Protecting the Climbing Areas We Love

Sharing stories from a Twin Falls, Idaho coffee shop, Mike and Amanda Morin prepare for the next leg of their travels: Seattle, WA.

Van dwellers bumming across the States? Not quite.

Mike and Amanda are a husband and wife duo representing The Access Fund’s 2014 Conservation Team. Dedicated to protecting and preserving the climbing spots we love, Mike explains their mission as,

To promote the conservation of climbing areas and to inspire volunteers to take care of the areas where they climb.

Mike and Amanda, courtesy of The Access Fund
Mike and Amanda, courtesy of The Access Fund

The job isn’t a 9-5. And it’s not easy, either.

Their journeys began in February 2014, hitting about about one destination per week where they provide the education and resources necessary to empower local climbing organizations to preserve their lands. Meanwhile, they are stopping at gyms across the country to host training and education seminars.

Constructing cairns is an easy method of ensuring that hikers and climbers stay on trails.
Constructing cairns is an easy method of ensuring that hikers and climbers stay on trails.
Equipping locals with essential tools is a key aspect of The Conservation Team’s efforts.

Aiding destinations from North Carolina to Yosemite, a key focus of Mike and Amanda’s endeavors is bridging the gap between land managers and the climbing community.

Mike explains,

With the growing popularity of climbing and the number of people visiting climbing areas, impacts to the land are a big concern … We’re bringing an awareness to staying on trails and minimizing impact.

Despite the intense conservation and rehabilitiation efforts, Mike and Amanda still find time to climb on some of the country's most stunning lines.

Despite the intense conservation and rehabilitation efforts, Mike and Amanda still find time to climb on some of the country’s most stunning lines.

Bringing awareness isn’t easy, though, especially with the rapid increase of climbers quickly moving outdoors. In making the transition outside, Mike has a few words to share:

Be thoughtful, stay psyched, and be ready to step up and give back. Don’t be afraid to engage with the older generation of climbers. Learn from them. Be the best stewards of the climbing areas you can be.

– Mike Morin


For more information about how you can be a steward of the land, join The Access Fund. Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for a Conservation Team visit near you and follow along on their Facebook page to keep up with this incredible team.

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