3 Rivers Outdoor Company selects SWPACC as Impact Partner

We are thrilled to be 3 Rivers Outdoor Co‘s Community Impact Partner for the second half of 2022! This is a great opportunity for SWPACC to raise some much needed funding and better connect with our community members.

We were grateful to join members of the climbing community, along with 3ROC and Old Thunder Brewing for a kick-off on July 17 at the shop in Regent Square. Thank you to all who stopped by to support our work. It was great to both meet new people and see familiar faces. We are excited to begin this partnership for the next six months!

Next time you’re at 3ROC, check out the in-store tap of Old Thunder Brewing’s Stairs Ascending Pale Ale. A $5 donation to SWPACC gets you a cold one while you’re shopping.

Please join us for future events this year with 3ROC including:

  • August – Date TBA – a meetup at Seldom Seen
  • Sept. 16 –  5 Point Film Festival (raffle proceeds benefit First Waves; beer sales support SWPACC)

As details are finalized and more events are developed, we’ll add information to the SWPACC events calendar. Check back frequently to stay in the loop!

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 community@swpacc.org 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: meet.jit.si/swpacc-community-committee

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

Fall 2021 Access + Stewardship Committee Updates

Many hands…

On August 28 seven members of the SWPACC Access and Stewardship Committee installed 16 mechanical and 14 glue-in bolts, using all stainless steel bolts to replace rusted bolts across 10 different routes in the main climbing area of Breakneck. The Committee also recommended and the board approved purchasing a drill for SWPACC which enabled to replacement at breakneck and will facilitate future projects.

SWPACC has formally agreed to a lease with the owner of the parking lot for Breakneck which included repairing the parking area. In addition to the Breakneck parking area we are also working on other low cost leases related to securing access to climbing areas.

The last area of focus for access is publishing information about areas where access is already secured but there is no public awareness. Multiple other areas have been initially added to Mountain Project and we’re working to continue to flesh out those pages. In addition we’re finalizing a map similar to Lost Crag for a top rope and trad area and also evaluating other climbing areas for bolts that need to be replaced.

rusty bolts


Group of rebolting volunteers at Breakneck

Fall 2021 Governance Committee Updates

Building the foundation

Over the past several months, the SWPACC Governance Committee has been hard at work with the behind-the-scenes functioning of our growing local climbing organization. With the new committees being formed in the past year, the Governance Committee has facilitated the smooth transition from a club that was primarily governed by a board of directors to a member-led organization with shared roles and responsibilities at the committee level. Most recently, we put together SWPACC’s second annual election meeting and successfully had SWPACC members elect three new board members, as well as re-elect some experienced members. Being on the Governance Committee is a great way to get involved with big-picture climbing issues and a great way to get experience leading a community organization! We’re always looking for more dedicated volunteers so check us out at our next committee meeting!

Fall 2021 Update from the Community Committee

Bringing the climbing community together

The community committee has been tabling at a couple of events around the city, ordered new blaze orange merch to be stocked in our shop later this season, and met with cross-state LCOs to discuss JEDI issues at large.

Some upcoming projects we’re looking to take on include hosting a bouldering competition in the spring, a used shoe collection and redistribution  program to help lower the financial barriers to access for new climbers, and generally building more connections across present and future climbers in the region.

The community committee is still looking for a chair; please contact Vincent (interim chair) if you’re interested in chairing this committee, or helping out with any of our projects!