In celebration of the 75th anniversary of Camp Long and Seattle’s long-standing mountain and climbing community, Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) will open its historic Camp Long for a Mountain Festival on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. — where anyone, from the novice to the hard-core enthusiast, can put hands on the rocks and get feet off the ground. In tribute to Clark Schurman, one of the founders of Camp Long and a mountaineer and artist, the theme of this year’s Mountain Fest is “Climbing to new heights.”
Mountain Fest celebrates the vibrant climbing and mountaineering history of Seattle, and the importance of Camp Long to our climbing and environmental communities. Enjoy free activities including rock climbing, rappelling, arts and crafts, nature programs, falconry and the Camp Long Challenge Course*. There will also be a commemorative flag ceremony at 1:30 p.m. with guest speakers, including Mike Gauthier, the Chief of Staff of Yosemite National Park, who spent 19 years as the Supervisory Climbing Ranger at Mt. Rainier.
Camp Long was once a little-used, 68-acre corner of the West Seattle Golf Course. In 1937 Seattle Park Board member Archie Phelps, Judge William Long, Ben Evans of the Seattle Park Department, and expert mountaineer Clark Schurman embarked on a mission. They wanted to acquire and develop this land to make it into a place for organized scouting groups to learn camping skills. They were joined by a committee of representatives of youth groups, City Council members, other concerned citizens and supportive agencies and councils. Together they worked hard to create Camp Long and protect its natural beauty.
Schurman also envisioned the park as the place to realize his longtime dream: the building of a man-made peak where inexperienced climbers could safely develop their mountaineering skills. For years he worked on the idea in clay. Monitor Rock, as it was first known, was built by the Works Progress Administration between 1938 and 1939. It was renamed Schurman Rock after his death.
Over the past 75 years, Camp Long has become a favorite respite of Seattleites. The park offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy nature, hike in the forest, camp overnight in rustic cabins, rock climb and learn about natural history. A talented staff of naturalists and ropes-course staff lead ongoing group environmental-education and rock-climbing classes. Programs at Camp Long are designed to be fun, educational and interactive experiences for people of all ages.
All Camp Long Mountain Fest events are free and take place at Camp Long (5200 35th Ave. SW). For more information about the event, please call 206-684-7415. Camp Long Mountain Fest is sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation, Department of Neighborhoods, Mountain Madness, Outdoor Opportunities, Vertical World, Seattle Bouldering Project, SW Historical Society, Camp Long Advisory Council and the Falconer.
Partners providing activities at Mountain Fest include the Boy Scouts of America, Baden-Powell Scouting Association, Girl Scouts, Nature Consortium, Tiny Trees, National Parks, Washington Native Plant Society, US Forest Service, National Wildlife Federation, NatureQuest Day Camp and the Camp Long Advisory Council.
*Space for climbing and ropes course is limited, so we encourage early arrival to the festival and sign-up. Waivers are required for all climbing activities and will be available at the lodge.