Southeastern Climbers Coalition Closes on Steele

Date: 9/8/2009

On Friday, September 4th, 2009, the Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) closed on a 25 acre tract and cliffline in Steele, Alabama for a purchase price of $55,000. The crag has been off limits to climbers for over twenty years after a dispute with a private landowner. The 25 acre tract is now climber owned and managed and will be preserved for future generations to enjoy. The SCC negotiated a purchase for a portion (1,400 linear feet) of the mile-long crag along with adequate parking and trail access.

In collaboration with the SCC, the new Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign www.accessfund.org/aflcc provided a $20,000 bridge loan to allow the project to close on time. To date the SCC has raised $40,000 of the $55,000 price tag, including generous support from the climbing community, Chaco, Rock/Creek, countless others, and an early gift of $5,000 from the Access Fund Climbing Preservation Grants Program.

The crag at Steele will offer sport and traditional climbing as well as some bouldering and is 45 minutes from nearby Birmingham and two hours from Atlanta, Georgia. The 25 acre tract includes approximately 40 climbing routes, both sport and traditional along with a hillside strewn with sandstone boulders. The tract also has a house trailer, metal shed, parking and good road access from the main highway (Chandler Mountain Road). The area is expected to be popular due to its close proximity to metropolitan areas and quality of sandstone and routes. The goal of the SCC is to open up the entire clifflline, and the Access Fund bridge loan gives the SCC greater capacity to negotiate with other landowners along the cliffline.

For more information, visit www.seclimbers.org.