Waterline Walls Report – October 2019

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There has been a lot happening around Waterline Walls lately and so we wanted to give the community an update related to fundraising and on-the-ground changes. For a backgrounder about our organization’s quest to purchase the property, who currently owns it, and the prices involved, please read our article: http://tawkroc.org/2019/04/22/waterline-walls-report-april-2019/.

Raven Wall is the first of five walls that make up the Waterline climbing area.

The first piece of news is, yes, WATERLINE IS STILL CLOSED. There have been a lot of questions lately because passerby have occasionally seen people on the wall but those are special circumstances which we’ll explain here. On September 22nd, Sonnie Trotter and Jasmin Caton hosted rock climbing clinics as part of the 8th Annual Kootenay Climbing Festival and the venue was Waterline. That one-day access was allowed because special arrangements were made with the land owners regarding insurance. The other person you might have seen on the wall is ACMG guide Bob Sawyer. Thanks to a generous donation by the Kootenay Mountaineering Club to TAWKROC, we received $1000 worth of anchors for retrofitting old hardware and that included at Waterline. Bob was granted special access privileges by the land owners has been the point person for that. He’s replaced over 30 rusted chains and bolts with new stainless steel bolts, hangers and anchors in the past few months.

Bob Sawyer replacing old hardware at Waterline.

We mentioned the Kootenay Climbing Festival above and that was a big success this year, both in terms of community involvement and fundraising. The two-day event included clinics, family activities and a keynote presentation by Sonnie Trotter and it garnered the most amount of donations we’ve ever received at a festival. Net proceeds were over $4000 and all the funds have been put towards the Save Waterline campaign.

Sonnie Trotter’s keynote presentation at the Kootenay Climbing Festival.

Other fundraising initiatives continue, including grant applications. According to the Columbia Basin Trust, our application for a $30,000 grant has been sent to the newly-created Land Acquisition fund, which is managed by Will Nixon who says they’re now in the midst of preparing a funding rationale for the project, which is then used by the adjudication team. We’re still not sure how long it’ll take to get an answer but we’re hopeful.

We’ve also been working with Arcteryx regarding the Conservation Alliance Grant and the good news is we’ve made it through the first round and have been invited to submit a full grant, which is due December 1st for funding in March 2020.

Finally, the subdivision engineers have marked off the property boundaries where Waterline Walls exists, mapped it and provided a report. TAWKROC has paid them for their services and their bill was lessened thanks in large part to some of our directors who found various property markers and stakes and flagged them for the professionals.

That left us able to approach the City of Castlegar with a formal subdivision application, which was submitted earlier this month. The cost of that application is around $6000 and the current property owners and TAWKROC split the cost, paying 50 percent each of the total.

If you haven’t donated towards the Waterline Fund, please consider doing so by visiting our Donation Page.