Elite Climbers Join American Alpine Club and Access Fund on Capitol Hill to Advocate for Public Lands

April 27, 2017

American Alpine Club and Access Fund Host Second Annual Climb the Hill Event

Golden, CO – April 27, 2017 – Celebrated climbers Conrad Anker, Tommy Caldwell, Sasha DiGiulian, Alex Honnold, Kai Lightner and Libby Sauter will join the American Alpine Club and Access Fund to represent the climbing community in Washington D.C. for Climb the Hill, an event sponsored by Adidas. On May 11, 2017, both organizations, alongside a team of elite climbers and outdoor industry partners, will meet with Congressional representatives and policymakers to advocate for public lands, outdoor recreation and improved climbing management.

The team of rock climbing advocates will share their experiences on public lands with members of Congress and top federal land agency officials. They will also advocate for appropriate funding levels and balanced land management policies that support outdoor recreation and conservation.

“Climbers have a vested interest in what happens in D.C., and showing up to make our voice heard is key to the future of the sport,” stated Brad Brooks, AAC Board member and Policy Committee member. “By working together with industry and partner organizations, we form a stronger united front to voice the climbing community’s concerns to our representatives.”

Access Fund estimates that about 60 percent of all rock climbing areas in the US are located on federal public lands. The American Alpine Club and Access Fund will advocate to protect The Antiquities Act, as well as voice their opposition to proposals that would diminish the value of federal recreation assets and sell or transfer federal public lands to states or private entities.

“Threats to federal public lands constitute the greatest threat to rock climbing we’ve ever faced. The most iconic climbing areas in the country are found on our public lands, and our mission is to make sure that these climbing areas are protected and conserved for future generations,” said Erik Murdock, Access Fund policy director.

“Public lands are not only the backbone of outdoor recreation, they also support a healthy economy,” said Brooks. According to The Outdoor Recreation Economy Report, 2017 by the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation (now included in the GDP), generates $887 billion in consumer spending and 7.6 million jobs annually. This sum nearly amounts to what Americans spend on pharmaceuticals and motor vehicles combined.

For more information on how you can support the Climb the Hill campaign, visit climbthehill.org.

About American Alpine Club

The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world’s most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world’s leading climbing library and country’s leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at www.americanalpineclub.org.

About Access Fund

Access Fund is the national 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. Access Fund is the largest US climbing advocacy organization with over 15,000 members and 100 local affiliates. Access Fund advocates for climbers at the local and national levels, and maintains active Memorandums of Understanding with the National Park Service, US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. For more information, visit www.accessfund.org.