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The FMCBC Welcomes the Columbia Valley Climbing Association

Amelie Goulet-Boucher on Girls Day Out

We couldn’t be happier to welcome our newest member club, the Columbia Valley Climbing Association! Hailing from Golden, the CVCA is our 44th member club.

A big thanks to Andrea Eitle of the CVCA for filling us in on what the CVCA is all about:

Merrie-Beth Board on The Nutter

The Columbia Valley Climbing Association was formed almost twenty years ago by a small group of dedicated climbers based out of Golden, BC. At the time they were working to secure access to the crags on Jubilee Mountain, the climbing area known as Spillimacheen, when the road was at risk of being closed to the public. The association joined efforts with the climbing community in Invermere, and together they were successful in securing public access and eventually installed signage and outhouses to support climbing in the area. After several years of operating and leading other initiatives, the CVCA ceased to exist, as the board of directors disbanded when many of them moved out of the area.

In the spring of 2017, discussions with members of the original board of directors led to a new board being formed. The association aims to continue supporting climbing development near the community of Golden and the surrounding Columbia Valley. Throughout the past year the association has been engaged in a regional trail strategy and has been connecting with other outdoor recreation associations based in Golden, which has created positive relationships in working towards the shared goal of getting outside into the places we love.

A project the CVCA is currently working on is compiling route information and topos to crags that are publicly accessible in the area, but lack real topos. Local climbing info has been shared through word of mouth for many years, which is an amazing tribute to the tight-knit climbing community, but it’s also led to some crags being forgotten as time goes on and information is lost. The association is working to establish a bolt fund via donations to help support anchor upgrades and new route development in the valley.

The CVCA will also continue advocating for public access to local climbing areas.  Some crags in the area require crossing sections of private land on the approach, and in many cases there are friendly, informal agreements between the small climbing community and land-owners, but as the community grows these agreements likely won’t last. These are big projects that take enormous amounts of time and resources, but as the association grows and gains momentum hopefully we can avoid losing access to these valuable local crags.

Until a website is up and running, the Columbia Valley Climbing Association group page on Facebook is the place to find updates and information. We’re looking forward to climbing season just around the corner!

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