Posted on Sunday, October 18|
Despite a windy and rainy afternoon, over 25 climbers rallied in the parking lot at the trailer to cut the ribbon on their newly opened crag at Steele, Alabama. As Johnny and Ian Connell and Jeremy Boydston flipped burgers and turned hot dogs, several climbers cracked open a cold beverage and watched the sun begin to peek in through the dark clouds.
Jeremy, Johnny and Ian cooking up burgers.
Jason Plemmons wins a chalk bag at the raffle.
Many climbing stories were swapped in the parking lot.
The ribbon cutting was to commerate the September 4, 2009 purchase of 25 acres of land, good parking and cliffline by The Southeastern Climbers Coalition at the crag known to climbers as Steele. The 25 acre tract has a gravel access road, parking for 16 plus cars (more to come) an old trailer and nice metal shed, power and propane hookup. The cliff was closed almost 20 years ago for private landowner concerns and has sat dormant for nearly 20 years until now.
Michelle Connell got the long awaited Steele raffle (results posted on the message board) with several climbers in attendance donating a few extra dollars for more raffle tickets. Climbers strung out survey tape across the parking lot as the next generation of young climbers got ready to cut the ribbon and celebrate this historic moment.
Announcements were made and plaques handed out to several key climbers that helped to get this project completed. The SCC gave nice plaques to Michelle Connell for her awesome fundraising with Sloperfest and Sand Rock. Gus Fontenot for his legal work with the title and real estate agents. Chaco and Rock Creek for their large donation to Steele. Mammut and Lee Means for their large donation and for the Moss Rock competition fundraising and last but not least, The Access Fund for their large grant and bridge loan and help with logistics and sending Joe Sambataro down to help out.
After the ceremony and everyone got full on burgers and hot dogs, a few climbers headed up the hill to check out their newly opened crag while several others remained down in the parking lot and caught up with old friends and swapped climbing stories from years gone by. Everyone in attendance was really psyched for the new addition to southern climbing and all talked of new projects on the horizon (Hospital boulders, The Citadel?) that they wanted to secure. The future is looking pretty bright for SEclimbers.
Note: Special thanks to all of our volunteers and donors that made the Steele purchase happen. The Access Fund, Rock Creek, Chaco, Mammut and many others.. Thankyou!
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