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American Alpine Club to Break Ground on New River Gorge Campsite in 2012


Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) is pleased to announce that it will begin construction on a new climbers’ campground at the New River Gorge in 2012. The planned facility is a landmark, the first major addition to Club-operated lodging facilities in 40 years.

The campground will reside in Fayetteville, West Virginia, on a 40-acre parcel chosen by local climbers and the New River Alliance of Climbers. The land is adjacent to National Park land and within walking distance of rock climbing at the New River Gorge. In autumn 2010 the AAC purchased the property, which was successfully re-zoned for a campground earlier this month by local authorities.

Car campers and walk-in campers will be welcome at the new AAC campground. Structures will include a community gathering room, shower house, and a cabin to accommodate a permanent camp host. There will be no accommodation for RVs. The campground will be developed in phases and, depending on demand, at final build-out will have up to 60 campsites. If progress allows, the AAC hopes to have primitive camping available for climbers before the end of the year.

Designing a campground that is environmentally sensitive and supported by the adjacent landowners is paramount to the project’s success. The design includes a spatial buffer from the Ames Heights neighborhood. The chosen road alignment works with the topography to minimize site disturbance. The green design of structures will be overseen by Jim Logan, AAC board member and the LEED-certified architect designing the site.

Gene Kistler—AAC member and board member of the New River Alliance of Climbers—will be acting as General Contractor for this project.  

The purchase was made possible by the generosity of AAC donors along with other financing. Notably, just over one-third of the funding was a loan from the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign.

Providing lodging facilities is central to the AAC’s vision of supporting the climbing way of life by improving benefits for members and other climbers, said AAC Executive Director Phil Powers: “We are building on the tradition that started with the Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch. Lodging options within walking distance from great climbing supports the climbing lifestyle we all enjoy. We hope to create a facility that meets climbers’ needs and adds opportunities for climbers to gather and share their stories.”

About The American Alpine Club
The American Alpine Club provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community. 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 Mountaineering; cares for the world’s leading climbing library and country’s leading mountaineering museum; manages the Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $80,000+ toward climbing, conservation, and research grants to adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at americanalpineclub.org. Join the AAC’s online community at facebook.com/americanalpineclub.

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