Cleaning the Crags: Falling Rock, South Dakota Edition
Officially the 2nd annual Access Fund sponsored Adopt-a-crag at Falling Rock Climbing Area was a wet, but huge success. Teaming up together the Black Hills Climbers Coalition, North Central Section of the American Alpine Club, Access Fund, and the National Forest Service tackled cleaning up the Falling Rock Climbing area just outside of Rapid City, South Dakota. The dreary morning started out with an envoy of climbers tramping through Falling Rock Canyon polishing up the crag for litter. Participants helped clean up everything from cigarette butts, old sneakers, various beverage containers, bike tires, rubbermade tubs, a couch and even a few old computers that some idiots decided to launch off the cliffs above.
The crew of climbers took to the canyon cleaning up as much garbage as possible making the crag as litter free as a bunch of climbers can. Filling dozens of garbage bags and removing some very large objects (a sofa), from the canyon was a chore that took our group the better part of our Saturday. We gathered so much trash at the bottom of the canyon, that we rigged up a wench and pully system to pull all of the trash 150+ feet out of the canyon. At the end of the day we had filled a complete US Forest Service truck full of trash.
After the cleanup we were all very much exhausted from our success, but ready to climb. Unfortunately mother nature had other weather plans for the afternoon and we were unable to enjoy the crags and take in some of the great routes found at Falling Rock. Either way we enjoyed the day that united many of the dedicated local climbers and groups to clean up our crag.
The Black Hills Climbers Coalition and the North Central Section of the American Alpine Club would like to thank the National Forest Service Crew that through their dedication to this event made the clean up a great success. We would also like to thank some of the groups that helped donate some swag to the dedicated climbers. Thank you to; Acme Bicycles, Roam’n Around Travel Store, the Access Fund and Osprey Packs. All of you made this a great day. Thank you to all the local climbers to came out to help and promoting stewardship in the climbing community. After pulling that much trash out of just a small area we begin to realize that each of us holds an obligation to preserve and protect our environment. Through our everyday choices and actions, we collectively have a huge impact on our world. It’s really a simple concept, but one with far reaching effects
For those of you not familiar with Falling Rock Climbing Area. It is an area with limestone walled canyon. The canyon is located about 6 miles from Rapid City. The climbing is on edges and pockets on vertical to slightly overhanging walls that are around 40 feet high. There are top rope anchors on most of the routes and many are bolted for leading as well. Most climbs fall in the 5.8 to 5.11 range. The North Rim is a great place to climb in the winter, as the sun shines directly on the wall and the area is well-protected from the wind. Hope to see you out in the Black Hills soon!