Climbers Volunteer with The Access Fund

img_5516On a recent afternoon, instead of being high up on the cliffs with ropes and harnesses, the White Mountain Climbing Team, along with Faculty Coaches Hiapo Emmons-Shaw and Jacob Northcutt, spent some time at the base of Cathedral Ledge in North Conway. The climbers had an opportunity to volunteer their time working on a project with The Access Fund, a national organization which seeks to protect access to and to care for climbing areas across the country. A conservation team from The Access Fund hosted an Adopt the Crag event and the local community was encouraged to come and lend a helping hand to this important project. Their task was to build a retaining wall in order to prevent erosion and help the cliff soil maintain its current levels after the loss of a large tree and its root system threatened to undermine the area. Click here to see more details about and photos of the project.

The White Mountain climbers all worked hard moving and placing large rocks as the retaining wall took shape. Colin Lunetta ’18 was impressed with the progress that was made throughout the day, and while this project was completed by the end of the day, he is hoping the group has another opportunity to do a similar project soon.

I love climbing there so much and it was cool to give back to the community.”

Hiapo sees this type of volunteer work as an important part of the coaching that he and Jacob provide for their students. In addition to technical skills and safely protocols, the White Mountain students are learning the value of stewardship and conservation. 

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