Conservation group to buy Sam Hill climbing area

by Tom Markiewicz on April 27, 2005

The Trust For Public Land is buying a popular central Washington climbing area, the privately owned, 40-acre Sam Hill climbing area.

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,

The area is located about three miles up Icicle Valley from Leavenworth on the east slope of the Cascades.

The land then will be turned over to the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust to be protected from development and kept open to climbers.

The rocky site with at least a dozen named crags will be the third climbing area in the Icicle Valley to be purchased by the national land trust in the last year.

“We’re making a fairly significant statement that not every piece of flat land in the Icicle is destined to have a house on it,” said Freeman Keller, a longtime Wenatchee climber who lobbied the national trust to buy the land.

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The trust agreed to buy the undeveloped Sam Hill land from Dr. Roger Volkmann of Wenatchee for $226,000 after the entire purchase amount was donated by Leavenworth environmentalist Harriet Bullitt’s Icicle Fund.

“The owner was considering selling on the market and it could have been developed into home sites,” said Kristin Newman, the Bend, Ore.,-based project manager for the Trust for Public Land. “There was concern whether public access would still be allowed at this heavily used recreation area.”

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