State Game Lands Update

thumbnail of a link to a video on

This is a recording of the update from Ginette Walker Vinski (SWPACC Vice President), Joel Brady (SWPACC President), and Caleb Hills (Access + Stewardship Co-Chair) on May 4, 2022. We were joined by general members of the climbing community, as well as representatives across the state from other LCOs (Southcentral Pennsylvania Climbers – SCPC, Eastern PA Alliance of Climbers – EPAC) and Access Fund.


  • SWPACC is in the information gathering stage to determine what actions can be taken to regain climbing access.
  • Please continue to abide by the closure and do not climb in the areas closed to climbing.
  • If you have further concerns, questions, suggestions, resources, expertise, etc., please contact us at

Reference links:

Additional Resources:

Further public updates to this issue will be posted under #sgl on this blog.

Community Committee Meeting: Thursday, 2/24 6-7pm

The next community committee meeting will be open to the general public; please feel free to drop in and invite some friends!

Meeting link:

At this meeting, we will identify tasks to put into our 6-12 month plan, along with a preliminary budget to submit to the board for approval. We welcome any input from the community to raise ideas and contributions to this plan; if you cannot attend this meeting, please contact us at to be included in the conversation!

Used Gear Drive

photo showing gear donation box

Climbing, like many outdoor sports, has a high cost of entry: the gear. It ain’t cheap. To boulder in the gym, in addition to a membership (>$60/month), one needs to purchase a chalk bag (cheap) as well as climbing shoes regularly (often >$100 a few times a year!). If you’re roping up you’ll tack on a harness ($50-$150), and a belay device ($100 for a GRIGRI, the most common assisted braking belay device in use). Wowza! That’s upwards of $1,000 for your first year of gear in climbing. If, of course, you’re venturing outside – which is our hope, as your local climbing org – you’re spending hundreds more on crash pads, tents, helmets, warm puffy jackets and hiking-worthy shoes…the list goes on and on.

If you’re into climbing or want to get into climbing, you already know this. When we talk about making climbing more accessible, we have to be realistic. Climbing isn’t free, even if sometimes accessing outdoor boulders can be. To do it safely, well, and to have fun, there is a high cost of entry – especially if you’re not someone with buddies who are lending you gear to make it possible!

SWPACC recognizes this huge barrier to entry in climbing, and in order to begin to try to level the playing field, we are holding our first USED GEAR DRIVE! If you’ve been in the game for a while, you probably have extra gear lying around. Whether it’s extra shoes (like new or resoleable), a spare jacket (that could still keep someone warm), or even hardware like an ATC or GRIGRI, someone can use it if you’re not. Below are some guidelines for donations.

Donation boxes can be found at the entry to both Iron City Boulders and Ascend Pittsburgh. Please ask the front desk if you can’t find it! THANK YOU in advance for your generosity.

photo illustrating items accepted for donation


Clean, usable condition:

  • climbing shoes
  • belay gloves
  • belay devices + carabiners
  • technical outdoor gear
  • Gear that needs minor repairs (small rips, re-hemming, resoling) is okay!


photo of gear not accepted for donation


Do not donate:

  • Stinky, soiled, moldy, or otherwise gross gear
  • Anything shredded, cracked, or presents safety hazards
  • T-shirts, jeans, other street clothes not fit for outdoor use
  • Helmets, harnesses, or other soft gear (for new-in-box donations of safety equipment, please contact us ahead of time!)

Feel free to contact us at for any clarifications!

Community Committee Meeting: Monday 12/6/21 7-8pm EST

The next community committee meeting will be open to the general public; please feel free to drop in and invite some friends!

Meeting link:

Meeting topics:

  • Setting committee goals for 2022
    • Sketching out a committee budget
    • Identifying a chair/co-chair for 2022
  • Ongoing project updates
    • Merchandise
    • Spring climbing comp
  • New projects
    • Used gear redistribution

–Vincent, interim committee chair