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BACC and PG Clean Up at Indian, Mortar Rocks plus the Biddles

 Belmont, Blog, Community, PG Gives Back, San Francisco, Staff, Sunnyvale  Comments Off on BACC and PG Clean Up at Indian, Mortar Rocks plus the Biddles
Jan 192016
 
BACC indian and mortar blog 1

The BACC clean-up crew! Simon, Edder, Alan and friends represented PG Belmont. Photo courtesy of Bay Area Climbers Coalition

In the waning days of 2015, the Bay Area Climbers Coalition (BACC) organized stewardship days at Indian Rock and Mortar Rock, two popular crags in Berkeley with a rich climbing history, and again at the Biddles, a lesser-known outcrop nearby.

The BACC is a non-profit with a local focus of protecting and caring for the places climbers love. They’re known for outworking tractors with sheer people-power, and for relentlessly wading through red tape in the pursuit of their goals. These shovel-wielding warriors heft contractor bags full of broken glass and spent climbers tape, and do it with a smile.

PG staff regularly join in for these fun, rewarding events. It’s said that it’s better to give than receive—well, PG/BACC clean-ups include a little of both, as work is often followed by pizza.

At the Indian Rock cleanup, bags of trash were stacked high, and mountains of wood chips were distributed, providing a beautiful shared space to be enjoyed by climbers, joggers, dog walkers, and community members in the New Year. With more than 30 volunteers, all this work was accomplished in just three hours.

Working with the group was a delight. The stoke and gumption of the crew made an elated cleaning party out of picking up trash, hauling heavy sacks of woodchips, and meticulously weeding and sweeping the walking paths. The community members that came to enjoy the park that day were surprised to find the usual population of scruffy climbers grappling with brooms instead of boulders, and they were even more surprised to learn that we were only doing it for karma and pizza.

Indian and Mortar Rock Cleanup Collage

A few weeks later, the BACC rallied PG staff again, for a more secluded job. Of all the Bay Area’s crags, the Biddles area, about a mile down the road outside of Castle Rock State Park, is one of the lesser-known areas in the Castle Rock bouldering circuit.

“Sometimes there are (stewardship) opportunities like the Biddles, like: `Wow, this is a new climbing area, it’s just starting to appear in guidebooks,'” said BACC head Matt Ulery. “Let’s get this place ready before the masses come.  If you don’t define a good trail that will limit erosion, people will walk up right to the rock, they’ll cut through the forest.  If there’s no trail they’re just going to go to it.  The Biddles is kind of an opportunity.”

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Ulery laid down the plan for the misty/rainy day in the woods: cover the climbers’ trailhead to avoid accidental hiker traffic, clean up branches along the rest of the trail, and define the edges of the trails.

That work was on the path to the “Upper Biddles.”

“The Upper Biddles has everything from V0 to V6.   It’s a more accessible crag for the masses,” Ulery said.

After edging that trail and cleaning away debris, the group turned to a slippery snaking trek up a switchback path to a mossy, sentinel of a boulder on top of a ridge: “Biddles Tower,” which has a tough V3 and V5’s to V7’s, Ulery said.

Biddles

Click on this Flickr album to view more Biddles cleanup photos!

The switchback trail got some well-placed heavy rocks on its hard curves, and a stream of climbers tamping down the ground in the mist.

At the end of the day, the weary once again enjoyed their pizza reward.

The BACC welcomes volunteers, and its next event open to all volunteers will likely be in February, Ulery said.

Check out the BACC’s website or Facebook page for more details—and keep an eye on the PG blog as well for news of new stewardship days!

 

PG Sponsors SF Bike Race to Buy and Donate Food

 Belmont, Community, PG Gives Back, San Francisco, Sunnyvale  Comments Off on PG Sponsors SF Bike Race to Buy and Donate Food
Dec 042015
 
PG Sponsors SF Bike Race to Buy and Donate Food

High noon, Sunday December 13!  Hundreds of road bikers will race to grocery stores around San Francisco, gathering up more than 10,000 pounds of food to donate to the SF-Marin Food Bank. It’s another year of the annual holiday mission known as the Supermarket Street Sweep. Planet Granite will sponsor by donating prizes, adding to a pile of Read more…

We Did It! Goal Achieved for the ASCA and New Bolts

 Belmont, Blog, Community, Comps, Events, PG Gives Back, Portland, San Francisco, Sunnyvale  Comments Off on We Did It! Goal Achieved for the ASCA and New Bolts
Nov 012015
 

Planet Graniteers!  You rock!  Together with donors around the country, you raised more than $35,439 in donations for the American Safe Climbing Association’s mission of bolt replacement. The first $20,000 of which was matched by Planet Granite, for a total of… [fiendishly intense drumroll] $55,439 Thank you for making our sixth year of fundraising for the Read more…

Battle for Bolts: Event Recap

 Belmont, Blog, PG Gives Back, Portland, San Francisco, Sunnyvale  Comments Off on Battle for Bolts: Event Recap
Oct 302015
 
Battle for Bolts: Event Recap

  Battle for Bolts, Planet Granite’s first ever 24-hour climbing competition and fundraiser, was epic in so many ways… Games and challenges kept competitors on their toes for all 24 hours. Fantastic sponsors donated a giant prize pool. Awesome overnight staff kept up everyone’s energy and psyche. To top it all off, the event raised Read more…

Thinking Twice About an Old Bolt? Choose Your Bolts Wisely

 Belmont, Blog, Community, PG Gives Back, Portland, San Francisco, Sunnyvale  Comments Off on Thinking Twice About an Old Bolt? Choose Your Bolts Wisely
Oct 202015
 

October is the best time of the year to score cheap sweets at the grocery stores, get lost in a haunted mansion, and make your donation dollars doubled towards the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA) to help them replace bad bolts on your favorite outdoor climbs. The ASCA is the only national and international group to fund local Read more…

Replacing Bad Bolts Near Portland – An Interview with Micah Klesick

 Blog, Community, PG Gives Back, Portland  Comments Off on Replacing Bad Bolts Near Portland – An Interview with Micah Klesick
Oct 202015
 
Replacing Bad Bolts Near Portland - An Interview with Micah Klesick

Micah Klesick is a local climber who also happens to be a re-bolter with the ASCA and has helped to replace some bad bolts at the crags you love. Who knows, maybe that last whip you took out at French’s was caught by a shiny new ASCA bolt rather than one pictured above? We sat Read more…