A Note from our Executive Director
What a great year 2015 was for CRAGS, and what an epic year 2016 is shaping up to be. With everything that has happened in the last year and a half it’s hard to believe our meager LCO (Local Climbing Organization) was started just 8 years ago. Our goal was to rally the thriving climbing community around the Sacramento Valley to reopen Auburn Quarry to climbing. With a small group of leaders and dedicated members, they drafted and proposed a solution, and it worked! ASRA agreed (although with concerns) and climbing was back in the Quarry. Fast forward 8 years later and our meager LCO is sitting at a table with ASRA leadership staff, REI, and one of our founding leaders and myself talking about a Climbing Festival in Cave Valley (AKA Auburn Quarry) this fall!
The day-to-day volunteer work is tough, but like anything worthwhile when you look back and see how far we have come… It’s like climbing itself; you look up and see something that seems too big to conquer. You commit, and little by little you work your way up, through technique, strength, and sometime sheer will, you move up. And when you are done you look back and you are filled with accomplishment. Which is all the better when you are part of a team.
Let’s look back at what CRAGS has done in the year and a half since we last wrote a State of the Organization address. 2015 was the beginning of our largest growth year. We spent more time tabling at climbing events than ever before in 2014, so 2015 showed a real and measurable volunteer base and membership increase. This year we plan on tabling more, and are looking for volunteers to staff our tables. Same is true for Adopt-a-Crag events. In 2015 not only did we do our Annual Love the Leap event, we did our first Adopt a Crag at Donner Summit’s Blackwall. Our hope is that we can continue this as an annual event and help reduce the environmental impact on this climbing area.
2015 was also a great year for spontaneous social events. We as a Board of Directors decided that we needed more social events on our calendar, something just focused on bringing the climbing community together. We had pint nights at 3 three local breweries, a “bad climbing movie” night at Pipeworks climbing gym for its 20th anniversary, and a “great climbing movie” night at Yolo Brewing. In the upcoming months we plan on doing a collector’s series of beers with Yolo. We had our first event at Granite Arch climbing gym, and continue to get amazing support from our local climbing gyms. We had two world renowned climbers, Hans Florine and Alex Honnold, come and speak for us.
We continue to grow our annual Reel Rock Film Festival attendance and foster deeper relationships with staff at the U.S. Forest Service, Auburn State Recreation Area, BLM, other park officials, and private parties within the climbing community. This year REI awarded us $2,000.00 to buy trail tools for our Adopt a Crag events!
So halfway through 2016 and with much more to come this year, not only are we proud of our accomplishments, but excited for more challenges. Like our Route 50 Corridor Cleanup (“50CC”). 50CC is a multi-year effort to address issues at Phantom Spires, Sugarloaf, and Lover’s Leap. To protect and improve access, and give back to these climbing areas that have given so much to us.
Thank you for your support, because none of this is possible without you, our members.