News

Brother Nathan, Index, Blake Herrington City Park, 2016

Brother Nathan, Index, Blake Herrington City Park, 2016

Advocacy

The Washington Climbers Coalition has been advocating for the preservation of public access to Washington climbing areas since 2004. We believe that climbers need a collective voice or our interests will be lost among the cacophony of concerns facing land managers, public policy makers, and private property owners who hold the keys to the land we so dearly love.

OAW with CantwellSQ

Members of the Washington Outdoor Alliance with Senator Maria Cantwell

As we all know, funding for public lands is cut year after year. Forest roads frequently go without maintenance and many which are important to us will be abandoned or decommissioned if we don’t express our preferences and lobby in Olympia and Washington. We’ve also seen wildlife management programs trigger closures but we’ve learned to work with the agencies involved so that, in some cases, spring nesting closure areas have been narrowly drawn to meet the needs of the birds while allowing climbers to continue enjoying the rock nearby. In broader political discussions, climbers can promote wider recognition that outdoor recreation is good for public health, it fosters a general awareness of the natural world and political support for the preservation of  wild places. The Washington climbers coalition works with a wide variety of other organizations and climbers of all stripes to take care of the places we climb and to maintain public access to public lands. Some of our efforts are described here.

Making friends over falcons in North Bend…

Crisis becomes opportunity at Index…

Read about the Washington Outdoor Alliance…

Advocacy & News Archive

Stewardship in Frenchman Coulee

Climbers have been helping care for the land in Frenchman Coulee and Echo Basin (the area commonly known as “Vantage”) for decades. The Access Fund organized work here in 2000, and the Washington Climbers Coalition has done projects here since 2010. The Mountaineers, the American Alpine Club, and the Spokane Mountaineers have participated in these […]

Protecting Access to a Gem at Gold Bar

The area affectionately known as “Gold Bar” houses some of the best granite bouldering to be found. The area has been recognized as a bouldering mecca since about 2000, and climbers have been active stewards in the area ever since. Those displaying a Washington Climbers Coalition sticker had special access here for a period of […]

Making friends over falcons

Seasonal nesting closures in support of Peregrine Falcon populations occur at many sites in Washington. Climbers and land managers are increasingly working together to identify nest sites and this has allowed us to have the closure area and the closure period more narrowly tailored so that we have broader climbing access in some areas.
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Long Range Planning at Index

The Washington Climbers Coalition purchased the Lower Town Wall in 2010. The Lower Town Wall parcel includes 20 acres of spectacular climbing in the middle of a dense collection of the best crags and boulders in the state. This area has drawn climbers for fifty years. We are working on long range planning and infrastructure […]

Doug Walker

Doug Walker was a supporter and general cheerleader for all things climbing. He brought people together and made good things happen. We miss him. Already.

Management of the North Cascades National Park and Ross Lake National Recreation Area

Highway 20 passes through the Ross Lake National Recreation Area, a corridor that is not part of the North Cascades National Park which is almost entirely a vast wilderness area both north and south of the highway 20 corridor. In many respects the U.S. National Park Services manages these areas as a single unit although […]

2015 Update – Index Fund: crisis as opportunity

In March 2009, the private property owner at the Lower Town Wall put up “no trespassing” signs below one of Washington’s most beloved crags. Climbers rallied, and in 18 short months we raised over $300,000.00 for the purchase of the Wall and an endowment fund for maintenance and improvement. The wall is secure. Read about […]

  • Mt. Erie

2015 Mt. Erie Conservation Update

2015 Acquisition:

On January 21, 2015, the City of Anacortes bought a 20-acre parcel on the south side of Mt. Erie which had been partially logged and was slated for development. Climbers approach one of the main cliffs at Mt. Erie via trails that go on or near this property and this important acquisition will protect […]

2008 Skagit Gorge Management Agreement

Since 2003, climbers have been adhering to a voluntary “moratorium” on the development of new climbs and new bouldering areas in the Skagit Gorge and other parts of the Ross Lake National Recreation Area.  One area in particular, just outside the town of Newhalem, has high quality sport climbing and extensive bouldering.  Unfortunately, much of […]

2007 Static Point Access Reduced

Spada Reservoir from the air. Photo from Cliff Mass Weather Blog.

Static Point is located on land which is managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR manages their land to generate timber revenue which is intended to support public schools. Access to the area utilizes roads maintained for the […]

2005 Sam Hill Acquisition

The Washington Climbers Coalition helped the Trust for Public Land (TPL) buy Leavenworth’s Sam Hill crags in April, 2005. A 40-acre parcel was for sale and at risk for residential development, seriously threatening access. Crags included in the purchase are Sam Hill, The Underhill, Whoopsie Pillar, Ski Tracks Crack, the Fridge Boulder, and Trundle Dome.

The […]

2005 Dishman Defused

Ad appearing in Rock and Ice Magazine

In June, 2004, a longtime Spokane area climber raised concerns about issues including the presence of two artificial (bolted on) holds, hold chipping, and retrobolting (including retrobolting gear-protected routes) at the Dishman crag in Spokane. An employee of the land owning irrigation district (himself an […]

2005 Darrington road repaired

Over the winter 2004-2005, rockslides damaged the Clear Creek road (FS 2050) in three locations. Citing a budget crisis, the Forest Serviced announced that the road was not a high enough priority to justify undertaking repairs. They blockaded the road.

In response, climbers embarked on a letter writing and telephone campaign. The Forest Service reversed course […]

2004 – Infinite Bliss defused

In early 2004, an environmental advocate read in Rock and Ice Magazine that climbers had established the “longest sport route in America” on Mount Garfield, near North Bend, Washington. This individual had been concerned about concentrated recreational use of various types in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and the climb, Infinite Bliss (IV, 5.10b, 23 pitches), […]