A letter from Peter Metcalf, Founder of Black Diamond Equipment & American Alpine Club Board Member:
I will never forget my first visit to Indian Creek in the late 1970s, within a year of the first ascent of Supercrack. We pulled in late on a moonless evening, threw down our sleeping bags and crashed. We awoke the next morning to witness the most magnificent sandstone cliffs I have ever seen exploding in the orange dawn. Awestruck, we watched the lightshow unfold from the warmth of our bags. Now, some 40 years later, that feeling remains much the same every time I return to the Creek.
As climbers, we accumulate dozens of these special experiences over time. Many of them stay with us forever. Many of them are rooted on our public lands.
With these memories in mind, my hope is that you—and all American climbers—are aware of the impending threats to our national forests, national parks, and other wild places. This is a systemic attack on the mountains and canyons that we call home. These attacks are happening on many fronts simultaneously: reversing monuments, dissolving protections, underfunding agencies, and even stripping away regulations that ensure we have clean air to breathe and water to drink.
For years I have made it my personal crusade to stand in opposition to these forces, locally and nationally. I’ve taken a hard-line approach in hopes of protecting places like Indian Creek, and I’ve called out the “public lands heist” for exactly what it is.
But this fight is too big to take on alone.
I joined the American Alpine Club board of directors two years ago because I saw the Club getting serious about building and protecting a conservation legacy for the 21st century. With your help, together as a passionate membership more than 20,000 strong, we can speak truth to power and make an enormous difference.
We just returned from our third annual Climb the Hill event in Washington, DC. Alongside the Access Fund, we orchestrated a squad of 65 trained staff members, board members, industry executives, filmmakers, advocates, and athletes from Sasha DiGiulian to Lynn Hill to Alex Honnold to demonstrate our stregnth in the climbing community. Our teams communicate our hopes and concerns for the future of our public lands. This work is absolutely critical to the future of our mountain sanctuaries. It isn’t easy. And it only happens with backing from our members.
This important work cannot and does not happen without you.
I am proud to be involved with an organization that is taking initiative to address public land policy with those who hold the keys to our future. The AAC has stepped up. Now it’s your turn. If you stand behind these efforts as I do, please donate today. Your generosity ensures that we can fund initiatives such as Climb the Hill, conservation grants, and research grants. Your generosity is the only way we can serve as a powerful voice for the climbing community to protect public lands and fragile mountain environments. Fortunately there are millions of Americans like you who care about public lands because they have experienced the hypnosis of alpenglow on sandstone walls, the majesty of a high alpine summit, the joy of “getting lost” out in nature, or the rich sound of solitude. But recognizing what could disappear is only half of the battle.
Thank you for leading. Thank you for standing up and contributing... before our sacred spaces are diminished forever.
Art by Samantha Zim / @cragdoodles
Anyone who gives $250 or more before July 6, 2018 in support of the AAC’s important programs will receive a limited-edition signed and hand-numbered print of Indian Creek by the talented artist and AAC member Samantha Zim.
An AAC Board Member, Peter Metcalf is also:
- the Founder of Black Diamond Equipment,
- a passionate climber and ski mountaineer,
- and a champion of our public lands.
Thanks to your help, we're already accomplishing great things in the world of conservation & advocacy:
• Hundreds of AAC Research Grants awarded to fund studies of climate impacts
• Over 60 athletes and staff sent to D.C. to fight for policies that protect our mountains
• 115-year legacy protecting the places you love to ski and climb