Where does all the climbing come from? The Climbing Fairies of course! Quietly arriving late at night and up at the crack of dawn to begin their laborious work of hauling in equipment and setting up for a day's work. There are two types of Climbing Fairies: Rock Fairies and Trail Fairies - both are equally important.
The annual South Cliff Clean & Climb is a retreat of sorts, where all the fairies and fairies in training unite for a fun weekend of scrubbing rocks and trail maintenance with the reward of climbing afterward!
This year, the Trail Fairies focused on making access to the anchors safer, with additional improvements to the access trail to the base, including belay positions. Improvements were made to the drive into the parking lot and general trail maintenance. Rock Fairies geared up to relentlessly scrub old and potential new routes, making the routes safer and accessible.
Throughout the weekend, topics of Leave no Trace, safe work and area history were discussed. And of course, there were lots of laughs!! The rock ended up being too wet to climb so instead, each crew provided a tour of their work, outlining what was done and why, along with explanations of their hazard assessments.
Rob Hester led the first of what would become an annual event, trail blazing and the start of scrubbing out some old classics. At that time, South Cliff was barely recognizable. In 2020 Charles Roy and Trisha Burch took a liking to the massive project of revitalizing South Cliff beyond its truest potential. The first year was not an official ACC event, however they still organized a dedicated group of volunteers to scrub old and new routes and make improvements to the less than desirable access route. In 2021, it became the official South Cliff Cleanup and in 2022 it finally turned into what it is now, the South Cliff Clean & Climb with Rolly Magne joining as team lead for the Trail Crew.
This work is so important in any climbing community. Be sure to thank a climbing fairy next time you see one! If you'd like to join next time, keep an eye on the Events Calendar (link) or if you would like to initiate your own clean & climb event, please be in touch with us at (link to email?).
The ACC acknowledges that we have the privilege to enjoy activities on the traditional territory of Anishiaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Assiniboine, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis nation. We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of collaboration.
- Trisha Burch -