Breaking the Beta! A new microgrant program from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Climbers Coalition

SWPACC’s microgrant program is designed to lower barriers to access in climbing in southwest PA. 

Climbing is a powerful sport. It can help us practice facing fear and challenge in a safe container, so that we can feel stronger and more prepared for the things the world throws at us.  We want everyone who feels drawn to it to be able to experience the power of climbing. As an organization focused on supporting climbing in southwest PA, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Climbers Coalition (SWPACC) is committed to lowering barriers to access for ALL in climbing. These barriers tend to be more, bigger, and scarier for folks who are experiencing oppression based off of race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability. SWPACC recognizes that lowering financial barriers to climbing is one way to try to offset the imbalances that exist in the larger world, and in the climbing community. 

In climbing lingo, the “beta” is the information you need to complete the climb. Often, there is the most common or intended way to ascend a rock climb, but there is always the option to “break the beta”: essentially, to do it your own way. Those with barriers with access to climbing have to do just that, and this microgrant is meant to support all the various ways folks can “do climbing” their own way.


  • People of any age may benefit from a microgrant, but we do ask that someone 18 years of age or older fill out the application on behalf of a minor. 

  • You do not have to be a SWPACC member to benefit from a micogrant, but we do ask that you are a resident of southwest PA! 

  • Please apply as an individual (not a group)

  • Please only apply once!

Additional Information:
  • Applications will be reviewed by the SWPACC community committee on a rolling basis and microgrants will be awarded based off of fund availability and need.
  • Microgrants will be awarded in the range of $50-$250.
  • Anyone facing any barriers in accessing climbing is encouraged to apply! We are collecting some statistics about who applies as a part of getting to know our community as a part of the application, but this program is not limited to anyone based off of race, sexuality, gender, ability, etc. 
  • All of the information collected as a part of this application will be considered confidential and will not be made public, unless we receive explicit permission. 


Thanks to those who have participated so far! The next round will open in February 2024. Stay tuned for details; sign up to receive SWPACC’s newsletter!