The CCC Board met on March 19th, 2016 at Brad Caldwell’s house after a day of climbing at Big Rock, SC. Brad was kind enough to hook us up with home brews and food and let us take over his basement for a meeting. A number of topics were discussed, here's the highlights.
- Brian Payst, President
- Phil Hoffman, Vice President
- William Goodson, Treasurer
- Cameron Cassan, Secretary
- Brad Caldwell, South Carolina Rep
- Mike Reardon, Southern Mountains Rep 1
- Jeremiah Haas, Southern Mountains Rep 2
- Neil Rankin, Northern Piedmont Rep
- Corrina Yerke, Southern Piedmont Rep
- Laura Boggess, At-Large Board Member
- Tom Caldwell, At-Large Board Member
Brian discussed our role in securing a North Carolina stop on this Access Fund educational tour. November 5 and 6, the Triangle Rock Club will host clinics, presentations, and serve as a meeting area for stewardship projects. Funded by Black Diamond, the Rock Project tour will feature several professional climbers. Tickets, available September 12, will likely sell out. In addition, the CCC will be provided with templates to create signage with area-specific access advice. Local gyms will receive posters with tips regarding best practices at crags.
Rock and Rave
Phil expressed the fundraiser’s importance to our organization. This year, the event raised $25,000; we will receive $8,000 for Carolina access projects. William mentioned that we need to continue to push attendance next year in order to maintain our beneficiary relationship with Rock and Rave. Cameron noted that he was able to film the highlights video this year. https://vimeo.com/159818281
2014 Shortoff Mountain Rescue
We reflected on the rescue in which a climber was charged with a citation after attempting to help local authorities. Due to the huge language barrier between climbers and rescuers, he was unable to assist them effectively. In the aftermath, the CCC met with the local rescue teams in order to better coordinate access points with route names. During a 911 rescue, climbers have forfeited responsibility to the rescue teams and must follow orders. Neil mentioned that thorough knowledge of self-rescue techniques can, in some cases, prevent the elevated and expensive reactions of local authorities.
Hidden Valley Rescue Plan
Reardon discussed the CCC’s meetings with the Brumley Gap Fire Department in the wake of Kayah’s accident. By creating an all-encompassing rescue plan with local authorities, we have created a precedent for future crags that might contribute to increased access.
We have enjoyed access to Sauratown all winter this year via a lease with Camp Hanes. A grant from the Access Fund this fall will help pay for an expensive, new trail to the crag. Actions like these allow us to build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with landowners.
As temperatures soared to unreasonable bouldering conditions, we faced significant climate challenges in our first year hosting the Triple Crown’s discontinued competition leg. We lost a very small amount of money in the end. However, the impact of a well-organized climbing event on Chimney Rock State Park’s impression of us remains invaluable. The park superintendent even asked when we are coming back! Next winter, we are going to hold the competition in January while carefully working around the USA Climbing indoor competition schedule. Attracting sponsors will become easier as we continue to establish interest in the event.
Increased Hickory Nut Gorge Access
Reardon announced that the CCC will be working with Chimney Rock State Park (CRSP) and Friends of CRSP to potentially expand climbing opportunities at Rumbling Bald. In June, he will be a part of a small scouting day with representatives from these groups. The team will explore whether an extended trail could provide reasonable access to the North Side.
Access to Ghost Town remains a difficult discussion with Chimney Rock due to the fact that they will want the resource to be available to all demographics. The area’s terrain makes top access sketchy. From below, Chimney Rock will only build a trail if they can afford to build a parking lot for it. Meanwhile, we are already hoping to expand the Rumbling Bald lot. For people to hike all the way from the Rumbling Bald lot to Ghost Town, they would have to cross private land. One solution worth exploring in the short term might be to contact several landowners and discuss easements for this long hike.