Mt. Washington is not a mountain that is intimidating on paper. It sits at 6,288 ft in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a few miles from a major highway. It is at least as hazardous as many peaks over twice as tall west of the Mississippi, due to having “The Worst Weather on Earth”. However, it has been the most iconic trip for the Mountaineers at Ohio State in the past few years. Although I had wanted to climb this peak since joining the Mountaineers my freshman year, this year was the first that the opportunity arose.
The Ohio Climbers Coalition is excited to announce that Norm Swann is joining our Board of Directors as our Northern Ohio Stewardship Director. In late 2017, Norm joined the OCC as our first Northeastern Ohio Regional Coordinator, and he worked closely with Tricia DiFranco on a variety of projects in that corner of the state including stewardship projects at Beach City Nature Preserve, Logtown, and Whipps Ledges. In his time with the OCC, Norm has shown us that he is passionate about protecting and promoting all of the great climbing available here in Ohio, and he wants to help others get more involved as well.
In 2018, the OCC organized monthly Adopt-a-Crag events at the Mad River Gorge to complete major projects that were necessary to help improve access and minimize climber impact at popular climbing areas. Last September, we also hosted the largest stewardship event of the year as we had over 150 volunteers from around the midwest join us for the 2018 Mad River Gorge Adopt-a-Crag Presented By Black Diamond. This one day of stewardship resulted in 1,085 volunteer hours!
Last year, the OCC was thrilled to expand our stewardship efforts as we completed two Adopt-a-Crag events in Northeast Ohio. In April, we focused our attention on graffiti removal, trail development, and trash cleanup at Beach City Wildlife Area. Working together with volunteers from The Dirt Line and Kent State University Climbing Club, we were able to remove lots of graffiti and trash while also improving access to the Big Wall climbing area. This was our first time completing stewardship projects at an @ Ohio Department of Natural Resourcesarea, and we were thankful for the opportunity. The OCC hopes to continue our positive stewardship efforts on state lands in 2019!
On October 18, 2018, the Cleveland Metroparks Board voted to eliminate the individual rock climbing permit at Hinkley Reservation, Whipp's Ledges. Individual permits are no longer needed after November 17, 2018.
Have you been thinking about becoming an Ohio Climbers Coalition/ Access Fund member? Need to renew your membership to keep helping protect climbing areas around Ohio and the US? Your impact will now be DOUBLED thanks to Black Diamond and a group of anonymous donors! They will match your donations, dollar for dollar, through December 15th! If you are choosing to become a member or renew, make sure you click the box to support your Local Climbing Organization (LCO) and choose the Ohio Climbers Coalition in the drop down menu. Visit www.accessfund.org/donate.