Washington Climbers Coalition Pays Off Index with Help from AFLCC

The Access Fund announced today that the Washington Climbers Coalition (WCC) has paid back its loan to the Access Fund for the option agreement on Lower Index Town Wall in Washington.
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The Access Fund, the national advocacy organization that keeps
U.S. climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment, announced today that the
Washington Climbers Coalition (WCC) has paid back its loan to the Access Fund for the option
agreement on Lower Index Town Wall in Washington. The loan was administered under the
Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign (AFLCC).

In the spring of 2009, the Access Fund loaned the WCC $15,000 to secure an 18-month option
agreement to protect the Lower Index Town Wall and surrounding crags from a quarrying
operation. The option agreement protected the area while the WCC worked to raise the $300,000
needed to purchase and steward the 20-acre tract of land.

Over the last year and a half, climbers from all over the nation worked together to raise the funds
to purchase the Lower Index Town Wall—fundraising through bouldering competitions,
slideshows, and major donor requests. “The community response has been incredible,” says
Jonah Harrison of the WCC. “The challenge with Index was not, as we had originally thought,
getting people together to work and donate to the cause. It was how to channel all the talent,
enthusiasm, and funds people offered.” We are happy to report that WCC has nearly reached its
fundraising goal and is well positioned to purchase the property before the December 31, 2010
deadline.

The WCC submitted its final loan repayment to the Access Fund on June 22, 2010—returning the
original $15,000 to the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign where it will be loaned back
out to save other climbing areas. “It has been exciting to work so closely with the WCC and see
the AFLCC's first loan fully revolve back into the fund,” states the Access Fund's Joe Sambataro.

The WCC is still working to reassign the land to a climber friendly public owner (such
as Washington State Parks or the County), to secure access across the railroad tracks, and
to find a suitable location for parking improvements and toilet facilities. With each step, the WCC
is closer to securing permanent access for future generations of climbers.

About the Access Fund
Founded in 1991, the Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that keeps climbing
areas open and conserves the climbing environment. The Access Fund supports and represents
over 2.3 million climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock climbing, ice climbing,
mountaineering, and bouldering. Five core programs support the mission on national and local
levels: climbing management policy, stewardship and conservation, local support and
mobilization, land acquisition and protection, and education. For more information, visit
www.accessfund.org.

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