2015 Cornerstone Conservation Grants Recipents Announced

$25,000 awarded to benefit healthy climbing landscapes

October 7, 2015, Golden, CO—The American Alpine Club (AAC) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2015 Cornerstone Conservation Grants powered by REI. To fulfill our vision of healthy climbing landscapes we award $25,000 annually to organizations, landowners, and individuals to help fund projects such as human waste solutions, climbing trail restoration, and related infrastructure projects. Thanks and congratulations to the following organizations for the good work they do:

· The Carolina Climbers Coalition $3,000 has formed a partnership with the YMCA and have gained access to the Sauratown cliffs, one of the most popular winter climbing destinations in the region but has been closed to climbing for many years.

Grant money will be used to build and maintain a climbers trail that can be used by the community and support the collaboration with the land owner.

· Climbing Association of Southern Arizona, $2,000 - Among the oldest developed climbing areas on Mt. Lemmon, Windy Point boasts the mountain's densest concentration of routes. Over the years, its popularity and accessibility have led to severely eroded access routes and extensive litter and vandalism.

They plan to mobilize their volunteer network and partner with the Forest Service and an erosion-control consultant to stabilize access routes and close spur trails, remove approximately 400 square feet of graffiti, and erect signs about Leave No Trace principles.

· Donner Land Trust $3,500.00 Donner Summit is a world-class climbing area because of the quality of granite, the quality of routes, ease of access, and ability to be stewarded as a climbing resource in perpetuity. The terrain is some of the most dramatic terrain in the Truckee Tahoe region. The acquisition will secure access to five different climbing areas with five star routes for generations to come.

Grant funds will provide for a kiosk, signage, trail permitting, and tools.

· Duluth Climbers Coalition $3,000.00 Casket Quarry is an important regional ice/mixed climbing venue and the centerpiece of a planned new Duluth city park: Quarry Park. Key to the first phase of development is improving the primary access trail. The current trail is a rough footpath, uneven and subject to seasonal flooding and erosion.

Improving this principal access route will facilitate climbing, preserve the environment, and help to fulfill the City's goal for developing Quarry Park into a universally accessible site for climbers and other user groups.

· Madrone Wall Preservation Committee $5,000.00 Owned by Clackamas County the 44 acre “Madrone Wall Park" has, for decades prior to its closing, been a mecca for rock climbing on its 1000 foot long cliff. The site now requires access road and parking upgrades, and the Cornerstone Grant will help fund a portion of a human waste solution

· Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance $5,000.00 – Shelf Road is a limestone crag in the Front Range that has seen a huge increase in the amount of climber traffic in recent years. Easily overcoming the ability of existing facilities to keep impact contained, they are in the process of an expansion, and they will use their grant money to fund a human waste solution.

Working with the BLM the toilet would significantly improve the climber experience at the area, and prevent human waste from being left behind at the crags in the sensitive high desert environment, and also allow allocated BLM money to have a broader impact in the expansion project.

· Southeast Climbers Coalition $1,500.00 will use their grant money to rehabilitate climbing areas vandalized with graffiti and install educational signage in the area. The removal project will span the entire southeast region with major projects taking place at Kings Bluff in Tennessee, Hospital Bouldersand Cherokee Rock Village in Alabama.

· Levitation 49 (Alaska) $2,000.00 – Valdez, Alaska has seen huge resurgence in climbing in Keystone Canyon due to a new climbing wall in town and two increasingly successful festivals in the winter and spring. With easy access from the road and its location in Alaska, Levitation 49 is working hard to make this crag a destination climbing area. Grant money will be used to construct human waste solutions at the trailhead and parking area.

About The 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 Mountaineering; 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 americanalpineclub.org.