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Greg Barnes, Director
Director and driving force of the ASCA since 2000, Greg's resume reads like a corporate dream: "Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Reed College... awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in Biochemistry ...Masters in Biological Sciences from Stanford University." There might be a few other people with Greg Barnes' credentials, but the rest don't leave their high-paying engineering/math-science jobs long enough to get in much rock climbing. Greg lives in his truck, on the rock, and spends about as much time climbing as is humanly possible. While employed at his local climbing gym during college, Greg attended a rebolting clinic held by Chris McNamara. He never looked back. To date Greg has personally replaced over 1200 bolts, mostly on free climbs, in dozens of areas throughout California and Nevada. He has also put up over 100 first ascents in Yosemite, Tuolumne and many other areas. In addition to his work with the ASCA, Greg works as a guidebook author for Supertopo, concentrating on Tuolumne, Red Rocks, and Yosemite Valley free climbs.

email: greg@safeclimbing.org

 

Chris McNamara, Founder and President
Chris was inspired to clean up Yosemite climbs after reading reports from Swiss climber Aischan Rupp who replaced aging anchor bolts as well as removed old webbing and unnecessary bolts while repeating several El Cap testpieces in the mid 1990s. After dropping out of Princeton in 1997, Chris' parents hoped he'd focus his voracious energy toward something that might eventually pay his rent. Undeterred, Chris, Erik Sloan, and a couple close friends started a volunteer movement to rid Yosemite of dangerously old climbing bolts. The group quickly squandered their meager savings on bolts, bolthole filling epoxy and Little Debbie's snackcakes. And their efforts were barely a blip in the ocean of rusty bolts in historic Yosemite. So in 1998 Chris formed the ASCA to create a resource that would gather donations for motivated rebolters. Newsletters went out and donations trickled in.
When a trail-running injury sidelined him from the big stone, Chris poured his passion for climbing into writing an updated guidebook of the Yosemite big wall climbs he had been living on. SuperTopo LLC was born. Chris soon joined the Access Fund board, was interviewed on national radio programs, was featured in magazines and newspapers, and won an award from the American Alpine Club. His SuperTopo schedule (eight guides published; eight more in the works) keeps Chris off multi-day climbs these days, but he continues to replace old bolts at climbing areas around California and help Greg coordinate ASCA activities.

email: chris@supertopo.com

 

Jeremy, Secretary
Jeremy Sugerman, along with Ruth Bender, is the fundraising force at the ASCA. In an organization run by mostly non-business minded climbers, Jeremy shows us how to get it done both in and out of the office. He’s like a fire hose of energy in a world of low-flow lawn sprinklers. Don’t be fooled by his day job as a lawyer with a downtown SF office, Jeremy takes more climbing trips to more exotic places than most “accomplished” climbers. Over Thai food, Jeremy once uttered perhaps the most classic litigious line: “More cases equals more justice. I just hate the idea of people walking around with unclaimed redress.”

email: sugerman@gkhs.com

     

 
 

Ruth Bender
Climb 4 Yosemite organizer
Ruth, along with Jeremy Sugerman, is the driving force behind Climb 4 Yosemite, an annual climb-a-thon fundraiser that supports trail projects in Yosemite Valley and the ASCA.

 

Dave Buchanan
Web site editor
Dave led the rebolting effort at Mickey's Beach and is now helping keep this web site fresh. He has also helped rebolt at Pinnacles. Dave is also known in select circles under his alter-ego pseudonym Hardman Knott, where he spends far too much time posting on internet climbing forums--in beautiful weather--when he could (and should) be out climbing instead.

 

Mike Ousley
Creative and rebolting
Mike's design company, Ousley Creative, has generously developed the ASCA logo, newsletter, and many other creative projects. Mike has also rebolted on Yosemite Big Walls and Tahquitz.
email: admin@ousleycreative.com

 

David Safanda
Web design and C4y t-shirts
David's design company, David Safanda Design Solutions, developed this web site, the Climb 4 Yosemite t-shirts, and countless other ASCA banner ads, t-shirts and more. David has a Masters in Fine Arts and is sought after by large companies for web design, logos, and branding. He is also a significant contributor to SuperTopo.
email: david@safanda.com


ASCA History

In the summer of 1997 on an ascent of Zenyatta Mondatta on El Capitan, Chris McNamara and Jason "Singer" Smith began experimenting with bolt replacement. The anchors on this and most big walls often had as many as eight bad bolts and no good ones. That summer Chris and Singer, joined by Erik Sloan, set out to replace some of the bad bolts and remove the excess ones in order to make the anchors safer and reduce the total number of bolts.

Ten El Capitan routes and a couple hundred replaced bolts later, Chris, a fresh college dropout, was broke from buying bolts. It became clear that help from the climbing community was needed and that's when things got a little more official. In 1998 Steve Sutton gave permission to name the bolting effort the American Safe Climbing Assn. (Steve had tried starting a rebolting organization under the same name years earlier). With the help of Access Fund founder Armando Menocal the ASCA became a non-profit 501c3 corporation. With a little more vision, fundraising, and organization the ASCA began a mission to replace as many bolts in the United States as possible and to reduce the environmental and visual impacts of anchors.

In 1999, Chris held the first ASCA rebolting clinic, It drew a meager turnout of exactly one climber. Fortunately, that one person would become the most motivated rebolter the world has ever known: Greg Barnes. Greg, seized by the rebolting bug, expanded the ASCA's activities outside of Yosemite and hasn't stopped since. In 2000, Greg became the Director of the ASCA and established a strong ASCA presence in Tuolumne Meadows, Red Rocks, Joshua Tree, the Southern Sierra, and other areas. To date Greg has replaced over 1,200 bolts and has rallied support from many other locals. Meanwhile, Erik Sloan and numerous locals have continued a massive rebolting effort on Yosemite big walls. The ASCA has now replaced almost 5,000 bolts in more than 25 climbing areas. Hundreds of people have contributed time, money, and gear.