In early October, the Bay Area Climbers Coalition collaborated with the World Climb Project (@theworldclimb), an international research effort studying the impacts of climbing on cliff vegetation. Felipe Morales (@morarmi.felipe), a researcher with the World Climb Project visited California to sample popular climbing areas around the Bay Area. The project focuses on rock climbing areas in Mediterranean ecosystems around the world, surveying plants, lichens, and mosses on climbing faces. BACC community ambassador Charles Futoran connected with Felipe to act as local guide and rope gun.
Together they visited crags in the East Bay, North Bay, and even made a trip out to Auburn Quarry to conduct vegetation surveys. Many of the climbs at these locations were void of plants but hosted healthy lichen and moss populations. Despite the lack of plants on or adjacent to the surveyed climbs, 12 species of plants were documented, with many more lichens and mosses recorded.
Overall the survey was considered a great success! Survey data will be processed as an ongoing effort to study the impacts of climbing. This was the first World Climb Project survey conducted in California. BACC supported the effort by providing ropes and ascending equipment.