The Final Frontier: Support for Rumney Land Purchase

Rumney Climber’s Association (RCA) and Access Fund are pleased to announce they have secured the exclusive right to purchase Rumney’s Northwest Crags for permanent conservation and climbing access. The Northwest Crags are the final set of privately owned climbing resources at the central New Hampshire sport climbing mecca. Now we need the community’s help to raise $300,000 for the purchase and stewardship of Rumney’s Northwest Crags.

With the community’s help, RCA is poised to acquire and permanently protect six crags—including Northwest Territories, Buffalo Pit, Northwest Passage, Prudential, Asylum, and western portion of the Black Jack Boulders—which account for approximately 12% of developed routes at Rumney, with potential for more. “The routes are less travelled and the experience is less urban than the more frequented crags at Rumney,” says RCA board member Jay Knower. “Given the issues of overcrowding at popular crags, adding this area will provide climbers more options for their climbing days.”

To donate or for more information, please visit

Black Diamond Recall

Please be aware of the following recalls issued by Black Diamond. This recall concerns carabiners/quickdraws with manufacturing codes between 4350 and 6018 and nylon runners with a manufacturing code of 2014 or 2015, which is found on the sewn in label. If you own carabiners/quickdraws that fall within the scope of this recall, Black Diamond is requesting that you inspect them following the procedures outlined in their voluntary recall releases.

Congratulations to our 2015 Award Winners!

Congratulations to our 2015 award winners. 

Craigen Bowen Scholarship Recipients:
Olga Feingold
Mike Lofgren

Scott Sandberg Volunteer of the Year Award:
David Yee

Community Awards:
The Canine First Responder Award - Richard Doucette
Screamer of the Year - Jon Booth
Promiscuous Climber of the Year - Jon Booth
Icarus Award - John Gassel
Ten Percent Award - Kalmia Smith
Shimberg Macgyver Recipient Award - Nancy Savickas
Goodbye Crux Award - Al Stebbins & Nancy Zizza
Beached Whale on Lead Award - Sharlene Sallet
Bigger Than Life Award - Leo Healy


Nominations Open for Holiday Party Awards

Each year at our holiday party, we give out a number of awards. You can submit for yourself or for others depending on the category and several of our awards carry scholarships. To find out more about our Scott Sandberg Volunteer of the Year Award, Craigen Bowen Scholarship, or Lifetime Achievement Award, check out our awards page.

We also give worthy recipients awards with open categories, as nominated by their peers. If you know if someone who may be involved in a funny, epic, or notable climbing tale, email Include the category of nomination (proposed by you), name of nominee, and a short explanation of how they earned the award. Nominations are due by November 26. A list of last years' winners below:

Craigen Bowen Scholarship Recipients:

Katie Cisto
Alexa Rosenbloom
Alice Chiang

Scott Sandberg Volunteer of the Year Award:

Al Stebbins

Community Awards:

Chris Kreutzer – Super Genuine/Kind Badass Award
Pablo Acosta – Screamer of the Year Award
Tom Boydston – Micro Spike Award
Gary Fernandez – Most Active Old Dude Award
Linda Medeiros – Biggest Doghouse Award
Laura Ellis – Got Boothed Award
Lilly Vollmann – Three Doves Award
John Gassel – Most Mattresses Award
Katie Cisto – Best Double Entendre Involving a Climb Name
Kalmia – Accidental Innuendo Award
Jon Booth (& Lilly Vollmann) – Gratuitous Porta-Ledge Award

Volunteer Opportunity: Crux Editors Wanted

We are looking for new Crux editors. Idea would be a team of two or more people. Among the skills needed are a strong command of the English language, good general knowledge of climbing and its history, in its various forms, mountaineering, bouldering, gym climbing, rock and ice climbing. In addition the editorial board needs members with graphic design, computer publishing program, and Photoshop skills. If interested please contact Eric Engberg at:

A Brief Crux History

The Crux is the newsletter of the Mountaineering Committee of the Boston Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club. It first appeared back in 1973 under the name The Climbers’ Newsletter and was edited by Steve Angelini. Bob Johnson was the Chairman of the Mountaineering Committee at that time. Four issues appeared under that name. When Paul Duval became Chairman of the Mountaineering Committee he took over the newsletter renaming it The Crux Of The Matter that became shortened to just The Crux. Paul was followed by Craigen Bowen as editor and she in turn was followed, in 1995 by Al Stebbins who first co edited it with Andrea McInnis and later with Pat Lutton, then Bill Clack and finally Nancy Zizza.

The Crux always featured articles on climbing but its major reason for being was to get the schedules out: climbing schedules, climbers’ night dates, and program dates such as the rock and ice program. With the advent of the Internet and the Mountaineering Committee’s website that no longer is true. Today The Crux now exists as a place for people to share their adventures in the vertical world with others. It gives climbers a chance to get their stories, photographs and drawings into print.

Registration Open for AAC Craggin Classic

Join the American Alpine Club and C.A.M.P. USA at the North Conway Craggin’ Classic this September 11-13, 2015!

Register here >

Gear demos, raffles, and giveaways from our additional amazing sponsors: Rab, Outdoor Research, La Sportiva, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Goal Zero, Clif Bar, Metrorock Climbing Centers, Red Chili, Savage Gear, and more!   

The festivities will take place at the Glen Ellis Campground in Glen, NH, kicking off Friday evening with slideshows from local heroes and tasty libations from Tuckerman’s Brewery. 

Saturday morning there will be pancake breakfast and coffee from International Mountain Equipment, Bagels Plus, and the Gear Doc before you head out climbing! 

Friends of the Ledge will organize a stewardship project on Saturday to help keep up the trails around Cathedral. Or sign up for clinics, taught by guides and pros like Whitney Boland, Blake Herrington, Ian Osteyee, and Majka Burhardt! Additional clinics sponsored by CAMP USA, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Metrorock Climbing Centers, and Chicks Climbing!

Get back in time for happy hour hosted by Rab in the vendor village! Or give your pack a lightweight overhaul at the CAMP booth for prizes! More gear give-aways, demos and debauchery this year in the vendor village!

By Saturday evening the pig will be roasted! Join the continuing tradition of good food and good times — there will be plenty of veggie options, as well! Tuckerman’s Brewery will keep pouring cold and tasty libations, and the raffle and gear giveaways will continue! Finally, there will be amazing nighttime entertainment with a very special movie screening of Jeff Lowe’s “Metanoia”!  

Sunday starts up with coffee and pancake breakfast. Pack up your camp and grab some gear demos, then head out to a second day of amazing clinics!  

Casting Climbers in Massachusetts

Greenpoint Pictures ( has an interesting opportunity.

Their creative team is interested in casting a mountain or rock climber who often travels out of state to pursue his/her passion. They are looking for candidates who are outgoing, articulate, and comfortable talking on camera.  The project would be shooting this summer and selected candidates would be filmed for one day and would be paid for their time.


Passionate About Climbing
(Mountain and/or Rock)
and Travel Often Out of State to Climb
Produced by Greenpoint Pictures
Chosen participants will be filmed
for one day in July and paid
for the shoot. If interested, please email

Protect Climbing on Pennsylvania State Game Lands!

See the message below by the American Alpine Club regarding climbing access issues in Pennsylvania.  

The vast majority of climbing in Pennsylvania is located on PA Game Lands, which hosts exceptional climbing opportunities at Haycock Mountain, Hunter's Rocks and Coll's Cove, to name just a few. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Wildlife Habitat Management is currently studying the feasibility of having the PA Game Commission implement a free permit system for secondary users of PA Game Lands—including climbers, hikers, and mountain bikers—who do not possess a hunting or furtaking (trapping) license. The permit system would allow the agency to disseminate educational and safety information and collect data from secondary users, but it would also close PA Game Lands to all secondary users, climbers included, for nearly six months during hunting seasons (except on Sundays).

Hunting seasons are defined as:

  • The last Saturday in September until the third Saturday in January
  • The second Saturday in April through the last Saturday in May

These proposed closure periods would prohibit climbing and other forms of outdoor recreation during some of the finest times to enjoy Pennsylvania’s Game Lands. While the Access Fund supports the goal of the permit system to disseminate educational materials so that climbers can safely coexist with hunters and help conserve the environment, a blanket closure during hunting seasons is unwarranted and unduly restricts a large group of PA Game Lands’ stakeholders. Across the country, there are many excellent examples of climbers, hikers, mountain bikers, paddlers, and equestrians coexisting with hunters during hunting seasons. And the free permit system also is an opportunity to incorporate secondary uses into Game Lands’ management decisions, and educate secondary users in a way that will preclude the need for closure periods.

We need your help to make climbers voices heard by Monday, January 26!

The public is being asked to comment on the proposal, and you can submit your thoughts on this closure to the Pennsylvania Game Commission using our letter writing tool below. We have provided the following bullet points to guide your thoughts. In addition to personalizing the bullet points, tell the commission who you are, where you live, and why the game lands are an important resource. Finally, thank them for considering your comments.

  1. I am supportive of the proposed free permits for Game Lands if they are accessible and easily obtainable by secondary users, and used by the commission to inform management decisions and educate secondary users on safely coexisting with hunters and trappers and protecting natural resources.
  2. I do not support the extensive closure periods that are proposed for secondary users during hunting seasons. There are many excellent examples from across the country of state and federal game lands being successfully managed for multiple uses during hunting season.
  3. Properly administered, a free permit system should effectively educate secondary users about safety and responsible use of game lands during hunting seasons, eliminating the need for a closure.
  4. There are exceptional climbing resources on PA Game Lands, and rock climbers are important PA Game Lands stakeholders and provide economic benefits to local communities.
  5. Rock climbers nationwide have proven to be responsible stewards of public lands, state and federal game lands, and are able to coexist with hunters.

comments to :

Boston Chapter Mountaineering Committee Supports Protection of Eagle Bluff

In April 2014 the BCMC donated $10,000 to the Access Fund to support the acquisition of 165 acres containing the Eagle Bluff cliff in Clifton, Maine (east of Bangor). The Access Fund has now raised the required $150,000 and the purchase and assignment of the land and the cliff to the local Clifton Climbers Alliance has completed.  
Few climbers know about Eagle Bluff, so here is an introduction to the area and the preservation effort.

Eagle Bluff

Eagle Bluff is a 200’ granite cliff that provides excellent climbing.  The crag features over 130 cracks and sport climbs as well as bouldering below the bluff. It is particularly useful as a place for instruction and novice climbers because it offers high quality moderate climbs and opportunities for top roping. If you google “climbing guide for Eagle Bluff, Maine” you can find the information you need to climb there.

There is a hiking trail that circumnavigates the cliff and a trail that leads to the top where there is an excellent view. The state of Maine operates the Parks Pond Campground just 7 minutes away so there is a place to stay nearby.

Protecting Eagle Bluff

In the mid-1990s, climbing access was threatened when the property was listed for sale. The Access Fund started working with the local climbing community to fundraise, but the previous owner was unwilling to wait, and local climber Donald Nelligan stepped up to purchase the property. Donald passed away in the Summer of 2013 with no provision for the future of Eagle Bluff, and the Nelligan family closed the cliff to public access due to liability concerns and immediately sought to sell the property, which includes the cliff and the surrounding 165 acres of land. The Access Fund launched a major campaign to raise $150,000 to purchase the property and make some modest access improvements. The fund-raising is complete and the cliff is once again open for climbing and hiking under the management of the Clifton Climbers Alliance.

Boston Chapter Mountaineering Committee (BCMC) Supports Protection of Farley Ledges

In 2007, the Western Massachusetts Climbers’ Coalition (WMCC) successfully raised over $65,000 and purchased a 9 acre parcel at the base of Farley Ledge, in part due to a $6000 contribution from the BCMC and $5,000 from the Boston Chapter Executive Committee. This will allowed the WMCC to restrict non-climbing development at the base of the crag and provided the climbing community with sustainable access to the greatest climbing and bouldering resource in New England outside of the White Mountains or Rumney, NH.

Farley Ledge is largely owned by Northeast Utilities, but their site license contains a recreational stipulation requiring that they provide recreational opportunities. As a result, access issues were over the parking and approach trails.

Only 1.5 hours from downtown Boston, the rock quality is unrivaled, comparable to English grit in its best moments, and offers the only true multi-pitch experience in Massachusetts. Farley Ledge contains some of the states best traditional leads as well as many previously bolted sport climbs up to 5.13b. The recent bouldering explosion yielded some of the most impressive and hardest problems in the state (V12/V13). While being riddled with several test pieces, Farley Ledge also contains several moderate climbs and problems that are well worth the visit.

The rock at Farley, like much of rock in the area, is gneiss. It is characterized by big sloping horizontals, small edges and sweeping features. The climbing is best when friction is the highest. This translates generally into ideal spring and fall conditions though the heavily forested area provides ample shade for those hot summer days.

In the year’s following 2007 Farley Ledge has become a primary rock-climbing destination in New England, and it includes one of the most impressive sections of the nationally recognized Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, maintained by the AMC Berkshire Chapter. The area is used by hikers, hunters, bird watchers, bikers, rock-climbers, spelunkers, cross-country skiers, outdoor education groups, schools, and other outdoor enthusiasts. 

Announcing Our New Forums

In the Fall of 2014 we sent a survey out to community members to determine how we can improve our online presence. Our community members were overwhelmingly looking for a way to better communicate with each other. In response, we have created interactive forums. These forums will achieve a few key goals:

  • Improve communications between program students and graduates
  • Improve communications between volunteers and organizing committees
  • Enable community members to make trip plans on contact each other
  • Foster a greater sense of community through beta-sharing, trip reports, and other climbing-related conversations

To sign up for the forums, simply go to and click the "register" button on the top menu bar. You'll see the main forums when you first register and an admin will grant you access to any private forums applicable to you shortly after registering.

You can post information in public forums, private forums, or send private messages to other members. Private forums are open only to authorized members. Private messages are seen only by the sender and recipient. For help or more information, contact

Congratulation to Our 2014 Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2014 award winners. 

Craigen Bowen Scholarship Recipients:

  • Katie Cisto
  • Alexa Rosenbloom
  • Alice Chiang

Scott Sandberg Volunteer of the Year Award:

  • Al Stebbins

Community Awards:

Chris Kreutzer – Super Genuine/Kind Badass Award
Pablo Acosta – Screamer of the Year Award
Tom Boydston – Micro Spike Award
Gary Fernandez – Most Active Old Dude Award
Linda Medeiros – Biggest Doghouse Award
Laura Ellis – Got Boothed Award
Lilly Vollmann – Three Doves Award
John Gassel – Most Mattresses Award
Katie Cisto – Best Double Entendre Involving a Climb Name
Kalmia – Accidental Innuendo Award
Jon Booth (& Lilly Vollmann) – Gratuitous Porta-Ledge Award