Be a part of the Friction Slabs Project

Funds raised will help us close the gap and build friction slabs at the Seattle Program Center this year. We need to raise $40,000 to achieve our overall project goal and break ground this summer.
Karen Kirsch Karen Kirsch
January 14, 2015
Be a part of the Friction Slabs Project

The resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another

A large, thick, flat piece of stone, concrete, or wood

Friction slabs are like wide cracks. Love them or hate them, you can’t climb some of the most classic trad routes or be a confident scrambler without working through them. Access to Friction Slabs is vital to the climbing and scrambling enthusiast's experience.

Most climbers and scramblers learn friction climbing at the crag or on a mountain. And now we are bringing that experience to The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center. You can help give students at every level the opportunity to learn and practice these skills in-city and in a safe environment before heading into the hills. You’ll also be protecting the environment by minimizing carbon emissions from students and instructors driving out to the crags. We need to raise $40,000 to achieve our overall project goal and break ground this summer. If you donate to the Friction Slabs project by January 31, your tax-deductible donation will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $20,000 thanks to a generous matching gift challenge offered by climb leaders John Ohlson and Rich Draves.

WE NEED TO RAISE $20,000 from the climbing, scrambling and outdoor communities by JANUARY 31. If we do, it will be matched by a $20,000 challenge gift. Please help us reach our goal by making a tax-deductible donation today!

The Seattle Program Center offers one of the best venues for climbing instruction in the nation, if not the world. Its instructional features are central to The Mountaineers’ vision to be the foremost outdoor recreation organization supported by a world-class, comprehensive facility fully equipped to support the instruction and practice of essential skills for the beginning to advanced scrambler and climber. The North and South Climbing Plazas, the Basalt Columns, and the indoor climbing walls make the program center a first-rate place to learn technical climbing skills.

Our dream will be nearly complete with the addition of Friction Slabs to the program center’s collection. When complete, they will help teach important skills, such as proper footwork, and how to “read the rock.” All of these structures not only enrich the student experience, but help the environment by offering an in-city, safe, cost-effective, and sustainable alternative to learning the basics of scrambling and climbing on fragile alpine peaks and crowded crags.

Three years of planning by the Friction Slabs Committee and two years of fundraising have brought us so close to the project's overall goal of $135,000 - thanks to the generosity of time and dollars by individual donors, members of the Friction Slabs committee, the Seattle Climbing committee, the Seattle Branch council, and Seattle Alpine Scrambling committee.

With your gift, you are helping make these Friction Slabs a reality. Please donate today!

RECAP - How you can help:
1. Make a donation before January 31 and it will be matched! Contributions of any size truly help. Note: the links to our donation page go to an outside, trusted, source.
2. Spread the word, and share this campaign via email & social media. This is a community-driven fundraiser, so the more people involved, the more we can do.
3. Talk to your family, friends and colleagues about the need to build Frictions Slabs to help people be safe in the mountains, to protect the environment, to support Youth Program Summer Camps and Mountain Workshops, and to alleviate some of the stress leaders face when dealing with the new permitting system. 
4. Contact our fearless Development Director, Mary Hsue, with any questions at