More and more people are becoming rock climbers, and the economic effects are big in our region. That’s according to a new report from the American Alpine Club.
Nearly half a million new climbers found the sport over the course of a year. According to the report, the sport is a big contributor to the economy, and in Western States, 70% of climbing areas are on public lands.
“Those public lands are essential not only to our craft, our activity and therefore for many of us sort of our purpose in life, they’re also essential to the economic engine which is represented in one slice by the $12.5 billion climbers add to the economy,” says Phil Powers, president of the Alpine Club.
The sport does lack diversity though.
“It’s still a very white and male activity, especially when you get outside the gyms,” says Powers.
He says his group is working on that through grants to help facilitate women and people of color getting out on the rocks.
Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter @amandapeacher.
Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.