New to the Ohio Climbers Coalition is our team of Regional Coordinators! These are volunteers who are dedicated to protecting and promoting access to climbing around the state, and being stewards of the land. These individuals identify projects in their regions, connect with volunteers to assist at local Adopt-a-Crag events, and represent the OCC at events. Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting our team of Regional Coordinators!

This week we would like to put the spotlight on Norm Swann, our Northeast Regional Coordinator! 

Norm started climbing in 1977 while attending West Virginia University. He started out using 1” tubular webbing to make a harness, learned to belay using the hip belay and wore tennis shoes. All climbing was done outside, there were no indoor gyms back then. 

Things improved over the years; climbing shoes with sticky rubber, belay devices, spring loaded caming devices, and the concept of bolting entire climbs and using a stick to clip the first bolt…all that is history now. 

Norm watched the sport grow from a small group of outcasts to what it is today. He fell in love with climbing and it became one of the most important parts of his life, next to family and career. He believes that he has seen some of the most beautiful places on Earth during his climbing adventures over the years, and has met many interesting and unique individuals through climbing, some which are lifelong friends.

Norm retired in 2009 after 30 years with Ohio State Parks. His experience with climbing and parks is an asset to the OCC and the climbing community in NE Ohio.

Norm said, “In the last couple years, I’ve been watching the OCC and saw that they were affiliated with the Access Fund. I also read about the success at the Mad River Gorge. It seemed to me the organization was heading in the right direction, and I wanted to be a part of it, so I signed up to help out in NE Ohio”. 

Norm is very knowledgeable about the climbing opportunities in Northeast Ohio and you can reach out to him if you want to learn more about Northeast Ohio crags like Whipps Ledges, Beach City Nature Preserve, and Logtown.

He encourages climbers to consider becoming a member of the OCC or a volunteer at upcoming events.

Thank you Norm for all you do!!