Access Fund Announces 2011 Sharp End Awards

Date: 2/15/2012

Each year the Access Fund recognizes individuals and businesses that go above and beyond to volunteer their time and efforts to protecting America’s climbing. These recipients stand out in their commitment to the American climbing community, and the Access Fund is honored to present this year's awards to a worthy group of volunteers and activists.

Bebie Leadership Award – Triple Crown Bouldering Series, Jim Horton, and Chad Wykle
Access Fund is proud to present a Bebie Leadership Award to the Triple Crown Bouldering Series and the event’s organizers, Jim Horton and Chad Wykle. The Triple Crown has contributed over $100,000 to the successful crag and boulder acquisition efforts of the Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) and the Carolina Climbers Coalition, lending cash support to purchase or maintain access to areas like Hound Ears, Boat Rock, Asheboro Boulders, Horse Pens 40, Laurel Knob, Stone Fort, and Deep Creek. Its support has also been instrumental in the success of Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign projects with the SCC at the cliffs of Steele and with the CCC in Rumbling Bald’s boulder field. Outside of the Triple Crown, Chad and Jim are active in their local climbing communities, whether stewarding local climbing areas or serving on the board of their local climbing organization.

Sharp End Award – Renee DeAngelis
Access Fund is honored to present a Sharp End Award to Renee DeAngelis, owner of the Planet Granite climbing gyms in the San Francisco Bay Area. Renee assisted in several critical Access Fund projects this past year, including organizing climbers on various Yosemite land use plans, helping to fund the Jailhouse Rock acquisition, rallying climbers in support of maintaining California state parks climbing access, and even helping to fund a toilet at Castleton Tower near Moab, Utah. The Planet Granite Gives Back program generously awards business dollars to worthy causes that benefit climbing, community, and the environment. Thanks to Renee for developing these innovative programs that give back to the climbing world.

Sharp End Award – Eric Hörst of Safe Harbor Climbers’ Coalition
Access Fund is thrilled to present a Sharp End Award to Eric Hörst in honor of his commitment and efforts to reopen Safe Harbor in Pennsylvania. Eric led efforts to regain public access to this historic crag that had been closed for 20 years. He has served as the main point of contact for local climbers, Access Fund, and land managers looking to resolve this issue. His persistence has been a critical factor in reopening Safe Harbor “South.” Eric kicked off the Safe Harbor Climbers’ Coalition to establish sustainable parking and access. We look forward to supporting Eric in future efforts and projects.

Sharp End Award – Rick Bost of Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition
Access Fund is proud to present a Sharp End Award to Rick Bost, outgoing president of the East Tennessee Climbers Coalition (ETCC) and current president of the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition (RRGCC). For nearly a decade, Rick has coordinated climbing advocacy efforts at the Obed with creativity, energy, and enthusiasm. Leading the ETCC’s extremely successful Adopt a Crag event each September, he has created an exemplary partnership between the local climbing community and National Park Service staff at Obed Wild and Scenic River. Rick played a key role in the ETCC’s 2006 trail purchase, maintaining access to one of the most frequented cliffs at the Obed. Rick has brought the same commitment and energy to leading the RRGCC, helping complete fundraising for Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve, one of the largest climber-owned, climber-managed tracts of land in the country.

Sharp End Award – Greg Orton
Access Fund is pleased to award a much-overdue Sharp End Award to longtime Oregon climbing advocate Greg Orton. Also a prolific western Oregon guidebook writer, Greg has organized Adopt a Crag events and represented climbers in complicated climbing management issues involving endangered species and tribal resources at various locations throughout the Oregon Cascades. Greg has also been one of the most constructive and informative participants in Access Fund’s regional and national activist summits over the years. Thanks to Greg for his consistent activism and conservation of Oregon climbing areas.

Sharp End Award – Logan Wilcoxson of Arkansas Climbers Coalition
Access Fund honors Logan Wilcoxson with a Sharp End Award for his years of volunteer work in Arkansas, “The Natural State.” Logan has provided leadership in the Arkansas climbing community through both the Arkansas Climbers Coalition and Little Rock Climbing Center. Logan played a central role in establishing campground and toilet facilities at Sam’s Throne in partnership with the Forest Service. He has worked continuously to establish a positive working relationship with land managers at Buffalo National River and at Arkansas State Parks to establish favorable climbing management. Each year, Arkansas Climbers Coalition and Logan mobilize the climbing community with Adopt a Crag events and outreach events. Thanks to Logan for years of advocacy and stewardship work.

Sharp End Award – John Wilder of Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council
Access Fund is excited to honor John Wilder of the Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council (CLC) with a Sharp End Award for his climbing activism in the Las Vegas area. A longtime member of the CLC, local Vegas climber, writer at Dead Point Magazine, and gear editor at www.rockclimbing.com, John is a dedicated advocate for climbers at Red Rocks, Arrow Canyon, Christmas Tree Pass near Lake Mead, and other areas. This past year, John also led CLC efforts to oppose a massive housing development on Blue Diamond Hill that would overlook the multipitch wilderness climbing areas in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Thanks to John for his help to preserve Las Vegas climbing.

Sharp End Award – Jeep
Access Fund is excited to present Jeep, the title sponsor of the Access Fund–Jeep Conservation Team, with a Sharp End Award for its commitment to creating a lasting legacy of stewardship at climbing areas across the United States. Jeep’s sponsorship of the Conservation Team is an incredible service to the climbing community. Its support in 2011 made it possible for two expert trail builders to travel the country to improve trails and educate local communities about conservation of their climbing areas. We thank Jeep for its dedication to protecting America’s climbing through grassroots stewardship and education.

Land Conservation Award – Southeastern Climbers Coalition
Access Fund is delighted to present the Southeastern Climbers Coalition with a Land Conservation Award for its years at the forefront of land conservation in the climbing access world. Access Fund worked with the SCC to kick off the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign with a pilot project at Steele, Alabama, in 2009. The SCC successfully paid off the loan in 2010 and continued to establish its central role in protecting climbing access with the purchase of an access property to Deep Creek outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2011. We look forward to supporting the SCC in future conservation projects.

Land Conservation Award – Carolina Climbers Coalition
Access Fund is honored to present the Carolina Climbers Coalition with a Land Conservation Award for the successful conservation project at the West Side Boulders of Rumbling Bald. Some of the best and most popular bouldering in the state, Rumbling Bald’s West Side Boulders were in danger of being lost to a private developer on the verge of bankruptcy. Access Fund provided the CCC with a $72,000 loan to purchase the six-acre boulder-filled parcel. The CCC successfully repaid the loan in 2011, returning the money to the Access Fund’s revolving conservation fund, where it will be available for future conservation efforts.