Central Appalachia Climbers Coalition (CACC) and Access Fund are pleased to announce the purchase of the AVP Boulders in Grayson Highlands, Virginia for permanent conservation and climbing access. Access Fund and CACC secured a purchase agreement in September and the climbing community helped raise over $14,000, enabling CACC to complete the purchase.
“The collective action and support from the climbing community, climbing advocacy organizations, the State Park and private landowners have been tremendous,” says CACC Vice President Aaron Parlier. “Protecting these wonderful boulders and keeping access open for generations to come is something that we can all be tremendously proud of.”
The AVP Boulders offer some of the most coveted and popular bouldering in Grayson Highlands, with over 50 problems and an easy roadside approach. The steep, powerful bouldering on crimpy, interesting features is nestled in a gorgeous Appalachian setting. But in 2016, the private landowners closed the boulders due to liability concerns and their interest in selling the 29-acre property, which included both their home and the boulders.
Over the last year, CACC and Access Fund worked with the landowners to negotiate a formal agreement to survey, appraise, and complete the purchase of the 1.3 acre-tract that contains the boulders and the roadside access point.
“Thanks to the incredibly dedicated volunteers of CACC, we have protected one of the crown jewels of Grayson Highlands bouldering,” says Zachary Lesch-Huie, Access Fund Southeast Regional Director. “We’re proud to partner with CACC on yet another climbing access win in Central Appalachia."
With the purchase complete, CACC will work to maintain the boulder field through regular stewardship and trail building events. At some point in the future, CACC may consider transferring the property to the adjoining Grayson Highlands State Park, where bouldering is a welcome and well-established activity.
"Virginia State Parks are very excited about the Access Fund and Central Appalachia Climbers Coalition's support of the bouldering resources at Grayson Highlands and providing this recreational opportunity to park visitors,” says Grayson Highlands State Park Director Harvey Thompson.
While the purchase is complete, CACC is still accepting donations to cover stewardship and future steps in the AVP Boulders’ long-term protection. Donate today at:www.climbcentralappalachia.com/avpboulders.