Part of The Sharp End

The Access Fund announced their 2012 Sharp End awards yesterday, recognizing the people, businesses and organizations that go above and beyond to protect climbing access.

The official announcement was yesterday, but last week I got an email from Zach at the AF telling me I was one of the winners. I volunteer as a regional coordinator for the Access Fund in New Hampshire (and sometimes assisting with issues in Maine), and this past year I was part of an effort to get the state of New Hampshire to include climbing among the activities landowners could open their property to without fear of liability. After a lot of emails, phone calls and conversations with lawmakers the effort to recognize bouldering, rock and ice climbing as protected activities succeeded, making it into law over the summer. I was thrilled then to learn our effort (with the help of a few sympathetic legislators) succeeded, and I was thrilled last week to hear I would be getting the Sharp End award for that victory.

It’s pretty cool to be listed alongside the likes of Black Diamond, the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition and the Western Mass Climbers Coalition. I didn’t expect such recognition, and I can think of several others (Tim Kemple Sr., Sen. Jeb Bradley of Wolfeboro) who are at least as deserving, but I have to admit the news made me smile. I’m looking forward to getting my sandstone plaque in the mail. I just hope it isn’t made of rock from a climbing area the AF was unable to save…

Joking aside, if you aren’t an Access Fund member, sign up here. The AF is one of the two organizations I believe everyone who enjoys climbing should belong to.

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