Access Fund’s Conservation Crew team Mike Morin (left) and Amanda Peterson stand next to their “home away from home.” Morin and Peterson were in Idyllwild to help restore climber trails. Jeep provides the vehicle for their nonprofit.
Access Fund’s Conservation Crew team Mike Morin (left) and Amanda Peterson stand next to their “home away from home.” Morin and Peterson were in Idyllwild to help restore climber trails. Jeep provides the vehicle for their nonprofit.
Morin uses a pulley to lower boulders to volunteers at the base of the Climber Trail to Tahquitz Rock. Volunteer crews used boulders and rocks to build a wall that will prevent erosion at the base of the trail. Photos by Marshall Smith
Morin uses a pulley to lower boulders to volunteers at the base of the Climber Trail to Tahquitz Rock. Volunteer crews used boulders and rocks to build a wall that will prevent erosion at the base of the trail. Photos by Marshall Smith

On Sunday, May 17, the Idyllwild Climbers Alliance will host the fifth annual Climbers Festival. Dedicated climbers, passionate about Idyllwild’s rock climbing opportunities, will meet to clean up trails leading to major climbing destinations on Tahquitz and Suicide rocks.

“We’ll focus on cleaning up the trails to prevent erosion,” said coordinator Jim Pinter-Lucke, Claremont resident and ICA chair. “I’ve climbed there for 40 years and feel really lucky to have such world-class climbing so close by.”

In 2014, Pinter-Lucke noted 35 volunteers attended and raised $600 for the alliance, primarily from a silent auction and raffle held at Town Hall.

“The day begins with a continental breakfast at Town Hall. Then we’ll work on the three main climber trails in Idyllwild — the climbing trails to Lunch Rock, the North Face of Tahquitz and Suicide Rock,” said Pinter-Lucke. “The day will wrap up with a barbecue, raffle and silent auction at Town Hall.”

In preparation for the festival, over the weekend of May 1 through May 3, Mike Morin and Amanda Peterson, the Conservation Team Crew from the nonprofit Access Fund, worked with volunteers at the base of the Climbers’ Trail to Tahquitz to improve the trail approach. Access Fund, representing more than 6.8 million climbers nationwide, works to improve climbing areas and promote trail conservation. “Over the course of two-and-a-half days we built eight dry-stack stone steps and a retaining wall of roughly 75 square feet,” said Morin. “We moved about 12,000 pounds of rock.” Morin and Peterson are now on their way to Lover’s Leap in South Lake Tahoe to perform similar trail improvements with local volunteer crews.

For the festival weekend, anyone interested in helping with trail maintenance and attending the event may email Pinter-Lucke at [email protected]