Utah’s silver medal Olympian placing pro for Little Cottonwood climbing

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. — Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (SLCA), First Rock Climbers in the Canyon – Alpenbock Club Members, and Salt Lake City native and silver medal Olympian Nathaniel Coleman join together in an effort to preserve Little Cottonwood Canyon rock climbing. 

Utah’s Department of Transportation (UDOT) has proposed ideas like installing a gondola or additional lanes in the canyon that could alter the landscape. View the UDOT Little Cottonwood Canyon Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), related documents, materials, and FAQs here.

“UDOT began an EIS in the spring of 2018 for Little Cottonwood Canyon and Wasatch Boulevard in partnership with Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service to provide an integrated transportation system that improves the reliability, mobility, and safety for residents, visitors, and commuters who use S.R. 210, Ultimately, the partners seek to deliver transportation options that meet the needs of the community while preserving the value of the Wasatch Mountains.” UDOT said in a statement.

A speaking engagement and observation of the sport of bouldering and the climbing landscape at the Gate Buttress in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Monday, August 23 from 10-11 a.m is planned to explain why SLCA believes that alternative transportation options would behoove the rock climbing community.

The Gate Buttress Parking Lot and Gate Buttress Boulders are located at 5295 Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd, Sandy, UT 84092 – One mile up Little Cottonwood Canyon.

“Copperhead (V10) was a milestone in my climbing progression. It and many other boulders motivated me to improve my climbing, and taught me skills I still rely on in competition to this day. How to focus on the positive aspects of failing. How to question my assumptions and open my mind to a creative solution. Most importantly, how to trust my feet. These roadside boulders are incredibly special to me and many other climbers around the country. They are irreplaceable,” said Nathaniel Coleman, silver medal Tokyo 2020 Olympian from Salt Lake City.

There are 13 specific popular boulders which the organization wants to be preserved from UDOT’s proposals.

SLCA’s FAQs. Photo: SLCA

The mission of the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance is to serve as the unified voice of all climbers in the greater Wasatch region, engaging as an advocate to protect outdoor climbing access and as a steward to maintain sustainable climbing resources in the Wasatch and surrounding regions.

Club at the gate in 2017.
Alpenbock Climbing Club at the gate in 2017. Photo: Alpenbock Climbing Club

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