9/2/10 - The Washington Climbers Coalition (WCC) announced today that it has succeeded in its campaign to buy the Index Lower Town Wall, a premier rock climbing area near Index, Snohomish County. “Climbers have been working for more than fifteen years to buy the Lower Town Wall,” said Darryl Cramer, a WCC board member and guidebook author who has climbed at the Lower Town Wall for nearly 30 years. “We’ve pulled it off and ensured that the Lower Town Wall will remain open to climbing forever.”
The Lower Town Wall is Washington’s most famous climbing destination apart from Mount Rainier. This preservation effort enhances open space protection and recreational opportunities along the Highway 2 corridor.
The Lower Town Wall stands on private property and is the site of a former quarry. In the spring of 2009, the private owner posted the property with “No Trespassing” signs and began shopping the property for renewed quarrying. With the help of a loan from the Access Fund (a national climbing advocacy group), the WCC purchased an option from the owner and has now raised sufficient funds to exercise that option. More than 400 individual donors have contributed to this successful campaign. A dozen businesses and several local climbing clubs have donated directly or held fundraising activities for this effort. Having already raised enough money to buy the property, the WCC has elected to exercise its option early. The WCC is continuing its campaign to meet or exceed its $300,000 fundraising goal, which will allow for capital improvements and long-term maintenance of the property.
The WCC is working with Washington State Parks on a possible donation of the property to State Parks. Washington State Parks already owns most of the property adjacent to the Lower Town Wall, including property containing the Upper Town Wall, which is another popular climbing destination. Snohomish County Parks has also expressed interest in the property in the event a transfer to State Parks is not possible.
The WCC plans to celebrate its success at Index next month. The event will dedicate the acquisition in the name of Stimson Bullitt (1919-2009), a prominent Seattle attorney, businessperson, and civic leader who in his later years developed a passion for rock climbing, including at Index.
All donors, climbers, and the general public are invited to the Index Fund 2010 celebration in the town of Index, Washington, the afternoon of September 19, 2010. Admission will be free and activities will include a barbeque, dedication ceremony, and slideshow. There will also be opportunities for rock climbing. As a separate event out at the actual cliff outside of town, two local climbing guide services propose to supervise climbing activities that at least in part should be suitable for those with no prior experience. The WCC will provide more details as the event approaches.
For further information, contact Jonah Harrison at (206) 235-3671, or Matt Perkins at (206) 524- 0493, or visit www.washingtonclimbers.org