Fund Board Chair.

To those who knew him, Ghiselli was a dedicated climber, advocate, and mentor with an incredibly humble and generous spirit. To Jim, being a climber meant being part of a community—sharing friendship, passion, and knowledge with new and seasoned climbers alike.

“Jim was an incredibly generous soul who felt that giving back was a way to give to yourself,” says late wife, Sari Ghiselli. “In this world, the giving of a service or kindness is essential to being human. Jim lived by the saying that ‘someday never comes’—both in his climbing and in his service to the cause. If there was something he wanted to do, he didn’t wait.”

And that is why when Jim passed away in 2015, those closest to him helped Access Fund establish a scholarship fund to provide assistance to climbing advocates as they advance their knowledge in the field. For many climbers, the cost of pursuing advanced knowledge in climbing advocacy can be cost-prohibitive. The Jim Ghiselli Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to advocates looking to attend conferences on climbing conservation and management.

Apply for a Climbing Advocacy Scholarship

The Jim Ghiselli Scholarship Fund is currently open for applications, and Access Fund encourages applicants to apply for financial assistance to attend our upcoming National Climbing Advocacy Summit in Seattle, Washington this October. We especially encourage people who will contribute to the diversity of the climbing advocacy movement to apply.
Download Application

“We owe a great debt of gratitude to the climbing advocates who came before us,” says Chris Winter, Access Fund’s Executive Director. “The seeds of their work are still visible, every day, in Access Fund’s work. We’re thrilled to be a small part of carrying Jim’s legacy forward to inspire a new generation of climbing advocates.”

The Jim Ghiselli Scholarship Fund is currently open for applications, and Access Fund encourages applicants to apply for financial assistance to attend our upcoming National Climbing Advocacy Summit in Seattle, Washington this October. We especially encourage people who will contribute to the diversity of the climbing advocacy movement to apply. Scholarship recipients will receive funds for travel and lodging, free entry into the conference, and a free ticket to Access Fund’s Summit Celebration Dinner.

Download Jim Ghiselli Scholarship Fund Application

Learn more about the 2019 National Climbing Advocacy Summit