Southwestern PA Climbers Coalition

Pittsburgh, PA ·

Mission: The Southwestern Pennsylvania Climbers Coalition (SWPACC) is open for general membership. Your support demonstrates your commitment to the mission of the SWPACC, which is "to promote the responsible development of climbing and bouldering in southwestern Pennsylvania, to disseminate information about development and conservation of the resource, and to gain and preserve access."

Get Involved: Interested in getting more involved by joining the SWPACC operations team? Please complete this form letting us know what you’d like to do and join our Google Group to stay in the know

Community Meeting Notes: Read the notes from past SWPACC Community Meetings here. is the central source for reporting and repairing climbing bolts and anchors. If you are rope climbing in Southwestern PA and notice some suspect hardware, please do your part and let us know, and SWPACC will do its best to replace or repair as soon as possible.

Guide Services: Interested in learning how to climb outside? Check out these great local services:

Reddit: Visit our subreddit (/r/swpacc) for current access information, beta, and other community information.


For $50 you can join and support both SWPACC and the Access Fund, a national organization dedicated to protecting climbing access. For an additional $15, you will receive an Access Fund t-shirt.

Just click the "Join or Renew" link below, and make sure to click the joint member box and select PA - Southwestern PA Climbers Coalition from the drop-down menu!

Once you're a member, want to show your support publicly for the SWPACC? Or, not ready to become a joint member, but still want to support the SWPACC? You can donate and receive a SWPACC T-shirt or pint glass as our thank you.

In addition to your Access Fund member benefits, these organizations recognize your SWPACC membership and may provide discounts or perks:

  • ASCEND Pittsburgh
  • The Climbing Wall, Inc.
  • Climb North
  • More TBA!

Join or Renew

Donations & Swag

The SWPACC accepts donations of any amount. You can also purchase SWPACC swag, like our logo t-shirt or logo Silipint pint glass.

The climbing community's generous financial donations have helped us to do some great work in SWPA and beyond, including replacement of many bolts and anchors at Lost Crag and Breakneck Rocks, and clean-ups at Beam Rocks and Coopers Rock.

The SWPACC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

Donate via our Square store

Donate via PayPal

Or, send a check to: SWPACC, c/o Treasurer, 2141 Mary Street, Pittsburgh PA 15203.

SWPACC Silipint SWPACC T-Shirt

Our Team

Board of Directors
  • Marcelle Bonterre
  • Joel Brady - President
  • Alex Bernstein
  • Bob Coblenz
  • Lauren Endicott - Treasurer
  • Paul Guarino
  • Maria Rose
  • Mike Steighner
  • Mike Varlotta - Vice President
  • Ginette Walker Vinski
  • Vincent Zeng - Secretary

Interested in joining the board of directors or a sub-committee? Please email telling us about yourself and how you'd like to get involved.

Interested in volunteering for special events, trail and crag cleanups, or other fun all-hands-on-deck outings? Please join the Facebook SWPACC Volunteers Group or email Matt Michaels at


  • Published July 1, 2020: SWPACC stands in solidarity with the Black community, which is affected disproportionately by systemic racism in this country. Broader systemic racism has also resulted in the underrepresentation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) in climbing. In order to facilitate increased and diverse participation in the climbing community, along with a sense of safety and belonging in outdoor climbing, our efforts have to be intentional. To foster a more vibrant SWPA climbing community, we at SWPACC must form diverse partnerships, intentional mentorship programs, platforms for discussion, and expanded avenues toward organizational leadership. Please, we ask for your active participation in our organization’s efforts in the months and years to come and we look forward to joining the Access Fund and other LCOs in these efforts to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • COVID-19 Precautions: As a follow-up to some of the guidelines that have come out of Access Fund as stay-at-home bans have lifted and people have begun climbing again, some of our local LCOs in the Mid-Atlantic region, including SWPACC, collaborated to provide some more specific guidelines. This pandemic is still with us, so please, review these guidelines, use your best judgment, and be kind to one another!
  • In April 2020, SWPACC held a public community meeting (see notes here), focused on restructuring the organization so that it may become more effective, more diverse, and better connect to the community. Due to the COVID-18 pandemic, efforts slowed down, but are still underway.
  • The SWPACC would like to announce its 2018 Board of Directors. We welcome new board members Alex Bernstein (Treasurer), Bob Coblenz, Mike Varlotta, Bob Value, and Todd McCormick. We'd like to extend a sincere thanks to Laura Anderson, Spyder, and Brian Janaszek for their service to the board.
  • Also in 2017, in conjunction with the re-equip project at Lost Crag, Mike Varlotta represented SWPACC at the Northeast Fixed Protection Initiative hosted by the Access Fund and the Petzl Technical Institute. Mike joined representatives from all 13 LCO's across the Northeast at a three day workshop at the Gunks where participants discussed best practices for removing and installing fixed anchors and then went into the field to demo and compare various techniques. In addition to the practical applications of fixed anchor management, the workshop also covered a wide variety of concerns related to the good stewardship of our climbing areas and allowed the region's LCO's to strengthen a network that will support all of our work as we move into an era that is significantly more complicated for climbers than it has ever been.
  • In 2017, the SWPACC secured permission from the State Game Commission to re-equip Lost Crag, which is located on State Gamelands. Dozens of climbers have spent countless hours re-equipping dozens of routes and installing thousands of dollars of hardware, purchased through a combination of donations, the Cal Swoager Memorial Fund and the American Safe Climbing Association, grants from the Access Fund and the American Mountain Club.
  • In 2015, the SWPACC coordinated with other Pennsylvania local climbing organizations, the Access Fund, and numerous other user groups (hikers, runners, etc.) to express our support for keeping State Gamelands open to non-hunters year round, in response to a proposal for significant closures. As a result, the proposal was rescinded, we established a positive working relationship with the State Game Commission, and we continue to support keeping State Gamelands open to climbers. We also attempt to communicate guidelines to the climbing community for maintaining a positive relationship, including information regarding hunting seasons and State Gamelands regulations.
  • Annually, the SWPACC partners with Mid-Atlantic Climbers and the Coopers Rock Foundation for trail days and clean-ups at Coopers Rock in West Virginia.
  • Annually, the SWPACC has, as part of the Laurel Mountain Volunteer Day at Forbes State forest, and together with the Pitt and CMU Outdoors clubs, helped clean up graffiti, glass and trash, and performed trail work at Beam Rock. This is a high visibility climbing area is frequented by climbers and non-climbers alike, and we are happy to have established a positive working relationship with the administration of Forbes State forest.

Contact Us

Interested in playing a bigger role in future projects for the SWPACC organization? Send us a message!

SWPACC, 2141 Mary Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15203

Est 2015

Climbing Directory

We have compiled a directory of local climbing areas, including access information and links to guides. You can find the directory here. If you have any comments, corrections, or additions, please contact us.

Hunting Season Restrictions: Hunting seasons may impact certain areas with temporary closures or recommended attire, and other important considerations.

Plese check the PA hunting season schedule before heading to the crag.

View the Directory