Climbing’s Anchor Replacement Initiative gains momentum


The Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI), a program coordinated by Climbing and sponsored by The North Face and Petzl to replace worn and inappropriate fixed hardware at climbing areas nationwide, has gained further momentum with the addition of several noteworthy and motivated volunteers. Climbing is delighted to announce that Kurt Smith, Eric Hörst, and Rusty Baillie joined the ARI volunteer ranks in June and have plans to upgrade a significant number of routes at their respective heavily trafficked areas. Smith and Hörst are two of the most prolific first ascentionists in American rock climbing, and Baillie is a legend for establishing monumental climbs like the Dragon Route on the Black Canyon of the Gunnison’s Painted Wall. The participation of these noteworthy veteran climbers highlights how necessary Climbing’s program is to the climbing community. Rusty Baillie, who resides in Dalton Gardens, Idaho notes, “It’s warm and fuzzy to see Climbing, The North Face, and Petzl look after us so well! The ARI shows that they are real climbers who understand real climbing problems. This superior quality fixed hardware will enable us to make our crags a much safer and more fun place to climb.” Recent West Virginia transplant Kurt Smith comments, “With the ARI, Climbing has brought the issue of bad bolts to the forefront and supports the climbers out there who will spend the time to make the fixed hardware at our crags safe. Here at the New River Gorge there are still quarter-inch bolts; with the help of Climbing and its ARI program we will make them all museum pieces. Thanks Climbing for supporting safe climbing.” Eric Hörst has been developing routes in the perpetually damp climate of the East for decades and is intimately acquainted with the degradation of fixed hardware in that region. “I’ve grown increasingly concerned with the myriad of rusting bolts and fixed anchors in the East. Upgrading fixed hardware there to stainless steel is paramount. On behalf of the tens-of-thousands of climbers of the Megalopolis, I would like to thank Climbing, The North Face, and Petzl for supporting this endeavor.”In 2003 Climbing, with support from The North Face and Petzl, launched the Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI) to address the nationwide problem of worn out and inappropriate fixed hardware at heavily used crags. Climbing is the only national climbing publication that has stepped up and developed a program that provides resources to the climbing community to create and maintain a safe climbing environment. Climbing’s immersion in the climbing community and industry make it possible to identify real problems like fixed hardware degradation and do something about it. The ARI continues to expand into new areas and will supply hardware to qualified volunteers interested in making the fixed hardware in their area safer for the climbing community. The ARI is the only community service program of its type that directs industry support straight to the crags and the people who use them.About CLIMBING MagazineCLIMBING Magazine is the world’s leading publication on climbing and mountaineering, setting the standard through content and design innovation while maintaining close ties to the rich tradition of the sport. Climbing encourages, supports, and engages in activities that preserve the climbing environment and educate the climbing community about conservation and safety. Climbing is the only publication in its category with circulation verified by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC). For more information on CLIMBING Magazine, contact Scott Leonard at