The Salt Lake Climbers Alliance is Utah’s leading voice for climbing access and stewardship: uniting, educating, and inspiring climbers of all disciplines to serve their local climbing community since 2002.


The SLCA exists to provide a unified voice for climbers in the Wasatch and surrounding regions through advocacy, stewardship, community, and education.


In the spirit of community, the SLCA is dedicated to the inclusion of advocates and stewards regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, social class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, ability, or age.  The SLCA expressly has a No Tolerance harassment policy that extends to both acts of discrimination and sexual harassment/assault.  Striving to strengthen the climbing community through the inclusion of all climbers is paramount to our mission.


We believe in the power of rock climbing to enrich lives. We ensure the community can continue to go climbing.


The SLCA is comprised of members, an executive director, a board of directors, and committee members who are supported by our sponsors, partners, and individual donors.  


Advocacy, Stewardship, Community, and Education

Advocacy with land managers and owners to keep access open and serve as a stakeholder in land use planning processes.

Maintaining relationships with land managers is paramount to keeping climbing areas open. These managers range from government land agencies to private land owners. The SLCA is active in land use planning processes including but not limited to the Wasatch Legacy Project, Mountain Accord, Central Wasatch Commission and the Little Cottonwood Canyon Environmental Impact Statement. The SLCA also has a seat at the table on the Uinta Wasatch Cache Resource Advisory Committee and the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee. Furthermore, we try to weigh in on climbing policy issues elsewhere in Utah including Bears Ears National Monument and at Joe’s Valley to represent Wasatch climbers. We frequently go to Washington D.C. to meet with Representatives to talk about the importance of protecting public lands for human powered outdoor recreation opportunities.

Stewardship of climbing resources in the Wasatch.

The SLCA has transitioned from facilitating one or two volunteer Adopt-a-Crags a year in 2012 to large scale climbing infrastructure projects. The SLCA facilitated the largest climbing access trail project in the nation on Forest Service property in 2017. This project won the “Stewardship Project of the Year” award from the State of Utah’s Outdoor Office of Recreation.

In 2012, the SLCA mostly cleaned up trash and scrubbed graffiti. Now projects include: extensive trail and staging area builds using professional crews for hire; fixed anchor replacement supported entirely by volunteer labor; and parking and trailhead amenities through land use planning efforts.

These large scale and focused climbing infrastructure projects have essentially doubled the SLCA’s scope and size during the past four years. The type of work has had substantial results for caring for the climbing resource. When a climbing area is well cared for, the surrounding area also benefits in watershed protection and health as there is less erosion and user impacts to the natural landscape. The SCLA is the local experts in this field and there is no other organization in the Wasatch that fills this role.

Community engagement through events and outreach.

 Events in 2012 included one or two Adopt a Crags and the SLCA’s annual fundraiser. Now the SLCA hosts over a dozen Adopt a Crags, fundraising events, the Salt Lake Climbing Festival, and Climb a Mile for the Wasatch in the climbing gyms. The SLCA’s Annual Fundraiser and the Salt Lake Climbing Festival have grown to almost 800 people and 450 people respectively. Climb a Mile is the next largest event with 100+ participants closely followed by other community events. 

 Education to increase climbing skills knowledge. Cultivate responsible use and ownership of the climbing resource.

Adopt a Crags create ownership and more responsible use of the climbing resource through volunteerism under the direction of professional crews and in partnership with land agencies. The Salt Lake Climbing Festival is a weekend of skills based climbing clinics designed to increase climbing knowledge and gather the community.



Board of Directors


Executive Director

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Julia Geisler

Executive Director

She feels deeply honored to represent the Wasatch climbing community and her personal connection to climbing has grown exponentially through this advocacy work.


board members

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SLCA Board Member & Communications Committee chair

"The experiences I have had solo, with family and outdoor partners in the Wasatch, have contributed to a more full (filling) life. I want to make sure others get that opportunity too."


victor copeland

SLCA Board Member & policy & conservation committee member

“I am with Dave Graham in believing that climbing can play a small role in saving the world.  The values of climbing culture—instilled through the lessons of road trips, the fear and excitement of doing something new, the hours spent walking to, sitting under, and interacting with natural features—are worth perpetuating widely.  These values include loving, respecting, and caring for where we go climbing.”

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David Carter

SLCA Board Member & Policy & Conservation Committee Member

"Climbing is gaining popularity at an exponential rate and the collective effort of everyday climbers is essential to ensuring both the community spirit and environmental stewardship that has historically characterized the climbing culture."

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SLCA Board Member, vice chair & Wasatch Anchor Replacement Initiative Committee Chair

“Working with individuals who are freely volunteering their valuable personal time inspires me to do the same.”

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kim hall

SLCA Board Member & communications committee

“Climbing has shaped who I am today. Working with the SLCA gives me an opportunity to ensure that other climbers have the chance to challenge themselves and grow through the sport of climbing.”

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SLCA Treasurer & Policy & Conservation Committee Member

As Treasurer of the SLCA, his greatest pleasure is annoying fellow board member Jimmy Keithley by playing loud music as they rebolt Wasatch climbs.

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Melissa whalen

SLCA Board Member & events Committee Chair

“Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two Wrights make an airplane.”

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SLCA Board Member & Wasatch Anchor Replacement Initiative Committee Member

“As our public lands come under increasing pressure, and climbing continues to gain popularity, it’s vital that the local community protects, supports, and maintains those places that allow us to pursue our passion and challenge ourselves.”



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chandler vaccaro

salt lake climbing festivAL event coordinator & events committee

“It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the things we want to do, but it sure feels nice to do the things we can do- and with the SLCA we can take care of the places we climb.”

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lindsay anderson

field coordinator

Photo by Ben Neilson

Photo by Ben Neilson

Policy & Conservation Committee


Works with the Executive Director to guide development and review of recreational access and conservation advocacy work on public lands, including: legislative and regulatory analysis, federal land agency management, climbing policy/regulations, legislative/regulatory analysis issues, climbing management policy, raptor/climbing issues, fixed anchor policy, and climbing stewardship projects.


Policy & conservation Committee Members

Mason Baker - Chair

Jonathan Knight

Allen Sanderson

Clay Watson

David Carter

Brian Cabe

Jason Hall

Michael Mason

Nate Furman

Byron Harvison

Wasatch Anchor Replacement Initiative (WARI) Committee


Works with the Executive Director to replace fixed anchors in the Wasatch consistent with best practices determined by the committee.  The committee will coordinate with the Policy and Conservation Committee to ensure that fixed anchor replacement work is consistent with applicable land management prescriptions.

WARI Committee Members

Matt Oakley - Chair

Keith Luscinski

Jimmy Keithley 

Brad Heller

Jonathan Knight

Brad Barlage

Rick Vance

James Garrett

Mary Kate Connelly

Drew Bedford

Hayden Jamieson

Stefani Day

Brent Barghahn

Kevin Gmitro

Photo by Kyle Daly

Photo by Kyle Daly


events Committee


Works to plan and facilitate events including but not limited to: Climb a Mile, the annual fundraiser, the Salt Lake Climbing Festival, and Wine for the Wasatch. These events strive to unite the climbing community.


Events Committee Members

Melissa Whalen - Chair

Chandler Vaccaro

Carly Mahony

Courtney Getman

Steven Braeger

Melissa Keithley

Mel Taylor

RyLee Bradley

Aspen Echelmeier

Photo by Jeff Skalla

Photo by Jeff Skalla

communications Committee


Works to share the mission of the SLCA with the community.


Communications Committee Members

Eli Kerr - Chair

Kim Hall

Kathy Karlo

Lauren Callaway

Micah Jensen