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Access issues inherited from Safe Harbor

It sure was a long and winding road, but after a 15-year closure some of the crags at Safe Harbor have re-opened to climbers! Currently only the southern crags are open, but there’s a good chance the northern areas (home of the highest climbs) will re-open in 2012. A complete guidebook will be published once all the crags are open to climbers—until then, I hope you will find this mini-guide helpful in your visits to the SH south crags this winter.

The Safe Harbor “north” crags remain closed, but may re-open next year.

Ethic inherited from Safe Harbor

FIXED ANCHORS – Climb at your own risk! Some of the bolts at Safe Harbor are more than 20 years old, although many of the more popular routes have been upgraded to stainless steel hardware (an ongoing project). While the majority of bolts are likely trustworthy, you must still be vigilant and assess every bolt/anchor you clip. Please toprope through quick draws and not through rings or chains!

OVERGROWN/DIRTY ROUTES – While the more popular routes are in relatively good condition, many climbs are dirty and to some degree overgrown with grass, weeds, or vines. Consider doing a little “cleaning” of the routes you get on (use a nut tool to clean dirt from cracks and pockets). Watch for loose rock–there’s a lot of this at Safe Harbor–but be careful not to pry off important handholds.

FUNDRAISING & SWEAT EQUITY- In addition to fixed anchor replacement, we need to install an information kiosk, as well as develop improved parking. An Access Fund “matching grant” looks likely for next Spring, and so we (the climbing community) must raise as much $$ as we can this winter. I will soon install a PayPal “donate button” on the SHC web site, and I hope to schedule fundraising events at nearby rock gyms this winter. Join the Safe Harbor Facebook group to get involved.

WALK THE TALK - We all know that climbers are generally positive, proactive, kind folks and as a national community climbers are held in high regard by most land managers. I have no doubt that local land managers (and residents) will similarly come to recognize our values and virtues as recreational users. Toward this end, here are a few things to keep in mind: Leave the crags and parking area cleaner than you find them; be friendly to passing hikers and share your passion for climbing; obey the dawnto-dusk guidelines (no camping!); drive slowly and park in a way that will not affect traffic flow.

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