[Courtesy of the Access Fund]

Each spring (except in 2020 and 2021, due to COVID-19 concerns) climbing advocacy nonprofit the Access Fund puts on a “Work Week in the Creek.” It’s a volunteer stewardship event in the world-renowned Indian Creek climbing area offering climbers a chance to care for an area they love.

76 volunteers participated in the 2022 work week, which took place from March 17-20. Their contributions totaled 380 hours, during which they closed a ¼ mile unsustainable section of the approach trail to the Sparks Wall, and built a ¼ mile of new trail with three stone staircases with a total of 31 steps, plus some stone retaining wall structures. All rockwork was done with on-site materials.

Access Fund Stewardship Director Ty Tyler said the amount of work completed was probably twice what Access Fund staff could have done on their own in the same amount of time.

“Volunteers are critical for the most labor intensive portion of projects like these—moving the necessary stone material to work sites,” he said.

Tyler said the Access Fund has a greater initiative underway to improve trail access to many of the most iconic and historically visited climbing walls throughout Indian Creek.

“This work will protect surrounding slopes from continued erosion, plant loss and improve the safety for users,” Tyler said. “Stable access trails will also help provide sustainable access for climbers well into the future.”