12/04/2020

A Chilling Report From the Road

~Ty Tyler, Stewardship Director

I spend 365 days a year on the road, visiting crags and boulder fields from coast to coast, talking to land managers, assessing conditions, and sending in our Jeep Conservation Teams to protect as many areas as they can—building professional trails, removing graffiti, saving trees and native plants, building belay and pad structures, picking up trash, and training local volunteers.

And I'm concerned.

Severe erosion at Beacon Heights, a historic bouldering area on the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC. Ancestral lands of Cherokee, Yuchi, Moneton. © Shannon Millsaps

When I started this job in 2012, conditions like the ones in the photo above were rare. Today, I see this at nearly every popular climbing area I visit. Beaten-down, barren cliff bases and boulder landings. Tree roots that were never meant to see the light of day. Spiderwebs of trails. Toilet-paper flowers. Trash. The list goes on.

Climbing has gone mainstream, and with more people climbing outside than ever before, the impacts at our climbing areas are only going to get worse, threatening access and the climbing experience.

© Brett Protasiewicz

We have 6 professional trail-builders and conservation specialists out on the road, full-time, to restore climbing areas and install sustainable recreation infrastructure—and it’s not nearly enough. Something’s gotta change.

With your help, we can turn this around. Our friends at Black Diamond are stepping up in a big way, matching all donations up to $100,000 to help Access Fund build more sustainable climbing areas, spread Leave No Trace ethics, and work with land managers to prevent closures.

Will You Chip In?

This is your chance to DOUBLE your contribution to help Access Fund restore and protect climbing areas. Donate before December 20 and send 2x the funds to support this critical work.
Double Your Donation

It’s not too late to turn things around. Just look at this transformation of Roadside Crag in Kentucky. This is what we accomplish if we work together. This is a crag that is on its way to being able to withstand the dramatic increase in climbers.

Roadside Crag was closed for nearly 7 years, due in part to climber impacts. The Conservation Team began restoring this area in 2018.

Help us make this a reality for your crag, and for all of the climbing areas across the country that need our help—before it’s too late to make a difference. It’s time to invest in the future of our climbing areas.

Credit Photo Courtesy of:
© Shawn Cope

BREAKING: Black Diamond to Match All Donations

Black Diamond has come forward to match all donations, up to $100,000, to help Access Fund create a more sustainable future for our sport. Donate today and send 2x the funds to help with this critical work.
Double Your Donation