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West Kootenay climbing group launching online auction

TAWKROC has plans to make improvements at the Waterline climbing area in Castlegar

The climber’s association responsible for purchasing the Kinnaird Bluffs and Waterline climbing areas in Castlegar is launching a new fundraising campaign.

This time, their goals are more modest and the campaign will be in the form of an online auction.

Now that they own the properties, The Association of West Kootenay Rock Climbers (TAWKROC) needs to continue to raise funds in order to maintain the properties and climbing routes, pay for insurance and make improvements. This year they hope to install more signage at Waterline that features diagrams and climbing routes. In the longer term, they hope to install washroom facilities and are actively looking for grants to help with the project.

Like most non-profits, COVID-19 has hindered the group’s fundraising options with the cancellation of their annual Kootenay Climbing Festival two years in a row.

Conversly, the pandemic has spurred an explosion of interest in mountain sports and TAWKROC’s secretary Greg Amos says more people than ever before are out climbing in the West Kootenay.

Another purpose of the group is to encourage and promote stewardship of new and existing cliff and mountain areas in the West Kootenay. To support that goal, TAWKROC organized a clean-up event at the Upper Slocan Bluffs last fall where they performed trail maintenance, installed new bolts and anchors, and scrubbed the wall removing grit, moss and dirt.

The auction will be hosted on a private Facebook page — TAWKROC online silent auction 2022. Bidding opens at 7 a.m. on March 1 and ends at 7 a.m. on March 7.

Bidders can expect to see items from West Kootenay businesses that are connected to local mountain culture such as Lions Head Pub, Tailout Brewery, Kootenay Co-op, massage therapists and climbing gear suppliers. Several big ticket items are also on the table including lift tickets to Red Mountain and Whitewater, a Bespoke Big Squishy Crash Pad valued at $525 donated by Flash and a climbing wall volume valued at $200 from Contact Volumes.

More information about TAWKROC and donation options can be found at

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Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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