Bower Climbing Coalition. Our name means everything. This is it’s story:
In 2015 we lost a beloved member of our climbing community, Andrew Bower, in a fall at Dishman Hills climbing area. He was there, intending to replace rusted anchor bolts with stainless steel hardware, but slipped on wet moss and mud and fell before he got his equipment out. Hundreds of Spokane’s rock climbs are protected by badly corroded anchor bolts, many of them over 30 years old. Andrew recognized this danger and had singlehandedly replaced dozens in the months before his death. As a climbing community, it is time we carry on Andrew’s legacy and finish this project.
Andrew’s life exemplified a passion for outdoor adventure and commitment to community service. In addition to working on an ambulance in Spokane as an Emergency Medical Technician, Andrew taught classes at Wild Walls climbing gym and guided disadvantaged youth on hundreds of wilderness adventures for Peak 7. He and his wife Emily could always be seen together at our local crags; both of them unfailingly cheerful and supportive of other climbers, no matter if you were a 5.13 crusher or a new climber struggling up a 5.9.
Eastern Washington has had no group dedicated to replacing unsafe hardware and clean-up of its many climbing areas. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining, expanding and preserving Inland Northwest climbing. We will celebrate the community and culture of climbing through local events and gatherings, and strive to bring climbers together of all ages and abilities. We seek to be inclusive of all voices in the climbing community… Sport Climbers, Boulderers, Trad Climbers, and Alpinists! We welcome your input as we proceed!
BCC Standards Of Practice
Anchor Bolt Removal I
When possible substandard anchor bolts will be fully removed and the existing hole reused. If full removal and reuse of the existing hole is not possible the bolt will be cut and patched to lessen the visual impact. When removing bolts the BCC will strive to do as little damage to the rock as possible.
Anchor Bolt Installation II
When replacing bolts we will first use the existing hole so as to not damage more rock. If using the existing hole is deemed unsafe or impossible the BCC will drill a new hole. Bolt placement and the type of hardware used will follow what is considered the current accepted standard. These standards are current ASCA, Access Fund and BCC board member recommendations only.
When replacing anchors the BCC will make every reasonable effort to not change the character of the route. This includes moving or adding bolts without the approval of the appropriate individuals.
Standards of Practice board members will be expected to stay current with applicable fixed anchor standards. Individuals responsible for the removal and installation of fixed anchors, other then Standards of Practice board members, will be expected to show an acceptable level of ability and understanding before the BCC will sponsor their work. This evaluation will be made by current Standards Of Practice Board members and will require a majority approval.
We give thanks to our founding members…
Emily Bower, thank you for sharing Andrew with us. We will do our best to honor his memory!
Thanks Chris Adams, Jess Roskelley, Jeff Crawford, Arden Pete, Alan Shepherd, Adam Volwiler, Bailey Shepherd, Trevin Spencer, Todd Mires, Glenn Stewart, Joe Lind and Eric Lawson for your work and guidance in launching this project.