Climbers Ascend Capitol Hill to Advocate for Wild Places

The American Alpine Club & Access Fund set out for fourth annual Climb The Hill

September 10, 2019, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) and Access Fund are heading to Washington, DC for their fourth annual Climb the Hill event September 18-21. The two leading climbing advocacy non-profits will bring professional climbers, outdoor industry leaders, and advocacy partners to Capitol Hill to advocate for the lands and climate that are vital to climbing and outdoor recreation.

The Climb the Hill team, which includes renowned climbers Alex Honnold, Sasha DiGiulian, and Tommy Caldwell will meet with law and policymakers to advocate for increased access to public lands, environmental protections, and balanced energy policies on public lands.

According to Access Fund, nearly 60 percent of all rock climbing areas in the US are located on federally managed public land. The protection of these lands and the environment surrounding them is critical to the future of climbing and the safety of climbers. Access Fund and the AAC will represent climbers by pursuing legislative and administrative action on recreation access and enhancement, energy development and leasing reform, funding for public land management agencies, recreation and conservation land designations, and climate change action. 

The Climb the Hill team will include representatives from prominent outdoor industry brands, such as Patagonia, Adidas, The North Face, CLIF, Brooklyn Boulders and REI. An array of non-profit and community partners will also join the team, including American Mountain Guides Association, Outdoor Alliance, Latino Outdoors, Brothers of Climbing, Brown Girls Climb, Sending in Color, Adaptive Climbing Group, Salt Lake Climbers’ Alliance, Red River Gorge Climbers, The Mountaineers, Protect Our Winters, and Outdoor Industry Association.

“Climbing is exploding in popularity, and this trend will continue into the future with the Olympics on the horizon. Our growing community is increasingly diverse and passionate about recreational access, protecting public lands, and supporting our land management agencies. With Climb the Hill, we’re bringing that message to policymakers in Washington, DC who hold in their hands the future of our public lands,” said Chris Winter, Executive Director of Access Fund.  

“Climb the Hill is among our most effective ways to address the issues facing climbers on our nation's public lands. I am extremely pleased that over the years, the teams that make it great have become ever more diverse, dedicated and well-versed in the policy agenda we bring to our nation's decision-makers,” stated Phil Powers, CEO of AAC.

Learn more about this joint project at: 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, Rumney Rattlesnake Campground, Samuel F. Pryor Shawangunk Gateway Campground, and Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and annually gives $100,000+ 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 and accredited land trust 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 20,000 members and 130 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.