The Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that protects America’s climbing. Here’s what we accomplished in 2016, thanks to your help.
Photo Courtesy of Sean Naugle, Black Owl Media ©
Access Fund and Partners Preserve
Access to 232 Climbing Areas
A Thriving Grassroots Network
Local Climbing Organizations
Joint Member Local Climbing Organizations
$52,166 in grants awarded for 29 projects
Trailhead Improvements $10,000
Stewardship and Trail Work $13,500
Anchor Replacement $10,000
$10,000 Awarded for Bolt Replacement
Across the United States, bolts installed in the 80s and 90s are aging, and there are growing concerns of anchor failures and access issues. Access Fund, in partnership with AAC, launched an Anchor Replacement Fund grant program that gives local climbing organizations and anchor replacement groups the funds they need to replace aging and unsafe hardware at climbing areas across the nation. This program is made possible by the generous support of ClimbTech, Petzl, and 5.10.
Denny Cove Opened
Access Fund and Southeastern Climbers Coalition partnered to purchase Denny Cove, a 685-acre parcel of land in eastern Tennessee, from a private timber company and open it to climbing. This acquisition preserved a wild and undeveloped piece of the Fiery Gizzard area in the Southern Cumberland Plateau. It is home to nearly three miles of multi-colored sandstone cliff line that has yet to be fully developed and will offer routes of all grades across a wide variety of terrain—from long overhanging walls to massive roofs, slabs, cracks, and corners.
Photo Courtesy of © Adam Johnson
Bears Ears Is First National Monument Designation to Include Climbing
Indian Creek | © John Dickey
The Access Fund policy team spent 145 hours advocating for climbers’ interests in Washington, DC.
An Unprecedented 309
Adopt a Crag Events Across the Nation
The Access Fund envisions a world where climbers are seen as stewards of the land, versus simply users of the land. The Adopt a Crag program helps climbers give back, and 2016 was a banner year for volunteer stewardship. Here’s one of our favorite events from the year.
people volunteered for Adopt a Crag events in 2016
Access Fund–Jeep Conservation Team Continues Legacy of Stewardship
112 Stewardship projects, 23 States, 628 Days on road
8,659 Feet of New Trail Constructed
9,257 Feet of Social Trails Closed
1,476 Volunteers Engaged
93 Drainage Structures Installed
43 Stone Staircases Built
44 Retaining Walls Constructed
21 Areas Cleared of Trash
18 Cliffs Cleared of Graffiti
Breaks Interstate Park Open to Climbing!
Access Fund partnered with Southwest Virginia Climbers Coalition, community stakeholders, and park officials to open Breaks Interstate Park to climbing. Although the area has a history of climbing going back at least three decades, climbing has never been officially allowed or sanctioned by a park management plan, until now. The park sits across the southwest Virginia/southeast Kentucky border and is lined with miles of orange and grey sandstone walls similar to those of nearby Obed Wild and Scenic River in Tennessee and the New River Gorge in West Virginia. Breaks is home to approximately 75 established climbing routes, with potential for hundreds more.
Climber Education Movement Engages Thousands
Access Fund Celebrates 25 Years Protecting America’s Climbing
© Chris Burkard
Access Fund closed out 2016 with its largest operating budget ever, at $2.3 million dollars with $2.1 million dollars in total assets including over $800,000 invested in the purchase of climbing areas around the country.
of revenue spent on mission-related programs
invested in climbing area acquisitions
Support $2.31 Million
Individuals, foundations, & organizations $729,000
Member Dues $593,000
Contract Work $240,000
Land Conservation Campaign $78,000
Other Income $41,000
Expense $2.27 Million
Stewardship and Conservation $832,000
and Protection $94,000
& Advocacy $378,000
and Mobilization $173,000
and Admin $169,000
✱ Based on preliminary financial data
✱✱ Includes expenses for 25th Anniversary Event
2016 Access Fund Board of Directors and Staff
Mark Baum, VA
Kenji Haroutunian, CA
Ryan Gellert, Amsterdam
Alex Kutches, WA
Elaina Arenz, WV
Jeff Buhl, CO
Peter Croft, CA
Hilary Harris, NH
Jonah Harrison, WA
Perry Norris, CA
John Winsor, CO
Jessica Yates, CO
Honorary Board Members
Rick Accomazzo, CO
Larry Gustafson, TX
John Juraschek, NC
Michael Kennedy, CO
Armando Menocal, WY
Dave Rosenstein, NY
Bill Supple, VT
Randy Vogel, CA
Digital Marketing Manager
Public Lands Associate
Sr. Policy Advisor
National Affiliate Director & Southeast Regional Director
Access Director & Northwest Regional Director
Communications & Marketing Director
Each one makes a difference in our ability to protect America’s climbing. Here’s one of our favorite 2016 member stories.
141 Corporate Partners
Our work would not be possible without the generous companies and professionals who donate their money and talents to protect America’s climbing. These partners support the Access Fund and you! We encourage you to support them.
of Access Fund revenue comes from corporate partners
New Corporate Partners
gyms welcomed into the Member Gym program
We celebrated our 25th Anniversary in 2016, a huge milestone made possible by your support. As you can see from all of the great highlights above, it was truly a year to remember.
In early 2016, we asked for your input on Access Fund’s 5 year strategic plan, and your insights helped us focus on scaling program operations and increasing our regional staff presence. With the growth in our 2016 operating budget, we have already fielded a third Conservation Team, hired a Northeast Regional Director, and invested in additional support for our policy program. We are already poised to do more work and be more present in climbing areas across the U.S. over the next year.
We are humbled to look back at our 25 years of work and remember all of those who have brought us to where we are today—our founders, staff, and board members throughout the years who transformed vision into action. And the members, donors, and partners who believe in the mission to protect America’s climbing—your generous support has made all of our work possible. To all of you, we owe a debt of gratitude. The impact of Access Fund’s programs is your legacy as much as ours.
Again, thank you for being a crucial part of Access Fund’s success. We remain steadfast as your national climbing advocacy organization, and we look forward to the years ahead.
See you out there,
Access Fund Executive Director