Acquisition History

Since 1990, Access Fund has assisted with 81 acquisitions through the Access Fund Climbing Preservation Grant Program and the Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan Program, helping to preserve over 17,454 acres of land for climbing.

2020 Ant Lion, Millbrook, Shawangunks - New York
Access Fund and Gunks Climbers Coalition (GCC) teamed up with neighboring landowners to acquire a new backcountry climbing area

along the Millbrook cliff line in the Shawangunks. This area offers a uniquely remote experience that boasts traditional climbing, top roping, overhangs, vertical faces, and even a little crack climbing—ranging from 5.5 to 5.13. GCC now owns the cliff and holds an access easement to build a future parking area and trail up to Ant Lion, which includes 1,000 feet of undeveloped cliff line. After a two-year subdivision process, Access Fund provided GCC a loan of $109,000.

2020 Denny's - Colorado
San Luis Valley Climbers Alliance (SLVCA) and Access Fund secured permanent access to Denny’s, the go-to crag for steep sport climbing in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. In 2015, local climbers approached the private landowners, Denny and Crys Wallace, to ask permission to climb on their property. The Wallaces were incredibly open and generous, inviting climbers to enjoy their cliff, develop sport routes, and even park on their rural homestead. When Denny and Crys began thinking about selling the property earlier this year, they contacted SLVCA first to find a solution that would protect climbing access. SLVCA and Access Fund worked together on a recreation easement that allowed the landowners to permanently grant climbing access, even if the property is sold, and provide liability protection for themselves and future landowners. The SLVCA easement covers parking, trail access, and the entire crag.

2020 Round Top Boulders - North Carolina
Access Fund worked with CCC to finalize a trail easement with Chimney Rock Village and the Fire Department to establish a trail through the Chimney Rock Village land on Round Top Mountain. The Village Boulders Trail is now in progress by the CCC and volunteers. When complete, climbers and hikers will have access to over 50 boulder problems, a small waterfall, and scenic views. CCC holds the trail and climbing easement with Access Fund as the co-assignee in case this property is incorporated into the state trail system, which requires the land trust accreditation that Access Fund maintains.

2020 Alphabet Rock and Icehouse Boulders - Washington
Access Fund worked with the landowner, local partner organizations, and the U.S. Forest Service to permanently protect Alphabet

Rock and Icehouse Boulders. Funds from Access Fund's Climbing Conservation Loan Program were used to purchased the 11-acre private property that includes Alphabet Rock and the Icehouse Boulders, as well as the initial access path to Givler’s Dome and outlier crags on adjacent USFS lands. Together, these granite cliffs and outcrops feature more than 40 historic cracks, slabs, faces, and hueco-filled roofs, ranging in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.13, as well as dozens of challenging boulder problems. Residential development has been increasingly butting up against recreational use in Icicle Canyon for years, threatening future public access. Fortunately for climbers, Alphabet Rock landowner Scot Brower kept much of his property open to public access for the past three decades, but he decided to sell a portion in 2016. Brower reached out to Access Fund, on the recommendation of Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT), about subdividing and purchasing the portion of his property that contains Alphabet Rock and Icehouse Boulders. With the property secured by the option agreement, Access Fund and partners were able to secure severed mineral rights, complete USFS appraisal work, and finalize the transfer process. The property will be transferred to Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, marking another success story for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

2020 Monster Rock - Texas
Texas Climbers Coalition (TCC) and Access Fund partnered to permanently protect Monster Rock outside of Austin, Texas. Monster Rock has been a popular crag for years, giving climbers relief from the heat and crowds of other central Texas crags. Monster Rock is an overhanging limestone crag, home to more than 50 routes in a scenic setting along the Pedernales River. Landowner John Hogge donated the property to TCC to take on the primary role of ownership and management of the property. Access Fund holds a recreation easement on the parking, access, and climbing to ensure permanent protection.

2019 Hanging Mountain - Massachusetts
Access Fund, Western Massachusetts Climbers Coalition (WMCC), and Ragged Mountain Foundation are pleased to announce the acquisition of Hanging Mountain, a new climbing area in Sandisfield, Massachusetts. Situated on 14 acres, Hanging Mountain may be the biggest find in Northeastern climbing in decades.

Once fully established, this hidden gem will provide climbers with approximately 150 - 200 traditional and sport routes, some up to two pitches. WMCC struck a deal led by former board president Jeff Squire, to purchase the lands encompassing the mountain in early August. WMCC worked with Access Fund to secure a $79,500 loan from the organization’s Climbing Conservation Loan program. Given the crag’s proximity to the Connecticut border, WMCC sought assistance from neighboring Ragged Mountain Foundation, whose mission is to protect recreational climbing and hiking in Connecticut. RMF recognized that WMCC’s efforts to secure Hanging Mountain would contribute significantly to opportunities for Connecticut climbers. With that in mind, RMF contributed over $15,000 to cover initial acquisition expenses and will assist WMCC with fundraising to pay off the Climbing Conservation Loan.

2018 Medicine Wall - Texas
Texas Climbers Coalition (TCC) and Access Fund acquired Medicine Wall, a limestone bluff in San Antonio, Texas, that provides an urban getaway for outdoor climbing. Despite never being officially open to public access, the privately owned Medicine Wall was a popular sport climbing crag for over 20 years, until a fatal accident in 2015 prompted the landowners to strip the hardware from the wall and strictly enforce trespassing laws. However, the landowners (a large development company) recognized the recreational value of the property and had an interest in conserving it. They first approached the City of San Antonio hoping they would acquire the property but the city declined to take ownership, due in part to liability concerns, but put the landowners in touch with TCC. The landowners agreed to convey the Medicine Wall parcel to TCC, provided that a separate land trust hold an easement on the property to permanently protect it. Medicine Wall is officially owned by TCC with a conservation easement held by Access Fund.

2018 Cathedral Ledge and Whitehorse Ledge - New Hampshire
Access Fund, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Friends of the Ledges are pleased to announce the successful acquisition of nine acres of land critical for access to Cathedral Ledge and Whitehorse Ledge in the Mount Washington Valley. This acquisition was a collaborative effort among the three organizations, and is a significant step towards protecting the forest lands below the two iconic ledges. Thanks to the generosity and foresight of the land’s previous owner, Jim Ansara of Essex, Massachusetts, the property has remained open to public use and retained its natural character from the time he purchased it in 1997. Jim graciously donated the property to the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust to ensure that the property retains its natural values in perpetuity. Upper Saco Valley Land Trust has taken ownership of the property, and Access Fund will hold a permanent conservation and recreation easement on the property as an added layer of protection to ensure long-term access and support conservation of the property.

2018 Hell's Kitchen and Dogwood Boulders - Tennessee

The Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) and the Access Fund acquired two bouldering and climbing access properties just north of Chattanooga, TN. This acquisition secures a new climbing area, known as Hell’s Kitchen, and creates a critical public access point to the climbing at Dogwood Boulders. Both properties, owned by the same private landowner, have been on SCC and Access Fund’s radar for years as high-value to climbers. When they went up for sale, Access Fund began discussions with the landowner to prevent the properties from falling into non-climber friendly hands. Coordinating with SCC, Access Fund reached an agreement with the landowner in late 2017 and went under contract in January 2018. Access Fund secured both properties using $125,000 in short-term funding from their Climbing Conservation Loan Program and $6,500 of initial support from SCC.

2018 Bolton Dome - Vermont

The Climbing Resource Access Group of Vermont (CRAG-VT) and Access Fund acquired Bolton Dome, a schist climbing area featuring dozens of high-quality crack and sport climbs, including the region’s only 5.13 trad climb. Historically known as Trailer Park Crag, Bolton Dome was once the area’s most popular cliff in the 70s and 80s. However, it was closed to climbing in 1990 due to the private landowners’ concerns about public use of their property. In the summer of 2017, they agreed to consider an offer from CRAG-VT before listing the property on the open market. To save Bolton Dome, CRAG-VT purchased the entire 48-acre parcel, including the 2-acre house site that will be subdivided and resold. Access Fund provided a Climbing Conservation Loan of $358,750 toward the purchase, marking this project CRAG-VT’s biggest climbing area acquisition to date and the largest Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan in history.

2017 Clear Creek - Obed, Tennessee
Eastern Tennessee Climbers Coalition (ETCC) acquired a parcel of land that secures access to Clear Creek, which offers some of the best and most popular climbing in the Obed. The purchase includes the parking area and a critical portion of the climber's trail used to access Clear Creek's famous, overhanging sandstone bluffs. The landowner needed to sell the property and came to climbers first. The community quickly rallied to help ETCC raise funds and Access Fund provided a $4,000 matching grant and helped ETCC draft the purchase agreement, secure title insurance, and gain 501(c)3 status.

2017 Red River Gorge Easements, Kentucky
The Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition (RRGCC) and Access Fund recorded permanent easements to strengthen conservation and recreation protections at three climbing areas in the Red River Gorge: Pendergrass Murray, Miller Fork, and Bald Rock Recreational Preserves. The easements are a legal agreement between Access Fund and RRGCC to protect these climbing areas, preventing any use of the properties that would significantly interfere with or impair their recreational and conservation values, which includes providing for public access and recreation with no cost or fees. Future generations of climbers and recreational users will enjoy these preserves in their open space condition in perpetuity.

2017 Buckeye Knob & the Barn Boulders, North Carolina
The Carolina Climbers Coalition (CCC) acquired Buckeye Knob, a 55-acre tract outside Boone, North Carolina. The purchase was made

possible with a $120,000 loan from the Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan Program. Local climbers kicked off fundraising and Access Fund provided a $5,000 grant to reduce the size of the loan. CCC and adjacent landowners also worked together to donate access and recreation easements, providing access to Buckeye Knob and permanent climbing access to the nearby Barn Boulders. The $145,000 purchase is the second largest purchase in CCC’s history and contains 500 boulders problems at all grades on high quality rock in a beautiful setting.

2017 AVP Boulders - Grayson Highlands, Virginia
Central Appalachia Climbers Coalition (CACC) acquired the AVP Boulders in Grayson Highlands, Virginia for permanent conservation and climbing access. The AVP Boulders offer some of the most coveted and popular bouldering in Grayson

Highlands, with over 50 problems and an easy roadside approach. But in 2016, the private landowners closed the boulders due to liability concerns and their interest in selling the 29-acre property, which included both their home and the boulders. Access Fund applied loan funds to survey, appraise, and help CACC secure a purchase agreement. The climbing community helped raise over $11,000, matching an Access Fund grant of $3,000, and enabling CACC to complete the purchase.

2017 Northwest Crags - Rumney, New Hampshire
The Access Fund loaned $120,000 to Rumney Climber’s Association (RCA) to secure temporary ownership of an 85-acre property that

includes six crags at Rumney – including Northwest Territories, Buffalo Pit, Northwest Passage, Prudential, Asylum, and the western portion of the Black Jack Boulders. This latest acquisition extends Access Fund and RCA’s legacy of land protection at Rumney, which began in 1994. RCA will construct a new parking area, toilet, and trail system to help alleviate crowding at the main parking area and crags. For the final phase, Access Fund will help RCA transfer the property to the USFS.

2016 Bald Rock Recreation Preserve, Kentucky
The Red River Gorge Climbers' Coalition (RRGCC) purchased the 102-acre Bald Rock Recreational Preserve in the Red River Gorge of

Kentucky, securing access to a popular set of world-renowned climbing areas – including the Motherlode, the Chocolate Factory, the Bear's Den, and the Unlode. In early July, the private landowners (who historically allowed climbing access) decided to sell the property, putting access to the Motherlode and surrounding crags at risk of indefinite closure. RRGCC came to Access Fund for a loan of $225,000 to cover the majority of the $235,000 purchase price.

2016 Pinnacle Boulders, New York
The Access Fund acquired the Pinnacle Boulders in the Southern Adirondacks of New York. The 18.5-acre property features a cluster of gneiss boulders and cliff band. The landowners generously donated the property to Access Fund. Access Fund is transferring the property to the State to be conserved as part of Adirondack Park.

2016 Denny Cove, Tennessee
Denny Cove, a 685-acre parcel in eastern Tennessee, was acquired and opened to climbing thanks to a collaboration with Southeastern

Climbers Coalition (SCC), Access Fund, Land Trust for Tennessee, the Conservation Fund, and the State of Tennessee. Denny Cove features over 150 climbing routes and three miles of cliff line and preserves scenic views, water quality, and critical plant and wildlife habitat. The $1.2 million acquisition required loans from both Access Fund and the Conservation Fund. SCC temporarily held the property in 2016 to complete stewardship improvements and kick off fundraising. The property is now permanently conserved as part of South Cumberland State Park.

2015 Big Rock, South Carolina
Naturaland Trust was awarded a grant to secure public access to Big Rock Mountain, a popular granite dome and bouldering area in the Nine Times Forest of South Carolina. Naturaland Trust recently acquired the 1,648 acres that contain Big Rock Mountain and this access parcel provides a safe way for climbers and hikers to access the mountain.

2015 Black Wall - Donner Summit, California
Access Fund partnered with Truckee Donner Land Trust (TDLT) to acquire the Black Wall area of Donner Summit. The 10-acre property includes the popular and historic Black Wall, Peanut Gallery, and Road Cut trad and sport crags, as well as the access trail to the popular Space Wall. Access Fund holds a conservation easement on the TDLT property to assist with long-term climbing access and stewardship.

2015 Quarry Park, Minnesota
Duluth Climbers Coalition (DCC) was awarded funding to help acquire Casket Quarry, an important regional ice and mixed climbing crag in Minnesota, in partnership with the City of Duluth. Land acquisition is the first step for transforming Casket Quarry into a new city park that will welcome and promote winter climbing.

2015 Ragged Mountain North, Connecticut
The Ragged Mountain Foundation was awarded funding for the purchase of the North end of the Ragged Mountain Main Face from the town of New Britain, CT. The Ragged Mountain Main Face is a historic site, containing some of the most difficult climbs in North America in the 1930s. A majority of the Ragged Mountain Main Face, as well as 55 adjoining acres, is currently owned by the Ragged Mountain Foundation – a 501(c)3 nonprofit

2015 Homestead, Arizona

With a narrow window of opportunity, the Access Fund applied $152,000 of loan funding to secure temporary ownership of a critical access point to the Homestead in central Arizona to save the area from indefinite closure. With over 250 sport climbs on 12 limestone walls, the Homestead is one of the best winter limestone climbing areas in the country, boasting true “tufa” sport routes. But in 2014, access was imminently threatened when the bank foreclosed on a piece of private property that overlapped key portions of the access road, trailhead, and first few dozen routes. If sold to a non-climber-friendly buyer, access to the entire Homestead area could have been lost.

2014 Eagle Bluff, Maine

The Access Fund partnered with the Clifton Climbers Alliance (CCA) to acquire Eagle Bluff in central Maine for permanent conservation and recreational access. The Access Fund secured an Option Agreement to purchase Eagle Bluff and a recreational lease to re-open this incredible area. After six months, climbers and conservationists from New England and beyond raised over $100,000 and CCA completed the purchase. A small Climbing Conservation Loan bridged the gap between available donations and pending grant applications.

2014 Hidden Valley, Virginia

The Access Fund and Carolina Climbers Coalition (CCC) partnered to complete the acquisition of a large portion of the Hidden Valley climbing area (also known as ‘Abingdon’) in southwest Virginia. The property provides access to hundreds of single-pitch sport, mixed, and traditional climbs on unique, high-quality sandstone. Access Fund kicked off the acquisition process and CCC stepped up to purchase the area and complete fundraising.

2014 Unaweep Cliffs, Colorado

Western Colorado Climbers’ Coalition (WCCC) purchased Television Wall and Lower Mothers Buttress in Unaweep Canyon to culminate a 25-year history of conservation and public access in the canyon. A Climbing Conservation Loan bridged the gap and WCCC is fundraising and looking to subdivide the road frontage while preserving the cliffs in perpetuity.

2014 Palisades, Alabama
Blount County was awarded funding for the purchase of 20 acres adjacent to Palisades Park near Oneonta, Alabama. The private property features approximately 750 feet of bluff for rock climbing and scenic views, as well as several large, quality boulders. The acquisition will protect the forested area’s beautiful natural setting and a variety of plants and wildlife that will enhance the existing park.

2013 Sandstone, Minnesota
The Access Fund provided a grant and additional fundraising support to the Minnesota Climbers Association (MCA) to protect a high quality boulder field in Sandstone, Minnesota. The Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota (PTCM) is taking the lead in the acquisition with critical support from the local climbing community. PTCM will hold and transfer the property to Minnesota State Parks.

2013 Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, Kentucky

The Access Fund partnered with the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition to protect 309 acres in Beattyville, Kentucky. Access Fund provided a $200,000 Climbing Conservation Loan and $10,000 grant to support RRGCC's purchase. Named the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, the land includes several miles of cliff line, some of which has been developed but with the vast majority of it awaiting discovery and development.

2013 Castle Crags, California

The Access Fund provided a grant and matching Climbing Conservation Loan to Wilderness Land Trust to protect 1,250 acres in the northern reaches of Castle Crags Wilderness near Mt. Shasta, California. The acquisition will provide public access to moderate multi-pitch granite, winter ice climbing, and backcountry skiing. The property also features rare wildlife and plant habitat and cultural resources.

2012 Hospital Boulders, Alabama

The Access Fund partnered with the Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) to acquire the Hospital Boulders in northeastern Alabama to save the property from being sold to the highest bidder at auction. The purchase placed the Hospital Boulders in climber-friendly hands forever. The SCC will own and manage the property in perpetuity.

2012 Holy Boulders, Illinois

While private landowners have historically allowed climbing access at the Holy Boulders, known for its Fontainebleau-like perfect sandstone friction and aesthetic lines, they decided to sell the property, putting the boulders at risk of indefinite closure. With a narrow window of opportunity to protect the Holy Boulders, the Access Fund worked with local climbers to purchase the property, and are currently fundraising to put the land into climber friendly hands for long-term management.

2012 Hueco Rock Ranch, Texas

The Access Fund and American Alpine Club (AAC) partnered to place the iconic Hueco Rock Ranch in climber-friendly hands.The Access Fund provided leadership and acquisition expertise, as well short-term funding from the Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan Program, putting the Ranch under contract to purchase in May, 2012. At closing, the Access Fund assigned the properties to the AAC for long-term ownership and management.

2011 Deep Creek, Tennessee
The AF provided an off-cycle grant to the Southeastern Climbers Coalition to acquire a critical property necessary for public access to Deep Creek on the Cumberland Trail, a sport and trad crag quickly growing in popularity just outside Chattanooga, TN.

2010 New River Gorge Climbers Campground, West Virginia

AF provided an Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan of 90k to the American Alpine Club to purchase 40 acres adjacent to Junkyard Wall in the New River Gorge. The loan provided permanent parking access for Junk Yard Wall and walking access to other popular crags such as the Bridge Area, as well as providing land for the development of a campground that will enhance the climbing experience for visitors traveling to climb on West Virginia’s beautiful sandstone walls. The new campground will be created in partnership with New River Alliance of Climbers, National Park Service, and American Alpine Club.

2010 Jailhouse Rock, California

When a fast-approaching subdivision was likely to block future access to Jailhouse, AF partnered with the local climbing community and landowners to secure a permanent access easement and conservation easement on 75 acres encompassing Jailhouse Rock in exchange for a $100,000 Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan to the landowners towards a conservation development partnership. AF and its partners are also raised money to cover transaction costs, a stewardship fund, and parking/trailhead improvements.

2010 Carcass Crag, Vermont
CRAG-VT signed a purchase and sale agreement to annex the cliff through a boundary line adjustment on their Bolton Quarry climbing area. With the support of the Access Fund and local climbers, CRAG-VT completed the land purchase, adding three additional acres of rock to the Bolton Quarry property and permanently secures public access the cliff. It is the fourth property that CRAG-VT has acquired to ensure public access to climbing and the preservation of the natural environment.

2010 Rumbling Bald West Side Boulders, North Carolina

The Carolina Climbers Coalition and the Access Fund will purchase and conserve the Rumbling Bald West Side Boulders in North Carolina. The Access Fund provided a bridge loan of $72,000 from the Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan Program to finance 90% of the purchase price for the 6.12 acre tract that is currently under contract by the Carolina Climbers Coalition. The two organizations are working together to finalize the purchase of this popular bouldering area from a private developer. Developed in 1999, the parcel hosts 30 boulders with approximately 200 high quality boulder problems. The area sees considerable use from southeast climbers due to its central location to several nearby metropolitan areas, including Asheville, NC; Charlotte, NC; Greenville, SC; and Spartanburg, SC.

2010, 2006, 2003 Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve, Kentucky

The Access Fund provided the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition (RRGCC) with short-term financing to pay off its seller-financed loan at the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. Through aggressive fundraising and two grants from the Access Fund, the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition had paid down a significant portion of the original loan. The $65,000 provided by the Access Fund to refinance the remainder of the loan saved the RRGCC approximately $10,000 in interest and fees that can be invested in other projects that benefit the Red River Gorge climbing community. The refinance also eliminated the risk of losing the property to a private third-party, since a missed annual payment under the previous seller-financed loan would have returned the property to the seller and the funds raised by climbers would have been lost.

2009 Lower Index Town Wall, Washington

The Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan Program's first pilot project was a $10,000 bridge loan to secure an option agreement for the acquisition of the Lower Index Town Wall in Washington. The Access Fund partnered with the Washington Climbers Coalition (WCC) to save this popular Seattle-area cliff from being lost to a quarrying operation. The option agreement gives the WCC the sole right to purchase the 20-acre parcel that holds the cliff for long-term management or assign the property to Washington State Parks. “The Access Fund stepped in with a Climbing Conservation Loan at just the right time to loan WCC the funds necessary to secure this option,” says WCC Secretary Matt Perkins. The Access Fund also loaned the WCC an additional $5,000 to help fund the title work at Index and kick-start fundraising operations for the remainder of the project.

2009 Steele Cliffline, Alabama

The second successful Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan project was a $20,000 bridge loan to Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) to help facilitate the purchase of a 29-acre cliff line in Steele, Alabama. The SCC was set to close on 25 acres of the Steele property using money from its own fundraising efforts when it learned that an additional 4-acre tract containing cliff line came up for sale, expanding access to a dozen more classic lines and new potential routes. The Access Fund loan enabled the SCC to close on the 25-acre tract and acquire the additional parcel later this summer. “The Southeastern Climbers Coalition greatly appreciates the bridge loan from the Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan Program to complete the purchase of the Steele tract,” says Brad Mcleod of the SCC. “Without this loan we would not have been able to close on time and secure the purchase of this portion of the cliff line.”

2009 Farley Ledge, Massachusetts

The Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan Program provided Western Massachusetts Climbers’ Coalition with short-term financing to pay off an existing $30,000 bank loan on 7 acres of land at the base of Farley Ledge in Erving, Massachusetts. The Western Massachusetts Climbers’ Coalition has paid down 90 percent of the original $300,000 bank loan. By refinancing the remainder of the loan, the Coalition saved approximately $3,500 in interest and fees that can be invested in other projects that benefit the Massachusetts climbing community. Farley Ledge contains arguably the best climbing in southern New England between Rumney, New Hampshire and the Gunks in eastern New York. In 2007, the Coalition purchased the undeveloped tract at the base of the cliff to protect the access point and allow for a parking area. The Access Fund provided a $10,000 grant to assist with the original purchase.

2008 Unaweep Canyon, CO
A grant was awarded to Access Fund Affiliate Western Colorado Climber’s Coalition for the purchase of the Upper and Middle Mothers Buttress crags in Unaweep Canyon, Mesa County, CO. The crags were purchased from the current landowner who has guaranteed an easement to access the area and secure climbing here indefinitely. This parcel is near land currently owned by the Access Fund.

2008 Upper West Bolton, VT
CRAG-VT will use Access Fund grant monies to assist in the acquisition of Upper West Bolton Cliff (a.k.a. Upper West) in Bolton, Vermont. Less than 30 minutes from Burlington and Montpelier, Upper West is one of northern Vermont’s most popular and historic cliffs. It hosts 250-foot traditional climbs, ice climbs, and a boulder field.

2007 Farley Ledge, MA
A grant was awarded to the Western Massachusetts Climbers Coalition (WMCC) to assist with the purchase of a nine-acre parcel of land abutting Farley Ledge, a unique and unspoiled outdoor recreation area in Erving, MA. Purchase of this property will protect valuable, undeveloped land and create a permanent sustainable parking lot and trailhead providing public access to both the rock climbing at Farley Ledge and the nationally recognized Metacomet-Monadnock Trail. This purchase ensures permanent access to one of southern New England’s best rock climbing resources that was previously threatened by a busy residential neighborhood causing restricted access four times in the last twenty years.

2007 Owl's Head, New Hampshire
The AF supported the Trust for Public Land's acquisition of a large granite cliff for climbing and raptor habitat. The property was later transferred to White Mountain National Forest for long-term management.

2006 White Rocks Acquisition Project, Pennsylvania
The Explorer's Club of Pittsburgh (ECP) was awarded a grant to help pay for the acquisition of 800+ acres of open space and crags in southwestern Pennsylvania. This land is of local and regional significance and includes some of the best climbing in the area. Unfortunately is has been closed to climbing for over 10 years, and is a target for real estate developers. Long-term access and preservation of the area will be secured through the acquisition.

2005 Donner Summit, CA
The Truckee Donner Land Trust received a grant to assist with the purchase of 189-acres west of Donner Lake in Billy Mack Canyon. The purchase will expand the Donner Summit climbing area, as the potential climbing opportunities in the Canyon, heretofore closed to climbers, is fantastic.

2005, 2006, and 2008 Laurel Knob
The Access Fund awarded the Carolina Climbers Coalition three grants (2005, 2006, 2008) to assist with the purchase of a 50-acre tract near Cashiers, North Carolina containing what is arguably the tallest cliff in the eastern United States – a granite wall over 1,000 feet tall known as Laurel Knob. The purchase opens up a previously closed climbing area.

2005 Jamestown, Alabama
The Southeastern Climbers Coalition was awarded a grant to help pay for the purchase of the Jamestown climbing area. The Jamestown climbing area is comprised of nearly one mile of 60 – 80 foot tall sandstone cliff-line in northeastern Alabama. Situated above the town of Jamestown, this climbing area had been closed to the public since the early 1990s due to liability concerns. The Southeastern Climbers negotiated the purchase of nearly 7 acres of land, resulting in the reopening of this southern gem for climbing. Protection method: fee acquisition by SCC with financial assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2005 East Animas, Colorado
The Access Fund provided a grant to help secure an access easement to this trad climbing area outside of Durango, Colorado.

2004 The Drool, Colorado
The Access Fund awarded the Aspen Valley Land Trust (AVLT) funds to establish the conservation value of the Drool. AVLT facilitated the transfer of the property to Pitkin County Open Space.

2004 Bolton Quarry, Vermont
The Access Fund provided grants to CRAG-VT to assist with the purchase of a popular rock and ice climbing crag near Burlington, VT. For years, access at the Bolton Quarry has been tenuous at best. However, the stunning vertical ice pillars and aesthetically pleasing rock climbs have kept CRAG-VT focused on landowner relations. CRAG-VT negotiated access to the quarry in 2002, only to have it closed again due to increased traffic and displeased neighbors. Protection Method: fee acquisition by CRAG-VT with financial and technical assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2003 Lower West Bolton, Vermont
The Access Fund provided a grant to CRAG-VT to assist with the purchase of Lower West, one of the most popular and most accessible climbing areas in Bolton Valley.

2003 Short Wall, Connecticut
The Access Fund supported the acquisition of a crag on South Mountain of Southington, CT.

2002 Boat Rock, Georgia
The Access Fund provided a grant to the Southeastern Climbers Coalition to assist with the acquisition of Boat Rock, a threatened bouldering area outside of Atlanta. Boat Rock is situated on a ridgeline of granite boulders and most of the ridgeline was being subdivided for residential development. The AF grant was used as a down payment to purchase 7 acres of land for a total cost of $106,000. The AF provided an additional grant in 2004 to further assist with funding costs of the acquisition. Protection Method: fee acquisition by SCC with financial and technical assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2002 Castleton Tower, Utah
The Access Fund provided technical expertise, assistance drafting a proposal to the landowner, and a grant to Utah Open Lands to assist with the purchase of 224 acres of land at the base of Castleton Tower. The land was under the ownership of the State Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) who was in the process of auctioning it off to the highest bidder. The acquired land contains the historic bivy site, and trailhead access to Castleton. The Kor-Ingalls route on Castleton is listed as one of North America’s “50 Classic Climbs.” The land was under threat of being sold to a developer. Protection Method: fee acquisition by Utah Open Lands with financial assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2001 Pitkin Falls, Colorado
The Access Fund provided a grant to the Eagle Valley Land Trust to help pay the purchase of two building lots at the base of Pitkin Falls (a popular winter ice climb) in East Vail. The purchase established clear legal access to the Falls, solved a parking problem, and provided a continued aesthetic climbing experience for climbers visiting east Vail. Protection Method: fee acquisition by the EVLT with financial assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2001 Black Mountain, Tennessee
The Access Fund provided a grant to the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation to help with the acquisition of Black Mountain, a 528-acre mountaintop located in Cumberland County. The area is located at the southern end of the Cumberland Mountain’s, at an elevation of 2,900 feet. The 100-foot cliffs were in need of permanent protection. Protection Method: fee acquisition by TPGF with financial assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2001 Saddle Boulders, California
The Access Fund provides a grant to the Truckee Donner Land Trust to acquire 2,000¬acres of land from a timber company on Shallenberger Ridge, near Donner Summit, CA. The land, containing a multitude of quality bouldering opportunities is conveyed to Donner State Park for permanent protection from development. Protection Method: fee acquisition by TDLT with financial assistance from the Access Fund and other donors.

2001 and 2003 Baldy Point, Oklahoma
The Access Fund purchases 120 acres of privately owned land near Altus, OK. Included in the purchase was the popular Baldy Point climbing area. Baldy Point, known locally as “Tuolumne of the mid-west” is a spectacular 600-foot granite dome with numerous high quality crack and friction climbs. The land was under threat of being sold to developers, who were eying it for subdivision. The Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition raised more than $16,000 to help fund the purchase. The land was subsequently conveyed to adjacent Quartz Mountain State Park for permanent protection. Protection Method: fee acquisition by the AF and transfer to OK Tourism and Recreation Dept.

2000 Foster Falls, Tennessee
The Access Fund, in collaboration with the Friends of South Cumberland, the Southeastern Climbers Coalition and other local groups purchase a 55-acre tract to preserve important sections of Foster Falls and the historic Fiery Gizzard Trail. The acquisition provides access and prevents potential logging of one of the most unusual, beautiful and historic natural areas in the southeastern United States. The Access Fund is one of several citizen advocacy groups that worked to restore access to the area. With a $35,000 grant from the Conservation Alliance, the Access Fund helped to purchase a crucial easement along the trail threatened with closure. The imminent closure was due to complex access and environmental issues and confusion created by multiple private ownership. Protection Method: partnership with Friends of South Cumberland, SCC and local groups.

1999 Shelf Road, Colorado
The Access Fund purchases 115-acres of privately owned land at Shelf Road, and later sells the land to the Bureau of Land Management at appraised value. Crags officially opened as a result of the acquisition were the Cactus Cliff, Spiney Ridge, part of the Gym, the Vault, Gem Wall, and the Cash Wall. The Access Fund purchased the land in order to secure permanent climbing access, and to provide for improvements such as parking and trails. Protection Method: fee acquisition by the AFLF and sold to the BLM.

1998 Castle Rocks State Park, Idaho
In 1998 the Access Fund partnered with the Conservation Fund, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, and the National Park Service in the acquisition of a 1240 acre privately owned parcel adjacent to City of Rocks National Reserve for the purpose of subsequent transfer to the National Park Service and the eventual creation of a new park. The Access Fund provided crucial bridge funding to enable the purchase from the private land owner. The AF also provided Congressional testimony in support of the acquisition, lobbied Senator Craig’s office to champion the purchase, and helped negotiate the land exchange between the state of Idaho and the NPS that allowed the acquisition to succeed. Ultimately the property was transferred to Idaho Parks & Recreation for designation as Castle Rocks State Park. This spectacular area contains more than 400 acres of towering granitic rock formations, rivaling the nearby City of Rocks as one of Idaho’s most important recreational rock climbing destinations. The area's geologic importance is confirmed by its listing on the National Registry of Natural Landmarks. Protection Method: partnership with the Conservation Fund, IDP&R and NPS.

1998 Bishop's Peak
The Access Fund contributed funding towards the City of San Luis Obispo's acquisition of Bishop's Peak. The 108-acre acquisition was a key link in protecting the area, which is a local favorite cragging spot. The extinct volcanic plug features enjoyable sport, trad, and bouldering.

1997 Dugout Ranch, Indian Creek, UT
The Access Fund assisted The Nature Conservancy with funding towards the acquisition of Dugout Ranch, which provides access to many of Indian Creek's walls.

1997 Mount Yonah, Georgia
The Access Fund, in partnership with the Southeastern Climbers Coalition and the Trust for Public Land work with the local community to acquire a 45-acre parcel at Mt. Yonah, a popular cliff near Atlanta, GA. In response to a closure of the private land surrounding Mt. Yonah, the 45-acre tract at the base of the mountain was identified as a priority acquisition to resolve the issue. The land was purchased by TPL with help from the AF and SCC, and later transferred to the USFS. Protection Method: partnership with SCC and TPL.

1995 Society Turn Crag, Telluride, Colorado
In 1995 the Access Fund received a cry for help from citizens of Telluride and members of the Telluride Mountain Club – their favorite local rock climbing destination was slated to be closed to public access and sold by a developer. The landowner is concerned with liability at this increasingly popular bouldering area. With the assistance of the AFLF, this 5-acre parcel was protected in perpetuity through donation to the AFLA and long term ownership as an important local recreational site. The AF enters into an agreement with the Telluride Mountain Club for stewardship of the area. Protection Method: direct acquisition by the AF with long-term ownership.

1995 Golden Cliffs Preserve, Colorado
Working with a major donor, the AFLF was able to acquire and subsequently protect 29 acres of important open space on the south slopes of the North Table Mountain mesa, just north of the City of Golden, Colorado. The landowner had become concerned with liability at this highly popular area. This complex, long term protection project involved three separate parcel donations, subsequent annexation of a portion of the property, extensive public planning and approvals including rezoning of the property, and eventual trailhead infrastructure construction. The result was the creation of the Golden Cliffs Preserve, a crucial open space preservation project. The Preserve abuts City of Golden Open Space to the west and Jefferson County Open Space to the north, which collectively provides a network of trails interconnecting the broad open lands of North Table Mountain. Perhaps best know as on one of most popular rock climbing destinations along the Front Range, the Preserve is visited by more than 30,000 climbing enthusiasts, hikers and nature viewers annually. The Access Fund invests a substantial amount of money into parking, kiosk and signs, trail improvements, and has a vault toilet installed. The AFLF maintains long term ownership and stewardship of the Golden Cliffs and provides open public access.

1994 Rumney Cliffs, New Hampshire
In 1994 The Access Fund and US Forest Service worked in partnership to protect this noteworthy 40 acre parcel that abuts White Mountain National Forest lands. The AFLF acquired the property from a private land owner and subsequently facilitated its transfer to the USFS for long-term protection. An agreement is entered into with the Rumney Climbers Association for site improvements including a new parking lot and trail improvements. Among its numerous attributes it is home to a vital Peregrine Falcon nesting site, contains unique rock formations which offer some of the most exciting rock climbing opportunities in southern New Hampshire, provides crucial habitat to T&E plant specie and provides vital public access to this largely land-locked portion of the White Mountain National Forest. Protection Method: fee acquisition by the AFLF and transfer to the USFS.

1993 Gunks, New York
The Access Fund, working in conjunction with the Mohonk Preserve, the Open Space Institute and the Friends of the Shawanagunks provided a grant to the Mohonk Preserve for the purchase of 40-acres of land adjacent to the Preserve. This land provides access to roughly 2/3 of the Near Trapps cliffs and contains hundreds of classic climbs. The land had been formerly zoned for commercial development. The land was re-zoned, access was secured, and the cliffs and hardwood forest were protected from urban encroachment. Protection Method: partnership with Mohonk Preserve, OSI and Friends of the Shawanagunks.

1993 Handley Rock, California
The Handley Rock Property was originally purchased by William and Beverly Oldfield in 1974 to prevent suburban encroachment and preserve the area as public open space. Due to growing liability concerns, the Oldfields looked to donate the property to a public or nonprofit entity. William Oldfield reached out to Access Fund founders at the American Alpine Club and temporarily donated the property to the Access Fund Land Foundation (AFLF) in 1990. In 1992, the property was transferred to the newly formed 501(c)(3) Nonprofit California Corporation, Handley Rock Association, to hold the property for public, passive recreation. The perpetual conservation and recreational easement was recorded and granted to AFLF to serve as backup protection. In 2010, the conservation easement was transferred to (and is still held by) the Access Fund, upon dissolution of the Access Fund Land Foundation.

1992 Ragged Mountain, Connecticut
The Access Fund provides a $5,000 start-up grant to the Ragged Mountain Foundation, who successfully negotiates with the Nature Conservancy to acquire Ragged Mountain. Access Fund also provides legal and technical assistance during the negotiations and land acquisition. Protection Method: partnership with the Ragged Mountain Foundation and TNC.

1991 Unaweep Canyon, Colorado
The Access Fund, working in collaboration with local climbers, purchased several rock formations from a private landowner in Unaweep Canyon, near Grand Junction, CO. The acquisition of this privately owned 40 acre parcel provided strategic public access to adjacent BLM lands and protected a stunning 400 foot granite wall which holds unique rock climbing opportunities in the scenic Unaweep Canyon. The AFLF continues to maintain ownership and stewardship of this parcel while providing for open public access, recreational rock climbing and habitat protection. Protection Method: fee-acquisition by the AF with long-term ownership.

1990 Peshastin Pinnacles, Washington
Peshastin Pinnacles State Park is a 34-acre desert park featuring a group of sandstone slabs and spires called "the pinnacles." Climbable spires reach 200 feet into the air. Rocks and trails provide views of surrounding orchards, the Enchantment Mountain Range, and the Wenatchee River valley. The park is named for its "pinnacles," or unique sandstone formations, and for the town of Peshastin, located three miles away. The area has been popular for rock climbing since the 1960s. In 1986, land owners closed the pinnacles to climbers for liability reasons. The Access Fund and The Trust for Public Land purchased the site, then sold it to State Parks. Protection Method: fee acquisition by TPL and later sold to WA State Parks.