Access Fund Helps American Alpine Club Secure 40 Acres for New River Gorge Climbers’ Campground

Date: 12/22/2010

The Access Fund is pleased to announce that it has provided the American Alpine Club (AAC) with an 18-month loan to assist with the purchase of 40 acres in Fayetteville, West Virginia adjacent to the New River Gorge National River. The land will be improved as a campground.

The loan from the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign will provide permanent parking access for Junk Yard Wall and walking access to other popular crags such as the Bridge Area, as well as providing a campground that will enhance the climbing experience for visitors traveling to climb on West Virginia’s beautiful sandstone walls.

“We are building on the tradition that started with the Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch,” says AAC Executive Director Phil Powers. “Lodging options within walking distance from great climbing supports the climbing lifestyle we all enjoy. We hope to create a facility that meets climbers’ needs and adds opportunities for climbers to gather and share their stories.”

The New River Alliance of Climbers helped advise the AAC on the best location for the campground and is in full support of the project. “We are excited to be in this partnership with the American Alpine Club, Access Fund, and National Park Service to grow the recreational infrastructure in a quality direction for climbers,” says New River Alliance of Climbers President Gene Kistler.

The AAC hopes to transfer the property to the National Park Service (NPS) to be co-managed by AAC and NPS as a campground for climbers and other visitors. The proposed campground is expected to house 50-60 campsites, bathrooms and showers, a cooking pavilion, library or meeting space, and manager’s quarters. As with other AAC campgrounds, the property will be developed specifically with climbers in mind and will allow for extended stays at inexpensive rates. Completion of the campground is expected to take at least two years.