Life Support

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Photo: Zachary Lesch-Huie

Climbing Hospital Boulders

Hospital Boulders in Gadsden, Ala., is the Southeastern Climbers Coalition’s newest acquisition, thanks to help from the Access Fund. The site is now officially open for climbers to explore their limits with a nearly endless supply of boulder problems.

“The area’s been seeing activity from climbers for the past decade,” Michael Wurzel, SCC executive director, explains. “The thing that makes it unique is the quality of the climbing. There’s also still a lot of potential for first ascents. You can go out there tomorrow and put up a brand new boulder problem no one’s ever done before.”

A well-kept secret until now, Hospital Boulders kept a pretty low profile when it came to the amount of climbing visitors passing through the field. Seeking a way to keep the site in climber-friendly hands and open it up to the public, the Access Fund provided the SCC an extremely low-interest loan of $75,000 to purchase the land.

“There’s really only a handful of boulder fields in the Southeast,” says Wurzel. “To get the opportunity to protect something like this is great.” The SCC is currently in the process of raising the $80,000 needed to complete the purchase. So far, about $10,000 has been raised.

MAKE IT WORK

To learn how to donate to the fund for Hospital Boulders visit seclimbers.org.

Face The Problems

» Take I-24 West toward Nashville for 10 miles.

» Merge onto I-59 South; drive for 73 miles.

» Take Exit 211; turn left onto Noccalula Pikeway and drive 1.3 miles.

» Take left onto Scenic Drive for 1.1 miles until you see the road make a sharp right.

» At the left fork private drive, open the brown gate and enter the road (closing gate after passing through)

» Drive until the SCC-owned barn comes into view. Park inside gate and close behind you.

» Access boulder field and enjoy the challenge.

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