Skip to content

Access Fund Partners with Backcountry to Fund Climbing Conservation Grants

January 27, 2022

Media Contact

Katie Hostetler
rygr, Backcountry


Outdoor specialty retailer to support conservation of local climbing areas

Access Fund, the not-for-profit rock climbing advocacy organization, and Backcountry, a premier outdoor specialty retailer, are thrilled to announce a new partnership. Backcountry’s generous sponsorship of Access Fund’s Climbing Conservation Grant program will support ground-level impact at local climbing areas, empowering local climbers to take real action to protect and steward these incredible natural resources.

“Backcountry recognizes the critical importance of conserving climbing environments, and the Access Fund’s Climbing Conservation Grant program is supporting the direct, imminent action at a local level,” says Backcountry CMO, Sarah Crockett. “The climbing community has been a big part of Backcountry’s success over the years, so we’re honored to be giving back through our partnership with Access Fund, the most trusted and impactful community of climbing advocates.”

The Climbing Conservation Grant Program invests money directly into local climbing communities around the country by funding projects that preserve or enhance climbing opportunities and conserve the climbing environment. The program funds a range of projects, including climbing area stewardship, climber education, acquisition of new climbing areas, research projects, and the organization and capacity-building of local climbing organizations.

In place since Access Fund’s inception in 1991, the Climbing Conservation Grants program has awarded over $1.3 million to 411 projects that have helped local climbing communities and land managers protect and improve climbing areas. The climbing community is growing quickly, and with that growth comes the need for increased stewardship and advocacy.

“Local climbing organizations and other advocacy groups are designing more and more advanced projects to protect climbing areas and mitigate long-term impacts,” says Jenna Winkler, national affiliate director at Access Fund. “Access Fund is dedicated to supporting these projects by sourcing funding opportunities so these groups can spend less time searching for resources and more time carrying out their projects.”

Thanks to the generous sponsorship commitment from Backcountry, Access Fund will expand its capacity to give local climbing organizations and others the financial support they need to make an impact in their own communities. Backcountry’s values align perfectly with Access Fund’s mission to lead and inspire the climbing community toward sustainable access and conservation of the climbing environment, making them a natural partner for the Climbing Conservation Grant program.

“We are proud to be working with Backcountry to fund local conservation and stewardship efforts around the country,” says Chris Winter, executive director of Access Fund. “Together, we will send even more money directly to local climbing communities to build sustainable trails, to buy new climbing areas, and to educate and inspire climbing advocates to protect the places we love.”

The Climbing Conservation Grants program is currently open to applications until March 1, 2022. To apply, please visit


About Backcountry
From the one-on-one expertise of our Gearheads to our epic selection of the best in both style and performance, Backcountry has been a leading outdoor retailer since 1996. Dialing in your gear closet, exploring your backcountry, recharging with après—Backcountry elevates the entire outdoor experience. In 2018, Backcountry began building its own Gearhead-inspired products; the fast-growing Built By Backcountry ski, MTB, climb, hike, fly fish, and après lines include collabs with brands like GORE-TEX Technology, Burton, and Simms. Seek it, find it, send it—the Goat takes you further.

About Access Fund
Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that leads and inspires the climbing community toward sustainable access and conservation of the climbing environment. Founded in 1991, Access Fund supports and represents millions of climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering. Access Fund works to protect America’s climbing at the national and local levels by protecting public lands, restoring climbing areas, buying threatened climbing, protecting private land access, inspiring climbing advocacy, mentoring responsible climbers, and replacing aging bolts. For more information, visit