Second Round Grants Awarded


The Access Fund is pleased to announce that it has awarded over $16,912 in the second round of the 2014 Climbing Preservation Grants Program. Each year, the Access Fund awards up to $40,000 in grant money to local climbing communities with worthy projects that preserve or enhance climbing access. The Access Fund Climbing Preservation Grants Program is an example of membership dollars at work in local climbing communities across the country. Again this round, Access Fund members got the opportunity to review qualifying grant projects and rate them, providing valuable input to our grant selection committee as to which projects they want their contributions to support. We are pleased to announce funding for the following worthy projects.

Carolina Climbers Coalition: Linville Gorge Rescue Assistance
The Carolina Climbers Coalition was awarded a grant to map the best access points for rescue teams in order to speed rescue for injured climbers, improve climbing management, and help prevent access issues. After a rescue in Linville Gorge, NC resulted in a ticket for a climber, the Carolina Climbers Coalition (CCC) and other partners met with the rescue teams involved to determine better ways to collaborate together in future rescue efforts. Rescue teams expressed difficulty translating a route name into a location due to the complex cliff systems in Linville Gorge. This project is a direct result of that successful collaboration.

Friends of Muir Valley: Repair of Muir Valley Access Road
Friends of Muir Valley (FOMV) was awarded matching funds to complete important repairs to Muir Valley’s emergency access road, allowing first responders’ immediate access to all climbing areas within the valley in a timely manner. The grant will go toward installation of 400 linear feet of honeycombed geocell, filled with aggregate. This long-term, self-sustaining action will end a ten-year battle of costly repairs and prevent future erosion on this critical section of the emergency road.

Friends of Staunton State Park: Climber Kiosk
The Friends of Staunton State Park was awarded a grant for a climber kiosk at Colorado’s newest State Park. The kiosk will provide climbers with information regarding park resources, regulations, seasonal closures, and the importance of a Fixed Hardware Review Group. Currently, this information can only be found online or on a print out at the entrance gate. The new kiosk will be strategically located along the Staunton Ranch trail, which is the main trail that accesses all of the climbing within park boundaries.

The Nature Conservancy, Tennessee Chapter: Lily Boulder Fields Signage
The Tennessee Chapter of the Nature Conservancy (TNC) was awarded matching funds to develop and install an interpretive panel sign at the entrance of the Lily Boulder Fields. The popular boulders are part of the Obed Wild and Scenic River, which hosts thousands of climbers on both National Park Service (NPS) and Nature Conservancy lands. TNC is partnering with East Tennessee Climbers Coalition and NPS on the design and language of the sign, which will provide information on the natural and cultural resources of the area and encourage responsible use for all who visit this special place.

North Carolina Outward Bound School: Table Rock Kiosk and Trail Maintenance
North Carolina Outward Bound School was awarded a grant to rebuild the informational kiosk in the Table Rock parking lot, which is currently in disrepair, and purchase trail service tools to maintain this heavily loved area. The Table Rock parking lot is the access point for numerous climbing areas, including Table Rock, The Chimneys, and Linville Gorge. Thousands of climbers visit this area each year on their way to the easily accessed crags, moderate multi-pitch traditional climbs, and premiere wilderness climbing, all found in the area. North Carolina Outward Bound School plans to work with Carolina Climbers Coalition, the local American Alpine Club section, and other partners to complete this project.

Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance: Start Up Costs
The Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance (PPCA) was awarded a grant to assist with nonprofit filing fees. The newly formed organization works to steward and protect climbing resources in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado, including the South Platte and Shelf Road. The PPCA wishes to seek 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to initiate long-term partnerships and local support. PPCA will seek matching funds for other start-up costs, such as website development and informational pamphlets.

Western Colorado Climbers' Coalition: Unaweep Cliffs Acquisition
Western Colorado Climbers’ Coalition (WCCC) was awarded matching funds to purchase Television Wall and Lower Mothers Buttress in Unaweep Canyon. Both cliffs are critical inholdings adjacent to WCCC and Access Fund-owned cliffs in the canyon. Lower Mothers Buttress is a great crag for beginning climbers and Television Wall hosts most of the canyon’s new route development, and features several multi-pitch trad and sport lines that are challenging and aesthetic. “No Trespassing” signs were recently posted, and the climbing community has a small window of time to secure both of these crags.