Thursday, October 15, 2009



The Washington Climbers Coalition (WCC) seeks to raise $300,000 to buy the Lower Town Wall and surrounding crags near Index, Washington. The Lower Town wall is Washingtons most famous crag and climbers have been climbing here for nearly fifty years; it is currently threatened with closure and even possible quarrying and we seek to preserve it as a climbing park. We also seek to upgrade the parking lot and install a toilet facility, two simple improvements that have long been sought by Index climbers. These actions will enhance the area and preserve climbing access while contributing to overall conservation efforts in the Skykomish Valley.

The Climbing.
The cliffs and crags surrounding the town of Index have long offered some of the best granite climbing in Washington. The Lower Town Wall is the gem of the area and has been touted as one of the best climbing crags in the United States. Several years ago the British climbing magazine Mountain declared it one of the top 10 crags in North America and it remains a vibrant hub for local and visiting climbers. The climbing is diverse in both difficulty and style and there is truly something for every rock climber at the Lower Town Wall and its satellite cliffs. This is the only year round granite climbing in the State.

Why Now?
In the early 1900's the quarry at Index literally helped to build the foundation of Seattle and rock quarried there was used in the construction of buildings throughout Puget Sound. Climbers discovered the Town Walls soon after quarry operations stopped and have enjoyed climbing there for 50 years. In March of 2009 the owner put up no trespassing signs because she was prepared to market the area to interested quarry operators. Seeking to prevent any quarrying and loss of climbing access, the Washington Climbers Coalition secured an option to purchase this property in May of 2009. We also obtained the owner's commitment to allow climbing to continue while we raise the money to buy her land.

It Will Be A Climbing Park Forever!
Forks of the Sky State Park presently contains other cliffs near the Lower Town Wall and park managers have been very supportive of rock climbing. We seek a legal agreement that will provide for permanent preservation and operation of the area as a climbing park and then we propose to turn the land over to State Parks. This scenic backdrop to the town of Index will be preserved and this outstanding crag will be saved.

See the WCC Site for how to donate and get involved! You can check this webpage for updates on the situation:

No comments: