Wait, what’s that? It’s December 9th and you’ve got zero gifts for the climber in your life? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here’s five great gifts that you can order online and get in time for the holidays.
Preserving our crags in light of the recent influx of climbers has been on our minds for some time now. (Check out our crag commandments). We are thrilled to see our climbing community grow, as more and more people are exposed to and fall in love with climbing. As climbers, we have been given incredibly beautiful cliffs to climb. However, as the saying goes, “To whom much is given, much will be required.” We are responsible for taking care of our climbing areas and in doing so, preserving climbing opportunities for the future. We stand with the Access Fund in Committing to the Pact. Will you join us?
Climb on! ~Cate
Brace yourself. We’re totally going there. That’s right, today we’re tackling what to do when you’re out at the crag, miles from the nearest toilet, and just can’t hold it any longer. Though it might be easiest to dig hole, pop a squat, and cover the remains with some leaves, the waste you leave behind can have some nasty effects on local drinking water, wildlife, and your fellow climber’s approach shoes. For the official word on waste management we turned to the Access Fund’s article Poop: Waste Disposal Strategies for Climbers. They explain that the best game plan for keeping the local ecosystem happy is to always BAG IT. You heard me, put it in a bag and carry it out. At our local crag in Rumney, NH the Rumney Climbers Association used grant funds from the American Alpine Club to install several stations containing Go Anywhere Toilet Kits, aka “Wag Bags”, for climbers to go in and carry out. I’ll admit it, when I first saw them I giggled and thought to myself, “What am I a dog in a dog park?”, but upon further thought and actually trying out the kit, I’ve become a full-fledged bagger.
I have often congratulated someone on getting their first “flapper” (for any new climber who has yet to get one, get excited ;)). I tell them this raw piece of worn-thin skin dangling from their yet un-calloused finger is the sign of becoming a true climber. Yet today, on Earth Day, I reflect on what it truly means to be a climber. As climbers, our identity is interwoven with the earth itself and therefore conserving our climbing environment must define our climbing identity. In honor of Earth Day, we’re highlighting a group of climbers who define climbing, literally and physically: The Access Fund.
Have you ever wondered how it is that we climbers are allowed to access, bolt, and climb in some of the most scenic spots in the United States? If you haven’t, next time you’re googling the directions to the crag, pulling into the parking lot, using the porta-potty, hiking up the maintained trail, reaching tenuously for that bolt, thugging up the route that is free of lichen and choss, clipping those anchors that seem to have just been replaced, and finally breathing in the spectacular view in front of you – ask yourself, how is this possible? (For the sake of time, I’ll give you the answer: The Access Fund.)