Western Colorado Climbers' Coalition Pays Off Unaweep Canyon Loan

04/11/2018

Western Colorado Climbers' Coalition (WCCC) made the final loan payment on Lower Mothers Buttress and Television Wall of Unaweep Canyon outside Grand Junction, Colorado. In 2014, WCCC and Access Fund teamed up to acquire the cliff line, re-opening more than 50 high-quality granite climbing routes.


Public access to these walls was closed for three years, until WCCC and Access Fund acquired the properties with $134,200 of financing from the Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan Program, the revolving loan fund that provides local climbing organizations with the funds and expertise to quickly save threatened climbing areas.

To pay back the loan, WCCC subdivided the cliffs from the road-front acreage and sold two home sites. With the help of donations from the local climbing community and in-kind survey and legal work, WCCC raised enough funds to finalize the sales and cover the transaction costs.

The completion of this project increases the protected area of Unaweep Canyon to 50 acres, encompassing eight cliffs and approximately 200 climbing routes. Access Fund began working to protect climbing in Unaweep Canyon in 1991, working with local climbers to acquire Sunday, Fortress, and Hidden Valley walls. In 2008, the late Dr. John Peterson and his family helped acquire Upper Mother's Buttress. WCCC now holds and manages these lands, and Access Fund holds permanent conservation and recreation easements on the properties.

With funds returned to the Climbing Conservation Loan Program, Access Fund will loan the money out again to save another threatened climbing area. Congratulations WCCC for paying off the loan and carrying on this 28-year legacy of climbing access in Unaweep Canyon!


Photo Courtesy of:
© Joe Sambataro

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