Local Climber Andrew Blann Wins Prestigious Access Fund Award

Local Climber Andrew Blann Wins Prestigious Access Fund Award

The Community Bicyclist

Andrew Blann, a climber from Fayetteville, Arkansas, has been acknowledged by the Access Fund, a national non-profit organization dedicated to preserving climbing areas and access for climbers, for his outstanding contributions to local bolt replacement and leadership. Blann has been awarded the 2023 Climbing Advocate Award, a prestigious honor that recognizes climbers who have made exceptional efforts to protect climbing areas for future generations.

Blann developed his love for climbing as a young man while visiting Sam’s Throne Recreation Area in the Ozark Mountains near Mount Judea, during a trip from his hometown in Kansas.

Local climber, Andrew Blann
Local climber, Andrew Blann

“This award is a tremendous honor,” Blann is quoted as saying. “I have been impressed with the work that The Access Fund has been doing over the past three decades to improve climbing access. They have been at the forefront of a lot of climbing advocacy work. It’s a great honor for them to recognize the work that I have done along with the Arkansas Climbers Coalition. I believe it’s important to acknowledge that for the victories we’ve achieved in Arkansas, there is a team of people who have volunteered their time and efforts to make Arkansas a great climbing destination.”

The Access Fund expressed its admiration for Blann’s work in a press release. “Blann works tirelessly to replace bolts across the state and also organizes and participates in countless stewardship days. Currently, he serves as the vice president of the Arkansas Climbers Coalition where he focuses on local, state, and federal climbing policy issues. Without complaint or need for recognition, Blann dedicates his time to support fellow climbers and increase conservation efforts”.

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Besides his advocacy work, Blann’s full-time job involves marketing and other duties at Fossil Cove Brewing in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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Blann’s recognition by the Access Fund highlights the importance of climbing advocacy in Arkansas. With a growing climbing community, ensuring responsible access to climbing walls and crags is crucial. Climbers like Blann play a vital role in achieving this balance, fostering a sustainable future for the sport in Arkansas.

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