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A.A.C., Northern Rockies Section

AAC, Northern Rockies Section. As an AAC representative, a board member of the Boise Climbers Alliance, and an Idaho local, Doug Colwell participated as a member of the Climbing Management Plan (CMP) for Castle Rocks State Park, which adjoins the City of Rocks National Preserve. Over two days the Climbing Management Team developed the CMP, which set forth the rules, recommendations, and guidelines surrounding new route development at Castle Rocks State Park upon opening in May 2003. One provision of the CMP created a lottery whereby 25 people were selected to enter the Park prior to its opening and to establish new routes. The Access Fund facilitated this meeting, and it was a wonderful example of how governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, and individual climbers can work together for the overall benefit of the climbing community and the public at large. Several of our members were lottery winners, and during two weekends in mid-May helped establish over 40 new routes, which went in with minimal problems or conflicts, despite what the trade rags indicated.

In August, during the official opening of the Park, the AAC and the Access Fund presented Wallace Keck, director of Castle Rocks State Park, with a joint award for his willingness to work with climbers in developing the CMP. Others attending the ceremony were Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne, Senator Larry Craig, Rick Colligon, Director of Idaho Parks and Recreation, as well as National Park Service officials. This was a good opportunity to recognize the mutual cooperation of the groups involved.

In April the Boise Chapter of the Northern Rockies Section cosponsored a fund raising slide show by our member Mike Libecki with the Boise Climbers Alliance. Brian Wright has taken over as President of the Boise Chapter from longtime leader Susan Bernatus.

The Section hosted its first event in Salt Lake City with 150+ people attending. Black Diamond graciously sponsored Will Gadd as the speaker. The meeting identified several Salt Lake members interested in increasing the AAC presence in the Wasatch Valley. Mark Holbrook agreed to serve as the Section’s Salt Lake City “President.” Mark hosted a barbecue for members most desirous of energizing the group and acting on potential issues and projects.

Our fourth “almost annual” Fall Moondance occurred September 6-7 at City of Rocks, with over 45 people reserving space at the group campground, almost double last year’s attendance.

Doug Colwell, Chair