SLUG FEST 2023!
The Upper Peninsula Climbers’ Coalition (UPCC) is an Access Fund Affiliate (501c3) whose mission is to preserve and protect climbing areas throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. One such climbing area is located in the small mining town of Palmer, affectionately known as Slug’s Bluff.
The climbing area got its name after Leo ‘Slug’ Arbelius who owned this ten acre parcel with his wife Alice Arbelius. Leo and Alice raised their family in Palmer, operated the local grocery store, and used Slug’s Bluff to graze their cows.
In the 1970s, climbers discovered this 80’ tall quartzite cliff, and the Arbelius Family graciously allowed others to utilize this parcel for recreational uses.
Over the ensuing decades, the UPCC, in conjunction with NMU’s climbing club (South Superior Climbing Club), organized numerous cleanups of this property. This involved the removal of all sorts of items that had been dumped over the lookout, as well as removing graffiti and garbage from the top of the escarpment.
In 2022, the UPCC approached the Arbelius Family to see if there was any interest in selling this undeveloped acreage. The UPCC had feared that the parcel would be sold, and that the new owner would not allow the public to access it. The Arbelius Family—in an act of unparalleled generosity—agreed to gift Slug’s Bluff to the UPCC. The UPCC, in return, has agreed to preserve this area for outdoor recreation and to erect a kiosk at the trailhead in dedication to the Arbelius Family.
Through this acquisition, Slug’s Bluff is now the first climber-owned climbing area in Michigan.
FridaySlugg's Orientation & Social Climb 3pm-6pm
Official Registration, clinic sign up and Climbers Meet & Greet at the Cade
Saturday8:00am Climbers Yoga
10:00am Clinics Start
Sport Route Cleaning Clinic
Intro to Sport Climbing Belaying Basics
10:00am Shoe Demo Black Diamond, La Sportiva & Scarpa Demo
Service Project- Slugs Garden
6:00pm Climbers Dinner and Party at the Cade
7:30pm Silent Auction
Sunday8:00am Climbers Yoga
10:00am Social Climb
10am Shoe Demo Black Diamond, La Sportiva & Scarpa Demo
10:00am Clinics Start
Intro to Traditional Climbing
12 noon Service Project Downed Tree clean up and glass collection