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Grant helps establish regional climbing group – The Globe | News, weather, sports from Worthington, Minnesota – The Globe

WORTHINGTON — A group of regional rock climbing enthusiasts was awarded a $2,300 grant from Access Fund and Backcountry last week to develop and promote the Great Plains Climbing Coalition, a newly created nonprofit organization serving the tri-state area.

Based in eastern South Dakota, the Great Plains Climbing Coalition formed to educate new climbers and improve climbing opportunities there, as well as in southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa. Worthington rock climber Jeremiah LeTourneau is one of the group’s founding members.

Since May, he and others in two separate Sioux Falls-area climbing groups came together to look at areas in the region that could be more accessible to climbers. Already, Sioux Falls is home to two gyms that offer indoor climbing, but the group realized more education was needed when new climbers take the indoor sport outdoors.

Jeremy LeTourneau uses tools as he scales a rock face.

Special to The Globe

With an emphasis on being good stewards of the land and trails, LeTourneau said they need to educate climbers on leave no trace ethics — a practice that emphasizes the value of picking up trash and leaving the place as if you were never there.

There is also much work to do to create a good experience for climbers, such as establishing sustainable trails systems, belay pads, and areas around crags that can handle the influx of climbers as it gains popularity.

Jeremiah LeTourneau (right), poses with a friend during their trip to Yosemite, California to do some climbing.

Special to The Globe

“Blue Mounds (State Park) and Palisades (State Park) are not very accessible for new climbers to start at,” said LeTourneau. “Also, a lot of new climbers aren’t aware of trail building, (sustainability), leaving no trace so that 50 years from now it would still be able to handle the influx of climbers.”

The newly formed coalition began with 16 to 20 active climbers from throughout the region. LeTourneau said they reached out to the Black Hills Climbing Coalition initially for assistance, but that group is so busy with its own projects in western South Dakota that it didn’t have the time to address climbing needs along the state’s eastern border.

“They were unaware of all these extra areas that we had found on the eastern side,” said LeTourneau, who has worked on a couple of crags and had friends working on others — some of which are located on private property.

In developing the coalition, the group will have a stronger voice in advocating for rock climbing, as well as a point of contact for new climbers in need of information.

Jeremiah LeTourneau pauses for a photo after scaling a mountain in Yosemite, California.

Special to The Globe

The grant dollars will be used to create a logo for the Great Plains Climbing Coalition, as well as a website (gpclimbers.com is still in development), to purchase tools for trail development, and to create a membership program that will ultimately raise funds to develop more spaces to climb.

With the grant boosting their momentum, LeTourneau said GPCC has planned two upcoming events to attract new climbers and educate those just starting to do outdoor climbing.

On Sept. 24, the group will host Get Hydrated from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Blue Mounds State Park.

“We’ll be there to help educate climbers on how to take care …….

Source: https://www.dglobe.com/news/local/grant-helps-establish-regional-climbing-group

WORTHINGTON — A group of regional rock climbing enthusiasts was awarded a $2,300 grant from Access Fund and Backcountry last week to develop and promote the Great Plains Climbing Coalition, a newly created nonprofit organization serving the tri-state area.

Based in eastern South Dakota, the Great Plains Climbing Coalition formed to educate new climbers and improve climbing opportunities there, as well as in southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa. Worthington rock climber Jeremiah LeTourneau is one of the group’s founding members.

Since May, he and others in two separate Sioux Falls-area climbing groups came together to look at areas in t…….

WORTHINGTON — A group of regional rock climbing enthusiasts was awarded a $2,300 grant from Access Fund and Backcountry last week to develop and promote the Great Plains Climbing Coalition, a newly created nonprofit organization serving the tri-state area.

Based in eastern South Dakota, the Great Plains Climbing Coalition formed to educate new climbers and improve climbing opportunities there, as well as in southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa. Worthington rock climber Jeremiah LeTourneau is one of the group’s founding members.

Since May, he and others in two separate Sioux Falls-area climbing groups came together to look at areas in t…….

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