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The AAC and Access Fund. Kiss or Kill?
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By claramie
From Boulder, CO
Aug 28, 2012
Should I be trying this hard on a warmup? <br /> <br />photo by Rob Kepley

I am a member of both and think that they are both great organizations.

One specific point for the AF is the Jeep crew they have rolling around the US building trails. I see those guys everywhere. Out in Indian Creek last year they finished the new trail up to 4x4 Wall. I've been on trail crews before but many are more like gardening than trail building, when compared to this crew. They make some amazing trails that will last a long, long time. Doing something that preserves what we love well into our kids' lives (even grandkids' lives) is a worthy endeavor.

I wonder about the AAC sometimes. Someone already mentioned the 2012 Mega Brochure that they sent out to members showing events, services, grants, etc. That thing must have been very expensive to design and print. Seems like it is all just for awareness (and maybe moreover) and to get new members. Either way, it seemed to me like a waste of resources.

- The grants are great if you like to climb big things in other countries (although I have been rejected on 100% of the requests I have submitted). The lodging is cool if you go to those places (everything else in Jackson is at least 10x more expensive than the ranch) but I wish there were more options.

- The library is sweet, but again, mainly for people that want to go do FAs or adventure climbing, not cragging, which is the majority of people these days (maybe I'm wrong but seems like a safe assumption). And, like someone said, the internet has a lot of that info nowadays.

- The evac insurance alone is worth the membership (economist point of view). And they just increased the amount. Someone said they thought it was cumbersome to get the insurance to pay out. I haven't used it but it just says that you need to contact a certain number ASAP once rescue starts. Doesn't seem too cumbersome to me.

Not that Curry would allow it, but how friggin awesome would it be if there were an AAC climbers ranch in the Valley? A place where climbers could stay without being treated like criminals? WOW! I would pay extra for that! I also like the idea of an online, netflix style version of the AAC library, if current revenue were re-appropriated to build it, or if the additional cost were minimal.

What if Mountain Project had a section devoted to the AAC and AF, what they are doing, how to get involved, etc. Organize it along with the routes database or whatever so people could see where their money goes. Or a simpler approach, just post those annual reports on the forums and have a dialog with members. Could get more traction...


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By RockinGal
From Boulder CO
Sep 22, 2012

I ran the Access Fund for five years, worked there for eight. Hereís my take on it.
Send a few bucks to one or more of the organizations. Doesnít really matter which one.
Volunteer some time and/or just be real at the crag: engage land managers and other climbers in a positive manner.
A national organization is not going to take on local issues. Thatís your job. They can help you.
Donít expect any climbersí group to be an effective lobbyist. Join the NRA if thatís your goal.
Happy climbing!


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By Tradoholic
Sep 23, 2012

RockinGal wrote:
I ran the Access Fund for five years, worked there for eight. Hereís my take on it. Send a few bucks to one or more of the organizations. Doesnít really matter which one. Volunteer some time and/or just be real at the crag: engage land managers and other climbers in a positive manner. A national organization is not going to take on local issues. Thatís your job. They can help you. Donít expect any climbersí group to be an effective lobbyist. Join the NRA if thatís your goal. Happy climbing!


But I'm for climbing and against guns so that won't work. I would like to see a climbers group become an effective lobbyist. Check out the OP, can you answer any of those questions?


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By RockinGal
From Boulder CO
Sep 28, 2012

Yes, I can answer all of those questions, but I'd rather go climbing.


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By Tradoholic
Sep 28, 2012

RockinGal wrote:
Yes, I can answer all of those questions, but I'd rather go climbing.


Well then, what good are you?


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By J Q
Sep 28, 2012
Me again!

That about sums it up I would think.


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By Steve Powell
From Alhambra, California
Sep 30, 2012

On a hot summers day, you could go there and HUNDREDS of climbers would be enjoying the place

and that was part of the problem


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By RockinGal
From Boulder CO
Sep 30, 2012

You are the one that needs to answer these questions. I spent years doing it. What good are you?


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By Mr. Holmes
From Cascade West
Sep 30, 2012
#2

RockinGal wrote:
You are the one that needs to answer these questions. I spent years doing it. What good are you?



Why? As a fellow rep. of the A.F I don't understand why you would represent in this way. If you have valuable intel (as I would hope you would after working for the company for so long) you would only weight in if there was applicable and positive feedback. Otherwise you oh-so important climbing and "having fun" schedule should have kept you busy enough to refrain from spraying useless banter online.

I uderstand the burn out factor, as well as, the frustrations that can come from grassroot-supported inititatives. However, the goal of the A.F., as well as, the AAC has always and (I assume) will always include promoting support and awareness on the local levels. Threads like this have the ability to do that but when a self-proclaimed Representative of the agency in question say they are more interested in climbing than supporting, why would any local climber (or pre-exsisting member of said organization) do anything outside of the standard of which you are setting?

Simply put: love climbing? speak up, speak out, support open lands, but most importantly: tread lightly and carry a big stick!


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By Tradoholic
Oct 1, 2012

Mr. Holmes wrote:
Why? As a fellow rep. of the A.F I don't understand why you would represent in this way. If you have valuable intel (as I would hope you would after working for the company for so long) you would only weight in if there was applicable and positive feedback. Otherwise you oh-so important climbing and "having fun" schedule should have kept you busy enough to refrain from spraying useless banter online. I uderstand the burn out factor, as well as, the frustrations that can come from grassroot-supported inititatives. However, the goal of the A.F., as well as, the AAC has always and (I assume) will always include promoting support and awareness on the local levels. Threads like this have the ability to do that but when a self-proclaimed Representative of the agency in question say they are more interested in climbing than supporting, why would any local climber (or pre-exsisting member of said organization) do anything outside of the standard of which you are setting? Simply put: love climbing? speak up, speak out, support open lands, but most importantly: tread lightly and carry a big stick!


Exactly.


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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Oct 1, 2012
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

Powell....

So what exactly is wrong with hundreds climbing at a place?????


And if you like/ love solitude, PM me Ill draw you a map to 10 places that no one goes to......


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By other
From San Diego, CA
Nov 14, 2012
railay thailand

Williamson was a very popular, high quality area. AF AND friends of williamson haven't taken legal or other action to get it opened after SEVEN years of closure with NO evidence that climbers were harming wildlife.
The end of year date for USFS reconsideration of the closure is approaching.
What has AF done to reopen Williamson?
Malcom?!
Anyone?!


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By other
From San Diego, CA
Nov 14, 2012
railay thailand

If the access fund position is "we don't work on local access issues and we aren't pro climbing lobbyists", why send them money?


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By GMBurns
Nov 14, 2012
Climbing at Morro Anhangava in Southern Brasil. <br /> <br />(photo by Isa Vellozo)

Malcolm Daly wrote:
There are not enough climbers and we don't spend enough money to buy any legislators. If, however, we join with other groups that recreate in the outdoors, we become the third largest private economic engine in the US valued at $646 Billion. If we (climbers, environmentalists, photographers, mountainbikers, horseback, hunters and fishermen, ATVs and motos, backpackers and all the businesses that support the recreation community) could ever get on the same side of the table and form a PAC, then we'd have more juice than all the business sectors except banking and insurance. Read that last sentence again. It's important. Our goal as recreationists is not to be feared. It's to be loved. Cheers, Malcolm


It's already begun to happen: Outdoor Alliance


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By Mr. Holmes
From Cascade West
Nov 14, 2012
#2

other wrote:
If the access fund position is "we don't work on local access issues and we aren't pro climbing lobbyists", why send them money?



For the record this is not a stance that the Access Fund as an organization supports in any way.


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By RockinGal
From Boulder CO
Nov 14, 2012

For the record, I am not, I repeat, I AM NOT a representative of the Access Fund or the AAC, for that matter. Fact is I worked for the AF from 1993-2001 and have been a member of the AAC since 1987. I was also the Managing Editor for Rock & Ice from 1987-1991.
During those years, I devoted an inordinate amount of time to climbing advocacy and access issues. My record is second to none. I have no need to prove it to a few people who post hate and castigate others on the internet. To you I say: spend time organizing climbers, meeting with land managers, working on clean up or fundraising events, donating your time or money to the cause. This is the work that gets things done, itís in the trenches. I know itís much easier to spew on the internet and tear down others when you havenít done anything positive to help the cause. Itís much easier to complain than actually do something.
Iíve done my work. Itís now up to you.
I remain a committed climber, but not committed to the climbing community due to discussions such as this.
Sincerely,
Sally Moser


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By other
From San Diego, CA
Nov 15, 2012
railay thailand

Many of the groups deserve money yet joining many groups gets frigging expensive.
AF theoretically promotes access nationally.
local regions access groups theoretically promotes local access.
AAC for nsurance and other features seem valuable.
ASCA is great for anyone who's ever used a bolt or fixed anchor.
AMGA or other pro organization necessary for guides.
Sierra club or other conservationist outfit so we have wilderness.
IMBA or Local MTB access group for MTBers.
Some kind of wilderness medical training or supplies or donation to SAR team.
total all in Youre looking at over $200+ per year!


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By Kyle Pease
From Missoula, MT
Nov 15, 2012
Goat on Brothers

Has anyone on here (or know of someone who) used the global rescue insurance? (not intending to make a point, just curious)


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By alpinejason
From Eau Claire
Nov 15, 2012

Got an email. AAC membership is 10% off today if you've been contemplating it.

HOLIDAY10 is the promo code.


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By Mr. Holmes
From Cascade West
Nov 17, 2012
#2

RockinGal wrote: "This is the work that gets things done, itís in the trenches. I know itís much easier to spew on the internet and tear down others when you havenít done anything positive to help the cause. Itís much easier to complain than actually do something.
Iíve done my work. Itís now up to you."


...Well from the A.F. trenches for the past decade, I solute you. Some of us may be on an internet thread but it is only to stay up to date on the Access Issues which we happen to care to do something about. For some of us, we have shared your blood, sweat, and tears and have no need to spray...

I think many would agree that comments such as "what good are you?" would fall into the catagory of "hate" that you so boldy chastise.

...Enjoy retirement!


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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Nov 17, 2012
Lincoln Lake

Standing up and saying you used to work for the AF and then giving snotty replies doesn't do the AF any favors even if you don't work there any more.


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By Tradoholic
Nov 18, 2012

This isn't the thread to protect your ego and if you're in a position of leadership or were, you need to be open to criticism, it comes with the job. Giving more money is good but doesn't address the original questions I asked. It's easy to say to everyone else "Well, YOU get up and do something!" but in reality not everyone has the chance or free time to do so and this thread is meant to be a free exchange of ideas that people in those positions of opportunity can use or not use, it's up to them. I think we would all like to see a bigger, better, and richer advocacy group for climbers, yes? Well then lets hear the ideas for doing just that.

Here are the original questions re-posted:

-Are you a member of one or both? If so, why?

-How can either of the groups do better?

-Would you be interested in a joint membership?

-What if the AAC library was Netflix style, how much would you pay for that?

-Who can name the president of either group?

-What are the goals of each group?

-Tell us a story, how has the AAC or AF effected your climbing?

-Could a climbers advocacy group ever be a powerful lobbyist?

-Let 'er rip, why are these groups a waste of money, time, and resources?

-Can these groups be feared like the NRA or ATV Assoc? Should they be feared? Should climbers sue for access?


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Nov 18, 2012

other wrote:
Many of the groups deserve money yet joining many groups gets frigging expensive. AF theoretically promotes access nationally. local regions access groups theoretically promotes local access. AAC for nsurance and other features seem valuable. ASCA is great for anyone who's ever used a bolt or fixed anchor. AMGA or other pro organization necessary for guides. Sierra club or other conservationist outfit so we have wilderness. IMBA or Local MTB access group for MTBers. Some kind of wilderness medical training or supplies or donation to SAR team. total all in Youre looking at over $200+ per year!


$200/year is chump change compared to what other outdoor folks spend on their past times. $200/year so you can have continued access to your favorite crag, have safe bolts, have insurance, have wilderness, etc, etc is CHUMP CHANGE. I give more than that just to the AF alone every year and I dont make that much a year working as a sales guy for a climbing company. I also donate over a 100 hours a year, probably more than 200 hours a year on average, of my time. What do YOU do to protect your home crag?

climbers are such cheap, selfish bastards sometimes. So many of the locals here in las vegas wont lift a finger to help the AF or our local org on trail days because its nice out and they want to rock climb. They dont want to give up a single day to help. 1% of climbers are members of the AF. For being such a rad group of people most of the time, that most of my friends couldnt care less about these orgs drives me nuts.

now excuse me, i have to go muscle a bunch of boulders into my truck and drive them out to Day 2 of the Access Funds Future of Fixed Anchors Conference, which I'm helping to host and organize.


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By Mr. Holmes
From Cascade West
Nov 18, 2012
#2

John Wilder- Thank you! You are a stud!!!

It is always frustrating creating an Adopt-a-Crag event, negotiating with land manager, sponsors, and local climbing community to come out only to have 90% of the people who show up at the trail head keep on walking to their current project with nary a head nod or thank you.

We, as climbers, can do better! The sport is designed organically to require mental fortitude, strength, flexibility (both physical and mental), as well as inherently social... All these attributes are what it takes for a user group to get noticed on capital hill, make differences at their local crags, and generally Kick Ass every where they go.

To spray about what YOU did once is fleeting, To contribute to a crag or organization is eternal.


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By Mr. Holmes
From Cascade West
Nov 18, 2012
#2

www.outdoorindustry.org/pdf/OIA_OutdoorRecEconomyReport2012.>>>

This is how big we are.


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