Get Involved with SWPACC!

Get Involved with SWPACC! Call for co-chairs and committee members The Southwestern Pennsylvania Climbers Coalition (SWPACC) exists to promote the responsible development of climbing and bouldering in southwestern Pennsylvania, to share information about the development and conservation of the resource, and to gain and preserve access. How do we get this done? Through committees! Committees serve as the boots on the ground when it comes to driving progress and advancing our mission. If you’re looking Read more…

Protect America’s Rock Climbing

Members of both Access Fund and the American Alpine Club are in Washington, D.C. this week, meeting with legislators to advocate for the passing of the Protect America’s Rock Climbing Act (PARC Act).  If passed, the legislation would safeguard climbing in areas including Joshua Tree National Park, the Diamond on Long’s Peak, and El Capitan. Currently the National Park Service is proposing to prohibit fixed anchors in Wilderness areas like these. Please visit accessfund.org/parc to Read more…

Election Results are In! New Board Members Announced.

Last week, SWPACC wrapped up voting for its annual board elections. Six seats on the board were available with eight candidates stepping up to serve. All joint members of SWPACC and Access Fund were eligible to vote. The newly elected board members are: Joel Brady Caleb Hills Valerie Kramer Makenzie O’Connor Marcus Shoffner Mike Varlotta Congratulations and thank you for making this commitment to the organization! Their official term will begin this December, at the Read more…

SWPACC joins LCOs from across the country at 2023 Climbing Advocacy Conference

2023 Access Fund Climbing Advocacy Conference Nov. 10-11, 2023 The Record, Bentonville, Arkansas Last week, Ginette Walker Vinski (SWPACC Board President) and Caleb Hills (newly elected SWPACC board member and Access+Stewardship committee co-chair) joined with members of local climbing organizations from across the country for Access Fund’s annual climbing advocacy conference. Hosted in Bentonville, Arkansas in partnership with the Arkansas Climbers Coalition, the near two-day event was packed with content including how to develop a Read more…

Frank Curto + Schenley Work Days – Sat/Sun, Sept. 30 + Oct. 1

FRANK CURTO + SCHENLEY PARK CLIMBING AREAS WORK DAY – BUILDING STAIRS Saturday, Sept. 30 | Sunday, Oct. 1 Downtown Pittsburgh, PA Join SWPACC Volunteers on Saturday and Sunday, September 30 + October 1, 2023 for the final push on wrapping up one of Climb Pittsburgh’s crowning achievements – adding stairs to Frank Curto Park’s Climbing Area and wrapping up some trail work at Schenley Park’s Climbing Area! For Frank Curto, the city of Pittsburgh Read more…

Join Our Board!

JOIN THE SWPACC BOARD OF DIRECTORS! MEET THE NOMINEES SWPACC Board of Director Elections – MEET THE NOMINEES HERE. IMPORTANT DATES October 9 – Deadline to Submit Nomination November 2 | 7-9p  – Annual Meeting & Elections (virtual) – RSVP TO THE MEETING HERE  Candidates are highly encouraged to attend this virtual meeting to briefly share their reasons for wishing to serve on the Board and promote the mission of SWPACC. Candidates who cannot attend the Read more…

Announcing new SWPACC grant opportunity to make climbing more accessible for all

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 Read more…

Podcast explores climbing in PA state parks, featuring SWPACC and EPAC

Podcast explores climbing in PA state parks, featuring SWPACC and EPAC Hemlocks to Hellbenders’ recent 90-minute episode is all about rock climbing in Pennsylvania state parks! Did you know, that out of the 124 state parks in Pennsylvania, only 3 allow rock climbing as an approved activity? Ohiopyle and McConnells Mill State Parks in the west, and Ralph Stover State Park in the east. On this episode, Dana Caracciolo (EPAC) and Mike Varlotta (SWPACC) talk Read more…

New Year, New Leadership

Hello, everyone! My name is Ginette and this month begins my first full year term as the new president of the board for SWPACC. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve in this role, and humbled by the confidence my peers have placed in me. Thanks to our past president Joel Brady and the board for carving this path ahead of us. Welcome also to 2023’s additional board officers: Jennifer Flaggs, serving as SWPACC’s Vice President; Read more…

With appreciation, Joel Brady!

Last month, Joel Brady called his final board meeting to order as founding president of the Southwestern PA Climbers Coalition. The Board elected new officers in December 2022, bringing one chapter to a close and opening a new one for the organization. Stepping into the role of President is (formerly Vice President) Ginette Walker Vinski, with Jennifer Flaggs now as Vice President, DJ Wilmot as Treasurer, and newest board member Eliza Porterfield as Secretary. While Read more…