A new short film, "Heart of Stone," recently debuted at select events in specialty shops in the Southeast to celebrate a sort of coming of age for climbing activism and the movement to ensure public access to climbing locations. As the film highlights, acquiring access to private land where there is an outstanding climbing area often starts simply with a hello and a handshake.
The 20-minute film is inspirational, and well worth the time spent watching -- click here to view.
Climbers have certainly been recognized as conservationists interested in preserving land while preserving access. However, the increased numbers of climbers over the last 10 years has created conflicts with land managers and private landowners -- especially in the southeastern United States. Two non-profit climbing organizations, the Southeastern Climbers' Coalition and the Carolina Climbers' Coalition, have been working tirelessly to find a common voice for the entire climbing community -- a voice that, one website posting states, "is steeped in the historical tradition of respect for the environment and the private landowner, but also one that advocates a spirit of adventure."
At the center of these efforts to find a common voice is the Triple Crown Bouldering Series, which was founded six years ago to raise funds that can be used to secure access to climbing areas and fund hiking trail maintenance in the Southeast. In 2007, for example, the series raised over $20,000.
Sponsored by Marmot, Rock Creek, Chaco, Mammut, Urban Climber, The North Face, Prana, Evolv, Metolius, Five Ten, Sterling Rope, Mountain Hardwear, Goodhew, Urban Rocks, La Sportiva, Scarpa, Bluewater Ropes, Black Diamond, Footsloggers, Friksn and Moon in 2008, the bouldering series looks to be well on its way to raising significant funds once again. To read about the sponsors and learn more about how each is supporting this effort, click here.