10/12/2022

VICTORY: New National Monument Protects America's Climbing Legacy

Monument Conserves Camp Hale; Surrounding Landscape

On October 12, President Joe Biden announced the designation of Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument. Nestled in Colorado’s spectacular central mountains, the new national monument protects historic Camp Hale and its surrounding landscape. It honors our nation’s veterans and Colorado’s contribution to our military legacy—the place where the 10th Mountain Division trained during World War II.

In addition to its conservation and historical value, Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument also celebrates American climbing history. Camp Hale was a key training facility during World War II. It’s where mountain soldiers developed many of the climbing, skiing, and mountaineering techniques that we use today—all before heading to Europe to fight fascism.

“Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument secures both sustainable climbing access and long-term conservation—a winning combination for health and wellness, our economy, and our environment,” says Access Fund Executive Director Chris Winter. “Access Fund will continue to make sure that this new monument is protected for future generations and that all of us can sustainably access and enjoy these public lands.”

Colorado's Tenmile range. Ancestral lands of Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute). © Heather Distad.

Permanent protections for Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument didn’t come together overnight. This monument is the result of more than a decade of work by members and descendants of the 10th Mountain Division, dedicated elected leaders, and climbers. Access Fund’s work to support this designation stretches back 12 years.

“The Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument protects Colorado’s public lands, including some roadside cragging and exceptional mountain peaks and traverses,” says Access Fund Vice President of Policy & Government Affairs Erik Murdock. “Access Fund, and the entire climbing community, deeply appreciate protecting the legacy of Camp Hale. We are thankful for the work of Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, Congressman Neguse, and Governor Polis, and are especially grateful to the Biden administration for their commitment to conservation and historical preservation.”

Access Fund’s commitment to conservation is a long-term one. We can’t protect America’s climbing without also protecting and conserving the beautiful places that make the climbing experience so special. Through climber education, stewardship, and policy work, we can continue to protect and enjoy these places for years to come.

Celebrate Public Lands

We can’t protect America’s climbing without also protecting and conserving the beautiful places that make the climbing experience so special.
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