In the 1990s, American climbers got together and created the Access Fund. Since then, the word “Access” in the climbing community has a connotation that goes beyond the physical access to a specific climbing area. It can also be defined as a series of actions that secure the access to a climbing area, for example:

  • Negotiation between climbing organizations and individuals with a landowner (private or governmental agency) to allow access through their land to climbing areas.
  • Establishing long term regulations that will allow climbing in that given area.
  • Lobbying with politicians to pass pro-climbing legislations.
  • Monitor legislations that will interfere with climbing and fight the ones that will go against climbing.
  • Conservation efforts, such as trail building and maintenance, reforestation and garbage collection.

There are problems of access throughout the Americas. Though the issues and context vary quite a bit, there are a few trends on why climbers loose access, regardless if it is on private or public land:

  • Liability – The fear of being sued by someone in case an accident happens.
  • Inappropriate behavior from climbers or other users – littering, creating shortcuts, setting the land on fire, being extremely loud and obnoxious, improperly managing human waste, etc.
  • Big Development Construction – hydroelectric dams, mining areas, etc.

Access is everyone’s responsibility! Take care of your backyard!