Access Fund - Conservation Team

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Access Fund Conservation Team in Alta, Utah

By Eddie Wooldridge

The Conservation Team, Access Fund's newest stewardship program, helps maintain climbing areas throughout the United States by assessing climbing area conservation needs, working with locals to address those needs, and providing training on planning and stewardship best practices to keep those areas healthy.  Two Access Fund staff members (Claire and Eddie in 2013) travel full time from February through November each year. The Conservation Team promotes the Access Fund and its sponsors through nationwide outreach initiatives, including climbing events, festivals, climbing gym visits and stewardship events, as well as major national outdoor industry trade shows.

When we heard La Sportiva would be bringing us the best technical footwear to help maintain climbing areas throughout the United States, it put a great problem to rest for us. Ask any climber; feet are of utmost importance, and of the twenty-five stewardship projects the Access Fund Conservation Team has completed thus far, the work accomplished could not have been done without their help.

Our recent work in Alta, Utah is a great example of how La Sportiva’s gear fit our unique lifestyle. The project brought us everywhere from above 10,000 feet, to front and center explaining best stewardship practices to volunteers. Throughout three days, we were placed in several different environments trekking on various terrains. We have become accustomed to life on our feet, and the variety of La Sportiva footwear we dawn throughout a day is evident as we work. In that time, we built twenty additional steps and stabilized two belay stations near Ruth Lake, planted 500 native plants with volunteers and taught them how to use a Griphoist and highline system, assessed more climbing areas for projects next year, and gained eleven more memberships for Access Fund.

Having the correct footwear for the variety of tasks we complete in a given day allows us to put our focus on completing projects. We know, whether it’s jogging in the morning, kicking dirt all afternoon, or climbing in the evening, La Sportiva has contributed to our overall happiness and success on the road. Claire and I want to thank La Sportiva for supporting us along our journey and providing us with products that allow us to live the way we want to live…especially if that life is on your feet all day!


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