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Top 10 Reasons We Should Make the Climbing Gym Big Enough

Key to a gym that can serve the entire community is enough space. The Enclosure Climbing Gym, which had 700 members when it closed in 2014, had 10,000 square feet of climbing area.

Current plans for the Rec Center climbing gym call for ca. 7,000 to 9,000 square feet overall, which translates to ca. 5,000 to 7,000 square feet of climbing area.

Here are our Top 10 reasons the Rec Center climbing gym needs to be AT LEAST as big as the Enclosure was:

10. A good climbing gym will provide physical and mental health benefits that last a lifetime

  • People go to gyms out of guilt. They climb because it’s fun. Fun is a stronger motivator than guilt.
  • Climbing is a lifetime sport. You can do it when you’re 8, and you can do it when you’re 80.
  • Key to a fun gym experience is enough space. A 7,000- to 9,000-sq. ft. gym is too small.

9. A gym smaller than 10,000 square feet will necessitate a waiting list during peak hours

  • Canada’s premier mountaineering town, Canmore, has a population of 13,992. Its gym, Elevation Place, which opened in 2013 as part of the community’s rec center, offers 11,000 square feet of climbing surface. Because it’s in a community center, Elevation Place has thousands of members. 
  • “We should have made our gym bigger because there’s always a wait list,” said Brian Spear, the Climbing Coordinator for the Town of Canmore.  “It’s too busy for a positive experience, so we make them wait. People who work M-F 9-5 are always on the waitlist.

8. Climbing gyms are family friendly. Making gyms family friendly requires a key ingredient: enough space.

  • Climbing gyms are fun for parents and kids alike. When families climb together, it creates a bonding experience that can last a lifetime.
  • Rich Johnston, President of Vertical World, Inc., notes, “This morning a member called me—he has a daughter who just got into climbing. He said, you know, we do all sorts of sports. I can sit in the bleachers and watch her play soccer. It’s not engaging. Climbing is the best family thing we’ve done.
  • “It’s very, very family oriented. There are very few spots where the parents can hang out with their kids and do the sport together. It has an amazing impact on the family dynamic. I hear that all the time.”
  • A 7,000- to 9,000-sq. ft. gym is too small to be family friendly.

7. Climbing is fun because it’s social—and social is healthy

  • 2018 national survey by Cigna reported that loneliness levels have reached an all-time high, with nearly half of 20,000 U.S. adults reporting they sometimes or always feel alone. A meta-analysis, co-authored by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, reports “loneliness and social isolation are twice as harmful to physical and mental health as obesity.”
  • Rich Johnston notes, “If you look at any gym in any given moment, 75% of people are just hanging out. It’s social.”
  • Climbing gyms address both obesity and social isolation better than traditional gyms. They’re outstripping the fitness market for a reason: they’re fun—and they’re fun because they’re social.
  • A gym that’s social requires enough space. A 7,000- to 9,000-sq. ft. gym is too small to create a good social experience.

6. The bigger the gym, the better the community experience

  • Community space is one of the most important considerations for a gym. The best gyms design the climbing experience around the social experience. (“If you look at any gym in any moment, 75% of people are just hanging out. It’s social.)
  • Open designs yield the best community/social experience, as well as better route-setting access and better flow.
  • A well-designed gym that incorporates community space can use the space for events, film screenings, music, art, and other community gatherings
  • Key to a good gym is enough space. A 7,000- to 9,000-sq. ft. gym is too small.

6. A good climbing gym will engage the whole community

  • People interact in a climbing gym. The boundaries of generational, cultural and racial separation disappear once the rope is shared
  • Climbing rangers, guides, search and rescue members and youth alike will use  the gym, creating stronger connections within the community
  • Our Latinx community members will use the gym, too, helping to change the cultural narrative of who’s outside in Jackson Hole, and opening doors to the creation of future outdoor leaders and stewards.
  • Key to engaging the entire community is a good gym. Key to a good gym is enough space. A 7,000- to 9,000-sq. ft. gym is too small.

5. A good gym will enhance safety for guides, rangers, Search and Rescue and regular climbers alike

  • A good gym will provide guides, climbing rangers and search and rescue team members with a place to practice techniques and rescue scenarios
  • A good gym will allow beginning climbers to learn the skills and techniques necessary for safe adventures in the crags and mountains, reducing the human and financial costs of accidents
  • Key to a good gym is enough space. A gym that’s too small won’t enhance safety as much as a adequately sized gym

4. A good gym will generate revenue that can support other Parks and Recreation programs and amenities

  • The current Parks and Rec building recovers less than a third of its cost
  • The Enclosure Climbing Gym generated $500,000-700,000/year in revenue
  • Canmore’s Elevation Place community climbing center generates $100,000 in shoe and harness rentals alone
  • The bigger the gym, the more revenue it will generate to offset other Parks and Rec programming

3. A good gym will honor Jackson Hole’s legacy as the epicenter of American mountaineering

  • Every town has rec centers with ball courts and fitness studios; no one else has the Tetons, or our climbing legacy
  • The Teton Boulder Park is not only a unique tribute to Jackson’s climbing heritage. It’s the most popular amenity in Parks and Recreation’s catalogue
  • A community with a great climbing legacy should have a great gym. Key to a great gym is enough space.

2. A good gym will create a safe, healthy venue for youth 

  • Afterschool activities in Teton County are limited, which opens the door to unhealthy, unsafe activities.
  • Kids love to climb. A good climbing gym will provide positive options for youth activities after school, on weekends and during school holidays
  • Key to a good gym is enough space. A 7,000- to 9,000-sq. ft. gym will be too crowded to be fun, for kids as well as for adults

And the Number 1 Reason the Rec Center Climbing Gym should be bigger is…

1. The Rec Center climbing gym will have more users than The Enclosure did.

  • The Enclosure Climbing Gym, which had 700 members when it closed in 2014, had 10,000 square feet of climbing area.
  • Climbing’s popularity has exploded since The Enclosure closed.
  • The Rec Center’s downtown location will attract more tourists that the Enclosure did.
  • More people will use the Rec Center climbing gym than The Enclosure because it’s a public facility

Let’s make our climbing gym great, for this and future generations!

Make the Climbing Gym Big Enough: Sign the Petition!

Thanks to the many, many advocates in our community, we delivered 80 letters of support for a bigger climbing gym to our elected officials. To everyone who wrote in, thanks for your support!

You may have seen this week’s article about the retention of a climbing wall consultant for the gym. This is great news, as it will ensure considerations for the gym are integrated into the larger expansion from the start.

Our window for influencing the size of the gym, though, is closing. We’re making one final push for a gym that’s big enough to meet the needs of the community with this petition.

We have two favors to ask:

  1. Would you sign the petition?
  2. Would you ask a friend (or two) to sign it as well?

On behalf of the entire climbing community, thanks for your help!

Click here to sign the petition.

Entre Prises Hired as Independent Climbing Gym Consultant

The very first recommendation the TCC made to Parks and Rec regarding the community climbing gym was to retain an independent climbing gym consultant as early in the gym’s development as possible.

We’re pleased to announce that this week, our elected officials approved Entre Prises as the climbing wall consultant for the Rec Center climbing gym.

TCC board members Marion Meyers and Bob McLaurin participated in the vetting process for the consultant company. As Meyers wrote, “The TCC and community members are very pleased to have an independent climbing consultant to collaborate with the consultant team and to engage community members in the early stages of the design process. The independent consultant will look at creative optimal use of space and the best use of taxpayer dollars without having a stake in construction of a specific climbing wall style or company.

“Early collaboration on design will assist with creating a gym for a wide variety of community users,” she continued, “including families and their children, students, visitors, and the local climbing community.”

Read the article on the process that resulted in the retention of Entre Prises here.

Please join us in thanking Parks and Rec Director Steve Ashworth for moving forward on the recommendation and for including TCC board members in the vetting process. Additional thanks goes to Teton County Commissioner Greg Epstein for his due diligence in inquiring about community support of the Teton County Parks and Rec RFP process for the expansion.

We look forward to continuing to collaborate with our elected officials and with Parks and Rec on the development of a climbing gym that meets the community’s needs, today and in the future.

Winter Speaker Series Recordings Released

Over three months this winter, The TCC held three episodes of its Winter Speaker Series, which was designed to provide the Teton climbing community a chance to “gather” in the midst of the pandemic.

On January 21, Carlos Carsolio, the first North American to climb all 14 8000-meter peaks, shared his adventures on the highest mountains in the world. The recording of his presentation, which begins at Minute 49, may be found here.

On Feb. 18, George Lowe, Michael Kennedy and Michael Gardner made a blended presentation of climbing one of the great lines in world mountaineering: Alaska’s Infinite Spur. Their presentation, which begins at Minute 43, may be found here.

On Thursday, March 11, Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher recounted their efforts to free climb the Eiger’s hardest route, the 33-pitch, 5.13c Odyssee—in a day. Their presentation, which begins around Minute 18, may be found here.

The series was sponsored by the Hatchet ResortBlack DiamondTeton MountaineeringSkinny Skis, Alpinist Magazine, Arc’Teryx, Access Fund, and The American Alpine Club, in collaboration with Coombs Outdoors and the Jackson Hole High School Mountaineering Club. 

We are particularly indebted to Heather Distad, the Events and Outreach Manager for Access Fund, who helped us run the speaker series, which we did on the Access Fund zoom account. We honestly couldn’t have done this without her help. And the Access Fund has been critical to our launch as a local climbing org. In addition to helping us with our stewardship project on Rodeo Wall last summer, they’ve been an incredible resource and assistance to us as we’ve gotten off the ground.

 If you’re not a member yet of the Access Fund, we’d encourage you to join. If you’re here in the Teton area, $15 of your membership will go directly to the TCC. Since we don’t have any money, that would be wonderfully helpful.

Write a Letter of Support for the Rec Center Gym

Dear Teton Climber,

In the November 2019 election, Teton County voters approved $22,000,000, via the SPET initiative’s Proposition #9, for an expansion of the Teton County/Jackson Recreation Center.  

This expansion includes a community climbing gym. Town and county decision makers are now making final decisions about various elements of the gym, including its size.

The Teton Climbers Coalition (TCC) is advocating for adequate space in the gym to meet our community’s needs. Current plans for the gym call for ca. 9,000 square feet overall, including restrooms and check-in desks. This translates to roughly 7,000 square feet of climbing area. 

The Enclosure Climbing Gym, which closed in 2014, had 10,000 square feet of climbing area. It also had 700 annual members, and 50-100 people in the facility at any given time.

Given the increase in Teton County’s population and in climbing’s popularity, as well as the number of users a public facility—particularly one located close to downtown tourist traffic—will attract, it is safe to assume the Rec Center climbing gym will have more users than The Enclosure did.

For this reason, the TCC is advocating for a MINIMUM of 10,000 to 12,000 square feet of climbing area.

To demonstrate that there is community support for a climbing gym with sufficient space, TCC is soliciting letters from folks like you: family members, businesses, non-profits, and local climbers. 

Hence, we ask that you please take a minute, draw on the boilerplate text below (or use these key takeaways to compose your your own letter), and express your support for the gym in writing. Please send your letter on your letterhead to info@tetonclimbers.com.  

The TCC will compile all letters received and share them with Teton County Parks and Rec, as well as Town and County elected officials. 

Please dash off a letter and send it at your earliest convenience. 

Thank you. 

Sincerely,

The Teton Climbers’ Coalition

 

 —————————————————————————— 

Draft Letter Example:

Dear Jackson Town Council, Teton County Commissioners and Teton County Parks and Recreation Department, 

[On behalf of YOUR ORGANIZATION, BUSINESS OR PERSONAL NAME,] I strongly support the inclusion of a climbing gym as part of the Teton County/Jackson Recreation Center expansion. I also support a gym large enough to accommodate the community’s needs. 

Jackson Hole is first and foremost a mountain community, with much of its history and culture steeped in climbing and mountaineering. A climbing gym at the Teton County / Jackson Recreation center will not only be a tribute to this heritage; it will also be an invaluable asset for our entire community—kids, families, guides, search and rescue members and veteran climbers alike.

Key to a great gym is enough space to accommodate our community’s needs.

Current plans for the Rec Center climbing gym call for ca. 9,000 square feet for the climbing gym, which translates to roughly 7,000 square feet of climbing area. 

The Enclosure Climbing Gym, which closed in 2014, had 10,000 square feet of climbing area. Given the increase in Teton County population and in climbing’s popularity, demand today is higher than it was when The Enclosure closed.

For this reason, I’m writing in support of a MINIMUM of 10,000 to 12,000 square feet of climbing area for the Rec Center climbing gym.

An appropriately sized rec center climbing gym will not only contribute to our community’s physical and mental wellbeing. It will create a safe venue for our kids, one that connects them to positive role models and a lifestyle that’s aligned with Jackson Hole’s legacy as the epicenter of American mountaineering. These connections will last the rest of their lives.  Allocating an appropriate amount of space to the gym is essential to making this happen.

Thank you for considering my support for an appropriately sized gym. 

Sincerely,

Your name

Title

Babsi Zangerl, Jacopo Larcher To Recount Their Eiger Adventures March 11

Barbara Zangerl on pitch 20 (7c, 5.12d) of Odyssee (5.13c, 33 pitches), north face of the Eiger (3967m), Bernese Alps, Switzerland. Photo: Alpsolut Pictures

Arguably no wall in the world commands the same sort of respect from alpinists as the north face of the Eiger. 

Arguably no woman in the world is as strong a free climber as Austrian Babsi Zangerl.

On Thursday, March 11, Babsi and her partner, Italian climber Jacopo Larcher, will recount their efforts to free climb the Eiger’s hardest route, the 33-pitch, 5.13c Odyssee—in a day.

Part of the Teton Climbers’ Coalition Winter Speaker Series, the virtual event is free and open to the public. A $5 donation is suggested. 

Registration may be made here.

Overlooking the Swiss village of Grindelwald in the Bernese Alps, the Eiger (3967m/13,015 feet) has been the scene of countless tragedies, triumphs and epics, all of which have added to its fierce reputation. Nearly 2000 meters high—6,000 feet, or two north faces of the Grand Teton stacked one on top of the other—its Nordwand (North Wall) is cloaked in shadow, a magnet for fierce mountain storms, ominous and foreboding. And deadly: since 1935, it has claimed the lives of at least 64 climbers. Some refer to it simply as the Mordwand: the murder(ous) wall. 

While the Nordwand’s lefthand side is infamous for spiderwebs of snow and ice that hold its deadly rock in place, the wall’s right side is a different story. There, a mottled dark limestone, as impeccable as the fabled stone of France’s Verdon Gorge, has yielded to the modern free climber a treasure-trove of high-caliber routes on which to test one’s skills. Hardest among them is Odyssee, the free climb established in 2015 by Roger Schaeli, Simon Gietl, and Robert Jasper.

Babsi Zangerl was named National Geographic’s 2019 Adventurer of the Year for a reason. Initially a boulderer—in 2008 she became the first woman to boulder V13—she was pushed onto longer routes by back problems that precluded the impact common to bouldering falls. She hasn’t looked back. From 5.14b trad lines to 5.14d sport routes, she has consistently pushed herself to the forefront of the world’s best climbers. In 2103 she became the first woman, and third person overall, to climb the Alpine Trilogy—three testpiece, multipitch 5.14a routes, all bold, runout and established in ground-up style.

For the past eight years many of Babsi’s climbs were made in conjunction with her longtime partner, Jacopo Larcher. From his origins as a comp climber and Italian bouldering champion, Jacopo had, like Babsi, migrated to longer routes, climbing up to 5.14d sport and 5.14b trad as well as 5.14c multipitch climbs.

In 2015, the powerhouse couple set their eyes on the biggest free climbing prize in the world: El Capitan. Over the course of four years, they freed five of its routes: El Nino, for the route’s first female ascent; Zodiac, also for the first female ascent; Magic Mushroom, for the route’s second overall free ascent; and, in 2019, both the Pre-Muir Wall and The Nose. 

In 2018, the pair turned their attention to a route closer to home, redpointing Odyssee, ground-up, over the course of four days. On the summit, the idea was born: Could they free it in a single day?

They returned to the Nordwand in August 2020, positioning themselves for the attempt. Amidst storms that left up to a meter of snow, they worked out the crux moves in swirling mists and freezing temperatures. When the storms finally cleared, they launched, fighting through wet conditions on climbing up to 5.12d for sixteen hours until the summit was in sight.

A few easy pitches from the top, another storm rolled in. Pummelled by rain and hail, frozen to the bone, they had no option but to retreat, rappelling 31 pitches in a waterfall. 

On Thursday, March 11, Babsi and Jacopo will recount their return effort to climb, in a day, the hardest route on alpine climbing’s most notorious face.

The event, which is being sponsored by the Hatchet Resort, Black Diamond, Teton Mountaineering, Skinny Skis, Alpinist Magazine, Arc’Teryx, Access Fund, and The American Alpine Club, in collaboration with Coombs Outdoors and the Jackson Hole High School Mountaineering Club, will be streamed via Zoom.

The virtual event will open at 8:30 p.m. with a “happy half hour” before the main presentation. Babsi and Jacopo will begin at 9 p.m.—a 5 a.m. alpine start for them in Europe.

The event marks the third of the Winter Speaker Series, which was designed to provide the Teton climbing community a chance to “gather” in the midst of the pandemic. On January 21, Carlos Carsolio, the first North American to climb all 14 8000-meter peaks, shared his adventures on the highest mountains in the world. The recording of his presentation, which begins at Minute 49, may be found here.

On Feb. 18, George Lowe, Michael Kennedy and Michael Gardner made a blended presentation of climbing one of the great lines in world mountaineering: Alaska’s Infinite Spur. Their presentation, which begins at Minute 43, may be found here.

The Infinite Spur Next Up for Teton Climbers’ Coalition’s Winter Speaker Series

In 1977, George Lowe and Michael Kennedy made the first ascent of one of the great lines in world mountaineering, Alaska’s Infinite Spur, in an eleven-day odyssey that stretched the boundaries of alpine climbing possibility.

Forty-two years later, second-generation Teton climbing guide Michael Gardner and partner Sam Hennessy climbed the route in a 48-hour push in ski boots while carrying skis, then skied the mountain’s Sultana Ridge to descend. 

The differences and similarities between their ascents will be on display on February 18, when Lowe, Kennedy and Gardner explore the connections forged by the line as part of The Teton Climbers’ Coalition Winter Speaker Series.

The virtual event will begin at 7 p.m. Registration, which is free with a $5 suggested donation, may be made here.

For climbers, the Alaska Range holds many classic lines, but perhaps none as striking or mythical as the Infinite Spur (Grade 6 5.9 M5 AI4) on 17,400-foot Mt. Foraker. 

“This aesthetic arête soars nearly nine thousand feet directly up the south face of the second highest mountain in the range, providing a uniquely safe passage up a wall of total chaos,” notes the climbing forum Supertopo. “This route has been a distinguishing highlight in the lives of each alpinist that has completed it.”

Lowe, a PhD, is a legend among American alpinists, famous for first ascents such as the Kangshung (East) Face of Mount Everest, the North Face of Mount Alberta and the North Face of North Twin Peak in the Canadian Rockies. In the mid-1960s, he made first winter ascents of the Tetons’ Mount Owen and the Grand Teton’s North and West faces. Still avid at 76, Lowe made a one-day ascent of the Grand’s Upper Exum with his daughter in 2019, a week before his 75th birthday.

Kennedy, who ran Climbing Magazine for 26 years, is another alpine climbing luminary, with first ascents of the Northeast Face of Ama Dablam, the Wall of Shadows on Mt. Hunter and the Lowe-Kennedy route on the north face of Mt. Hunter to his credit. In 1978, he and Lowe made an infamous attempt on the North Ridge of Latok I in Pakistan’s Karakoram Range with Jim Donini and Jeff Lowe, turning back 100 meters from the summit—a high point that would stand for forty years. 

For Lowe and Kennedy, the first ascent of the Infinite Spur pushed them to a near-transcendental state, an experience Kennedy chronicled in the latest issue of Alpinist Magazine.

A professional skier on the World Tour circuit for five years, Michael Gardner’s climbing resume includes 12 guided ascents of Denali, six guided ascents of Antarctica’s Vinson Massif, more than 150 ascents of the Grand Teton, and a 36-hour single-push second ascent of Denali’s Light Traveler (VI M7 WI6, 3000m).

The series, which is being sponsored by the Hatchet Resort, Teton Mountaineering, Skinny Skis, Black Diamond, Access Fund and The American Alpine Club, in collaboration with Coombs Outdoors and the Jackson Hole High School Mountaineering Club, will be streamed via Zoom. A 45-minute “happy hour” before the main presentation will provide participants an opportunity to socialize, and to learn more about the TCC’s work on the Rec Center expansion climbing gym. 

The first virtual event, featuring world-renowned alpinist Carlos Carsolio, took place on January 21. Lowe, who was among the audience, called it “the most insightful lecture on mountaineering that I have ever attended.”

A third event is currently under development.

Mexican Alpinist Carlos Carsolio to Kick Off TCC’s Winter Speaker Series

The TCC is excited to announce our first ever winter speaker series. The series is designed to provide the Teton climbing community a chance to “gather” in the midst of the pandemic.

Carlos Carsolio

Three virtual events are being planned. The first, scheduled for Thursday, January 21, at 7 p.m., features world-renowned Mexican alpinist and motivational speaker Carlos Carsolio, the fourth person, and first North American, to climb the world’s fourteen 8000-meter peaks. 

Registration for the Carlos Carsolio event may be made here.

The second, on Thursday, February 18, will feature Michael Gardner, a second-generation Teton mountain guide who has put up new climbing routes and first ski descents all over the world. 

A third event is currently under development.

The series, which is being sponsored by the Hatchet Resort, Teton Mountaineering, Skinny Skis, Black Diamond, Access Fund, The American Alpine Club, in collaboration with Coombs Outdoors and the Jackson Hole High School Mountaineering Club, will be streamed via Zoom.

A 45-minute “happy hour” before each speaker will provide participants an opportunity to socialize, and to learn more about the TCC’s work on Latino engagement, stewardship projects, the Rec Center expansion climbing gym and more. 

The choice of speakers for the series, Carsolio in particular, was intentional. Though he is best known for his Himalayan climbing, Carsolio also made ascents of testpiece objectives such as Yosemite’s El Capitan and Patagonia’s Cerro Torre as well as four routes, one of which was new, on the big walls of Baffin Island.

“Carlos’ ascents, made in alpine style, without fixed ropes or supplemental oxygen, often solo and via new routes, place him among the greatest alpinists of all time,” said TCC board chair Christian Beckwith. “One of the TCC’s objectives is to create pathways into the cultural narrative of Teton climbing for our Latino community members. Carlos’ story as a Mexican climber who rose to the heights of world alpinism will serve as an inspiration for our entire community, Latino and Caucasian alike.”

Each event is free and open to the public. A $5 donation is suggested. Links to the events will be sent to registrants one to two days before each event.

Recap Rodeo Wall Adopt-A-Crag

Just as smokey conditions gave way to clear skies again in western Wyoming, on August 27th, 2020, fifteen volunteers showed up to contribute to the stewardship project at Rodeo Wall. The group involved climbers from groups such as Exum Mountain Guides, the Town Pump and even Jackson Hole News and Guide!

The primary focus of the Teton Climbers’ Coalition event was the maintenance of the crag’s belay area, where a new retaining wall was built. Additionally, volunteers widened the system trail’s upper section, and installed straw erosion control blankets over informal user-created trails to prevent further erosion and damage of habitat.

A huge thanks to the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, Teton Mountaineering, Bridger Teton National Forest, The American Alpine Club and Access Fund for giving the TCC the opportunity to contribute to the community by maintaining this local crag! And to our volunteers for a great effort! We hope it was fun, and look forward to seeing you at future Adopt-A-Crag events!

We also hope to return to Rodeo Wall soon to conduct further trail clearing, as well as place a couple of signs regarding responsible climbing in the area, so stay tuned for a potential phase 2!

Check out the event’s coverage by the Jackson Hole News & Guide here.

Adopt-A-Crag: Help Us Rebuild Rodeo Wall

 

Climbers know: Rodeo Wall needs some love. This August, join us in a project to make Rodeo Wall safer and better by cleaning the top of the cliff of loose rocks and rebuilding the climbing platforms at the base of the routes.

Rodeo Wall is a small limestone crag located some twenty minutes from downtown Jackson and two miles south of Hoback Junction. It is part of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, which comprises 3.4 million acres of some of the most spectacular public land in America. Like all public lands under the current administration, it’s also under assault: the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Forest Service budget for discretionary appropriations is $5.3 billion, a decrease of $155.6 million from the FY 2020 Enacted amount.

As the Friends of the Bridger-Teton National Forest website notes:

“The Bridger-Teton National Forest currently lacks the federal resources needed to meet the opportunities and challenges associated with growing recreation and visitor use in the Greater Yellowstone Area. Since 2009, the BTNF has lost nine full-time recreation positions and suffered a 63% decrease in their infrastructure and maintenance budget. This reality can affect our wildlife, our watersheds and our communities’ support for public lands.”

You can help.

On Thursday, August 27, The Teton Climbers’ Coalition will conduct an “adopt-a-crag” of the local climbing area. We encourage our climbing community to step forward and become an active steward of your public lands. Help us to preserve and protect one of our favorite local climbing area and show land managers that climbers are responsible stewards, which in turn promotes access.

Volunteers are needed to help with several projects, such as belay platform restoration and general trail maintenance. Please meet at the Rodeo Wall turn out at 3:00 PM to register and receive a project assignment. Due to limited parking, carpooling is suggested, but please wear a mask while carpooling, to avoid exposure to COVID-19. Bring a bottle of water, work appropriate clothes, closed toe shoes, gloves, sunblock, insect repellent and face mask (please wear any time you are within 6 feet of another human). Water station, refreshments and snacks will be provided. 

All volunteers must complete a Volunteer Application and Waiver. We encourage volunteers, if possible, to sign up online prior to the event. This will allow us to better plan. Please send your application to info@tetonclimbers.com. Last minute volunteers are also welcome!

The Teton Climbers’ Coalition is proud to partner with the Access Fund on the project. The Access Fund’s Adopt a Crag program is about giving back to the climbing areas we use on a regular basis. From the signs in the parking areas, to the established trail systems, to the rocks and boulders where we devote endless hours, climbers are frequent land users, and it is important that we make an effort to maintain and care for that land. Adopt a Crag encourages climbing communities to engage local land managers, landowners, park service employees and forest rangers in conversation about ways to preserve and protect their favorite climbing areas. It is this dedication to climbing areas that shows land managers that climbers are responsible stewards, which in turn promotes access.