Access Fund TeamWorks Trail Project Builds on Climbing Access Success at Newhalem, WA

Date: 9/16/2008

On September 13 rock climbers and three conservation groups joined the National Park Service to build and restore access paths to climbing crags outside of Newhalem, Washington at Ross Lake National Recreation Area.

Since 2003 The Access Fund has worked with the North Cascades National Park, joined by members of the Washington Climbers Coalition (www.washingtonclimbers.org), to negotiate access to spectacular unclimbed cliffs outside Newhalem. Late last year all the worked came to fruition when climbers and the park service came up with a compromise that allowed access to some of the areas many undeveloped crags pending the development of a larger management plan. For more information, see www.accessfund.org/regions/news/WA.

Saturday's stewardship project was an Access Fund-organized TeamWorks event that seeks to educate young indoor climbers on the transition from inside to outside environments by focusing on Leave No Trace ethics and responsible rock climbing habits. TeamWorks is designed to instill and foster a sense of stewardship and pride in caring for our outside climbing environments leading to long term conservation of climbing areas.

For more on this Access Fund program, see www.boulderproject/teamworks. The Newhalem trail project was assisted by kids from Seattles "Vertical World" youth climbing team who got their first chance to climb on a real rock face, rather than on a wall in a climbing gym.

Charles Beall, from North Cascades National Park, says "This really is a success story. The National Park Service, working with the climbing groups and other partners, has found a way to accommodate this recreational use, while balancing our mandate to protect park resources."

Saturdays trail project at Newhalem was assisted by the Washington Trails Associationwho provided trail building expertise and toolsand The Wilderness Society who provided logistical support and help at the event. For more information regarding this event, contact Access Fund Regional Coordinator Jonah Harrison ([email protected]) or the Washington Climbers Coalition ([email protected]).