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How We Created All Those Rock Climbs

Rick Weber:  "In the spring of 2004, Liz and I invited a group of five climber friends with significant experience bolting routes to come in and check this place out. Little did they or we know the extent of the work they would do over the next two years." 


By the beginning of 2006, this group, who were collectively known as “Team Muir” had established more than 200 climbing routes in the Valley. Much of what Muir Valley is today is because of many tedious, backbreaking hours lugging equipment and hanging from a rope with a  monster hammer drill in the heat of day, breathing rock dust and scraping lichen. Few climbers who ply these routes today have even a clue what it took in time, effort, and money to equip their playground. 


Team Muir was comprised of Karla Carandang, Jared Hancock, J.J. Jones, Mike Susko, and Tim Powers. Karla and Jared are now married and no longer living in this area, but they are still avid supporters of Muir Valley. Their daughter is pictured to the left at age 3.

Development of routes continued at a frenetic pace through 2005 and when the first Wolverine Press Guidebook for the Gorge was published that year, 138 of the new routes in Muir Valley were listed. Two of the developers, Jared Hancock and Karla Carandang were primarily responsible for compiling the route data and submitting it just before the publishing deadline. 

Through the years, many other rock climbers, too numerous to name, also put up routes in the Valley. Among the notable ones were: Craig Luebben, Dustin Stephens, Kipp Trummel, Barry Brolley, Mark Ryan, Jenny Ryan, Skip Wolfe, Jeff Colombo, Isaac Heacock, Ryan Jones, Mike Trabel, Josh Thurston, Greg Martin, Brian Boyd, and Ron Bateman. Click here to see photos and bios of these magnificent men and women and their drilling machines.

The Birth of the Friends of Muir Valley: Many of the early Muir Valley volunteer developers—especially “Team Muir” were not merely enthused, but passionate in their support of the Weber's vision for the future of Muir Valley. During that first year, we nurtured the establishment and initial funding of this group of developers and other enthusiastic volunteers into what is now known as The Friends of Muir Valley (FOMV). In 2015, Liz and I made a gift of the property, infrastructure, and equipment to this organization, and it now owns and manages manages Muir Valley. Click here to read more about this amazing organization—the Friends of Muir Valley.


Lucy Hancock, 3-year old daughter of Jared and Hancock. Carrying on the tradition of her route developer parents?

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