Climbers hang ‘Save Oak Flat’ banner at Atlantis

Climbers hung a “Save Oak Flat” banner three quarters of the way up a 300-foot tower at the Atlantis climbing area to protest the Resolution Copper project.

Resolution Copper intends to mine the area’s copper ore using a method called block-cave mining, which will result in a two-mile-wide, 1,000-foot-deep crater, destroying land that is sacred to the San Carlos Apache, provides vital water and unique habitat to Arizona wildlife, and is home to hundreds of bouldering problems and sport routes.

The land exchange was passed when Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake tagged it on to a national defense bill in 2015 after failing multiple times to get the exchange passed on its own.

Climbers called on to ‘Trim Beardsley’

The City of Phoenix and REI, with support from The Access Fund, will be hosting a cleanup of the Beadrsley Boulder Pile on Saturday, May 20. Volunteers will clean up the area between 7:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Coffee, breakfast, cold refreshments, and all of the necessary cleaning tools/supplies will be provided. The cleanup will be followed by a raffle and a climbing session between 9:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Parking will be located across the street from the area at the Reach 11 Sports Complex, and transport to and from the parking area will be provided (carpooling is highly advised). Volunteers are strongly urged to be at the parking area no later than 6:45 a.m.

Beardsley Boulder Pile has historically been plagued by broken glass and graffiti, so organizers will be working with the City of Phoenix on ways to protect and maintain the area, such as officially designating the area a park or preserve and conducting annual cleanups.

Event registration can be found online through REI at https://www.rei.com/events/trim-beardsley-boulder-pile/173723. Directions to the Reach 11 Sports Complex can be found at https://www.google.com/maps?daddr=33.686%2C-112.0228&zoom=13&size=400×400&sensor=false.

AMC holds stewardship project at Hog Heaven in McDowells

The Arizona Mountaineering Club (AMC) will be cleaning up the climber access route up to, in and around Hog Heaven in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Volunteers will meet at the Tom’s Thumb trail head on Saturday, April 15 at 7:00 a.m.

Participants should expect a 45 minute hike to the Hog Heaven area and three hours of physical labor. Bring loppers for cutting brush, work gloves, water, and snack. Wear weather- and work-appropriate clothing.

To get to the trailhead, drive to Scottsdale and the 101/Pima intersection. Head north on Pima to Happy Valley Road. Drive east on Happy Valley through Troon. As Happy Valley turns north and becomes 118th Street, look for Ranch Gate Road and continue east/right. Turn south/right on 128th Street to the trail head.

For more information, contact Erik Filsinger via Facebook.

Climbers called on to clean up Kelly Canyon

Climbers will be picking up trash and performing area maintenance for National Forest Clean Up day on April 15th, 2017. Volunteers are asked to arrive at the Kelly Canyon trailhead between 8:15 a.m. and 9 a.m. for free bagels and coffee. Orientation with the Forest Service starts at 9 a.m.

To access Kelly Canyon, which is a few miles south of Flagstaff, exit I-17 onto Kelly Canyon Rd. and turn west. The last right fork before the parking area is now blocked by three big rocks. Park above the shooting pit and hike to the old parking area with the fire pit on the right.

Visit the event page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/403199743378634/.

Focus hosts fundraiser for The Homestead

Focus Climbing Center is holding a Spring Fling Community Art Auction to raise money for the Access Fund’s efforts to maintain access to The Homestead. The event will take place at Focus on April 1 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will feature a community art auction and competitions requiring feats of speed and strength. Admission is free. For more information about the event, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1317347868322624/.

In 2015, access to The Homestead’s tufa-rich limestone walls, home to over 250 sport climbs, was threatened due to foreclosure on a privately owned parcel of land that overlapped key portions of the access road, trailhead, and first few dozen routes. The Access Fund obtained temporary ownership of the land, covering initial acquisition costs with short term financing from the Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan Program. To permanently protect and steward The Homestead, the Access Fund aims to raise $235,000. So far, local climbing organizations, non-profits, and businesses have raised $75,000 towards that goal.

In December, the Access Fund

  • Improved the nearly impassable section of road on State Trust land, making it accessible by standard SUVs
  • Built a half-mile of new trail
  • Created 10 new tent pads and five new fire rings
  • Added 13 parking spots
  • Erected an educational kiosk

For more information on the Access Fund’s efforts at The Homestead or to donate, visit https://www.accessfund.org/take-action/campaigns/homestead.