The Bicycle Industry Jobs Marketplace

Climber Steward (multiple locations)


Posted by Access Fund on 01/15/2024

Job Basics

Industry Sector: Outdoor

Job Categories: Events, Outdoor Education, Trail Management

Company Type: Conservation, Recreation

State: KY, UT, WV


Country: United States

Required Experience: 0 - 1 year

Job Type: Seasonal Part Time

Salary: $17.20/hr

Required to Relocate: Yes

Required to Travel: Yes

Employee May Telecommute: No

Job Seeker Must Live Within:

Job Description & Requirements


Access Fund is the nonprofit advocacy organization that leads and inspires the climbing community toward sustainable access and conservation of the climbing environment. Founded in 1991, Access Fund represents more than 8 million climbers nationwide in its work to protect and conserve the land, fight for sustainable access, and build a community of inspired advocates. We execute on that mission across six core program areas: Public Lands Policy & Advocacy, Stewardship & Conservation, Land Acquisition & Protection, Grassroots Organizing & Advocacy, Risk Management & Landowner Support, and Climber Education.

Access Fund is currently seeking six Climber Stewards to connect with and educate visitors, especially climbers, throughout Indian Creek, Utah; Red River Gorge, Kentucky; and New River Gorge, West Virginia. The Climber Stewards are a part of Access Fund’s stewardship & education programming. Stewards will work alongside Access Fund and federal partners including Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), and United States Forest Service (USFS) as well as partner organizations across select climbing landscapes to connect, inspire, and educate the increasing number of visiting climbers.

Climber Stewards help to serve as a critical link between the climbing community and the important message of Leave No Trace (LNT) as well as critical protective ethics and behaviors. Climber Stewards have the opportunity to learn and develop skills in recreation management, resource protection, education and outreach, public land management, and more. If you have a passion for protecting climbing areas and love engaging and educating other climbers, this is your chance to to live in and explore for a season while helping to preserve key climbing areas for current and future generations.


Job Responsibilities

Education and Outreach

Climber Stewards play a unique role in the long-term sustainability of recreation. The following are examples of the programming and outreach that the Climber Stewards will participate in and lead:

  • Climber Coffee - Host morning events Friday through Sunday that provide free coffee to climbers at a rotating selection of locations. Climber Stewards will be responsible for coordinating event logistics, including brewing and serving coffee, setting up a table or booth with information about the region, ensuring flyers are posted for Climber Coffee locations, and engaging with climbers to discuss the latest issues and best practices related to climbing, camping, natural and cultural resources, and other relevant topics.

  • Crag Chats - Visit crags to engage with climbers where they are, while they climb. Climber Stewards will visit different walls throughout the season to communicate with climbers about current issues and best practices, as well as help facilitate a richer understanding of the climbing area's special nature. Stewards are not required to climb.

  • Special Events - Plan, coordinate, and host up to five (5) special events each season that are designed to further engage with and build a community of stewardship and respectful visitation. Past events include game day, trash cleanups, movie nights, guest speakers, and more. Events could also include participation in external programs, such as virtual webinars or representing Access Fund at an off-site event.

  • Campground Connections - (Indian Creek only): Stewards will camp exclusively in BLM-designated campgrounds (Creek Pasture or Super Bowl). Climber Stewards will provide essential information on campground fee structures, limiting impacts, upcoming events, and best practices. Stewards will not be responsible for enforcing any regulations, collecting fees, or maintaining facilities.

  • Stewardship - (Indian Creek & Red River Gorge only): Climber Stewards will encourage and promote volunteer opportunities as well as participate in various stewardship projects throughout Indian Creek & Red River Gorge. Stewards will train and work alongside the Access Fund Conservation Team to implement critical infrastructure improvements for climbing area stewardship.



Your experience may refer to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work, which helps build the competencies, knowledge, and skills that translate directly to this opening. We encourage all interested applicants to apply, regardless of meeting all of the preferred qualifications. Tell us how you can contribute to our team in a cover letter.


Skills and Experience 

  • A passion for Indian Creek, Red River Gorge, or New River Gorge, and its protection.

  • Knowledge of the climbing area and history.

  • Experience in environmental education, science, conservation, stewardship, and/or a related field.

  • Familiarity with and experience communicating best practices for protecting natural and cultural resources.

  • Familiarity with and experience with rock climbing. Please note: Stewards are not required to climb while working.

  • Access to a reliable vehicle.

  • Willingness to live and camp in or near the climbing area for the season (see Commitment below) in its entirety, in a variety of weather conditions.

  • Strong verbal communication and presentation skills.

  • Outgoing personality and commitment to sharing education messages.

  • Passion for climbing area stewardship, education, and advocacy.

  • Strong organizational skills.

  • Self-motivated, with an ability to work independently and side-by-side with partner staff and organizations.

  • Motivated to join Access Fund on our justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) journey and learn more about how to make our climbing areas accessible to all.



  • Clean driving record and valid driver’s license.

  • Satisfactory completion of a background check.

  • Ability to walk/hike on uneven, loose, and steep terrain.

  • Ability to lift and move up to 35 pounds.

  • Willingness to actively participate in continued education and other training as necessary.


Preferred Skills and Experience

  • Experience with public speaking, outreach, and community engagement.

  • Proven ability to build community and public engagement through programming.

  • Knowledge of local flora, fauna, and geology as well as area history, including climbing, Indigenous peoples, and land use patterns.

  • Prior experience with conservation science and land management best practices.

  • Current Leave No Trace Master Educator & Wilderness First Aid certifications.


Commitment: Varies by location. All programs will kick off with training and orientation. 

  • The 2024 Indian Creek Climber Stewards spring season will run from March 1, 2024, through May 5, 2024 (10 weeks) and fall season will run October 3, 2024 through December 6, 2024 (10 weeks).

  • The 2024 New River Gorge Climber Stewards season will run from May 10, 2024, through October 27, 2024 (25 weeks)

  • The 2024 Red River Gorge Climber Stewards spring season will run from March 28, 2024, through June 2, 2024 (10 weeks) and fall season will run September 12, 2024 through November 17, 2024 (10 weeks).

Climber Stewards will be expected to work up to 30 hours per week, including weekends and evenings with the option to work additional hours performing conservation stewardship projects alongside the Conservation Team. We are looking for individuals who will commit to the entire season and who may have an interest in subsequent seasons. 


Compensation and Benefits

This is a temporary, seasonal position and is not eligible for benefits. Access Fund will provide:

  • Hourly pay of $17.20.

  • Leave No Trace training.

  • Free camping for the duration of the season.

  • Opportunity to apply for industry pro deals.

To Apply: Please send a cover letter and resume with “Indian Creek Climber Steward” in the subject line to by EOD Friday, January 26, 2024. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the position will remain open until filled. Please indicate if you are also interested in other Climber Stewards positions, including Red River Gorge, KY, or New River Gorge, WV. See for all available positions.

Access Fund is an equal opportunity employer, compliant with all federal and applicable laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. Access Fund provides employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or disability. We seek to attract a skilled workforce that reflects the diverse demographics of current and future outdoor enthusiasts. At Access Fund, we pride ourselves on the health and happiness of our staff. Together, we are building an organization and an industry where great ideas, born from a diversity of experiences, thrive.



About Access Fund

Access Fund is the national nonprofit advocacy organization that works to protect America’s outdoor climbing areas.