03/03/2022

Access Fund Member Spotlight: Nathaniel Coleman

Categories: Perspectives , Community

Olympic medalist in climbing, four-time U.S. national bouldering champion, V16 first ascensionist—it’s safe to say we’re pretty proud to count Nathaniel Coleman among the 22,000+ Access Fund members that make up the largest climbing advocacy community in the country. He recently traveled to Cochise Stronghold, the ancestral home of the O’odham and Chiricahua Apache in southeastern Arizona. In addition to its historical significance as a stronghold, the area holds some of Arizona’s best adventure climbing. We caught up with Nathaniel just after he sent his project there to find out more about his experience climbing the granite domes of Cochise Stronghold. Check out our Q&A with Nathaniel below.

Ready to join the ranks of climbing advocates like Nathaniel Coleman? Become a member today and help protect the climbing areas you love.


Nathaniel Coleman climbs in Cochise Stronghold, ancestral lands of the O’odham and Chiricahua Apache. Photo © Mantas Motekaitis

Four Questions For Olympic Medalist Nathaniel Coleman

1. What route are you climbing in these photos, and why is it unique?

    This route is Over the Line in Cochise Stronghold. Its difficulty and color of stone make it unique for the area.

    2. Was this your first time climbing in Cochise? What struck you as unique about the climbing there?

    This was my first time! I was quite blown away by the beauty of the landscape and the amount of visible rock. The big walls are mostly low-angle and technical. Hidden within the boulder fields are absolutely stunning and tall lines that I'm planning to come back for next year.

    Nathaniel Coleman works a new project in Cochise Stronghold, ancestral lands of the O’odham and Chiricahua Apache. Photo © Mantas Motekaitis

    3. That’s our latest Access Fund member t-shirt you’re wearing in these pics. Why is being an Access Fund member important to you?
    I want to know that any money I donate will be used well and put towards the goal of helping the climbing community and the places we love to climb. By donating to Access Fund, I rest easy knowing that there are smart and passionate climbers who can use these resources effectively.

    "By donating to Access Fund, I rest easy knowing that there are smart and passionate climbers who can use these resources effectively."

    4. How do you care for or give back to the places you climb and recreate in?
    I love to volunteer for trail builds and clean-ups through the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance. It feels good both physically and emotionally to put my energy into making a tangible difference in a climbing location I have a strong connection with, like Little Cottonwood Canyon. It's also fun to spend the day getting dirty and tired and working with other volunteers as an organized team.

    Big shout out to Coleman for being a dedicated Access Fund member—and getting involved with his local climbing community to steward areas like Little Cottonwood Canyon.

    Three ways to get involved with your Local Climbing Organization (LCO)

    1. Find the LCO nearest to you and follow their channels to stay connected with local causes and events.
    2. Become a joint member with Access Fund and your LCO to increase your impact and give back to your local climbing community.
    3. Check out our event calendar to find a local adopt a crag event you can volunteer with and help steward your favorite climbing area.

    Support Access Fund and Your Local Climbing Organization

    For just $55 you can become a joint member with Access Fund and your LCO. You’ll save $10 off the regular $65 annual joint membership. Plus, you’ll get a rad T-shirt and sticker featuring artwork of Cochise Stronghold, brand discounts, and exclusive industry pro deals.
    Become A Member