The Access Fund is pleased to announce that they have acquired Alphabet Rock and Icehouse Boulders in Icicle Canyon outside Leavenworth. This conservation project is the result of a collaboration among Access Fund, the private landowner, local partner organizations, and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The property will soon be transferred to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, marking another success story for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
The 11-acre private property includes Alphabet Rock and the Icehouse Boulders, as well as the initial access path to Givler’s Dome and outlier crags on adjacent USFS lands. Together, these granite cliffs and outcrops feature more than 40 historic cracks, slabs, faces, and hueco-filled roofs, ranging in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.13, as well as dozens of challenging boulder problems. The prominent 250-foot Givler’s Crack, Dogleg Crack, and Meat Grinder are just a few classics that have attracted climbers since the 1970s.
The Access Fund now owns the parcel as a short-term holding, using funds from its Climbing Conservation Loan Program (CCLP). The same loan fund and conservation strategy enabled Washington Climbers Coalition (WCC) to acquire the Lower Index Town Wall in 2009. Since then, the Access Fund has loaned approximately $3.2 million to 27 climbing areas across the country. Now, the Access Fund will transfer the property to Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest later this year to permanently protect the area as public land. The USFS has secured federal LWCF dollars to complete the property transfer. Right now, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering permanent, dedicated funding for LWCF in the Great American Outdoors Act, which recently passed the U.S. Senate with bi-partisan support.
“Historic crags like Alphabet Rock and Givler’s Dome have been a cherished resource to climbers for half a century,” says Leavenworth Mountain Association (LMA) Board President Alison Miller. “Protection of this parcel is an essential part of LMA’s work to conserve and steward climbing areas and natural resources throughout Icicle Canyon.”