Climbers to Ascend Capitol Hill to Advocate for Public Lands

Access Fund and the American Alpine Club (AAC) are heading to Washington, DC for our fourth annual Climb the Hill event September 18-21. The two leading climbing advocacy non-profits will bring professional climbers, outdoor industry leaders, and advocacy partners to Capitol Hill to advocate for the lands and climate that are vital to climbing and outdoor recreation.

Climbing advocates at 2018 Climb the Hill. Ancestral lands of the Nacotchtank (Anacostan) and Piscataway. Photo © Stephen Gosling

The Climb the Hill team, which will include renowned climbers Alex Honnold, Sasha DiGiulian, and Tommy Caldwell will meet with law and policymakers to advocate for increased access to public lands, environmental protections, and balanced energy policies on public lands.

According to Access Fund, nearly 60 percent of all rock climbing areas in the US are located on federally managed public land. The protection of these lands and the environment surrounding them is critical to the future of climbing and the safety of climbers. Access Fund and the AAC will represent climbers by pursuing legislative and administrative action on recreation access and enhancement, energy development and leasing reform, funding for public land management agencies, recreation and conservation land designations, and climate change action.

Alex Honnold prepares for Congressional meeting at 2018 Climb the Hill. Photo © Stephen Gosling

The Climb the Hill team will also include representatives from prominent outdoor industry brands, such as Patagonia, Adidas, The North Face, CLIF, Brooklyn Boulders and REI. An array of non-profit and community partners will also join the team, including American Mountain Guides Association, Outdoor Alliance, Latino Outdoors, Brothers of Climbing, Brown Girls Climb, Sending in Color, Adaptive Climbing Group, Salt Lake Climbers’ Alliance, Red River Gorge Climbers, The Mountaineers, Protect Our Winters, and Outdoor Industry Association.

“Climbing is exploding in popularity, and this trend will continue into the future with the Olympics on the horizon. Our growing community is increasingly diverse and passionate about recreational access, protecting public lands, and supporting our land management agencies. With Climb the Hill, we’re bringing that message to policymakers in Washington, DC who hold in their hands the future of our public lands,” said Chris Winter, Executive Director of Access Fund.

“Climb the Hill is among our most effective ways to address the issues facing climbers on our nation's public lands. I am extremely pleased that over the years, the teams that make it great have become ever more diverse, dedicated and well-versed in the policy agenda we bring to our nation's decision-makers,stated Phil Powers, CEO of AAC. Learn more about this joint project at: ClimbTheHill.org