Episode #26

Credit Photo Courtesy of:
Brian Poon


About this Episode

The guest for today’s episode is Access Fund’s fearless leader, executive director Chris Winter. As executive director, Chris leads the charge on organizational development and holds a pulse on all operations of the organization. The unprecedented events of 2020 forced Chris and his team to think on their feet and quickly react to keep their strong work going. We spent our time together recapping the major events of 2020 and their impact on the climbing community. From the pandemic pushing more people outside to the climbing community looking inward following the racial injustices of 2020, it all forced us to take a deeper look at what can impact our community.

Clichés about 2020 aside, Access Fund stayed resilient and curated an impressive list of accomplishments throughout the year. They did what they do best by spending hours stewarding climbing areas, conserving climbing areas, and advocating for climbers on Capitol Hill. The climbing community and our resources would look a lot different without this organization and the incredible work of local climbing organizations around the country. Climbers know how to stay resilient, and it’s clearly reflected in the work that happens day in and day out.


4:50 - Chris’ Intro
9:57 - Experience as an Environmental Lawyer
12:45 - Private Land Conservation
15:31 - Access Fund’s Impact
16:30 - Agenda for 2020
18:51 - Prioritizing Projects
22:51 - Valuing Outdoor Spaces
24:01 - Working w/Land Managers & Congressional Staffers
29:19 - Weather 2020, Climber Style
35:22 - To Our Community
37:46 - Turning Values into Action
41:24 - Top 12 Climbing Victories of 2020
49:22 - The Future for Access Fund & Climbing

Gnarly Nutrition: https://gognarly.com/

Top 12 Climbing Victories of 2020: https://www.accessfund.org/open-gate-blog/top-10-climbing-advocacy-victories-of-2020

Weathering 2020, Climbing Style: https://www.accessfund.org/open-gate-blog/the-power-of-the-climbing-mentality

To Our Community: https://www.accessfund.org/open-gate-blog/to-our-community

COVID-19 Crushing Climbing Areas: https://www.accessfund.org/open-gate-blog/how-covid-19-is-crushing-our-climbing-areas

Great American Outdoors Act: https://www.accessfund.org/news-and-events/news/victory-climbers-help-pass-great-american-outdoors-act

Moab Oil & Gas Leases: https://www.accessfund.org/news-and-events/news/breaking-blm-cancels-plans-to-auction-85-000-acres-around-moab-amid-pressure-from-climbers

John D. Dingell Jr., Conservation, Recreation and Management Act: https://www.accessfund.org/news-and-events/news/president-signs-public-lands-bill-wilderness-climbing-protections-written-into-law