Save this crag!
The Lower Town Wall at Index.
(Photo courtesy of ericandlucie.com.)
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The Washington Climbers Coalition (WCC) has purchased the Lower Town Wall and surrounding crags
near Index, Washington, and is raising money toward the fundraising goal of $300,000 that is intended for that purchase, for some simple improvements
to the area, and which will fund ongoing maintenance. Update on improvements and preparations for transfer.
The Lower Town wall is Washington's most famous crag and climbers have been climbing here for nearly fifty years; a year ago it was threatened with closure and even possible quarrying
but instead we have bought it and are nearing our fund-raising goal which will enable us to set it up for long-term preservation
as a climbing park. As of September 23, 2010, the WCC has raised over $260,000 toward the goal of $300,000. We have purchased the property that was at risk, negotiated an
agreement with the Burlington Northern Railroad regarding crossing the tracks to get to the cliffs, and secured a commitment from Washington State Parks
that they will operate the area in a climbing-friendly manner if we donate the property for inclusion in the surrounding Forks of the Sky State Park.
We hope to upgrade the parking lot and install a toilet facility, two simple improvements that have long been sought
by Index climbers. All of this will enhance the area as a climbing destination while contributing to overall conservation efforts in the Skykomish Valley.
September 19, 2010, Celebration: On September 19, 2010, we held a plaque
dedication ceremony and a barbeque at Index, Washington. Thank you all who showed up, and thank you Wave Trek, our hosts for the day.
Pictures of September 19 event.
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.
See August 15, 2009 King 5 TV story and video showing climbing at Index.
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 negotiated an agreement, raised the
money, and purchased the property in August 2010.
See 2009 article appearing in Everett Herald newspaper.
It'll 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.
More on State Park as goal.
Stimson Bullitt: an inspiration.
This purchase has been named in honor of Stimson Bullit, a climber who died last year and who was very impressed with the Lower
Town Wall at Index. He took up climbing at age 70 and was a frequent fixture at Washington crags in recent years. He climbed at
Index Town Wall in his eighties. "Stim" was enthusiastic about all things climbing and always a pleasure to meet at the crags.
Redmond Vertical World
Edgeworks Climbing Gym
Stone Gardens Climbing Gym
Boeing Alpine Society
Outdoor Research, Inc.
American Alpine Institute
Northwest Mountain School
Pro Mountain Sports
Egan and Associates
Riddell Williams, P.S.
Spoke and Sprocket
Mountain Gear, Inc.
Vertical World Seattle
Edgeworks Climbing, Inc.
Washington Alpine Club
American Alpine Club
Over 400 individuals made donations to the Index Fund. This figure does not count those who donated at fund raising events where individual donations were not recorded.
Donate OnLine or by Mail; Contact by Internet or Phone.
Click the "donate" button at left to go to PayPal, an on-line credit card processing website. Checks can be mailed to the address
shown above. Send messages to IndexFund@washingtonclimbers.org
and send general inquiries about the Washington Climbers Coalition or other access issues in Washington to
Info@washingtonclimbers.org. Telephone us at (206) 664-2517.
Donations are Tax Deductible.
The Washington Climbers Coalition is a non-profit public charity, qualified as a 501(c)(3) organization with the Internal Revenue Service. Our EIN is 42-1644686. Talk to your tax preparer for more information on this.