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Climbers coalition hosting land acquisition fundraiser

The Southeastern Climbers Coalition is buying its own boulder field.

The regional group, which has a strong membership base in Chattanooga, received a bridge loan from the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign to purchase a 39-acre boulder field in north Alabama. To help pay off that loan, the group is hosting a fundraiser Thursday, Nov. 29 from 6-9 p.m. at The Crash Pad, located at 29 Johnson St. in the Southside.

“We’d love to see more than just the climbing community come out to the event,” said coalition spokesperson Whitney Boland. “We’re hoping to see a good crew out at The Crash Pad, because it’s going to be a big party that will benefit a really beautiful area.”

The event features a live auction, food, beer, friendly slacklining and pull-up competitions, face painting, massages, a photo booth and a festive carnival-style atmosphere. Admission to the event costs $5 per person, dinner, including one beer, is available for an additional $5 (free for SCC members) and additional beers cost $2 each. A discount of $1 off admission will be granted to those who bring a pair of new socks to be donated.

According to Boland, the live auction is a major feature of the fundraiser. The group has partnered with local artists and gear distributors to collect some interesting and useful items for the auction, she said.

“Anyone can come and bid on the artwork, jewelry, climbing gear or other gear,” said Boland. “All of the proceeds will go directly toward purchasing the boulder field.”

Located near Gadsden, Ala., the Hospital Boulders is the land the coalition has purchased and is working to pay off. Formerly it was privately owned and difficult to access. Its purchase by the coalition means more people can enjoy climbing in the area, which has between 150-200 different bouldering “problems,” or climbs. There is no admission fee to the Hospital Boulders.

“It’s mostly for climbing but people can also just hike around,” said Boland. “It’s a really beautiful area.”

For more information about the coalition or the Hospital Boulders visit www.seclimbers.org.

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