Unaweep Canyon Under New Ownership

Date: 11/19/2008

By Eve Tallman, Secretary of the Western Colorado Climbers' Coalition

Mothers Buttress, a major crag in Unaweep Canyon near Grand Junction, Colorado, has been sold to the Western Colorado Climbers Coalition (WCCC) by the parcel's new owners, John and Marti Peterson of Gunnison, Colorado. Local climbers formed a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation in part to purchase the land so climbers may access the granite climbing area in perpetuity. With grants from the Access Fund, REI, and donations from the National Outdoor Leadership School, as well as gifts from several individuals, the WCCC raised money and in-kind donations to help move the deal forward.

Dave Foley, a surveyor, and Access Fund Board Member Steve Johnson, an attorney, both from Telluride, donated hours of service to ensure the success of the exchange. Realtor John Eakins donated part of his fee to the project as well. The coalition still seeks approximately $4,000 to seal the deal. Tax-deductible donations can be made by contacting the WCCC, www.westernslopeclimbers.blogspot.com

At the Adopt-a-Crag event on October 26, a small group from the WCCC built a new trail to access the crags from the highway. Donations of food and gear made for a happy crew. In other news, WCCC members Kris Hjelle, John Eakins, and Jim Black replaced the decrepit fence crossing at the Access Fund trailhead to Unaweep's Sunday Wall. Thanks to donations from the local Home Depot and the sweat equity of Kris and John, the new ladder should last another 20 years. For more information, email the WCC at [email protected]