National Climbing Advocacy Summit Workshops 2019

Credit Photo Courtesy of:
Truc Allen

The National Climbing Advocacy Summit Workshops of 2019 made up Access Fund's largest event yet for climbing advocates with over 160 people attending. On October 11 and 12, Access Fund gathered climbers from around the country in Seattle, Washington, to discuss access issues and how the community can work together to conserve and improve climbing areas. Thank you so much to The Mountaineers for hosting the event and to Washington Climbers Coalition for local support.

Below is the agenda along with copies of each panel's presentations.

Climbing on Native Lands
Focusing on case studies of successful partnerships between tribes and recreation groups, this panel looked at how to use the land respectfully.

Moderator: Aaron Mike/Access Fund Native Lands Coordinator
Panelists: Keala Carter/Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition Lead Advocate and Public Lands Specialist; Libby Nelson/Tulalip Tribes Senior Environmental Policy Analyst; Ernest House Jr./Keystone
Policy Center Senior Policy Director

View Carter's presentation here.

Low-Impact Outdoor Climbing
Local climbing organization leaders presented new educational programs and strategies to promote low-impact climbing behavior and teach best practices for taking care of our crags when transitioning to outdoor climbing.

Moderator: Katie Goodwin/Access Fund Policy Analyst & California Regional Director
Panelists: Andrea Hassler/Southeastern Climbers Coalition Executive Director; Chris Bell/South Central Pennsylvania Climbers Secretary; Mailee Hung/Touchstone Director of Outreach & Communications

View Hassler's presentation here.
View Bell's presentation here.
View Hung's presentation here.
Touchstone's Please Clean Your Tick Marks Video.
Touchstone's Use Good Restroom Practices Video.

Approaching Private Landowners
Panelists presented ideas for how to initiate and negotiate climbing access with private landowners and offered best practices for navigating the tricky topics of liability, stewardship, and long-term public access.

Moderator: Joe Sambataro/Access Fund National Access Director & Northwest Regional Director
Panelists: Andy Fitz/Washington Climbers Coalition Board Member;
Brian Tickle/Access Fund Texas Regional Director

View all presentations here.

Climbing and Climate Change
Climate change poses new threats to our climbing environments, potential barriers to access, and critical opportunities for conservation and advocacy. Panelists discussed challenges and solutions at the intersection of climbing and our changing climate.

Moderator: Ross Macfarlane/Sierra Club National Board Member
Panelists: Dory Trimble/Honnold Foundation Executive Director; Graham Zimmerman/Protect Our Winters Captain of the Climb Team/Filmmaker/Athlete; Katherine Hollis/The Mountaineers Conservation & Advocacy Director

View all presentations here.

Google Tools for Grassroots Organizations
Representatives from Google described accessible tools that climbing advocates can use to map out crags, communicate with land managers, and plan stewardship initiatives.

Moderator: Erik Murdock/Access Fund Policy Director
Panelists: Dusty Reid/Google Program Manager; Jess Mandia/
Google Program Manager

View all presentations here.

LCO Development: Digital Fundraising & Hosting Successful Events
Two key skills for every local climbing organization to master are raising money through digital platforms and putting on community events. Learn from the experts at Access Fund who specialize in these key areas.

Moderator: Zachary Lesch-Huie/Access Fund Affiliate Director & Southeast Regional Director
Panelists: Heather Distad/Access Fund Events & Outreach Manager; Jordan Fisher/Access Fund Membership Director

View all presentations here.
View event planning handout here.

Public Lands Advocacy
Professional advocates discussed how to effectively engage with your elected officials on climbing policies.

Moderator: Erik Murdock/Access Fund Policy Director
Panelists: Katherine Hollis/The Mountaineers Conservation & Advocacy Director; Tom O’Keefe/American Whitewater Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director

View all presentations here.
Further resources: Outdoor Advocates, How to Call Your Representative, Slacktivism, Conservation Alliance's Advocacy Videos

Working With Public Land Managers
Climbing advocates know that solid relationships with land managers are vital to climbing access. In this panel, both sides shared advice on how to form and maintain successful partnerships.

Moderator: Ty Tyler/Access Fund Stewardship Director
Panelists: Keith Daellenbach/Madrone Wall Preservation Committee Director & Co-founder; Rick Oakley/Olallie State Park Park Ranger; Roger Christophersen/North Cascades National Park Wildlife

View Daellenbach's presentation here.
View Oakley's presentation here.
View Christophersen's presentation here.

Fixed Anchor Management
Panelists discussed how to identify bad bolts, best practices for pulling them, and the type of hardware to replace them with.

Moderator: Mike Morin/Access Fund Northeast Regional Director
Panelists: Scott Underwood/Washington Anchor Replacement Project Committee Chair; Walter Jordan/Yakima Climbing Scene Director/Washington Climbers Coalition Board Member; Trent Kontovich/Washington Anchor Replacement Project Volunteer; Andy Fitz/Washington Climbers Coalition Board Member

View Underwood's presentation here.

Stewardship Workshop
Seasoned climbing advocates from three unique local climbing organizations described their models and experiences in creating and sustaining climbing areas, from large-scale events to routine Adopt a Crag campaigns.

Moderator: Ty Tyler/Access Fund Stewardship Director
Panelists: Ian Caldwell/Smith Rock Group Board Member; Maura LaRiviere/Bay Area Climbers Coalition President; Eric Ruljancich/Climbing Association of Southern Arizona Stewardship Coordinator& Volunteer Recruiter

View Caldwell's presentation here.
View LaRiviere's presentation here.
View Ruljancich's presentation here.

Photo credits: Truc Allen Media, Tegra Stone Nuess Photography, Brian Poon Photography