Access Fund
Annual Report

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


Regional Coordinators


Joint Member Local Climbing Organizations


Regional Offices

$52,166 in grants awarded for 29 projects

Acquisitions $13,500

Trailhead Improvements $10,000

Stewardship and Trail Work $13,500

Education/Signage $5,170

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.

Photo Courtesy of Craig Hoffman ©

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.

Pinnacles Climber Appreciation Days

Since 2013, the climbing community surrounding Soledad, California has come together for Pinnacles Climber Appreciation Days. This event brings climbers from the entire region together to celebrate and care for Pinnacles National Park, CA. This year, 90 volunteers and several park staff came together to pick up trash, improve trails, and even replace some aging bolts. Access Fund is thrilled to see these local climbers dedicated to the long-term sustainability of Pinnacles, and we look forward to supporting their efforts well into the future!


people volunteered for Adopt a Crag events in 2016


Volunteer Hours

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

2016 Financials*

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.


Revenue Growth


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

Support $525,000

Contract Work $240,000

Land Conservation Campaign $78,000

Contributions $101,000

Other Income $41,000

Expense $2.27 Million

Program Expenses

Stewardship and Conservation $832,000

Land Acquisition
and Protection $94,000

Education $199,000

Climbing Policy
& Advocacy $378,000

Local Support
and Mobilization $173,000

Operational Expenses

and Admin $169,000

Fundraising $431,000**

Based on preliminary financial data

✱✱ Includes expenses for 25th Anniversary Event

2016 Access Fund Board of Directors and Staff

Board Officers

Mark Baum, VA

Vice President
Kenji Haroutunian, CA

Ryan Gellert, Amsterdam

Alex Kutches, WA

Board Directors

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


Michael Allen
Development Director

Lindsay Anderson
Conservation Specialist

Jim Chase
Operations Director

Sam Claassen
Digital Marketing Manager

Peter Dodge
Membership Manager

Danielle Estabrook

Katie Goodwin
Public Lands Associate

Travis Herbert
Education Director

Jason Keith
Sr. Policy Advisor

Zachary Lesch-Huie
National Affiliate Director & Southeast Regional Director

Mike Morin
Conservation Specialist

Erik Murdock
Policy Director

Amanda Peterson
Conservation Specialist

Chip Powell
Conservation Specialist

Brady Robinson
Executive Director

Joe Sambataro
Access Director & Northwest Regional Director

Curt Shannon
Policy Analyst

Holly Smolenski
Communications & Marketing Director

Jenna Snyder
Office Manager

Anneliese Steel
Development Associate

Ty Tyler
Stewardship Director

Chris Archer
General Counsel

15,705 Members

Each one makes a difference in our ability to protect America’s climbing. Here’s one of our favorite 2016 member stories.

Colin Conner

Colin Conner—an Urban Forester for the city of Hoover—was instrumental in supporting the Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team’s eight-week facelift of Moss Rock Preserve in Alabama. Colin showed up every day with tools, hydration, innovation, and stoke to help the Conservation Team through every obstacle they faced. With Colin’s help, the Conservation Team managed to give Moss Rock Preserve the makeover it needed to reignite local interest and reclaim this forgotten gem.

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

Thank You

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,

Brady Robinson
Access Fund Executive Director