Access Fund Will Sue Federal Government to Defend BearsEars National Monument 

Boulder, CO. December 6, 2017 – Access Fund, the national non-profit advocacy organization that protects America’s climbing areas, will take a legal stand against President Trump’s proclamation that orders a reduction of Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah, home to world-renowned rock climbing (including the famed Indian Creek). Before leaving office, President Obama used the Antiquities Act to declare the Bears Ears region of southeast Utah a National Monument, protecting this incredible region. 

Access Fund worked on this designation alongside the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, the previous administration, and other conservation groups, getting “rock climbing” specifically acknowledged as a valuable and appropriate activity. This acknowledgement gave the world-class climbing atIndian Creek, Lockhart Basin, Harts Draw, Arch/Texas Canyon, Comb Ridge, Valley of theGods, and dozens of other climbing areas an added layer of protection and significance in the national monument.

“Bears Ears was the first National Monument proclamation to specifically acknowledge rock climbing as an appropriate and valued recreation activity,” says Brady Robinson, Access Fund Executive Director. “This was a huge win for the climbing community, as the Bears Ears region is home to a substantial amount of world-class climbing. We cannot afford to lose thatacknowledgement or allow the climbing experience to be compromised.”

Under President Trump’s December 4th Presidential Proclamation #9558, rock climbing would also lose its acknowledged status as a valued and appropriate activity, and approximately 40 percent of the climbing areas at Bears Ears would lose enhanced national monument status,including Valley of the Gods, Harts Draw, Lockhart Basin, and a portion of the climbing at IndianCreek. 

In response, Access Fund named President Donald Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and other administration officials in a lawsuit to defend Bears Ears National Monument on the grounds that President Trump’s Presidential Proclamation #9558 violates both the Antiquities Act and the United States Constitution.The Antiquities Act gives a president the authority to proclaim a National Monument, but it does not give a president the authority to revoke or modify one. That authority is reserved for Congress alone. 

The Antiquities Act has protected many iconic climbing areas—including Mt.Rushmore, Joshua Tree (now a national park), Giant Sequoia, and Devils Tower—and the climbing experience in these areas would look very different today without their enhanced status.

“This is a precedent-setting moment,” says Robinson. “This fight is about more than just protecting the incredible climbing at Bears Ears. Nearly 60% of climbing areas are on federal public lands, and this proclamation threatens the Antiquities Act and the very foundation of our public lands system. Bears Ears is a critical battle in the greater fight for America’s public lands.”

A growing movement of law and policy makers are mounting a systematic attack on federal public lands, rolling back environmental regulations, limiting public input on land management plans, and advancing energy extraction at the expense of recreation and other uses and values of public lands. The two much smaller and disconnected monument units that the TrumpAdministration is attempting to establish appear explicitly designed to optimize oil and gas development opportunities. Much of the area excluded from the original BearsEars National Monument would be opened up to mineral exploration and oil and gas leasing,including lands abutting the world-class climbing at Indian Creek.

The Trump Administration’s attempt to dismantle the landscape-scale protections and land management strategies for Bears Ears National Monument would also drastically compromise the climbing experience and cultural values of the Bears Ears region. Climbers deeply appreciate the experience of climbing in an undeveloped landscape that affords incredible opportunities to enjoy a unique cultural and historical story.Access Fund will fight to protect climbing at Bears Ears National Monument, and climbing areas throughout our public lands system. 

You can learn more about Access Fund and support their work at

About Access Fund: Access Fund is the national non-profit advocacy organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. Founded in 1991, Access Fund supports and represents millions of climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock climbing, ice climbing,mountaineering, and bouldering. Six core programs support the mission on national and local levels: climbing policy and advocacy, stewardship and conservation, local support and mobilization, land acquisition and protection, risk management and landowner support, and education. For more information, visit

Totem Voluntarily Recalls Some Basic Cams

Totem is voluntarily recalling all Basic cams with serial numbers starting from 1706200 to 1733205 which they request you to stop using immediately.

This recall is being issued based on their quality controls indicating a lower than expected strength specification of the brazing, which affects Basic cams of all sizes, manufactured between 7 February 2017 and 15 August 2017. While, as of today, no failure has been reported by any customers, their use as climbing equipment could lead to serious injury or death.

For more information, view the announcement on Totem's website.

AAC Purchase of Rattlesnake Campground

The AMC Boston Chapter Mountaineering Committee is pleased to announce that the AAC has purchased Rattlesnake Campground, a 15-acre campground located directly across from the main parking lot and Parking Lot Wall crag in Rumney, NH. Rattlesnake Campground and the surrounding land were formerly owned by Tom and Marsha Camara, longtime friends of the Rumney, NH climbing community. Through the purchase of Rattlesnake Campground by the AAC, this cherished campground will remain protected and preserved for use by the climbing community and other outdoor enthusiasts. Pricing and details can be found in the link below:

Rattlesnake Campground

Protect Mt. Washington Campaign Launched

Protect Mount Washington is a call to action campaign to protect Mount Washington’s unique alpine tundra zone from harmful development. The current focus is on opposing and halting a high elevation lodge proposed by the Mount Washington Cog Railway. This campaign has been launched by our friends at Keep the Whites Wild, a newly formed nonprofit organization based in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. 

The AMC has also sent an official letter of opposition to the Coos County Planning and Zoning Boards in partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Audubon Society of New Hampshire, Conservation Law Foundation New Hampshire, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire. The four-page letter stated: "We hope the planning board and any other potential decision‐makers, if and when a specific development proposal is submitted that mirrors what the Cog has released to date, will conclude that a hotel in Mount Washington’s alpine zone is not a permissible use."

Proposed hotel build.

Proposed hotel build.

Remembering Bill Clack

The Boston climbing community was sad to lose our good friend, Bill Clack, last summer. This year, we introduced the Bill Clack memorial scholarship, to cover the Ice Program fee for a new student annually. His friend Al Stebbins shares his memories on Bill's life in the climbing community and the legacy he leaves behind:

When Bill Clack died unexpectedly in the summer of 2016 the Boston climbing community lost a good friend who’s life was defined by passion. When Bill loved something he really loved it. He started his relationship with Boston climbers by showing up, on a cold, dark December night,  for the introductory lecture for the AMC’s annual Ice Climbing Program in the mid-1980s. Upon being told that to take said program he’d need technical climbing skills first he immediately asked how he could get them. The answer, of course, was to take the spring Beginners Rock Climbing Program, which he did, and he followed that up by taking the Ice Program the very next time it was offered. Bill fell in love with climbing, and not just the joy of actually doing it. He read extensively on the history of climbing, he reveled in the films about climbing, and he came to know the joys of traveling, and not just in the United States, to climb. In time Bill became a member of the AMC’s Boston Chapter Mountaineering Committee and a director of theBeginners Rock Climbing Program. He co-edited The Crux for many years. Bill, working with The American Alpine Club, also helped save and restore climbing movies shot by Ken Henderson before World War II.

Bill married a fellow climber, Holly, and together they had one child, a daughter named Miranda. Bill was a man of strong passions and he was passionate about being the best dad he could be. Because of that Bill put his climbing career on hold, but not his interest in climbing. He had a realistic understanding that errors in climbing can have really bad, and permanent, consequences, he wanted to be there for his child. As his daughter grew up he started to think about playing in the vertical world again, but, sadly, it was not to be. It is a cliché, but it’s also true, for those who loved Bill, his joy for the outdoor world, for climbing, for living, will always be part of them.

Match Our Final Frontier Donation by December 31!

We have offered a dollar-for-dollar matching donation to the Final Frontier Land purchase between now and December 31, 2016, up to $10,000.00. This challenge is to ALL corporations, organizations and individuals! If you aren't familiar with this cause, read more below or on the Final Frontier website

The Cause:

The RCA and The Access Fund 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.

The RCA is poised to acquire and permanently protect 86 acres which includes 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. A small percentage of this land has existing and potential climbing opportunities.  So, yes, the Final Frontier is about climbing, however in the greater context, it is an opportunity to ensure that this land remains undeveloped and wild. Preserving our wild and natural spaces is a major goal of the RCA, Access Fund, and Final Frontier project.

The Final Frontier project not only benefits climbers, it benefits other outdoor enthusiasts as well. One of the goals of the Final Frontier will be the increased opportunity for hiking. The Rattlesnake Mountain Trail offers some of the most amazing views in the Southern White Mountains. The long-term plan is for a new parking lot just east of the Rattlesnake Mountain trailhead. From this parking lot, a trail will lead up to the Final Frontier crags with access to spectacular vistas not previously accessed by any trail. This trail will continue along the mountaintop to eventually connect with the Rattlesnake Mountain trail.

Congrats to Our 2016 Award Winners!

Congratulations to our 2016 award winners. 

Craigen Bowen Scholarship Recipient:
Catherine Hubbard

Bill Clack Scholarship Recipient:
Emily Pitts

Scott Sandberg Volunteer of the Year Award:
John Gassel

Community Awards:
Ribs - Richard Doucette
Artist Emeritus - Susan Clark
Here in Spirit - Katie Cisto
Power Couple - Josh and Emily Pitts
Bag of Sand - Sarah Keyes
Frenemies - Alexa Rosenbloom and Chris Woodall
Nice Rack - Steve Nichols
Can't say No - Catherine Hubbard
Bushwhacked - Ron Birk

2017 Ice Program Application is now Live!

The temps are getting colder.  Ice climbs are already getting done up north.  It seems right that it's about time for the 2017 Ice Program to start taking applications for this year's class!

The application will be available until December 4th (after the first mandatory lecture in Boston). No rush to fill out the application, it's not first come first serve like the rock program.

Good luck to all the applicants and I look forward to seeing you in Boston on the 29th.  If you have any questions in the meantime, email

Click here to go to the application page.