Portland Area Climber’s Coalition (PACC) is a relatively new member-based non-profit made up of local climbers with the goal of land-stewardship and maintaining access to Portland area crags. Their mission is, “to make the Portland area a better place to climb through advocacy, stewardship, and education.”
PACC was formed to address the need for a single, long term organization that could serve the Portland climbing community by continually working to maintain access to crags and keeping them in safe climbing condition. In the greater Portland area there are over 25 crags and they lay in a patchwork grid of land ownership. A few crags and access trails are on private land. The type of work conducted by PACC includes, but is not limited to: trail work, re-bolting, building belay platforms, creating and maintaining contacts with land owners, working with national level conservation groups such as the Access Fund, and helping to identify and prepare the groundwork for longer term projects in the Portland area.
Shiny new bolts, hangars, and hooks thanks to the ASCA
Route cleaning and rebolting in action
Trail maintenance in action
I asked the PACC board to answer some questions so we can get to know them and the organization better.
Meet three members of the PACC board: Michael Ardron, Jason George, and Nate Ball.
Michael: I am a board member at PACC. I got involved with PACC because I felt like I was getting more from the climbing community than I was putting in and wanted to change that.
Jason: I'm a board member of PACC. I mostly help with PACC's non-profit structure as well as issues related to Broughton Bluff.
Nate: I'm a board member and one of the founders. My main area of focus has been Beacon Rock.
Michael: Originally I am from the UK, but sadly I didn't start rock climbing until I moved to Portland nearly 4 years ago. In my day job I'm a project manager in the aerospace industry. When I'm not climbing I am often brewing beer or cooking up something.
Jason: My day job is as a network engineer. I'm originally from NC but I have been in Portland now for about 8 years. A friend introduced me to climbing out in NC and I have been with it since then.
Nate: I'm from Portland, born and raised. I'm a teacher. I got into climbing in college through the outdoor club at Oregon State University at a time in my life when I needed community, nature, and a healthy dose of adrenaline.
Michael: PACC does a great job of being the central point of communication for land managers in the area. Being the point of contact allows land managers to work with the climbing community to protect access to crags while supporting the land managers’ needs.
Nate: We serve as the intermediary between various land managers, the Access Fund, and the local climbing community. We are also the repository of knowledge on local climbing history, first ascensionist contacts, and crag ethics. Eventually we would like to do more work around intentional community-building in collaboration with local gyms and businesses.
Michael: We will continue to focus on trail building and bolting activities. Going forward I think we will see more volunteer opportunities for people to get involved, they are tricky at the moment due to COVID-19 but once we can do them safely we will do plenty more.
Jason: Long term I would like for more people to get involved and for us to continue to focus on trail maintenance and rebolting.
Nate: No really big plans, as we are still getting our feet under us, navigating this pandemic, cultivating our organizational identity, and trying to address major access concerns.
Michael: Joining as a member and donating is always a good way to get involved. Joining the email list and following on Facebook is a great way to get local climbing news and to hear about volunteer opportunities.
Jason: A community manager would be a great way to help. Someone who can manage social media and engage more regularly with the local community. Once we start to have trail days again, those are another great way to help out.
Michael: Like many people, I have a soft spot for Smith Rock but sadly I don't get out there enough. I always enjoy a cold day at 0H8 too. I haven't climbed much outside of this area but I would love to get on some classic British climbs next time I am visiting home.
Jason: Broughton Bluff! Tricky and frustrating but rewarding when you finally figure it out. All of the crags around SW Utah are my go-to area outside of the PNW.
Nate: Favorite climbing area in Oregon is Beacon Rock. Outside of Oregon is Liming, China.
While their volunteer work has been halted due to the Coronavirus pandemic, PACC is hoping to organize events again soon. In the meantime, you can follow PACC on social media (Facebook, Instagram) and sign up for their newsletter which is a great way to get notified when volunteer opportunities arise.
You can join PACC as a member for an annual fee of just $35. Nearly 100% of member dues go towards resources for projects and only a small percentage is reserved for web hosting and insurance. All board members volunteer their time and receive no compensation for their work.