The Access Fund, a national non-profit group working to preserve climbing areas around the U.S., announced the recipients of the 2013 Sharp End Awards on January 13, 2014. These awards were given to the individuals, organizations, and businesses that exceeded expectations in their efforts to maintain the climbing environment.
Menocal Lifetime Achievement Award: Jonathan Knight
Knight received this prestigious award for his committed service in the Wasatch Range and Salt Lake City region. As a member of the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance since 2002, Knight has helped to secure many famous climbing areas including American Fork, Little Cottonwood Canyon, and Joe’s Valley.
Bebie Leadership Award: Tim Keenan
Access Fund awarded Tim Keenan with the Bebie Leadership Award for his prominent role in the Gunks Climbers Coalition and creation of The Gym To Crag Transition program, which educates new climbers on what they need to know for transitioning from gym to outdoor climbing.
Sharp End Award: Marion Hutchison
Hutchison received this prize for his work to protect the climbing areas of Oklahoma since the 1990s. His work led to the formation of the Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition, and most recently he assisted in preserving climbing access in the Wichita Refuge.
Sharp End Award: Paul Vidal
Vidal is a dedicated volunteer with the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition, which works to protect the climbing in the Red River Gorge of Kentucky. Alongside locals and the Access Fund, Vidal helped the RRGCC purchase the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, home to nearly 309 acres of climbing.
Sharp End Award: Jeff Engel
Engel received the award for his climbing advocacy in Minnesota by helping to maintain open access to Red Wing and Willow River climbing areas. He worked with the City of Sandstone to make Robinson Park the epic ice destination that it is, and negotiated the purchase of Sandstone, a bouldering area in the Midwest.
Sharp End Award: Jason Haas
As a member of the Flatirons Climbing Council and Boulder Climbing Community, Haas earned his Sharp End Award for his dedication to the climbing access along Colorado's Front Range. He has demonstrated leadership by his educational efforts, establishing new routes and climbing areas, and founding guidebook company Fixed Pin Publishing.
Sharp End Award: Rocco Bocchiccio
His commitment to educate climbers on Leave No Trace ethics and the Access Fund earned Bocchiccio a 2013 Sharp End Award. At Brooklyn Boulders, an indoor climbing gym in New York City, Bocchiccio promotes the Access Fund and ethical climbing-education courses.
Sharp End Award: Torne Valley Climbers Coalition
Access Fund rewarded the Torne Valley Climbers Coalition for their work to reopen the Powerlinez climbing area in Torne Valley, New York, after it was closed due to concerns of the landowners.
Sharp End Award: Petzl
The respected French equipment company, Petzl, received this award for their consistent support in keeping the climbing community open and safe. Since 2009, Petzl has helped Access Fund purchase 14 climbing areas across America.
Land Conservation Award: Minnesota Climbers Association
The Minnesota Climbers Association earned the Land Conservation Award for its protection of Sandstone bouldering. They have had immense success in the long-term protection of this popular area with the help of Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota and Minnesota State Parks.
Learn more at accessfund.org.