This story was originally published by Fusion and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Professional rock climber Tommy Caldwell admits he feels more comfortable climbing sheer cliff faces thousands of feet in the air than discussing public policy with national lawmakers.
“Climbing big walls is what I know,” says the 38-year-old climber, who made national headlines for bagging the first free ascent of Yosemite’s Dawn Wall in 2015. “Getting dressed up in a suit and going up to Capitol Hill is definitely not my safe spot.”
Nevertheless, Caldwell, along with a number of the world’s top climbers like Alex Honnold, Kai Lightner, Sasha DiGiulian, and Libby Sauter, joined advocacy groups and outdoor industry representatives in Washington, D.C., last Thursday to lobby for the protection of our nation’s public lands.
“I’ve spent my entire life on public lands. More than 50 percent of the days of my life have been spent in national parks,” Caldwell says. “I think public lands may be the best thing about America, and I don’t want that going away.”
Organized by the American Alpine Club and the Access Fund, the event dubbed “Climb th... Read more