What is this Event?
The Indian Rock Clean-Up Days are an opportunity for local climbers to volunteer a little bit of their time and their strong backs to help clean-up one of our most beloved local crags. These events epitomize climber conservation at the local level, showing local residents and the City of Berkeley that climbers truly care about the places they recreate. This display of stewardship not only gives back to the land, but is paramount to keeping climbing areas open by showing decision makers the passion that climbers have for their climbing areas.
“I strongly believe that it is the responsibility of our community to take care of and clean-up the climbing areas that we care about and climb at.” Said Matt Ulery, who is helping to organize the event. “Generations of climbers have done this before us and we have the responsibility to pay that forward to future generations of climbers. Our role in this effort is super important, especially with the increasing popularity of the sport, our impact on these crags is accelerated by the number of people climbing.”
Why Indian Rock?
It is a popular climbing spot but it is also a popular hang-out for local high school kids and they leave a lot of trash and broken bottles all over the rock and the ground. There are also some concerning issues with the "top soil" down in The Pit. The majority of the "top soil" is not actually soil, but ground-up wood chips from over the years. When it rains, that "top soil" quickly flows down hill into the pathways and into the backyards/front yards of the residences surrounding Indian Rock. We need to remove that old "top soil" and then we can put down new wood chips which will be much more resilient to the elements.
Beyond this, Indian Rock and Mortar Rock are special to thousands of climbers. There’s a rich history of climbing at both locations with some of the hardest climbs in the world being established at Mortar and new belay techniques developed at Indian Rock by a crew of old school Berkeley climbers. For many Bay area climbers, the small park introduced them to climbing. “It was one of the first places that I climbed outside,” said Matt Ulery. ” I have very fond/scary memories of the first time I climbed Indian Rock Crack and wondering if the pad would do anything if I fell off near the top.”
How Can You Help?
Simply put, volunteer for one day, two days, or even just part of one day. Volunteers are going to be crucial with helping to clear out that old "top soil", taking on other landscaping projects down in The Pit, clearing rock debris from the surrounding pathways, and of course cleaning-up the trash and broken glass.
Please be sure to register online at the Indian Rock Clean-up event page. We want to make sure to have enough food and tools for everyone who is volunteering.
I've Never Climbed at Indian Rock
That's okay - come volunteer to help clean-up, meet some other awesome climbers, and join us for a great climbing session after we finish each day of work. There are enough problems and variations in this small park to keep you entertained and challenged for a long time.