For many years the UNB Rock & Ice Climbing Club has successfully acted as the central group for climbers in New Brunswick. The Club has maintained an agreement with C.F.B. Gagetown to preserve access for their members to the premiere climbing areas surrounding Welsford. However that arrangement covers only active UNB Rock & Ice Club members. Recently several former members of the Club executive have raised concerns over the long-term stability of this agreement, and the lack of proper coverage for non-club member climbers. Additionally there are now many other climbing areas being developed across NB, many of which are on private property, and could be susceptible to access issues. An organized group broadly representing climbers across the province was needed to address these growing concerns. Thus, Ascent NB was born with the vision of keeping all climbing areas accessible to all climbers.
During the winter of 2013 several climbers travelled to Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton to hold meetings to discuss the above concerns and to brainstorm on approaches to address the issues. Notices and postings were also put out advertising and encouraging climbers to participate the first general meeting in September. The first Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held in Welsford on September 14, 2013, with 23 climbers present. During that meeting Ascent NB was formed, with the executive and board of directors being elected, and the constitution approved.�� The executive, the constitution and the minutes of the meeting can be found at www.ascent.com.
Does Ascent NB truly represent the climbing community of NB? It was unfortunate that more climbers did not attend the first AGM, since all climbers had the right to run for executive and to vote. Despite the less than ideal turnout, we had to move forward with the results. Ascent NB will attempt to represent the NB climbing community as best as it can, in the best interest of the community. We will be open, transparent, and accountable. We are open to communication; anyone can contact us with their concerns. Will we be able to address ALL concerns? Not likely. Similar to municipal, provincial or federal elections, we know there will be some active voices, inactive voices, and dissenting voices. That is typical of democracy. We must accept it.
The mandate of Ascent NB is primarily to acquire and preserve secure access to climbing areas on private properties by obtaining access agreements with the landowners, and seek to provide liability insurance coverage if needed. We will act as a contact point for landowners if they have any concerns or issues with climbers. Ascent NB may also provide other service to our climbing community by organizing volunteer trail maintenance days, anchor replacements, or recognizing those who are at the forefront of route development. We will gage what the community would like to support and we will react accordingly.
We hope to be able to represent the general climbing community of New Brunswick. Ascent NB will only be successful if we have the support of climbers. The executive and board will strive to communicate in a friendly and positive manner. Our aim is to be inclusive. We are a small group in a small province, and can only move forward if we all pull in the same direction. Thanks for your support.