Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

First Advisor

Richard Paradis

Second Advisor

Brendan Fisher

Third Advisor

Nilima Abrams


Rock climbing, film, videography, cliffside, ecology, Bolton, Vermont


The sport of rock climbing has evolved drastically since its conception, nearly 150 years ago. Recently, climbing has experienced a surge in popularity and has begun to leave noticeable impacts on fragile cliffside ecosystems. These cliffsides are not only home to rare nesting birds, but also support specialized biotas, like bryophytes, lichen and fragile trees that can grow to be 1,000 years old (Kelly & Larson 1997). Because of this, conflicts have surfaced between the objectives of conserving natural land and the acceptance of climbing in these areas. Though climbing has been proven to have many physical and mental health benefits (Luttenberger, 2015), some argue that the negative effects of climbing outweigh its benefits.

Through a short fundraiser film, I aim to resolve this debate by portraying the strengths of the Vermont climbing community and how the Local Climbing Organization (LCO), CRAG-VT, has been extremely successful at conserving cliffside ecosystems and providing access to cliffs through land acquisitions and land easements. The film explores the ways in which CRAG-VT works with national climbing organizations and collaborates with the community to open cliffs such as Bolton Dome with a strong focus on land conservation and protection against development. The films second aim is to help CRAG-VT raise $65,000 to pay for the Bolton Dome property by sharing the fundraiser on a national level through popular media organizations. Finally, the film is meant to portray how important and welcoming the Vermont climbing community is to the growing outdoor recreational community in the greater Burlington area and to show the excitement of climbing outside.


The fundraiser film can be found at this link: