Conservation Team Fleet Heads Out on 2019 Tour to Restore Climbing Areas

Meet our 2019 Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team crews—six expert trailbuilders and conservation specialists who are on a mission to restore deteriorating climbing areas across the country. The crews will spend 10 months this year traveling the US, living out of their Jeep Cherokees, to help local communities mitigate climber impacts and build sustainable climbing areas that will withstand the impacts of our growing sport.

Meet Carolyn & Allen, aka Conservation Team West

Carolyn Prescott and Allen Jircik loved life on the road so much that they have returned for a second year as the Conservation Team West crew. These two make a great team, with Carolyn bringing extensive experience in community engagement and outreach and Allen bringing an impressive set of trail skills. Last season, this hard working crew spent the year focused on long-term sustainability of Joe’s Valley bouldering in Utah, Black Wall on Donner Summit in California, Liberty Bell in Washington state, and Cochise Stronghold in Arizona. This spring, Carolyn and Allen are looking forward to knocking out more trail stabilization work at Joe’s Valley before heading to San Diego, where they’ll support the Allied Climbers of San Diego on stewardship work at Mission Hills. From there, they’ll head to Joshua Tree National Park to map trails and help the park service address problems with growing social trails. Their spring desert tour will wrap up in Indian Creek for 6 weeks of trail reconstruction at Scarface Wall. They will host the annual Work Week in the Creek, March 21-24, and hope to see you there (learn more here)!

Meet Annie & Mat, aka Conservation Team East

Annie Friesen and Mat Landis are excited to start their first year as the Conservation Team East crew. These two have been working in the Appalachian region for the last two years, doing conservation work and trail building at places like Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Daniel Boone National Forest. Annie and Mat will start their tour at the Hueco Rock Rodeo, followed by a trip to Austin Text to host a trail skills workshop at Reimers Ranch before continuing east to help the Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition on a sustainable trail into the popular Narrows climbing area. The team will then head to Alabama where they’ll put the final touches on a four-year initiative to improve Moss Rock Preserve, before heading to Chattanooga to build a sustainable trail and staging area system at Denny Cove. Continuing their tour east, they’ll launch the first phase of a conservation initiative to improve a host of staging areas at Rumney Rocks in New Hampshire. After that, they’ll head to the New River Gorge to tackle a large restoration project at the base of Bridge Buttress.

Meet Kate & Chris, aka Conservation Team National

Kate Hanes and Chris Winters (not to be confused with Chris Winter, our executive director) have joined as our new Conservation Team National crew. This husband and wife team are both avid climbers who developed their love for climbing in Pennsylvania, where they both received degrees from Slippery Rock University. Kate brings extensive experience in volunteer coordination and management and Chris brings a rich set of experience from his work with the Conservation Corp and a degree in Natural Resource Management. Chris and Kate will travel the entire country, engaging local climbing communities in stewardship work and minimum impact climbing. Kate and Chris will kick off their tour by co-hosting the first Homestead Climbers’ Festival in Arizona. From there, they’ll head to El Rito, New Mexico to help locals stabilize the rapidly deteriorating bases throughout El Rito. They’ll then join the Conservation Team West crew to rebuild the approach to Scarface Wall at Indian Creek before heading to the Women’s Climbing Festival in Bishop the weekend of March 23. Then they’ll head to Vegas to host a graffiti removal project alongside the Southern Nevada Climbers Coalition before heading west to work with the LA climbing community to restore Echo Cliffs, a site ravaged by last years forest fires.

The Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team program is made possible by the generous support of title sponsor Jeep brand and supporting sponsors REI Co-op, La Sportiva, Therm-a-Rest, Yakima, and YETI.

Want to know when the Conservations Teams are coming to your area?
We'll let you know when they're heading your way and how you can get involved.