Conservancy of
Central Pennsylvania

Brief update on what we’ve been working on

Posted by Scott Woods on May 11th, 2007

Here’s a really brief overview of the areas that we’ve been working on lately:

  • Donation Rocks
  • Bellefonte Quarry
  • Hunter’s Rocks
  • The Power Cut

We’ll include more details in a later post or newsletter, but the current status is that only the Power Cut is legal right now. Hunter’s Rocks is legal only from the Incredarete boulder and further right towards the Power Cut. In particular, the current trail to the top of Hunter’s Rocks is off limits — it crosses into private land about halfway up the hill. We’re working towards improving the trail up to the top of the hill so that it stays on State Forest land, and goes straight towards the legal climbing.

C3PA Receives 501(c)(3) Public Charity Status

Posted by Ieva Perkons on September 5th, 2006

C3PA has been awarded tax-exempt status from the IRS! Contributions to C3PA, both past and future, are now deductible against your federal income tax. This approval came far sooner than we expected; it took less than two weeks for the IRS to make its ruling, compared to the six months that we were told to expect. This is great news because it lets us apply for several grants that require 501(c)(3) status and are directly applicable to our current projects.

“What’s the Deal With the Quarry?”

Posted by Scott Woods on June 7th, 2006

How many times have we asked or heard this question? We’ve been frustrated by it for years, and have never been satisfied with the answer. The Bellefonte Quarry represents the most significant and historical roped climbing area in central PA (and perhaps the whole state). How many other climbing areas contain 5.12 slab routes alongside aretes, overhangs, corners, and cracks of all sizes? And yet we still don’t have a good solution for access. But the quarry’s situation is actually symptomatic of a larger problem…

People who have spent time exploring this area know that central Pennsylvania contains some incredibly high-quality rock for climbing. Unfortunately, they also know that almost all of it resides on private land, without legal access for climbers.

In the past, we’ve taken the approach of quietly climbing at the areas where the landowners don’t seem to mind, and if absolutely necessary, staying away from the places where we’re obviously not welcome. This approach has worked fairly well here for decades, and on the whole climbers have kept a fairly low profile. This low profile usually rewarded everyone with fairly consistent access to our favorite areas.
Graph of Centre County population growth

Graph of Centre County population growth

However, the population in Central PA is growing quickly, and it’s not going to slow down any time soon. At the same time, the popularity of climbing is increasing. With stories about rock climbing (both good and bad) appearing in the local newspapers, it’s getting harder and harder for climbers to stay under the radar. As climbing becomes more visible, landowners get weary of the increased travel, and low-profile access becomes unworkable.

This past year has been a bad one for climbing access here. We’ve seen at least two of our most significant climbing areas fully closed to climbing.

Even worse, as property values increase and open space decreases, what used to be quiet climbing areas will now become increasingly attractive as properties for housing and commercial development. We need to let people know that the recreation, parks, and forests here are some of the best things that make this region great to live in.

It’s become apparent that no one is going to swoop down and preserve our climbing areas for us. No one else is going to figure out how to save the Bellefonte Quarry. That’s why we needed to form C3PA. The central PA climbing community needs to form a common voice along with other climbers’ coalitions and the Access Fund. We’re not some outside group of climbers that will be able to take care of this for you; we will need your help.

Fortunately, we have a fantastic climbing community here. Whether you’re a regular climber here, or are just getting started, you need to be involved with C3PA! We also encourage other outdoor enthusiasts, townspeople, and landowners to sign up to receive information from us as well; we’re interested in finding solutions that work for everyone.

So sign up to get more information! We’ll keep you up to date on what’s going on, and what you can do to help.

It’s time for us all to start working together to preserve the great climbing areas here. We’re only going to get one shot at it.