The Liberty Bell Group, a cluster of five granite spires at Washington Pass outside Mazama, is home to some of the most popular and iconic alpine climbing in Washington State. Classic Cascade climbs like the Beckey Route on Liberty Bell and the West Face of North Early Winter Spire are here. Over the last decade, the area has become increasingly popular among alpine climbers. This rapidly expanding use has led to deteriorating trail conditions, severe erosion, and unsafe approaches to and from the climbs.

The Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team’s professional trail crew worked alongside local climbers and North Cascades Mountain Guides in 2016 to complete an extensive assessment of the trail conditions at the Liberty Bell Group, providing the USFS Methow Valley Ranger District with a proposal for necessary trail restoration, reconstruction, and trail rerouting to revitalize the area. This assessment helped the USFS complete the necessary environmental review process and approve the project.

The Liberty Bell Conservation Initiative is now shovel-ready. But the project needs $100,000 to cover two seasons of professional trail crews and supplies to address critical stewardship and conservation needs. To kickstart the project, The Mountaineers have donated $10,000, the Washington Climbers Coalition contributed $4,000, and the Petzl Foundation has kicked in $6,000. If you enjoy climbing at this notable Northwest landmark, consider donating to the fund at accessfund.org/libertybell. //

 

Feature photo: View from Liberty Bell. // Courtesy of Cayla Gleaton