November 30th, 2015 by Yasmeen

An Event Benefitting the Needy in Lee County, Kentucky

Until December 18, 2015 donations will be accepted at the following locations to benefit the Beattyville Helping Hands Food Bank:

Slade, KY – Daniel Boone Trading Post

Louisville, KY – Climb Nulu

Cincinnati, OH – Climb Time of Blue Ash & RockQuest Climbing Center

Everyday canned food items including tuna, chicken, vegetables, beans, fruit, and soups along with boxed pastas are needed.

The Helping Hands Food Bank is preparing Christmas food boxes for 160 families and has already collected the corn, green beans, gravy and cranberry sauce for the boxes. However, meat (turkeys and hams), stuffing, pie, and bread still need to be purchased. They are currently $600 short of the funds needed. To contribute for these fresh food items please send a check for your tax deductible donation on or before December 15th with a notation that it is for: “Climbers That Care” to the RRGCC, PO Box 22156, Lexington, KY 40522-2156.

October 19th, 2015 by terri

The weather is cool, the leaves are turning, and another successful Rocktoberfest is in the books! The weekend of Rocktoberfest was a pristine one in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, and climbers from all over the world turned out in droves to celebrate climbing in the Red – and to support the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition!


The fun kicked off on Friday night, when the vendors opened up their booths and the attendees started mingling, taking in the sights and trying their hands at some fun competitions, like the pull up competition and the always-popular crate stacking. Later in the evening, everyone gathered under the big tent for this year’s choice of movies – an independent film by Mike Wilkinson, Ascending India, that touched on climbing in the Red, followed by the new Reel Rock.


Saturday morning things started early, with a yoga session under the big tent led by Danielle Bartos and a shoe demo with Five Ten, TENAYA, La Sportiva, SCARPA and Evolv happening at Miguel’s, after which everyone headed out to climb. Some of those climbers made their way to the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve to participate in the annual Clip ‘n’ Go competition, clipping as many bolts as they could before the day ended in the hopes of winning some awesome prizes while raising money for the RRGCC!


Back at the event on Saturday night, the crowd was even bigger than the night before. Everyone listened to RRGCC President Josephine Sterr’s plans for the future, including the announcement that anyone who signs up to donate at least $10/month is automatically entered to win a brand new rope or other prizes at the Red River Reunion in the spring! We also got to introduce and publicly thank Mr. Bernard Benningfield of ATS Construction, who has been helping us keep our roads in shape despite a year full of rain!  Then, the winners from the Clip ‘n’ Go competition were announced*. For the first time ever, the top three winners of each category had medals draped around their necks, courtesy of the KY Board of Adventure Tourism. This year, the RRGCC teamed up with board and made the climbing competition a part of the KY Outdoor Adventure Games.


Following the presentation, the crowd danced to the music of the Flea Market Hustlers until the wee hours of the morning and were rewarded with complimentary pizza by Miguel’s at 11 pm.


Sunday morning, the Solid Rock Climbers for Christ were up bright and early to start cooking a pancake breakfast for the hungry festival-goers. Then, those participating in our various clinics gathered to meet their instructors and headed out to expand their climbing knowledge! Meanwhile, our awesome clean-up volunteers helped pack up and make sure we packed everything out.


And with that, another successful Rocktoberfest came to a close. We couldn’t have done it without YOU- the people who make owning over 1,000 acres of land possible and who create the best climbing community in the world!  We also want to give a big shout-out to our sponsors, who make putting on a party of this size possible-


Outdoor Research, Access Fun, BlueWater Ropes, Petzl, Black Diamond, La Sportiva, Powell County Tourism, Climbing Magazine, Sterling Ropes, Patagonia, Marmot, Goal Zero, Scarpa, Belay Specs, Five Ten, Quest Outdoors, Moosejaw, Mountain Gear, Misty Mountain, Evolv, Keen, Trango, Metolius, Rab, Joshua Tree Skin Care, Miguel’s Pizza, Red River Rockhouse, Ale8One, J&H Outdoors, Tenaya, Red Bull, Eno, So ILL, Krieg Climbing, Ahnu, Hoka One One, Trader Joe’s, L’Escalade Fitness, Daniel Boone Trading Post, E9 Climbing, Armaid, Red River Outdoors, The North Face, Fox Mountain Guides, Driskell Home Repair, The Power Company, Bluegrass Bouldering, The Warrior’s Way, MtnRanks


*Competition winners-


Team Beer:

  1. Gerks
  2. Daytonians

Team Bourbon:

  1. Colombian People
  2. Pickles!
  3. Sea and Stone

Ladies Jalapeno:

  1. Pickles!
  2. Emmalee Orlett
  3. Susie Semler

Gentlemen Jalapeno:

  1. Robin Snader
  2. Ben Murphy
  3. James Campbell

Ladies Habanero:

  1. Jillian Weller
  2. Sarah Brengosz
  3. Lena Moinova

Gentlemen Habanero:

  1. John Chipouras
  2. Ben Circello

3. Henry Robinson

October 12th, 2015 by Yasmeen

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Black Diamond Rocktoberfest Clip ‘n’ Go Climbing Comp!






Team Beer:
1. Gerks
2. Daytonians

Team Bourbon:
1. Colombian People
2. Pickles!
3. Sea and Stone

Ladies Jalapeno:
1. Pickles!
2. Emmalee Orlett
3. Susie Semler

Gentlemen Jalapeno:
1. Robin Snader
2. Ben Murphy
3. James Campbell

Ladies Habanero:
1. Jillian Weller
2. Sarah Brengosz
3. Lena Moinova

Gentlemen Habanero:
1. John Chipouras
2. Ben Circello
3. Henry Robinson

Thank you to all our participants, to Ray and Michelle Ellington for the excellent route information and the new guidebook, and to everyone who has donated to help us pay off the MFRP!

September 30th, 2015 by Yasmeen

Here are the clinics we’re offering at Rocktoberfest 2015! Pre-register at to snag your spot!


  • Adv – Harder, Better, Faster – Dan Brayack
    This clinic will be an informative discussion about training using the methods developed by the Anderson brothers in their book, The Rock Climber’s Training Manual. The target audience for this is any intermediate to advanced climber who has been climbing for 2+ years (or considers themselves a very serious climber.) 1. Why train for climbing? 2. What training program is right for me? 3. What intensity is appropriate for my level of fitness? 4. What is Phased Training and How do I perform the following training exercises: a. Endurance (ARC Training) b. Hangboarding (Strength) c. Campusing (Power) d. 4x4s / LBC (Power Endurance) — Dan Brayack has been climbing and training for climbing for 16 years. Using the Rock Climber’s Training Manual, he has went from very seriously not climbing 5.12- to very seriously not climbing mid range 5.13. Dan has a blog that has been chronicling his training and his accomplishments at: and
  • Beg – Footwork and Technique – Nick Duttle
    Learn what it takes to achieve fluid movement to climb gracefully. Study the art of working with your feet effectively. Develop proper foot technique for slab climbing, edging, and crack climbing. — Nick has been climbing for 15 years, professionally for 11. He’s climbed to the top of the grade in sport and bouldering on all of America’s types of stone. He loves the Red River Gorge sandstone and its awesome climbing!
  • Beg – Learn to Lead – Andrew Gearing and Jen Sauer
    Tired of the rope snagging on your partner’s draws as you unclip while following him/her up a line? Take your climbing skills to the next level and learn how to lead sport routes! Time will also be dedicated to cleaning anchors. Andrew and Jen have sent some of the Red’s hardest lines – both trad and sport – and they’re psyched to help you get going on your mission to take the sharp end!
  • Beg/Int – Intro to Trad – Shingo Ohkawa
    Want to avoid the crowds at the Red on gorgeous Fall days? There are almost as many trad/mixed routes as sport routes here – learn to lead them! This course gives you the skills to start working through safely leading a traditional climb. — Shingo is a lifer, a prodigal dirt-bag … he is, however, completely obsessed with exploring the high places of the world; opening new routes in ranges near and far, from the Wasatch to the Karakoram. No place is too far, for the world’s still a big place and he’s got no time to lose!
  • Beg/Int – Multipitch Efficiency – Karsten Delap
    This is your chance to learn muti-pitch systems with a focus on equipment, route-finding, belaying, safety, and speed. Multi-pitch systems can be incredibly complex, and the best way to refine your skills is to examine each part of the system by itself. In this course, we will do just this: look at every element of your system and help you to make it better. On this course, we do not climb a multi-pitch route, but use a ground school to practice the specific systems required to climb a multi-pitch route effectively. Once you have completed this course, you will be able to take the skills learned in this setting and apply them to long multi-pitch climbs. — Karsten Delap has climbed many 17,000-foot peaks and has climbed all over the world for work and play. He spends the spring working in the High Sierra and the rest of the year traveling the world working for Fox Mountain Guides, heading up their alpine programs. He successfully completed the Rock Guide Program in 2009, becoming the Southeast’s second AMGA Certified Rock Guide. In 2013, he gained the AMGA Alpine Guide Certification and was the first guide in the Southeast to achieve this certification. He has gotten himself and his clients out of countless jams and mastered the art of multi-pitch, and is the perfect instructor to teach you how to embark on your upcoming multi-pitch adventures!
  • Int – Sport and Redpointing – TBD
    Climbing 5.9 and wanting to improve? This clinic will teach you how to move beyond the plateau. This course will explain the art of choosing a project, how to train for the project, how to safely catch a fall, and more!
  • Int – Warrior’s Way – Arno Ilgner and Madaleine Sorkin
    Madaleine Sorkin will be running this clinic on behalf of Outdoor Research and La Sportiva this year. Being effective in climbing requires us to understand the consequences of our decisions and actions. In climbing the main consequence is falling. By understanding how to fall we diminish the chance of injury and allow us to focus attention effectively on climbing. Target student: This clinic is not for beginners. You must have at least 6 months of continuous climbing experience and know the basics knots, belaying, and be able to climb 5.9 without falling/hanging. We’ll do some discussion but the clinic will consist mostly of falling exercises. Equipment Needed: Harness, shoes, belay device, helmet. Plus draws and a rope (if you have them). — Arno Ilgner distinguished himself as a pioneering rock climber in the 1970s and ‘80s, when the top climbs were bold and dangerous first ascents. These personal exploits are the foundation for Ilgner’s unique physical and mental training program–The Warrior’s Way®
September 18th, 2015 by Yasmeen

Rocktoberfest, the biggest yearly fundraiser for the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition, is back! As you may have seen on our home page, we’re working hard to raise the $36,000 we need for this year’s Miller Fork mortgage payment. After this year, we’ll be more than halfway done paying off the 5-year mortgage, which means more than halfway to owning over 1,000 acres of land for everyone to climb on. Pre-register for Rocktoberfest and let’s raise the rest of that $36,000 on Rocktoberfest weekend!

The event will take place October 9-11 at the Natural Bridge Campground (the same venue as the past few years) in Slade, KY and will feature a climbing competition at certain crags on the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, a Friday night showing of the 2015 Reel Rock Tour, a Saturday night performance by the Flea Market Hustlers, crate stacking, booths of vendors showing off their wares, climbing skills clinics, and – as always – more!

Attendees are highly encouraged to pre-register. A number of options are available, allowing climbers to customize the event – and its price – to their needs.

Volunteers are also needed – they are what make the event a success year after year. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, and it’s a lot of fun! Volunteers get to to hang out with others in the community, making friends and new climbing connections while supporting the RRGCC (not to mention, they get in free the day they volunteer!)! Volunteers can register here. Make sure to sign-up early – prime slots fill up quickly!


A rough schedule of the main events is below – please keep an ear out throughout the event for announcements from our awesome MC: Kris Hampton of Power Company Climbing, and forgive us if things don’t run exactly on time:

Friday Evening:
6pm: Vendor booths open
7pm: Crate stackers start stacking (thank you, BlueWater and LaSportiva!)
8pm: Reel Rock 10

Saturday Morning:
9am: Yoga with Danielle Bartos ($5 donation to the RRGCC appreciated)
9am: Climbing Shoe Demo at Miguel’s (which brings us to…)
10am: MFRP Climbing Comp starts, and finishes at 5pm (thank you, Black Diamond!)

Saturday Evening:
6pm: Food trucks start trucking
8pm: Announcers start announcing: comp winners, raffle winners
9pm: Flea Market Husters start rocking the stage

Sunday Morning:
8am: Solid Rock Climbers for Christ Breakfast
10am: Clinics head out for the day

August 3rd, 2015 by terri

Another hot and steamy summer in the Red River Gorge means another Johnny and Alex Trail Day is in the books! On Saturday, July 25, nearly 150 volunteers gathered to help maintain the land they love- and own.

After signing in, grabbing their lunches provided by Miguel’s and a brief meeting at Lago Linda’s Hideaway, the volunteers split into groups to tackle the many jobs that needed to be worked on in the PMRP and MFRP. With over 1,000 acres of land between the two areas, there’s a lot of maintenance to be done and new trails to be cut. Luckily, we have the best climbing community in the world, and our volunteers are top-notch!

In the PMRP, the work that was begun on The Shire a few months ago continued as volunteers built terraces to create a more stable base and belay area. Around the corner, a bridge to Amarillo Sunset was put in place, as was the framework for a staircase down to the belay ledge for the popular route. The improvements to The Shire were made possible by Trango- many thanks to them for help making this popular crag more sustainable!

The Flat Holler mountain bike trail was also expanded. A small army of volunteers attacked the brush and carved out more trail, which will eventually be opened to mountain bikers and allow more people to enjoy our beautiful land via human-powered recreation.

Over in the MFRP, the bulk of the work took place on the main trail. A trail was completed on the east side of the trail to the Serenity Point turnoff, allowing climbers to stay out of the mud on the main road. On the west side of the main trail, a new bridge was installed over the main creek crossing, along with a wet soil crossing bridge. In addition, the trail to Chaos Wall was re-routed and cut.

After the hard work was done, it was time to head back to Lago Linda’s for dinner and a party. The tired volunteers gathered under the pavilion and were revitalized by food from the Red River Rockhouse. Then the Bobby Maynard & Breakdown band took over and the dancing began, interrupted only by a raffle, where a great deal of prizes were won, with the proceeds going to the RRGCC! The band played well into the night as friends, old and new, hung out and enjoyed the beauty of the Red River Gorge.

Johnny and Alex Trail Day is one of the RRGCC’s most popular events and it’s clear why- hard work on the land for climbers, owned by climbers, followed by a great party! None of it would be possible without our sponsors, and we want to give them all a huge shoutout. So thanks to- Lago Linda Hideaway, Elodie Saracco Photographic, Rockquest, Climb NuLu, Gordon Food Service, Outdoor Research, West Sixth Brewery, BlueWater Ropes, L’Escalade Fitness, J&H Outfitters, Black Diamond, Trango, Bluegrass Bouldering, Miguel’s Pizza, Red River Rockhouse, the Access Fund, Driskell Home Repair, Red River Outdoors, MtnRanks, Dirtbag Climbers, and Restop.

We’d also like to thank the owners of Roadside, who donated all their donations from climbers on Sunday to the RRGCC to help offset the costs of Johnny and Alex Trail Day.

If you couldn’t be part of the fun, we can always use your help with the financial aspect of keeping up over 1,000 acres- donate here!

July 19th, 2015 by Yasmeen

(From Mike Driskell)

August 22/23, 2015

The purpose of this class is to seek out those interested individuals who want to be active land stewards for the RRGCC and lead trail days, develop trail systems, and participate in the overall management of RRGCC lands. Upon completion of the first day, participants will be able to plan and lead trail days either with supervision or, ideally, on their own. Upon completion of the second day, participants will be able to layout new trails systems and either assist in or execute the building of those trails.

Saturday 9am – 12pm — Morning class (Lago Linda’s Shakeout Lounge)

Will consist of:

– An introduction
– Short video on trail building
– Classroom discussion on common problems and what we typically do to solve them
– Safety aspects of trail days
– Planning and execution trail days
– Tools and their use
– Common trail “no no”s
– Trail building techniques
– Water mitigation
– Repair and solutions to problem areas
– Bridge building
– Belay bases
– “The enemy” – Water
– Flora and fauna to watch for
– Much more!

Saturday 1pm – 5pm — Afternoon session (outside at the MFRP)

Will consist of:

– Hands on trail building
– Review examples of good trails, and bad trails
– Discuss elements of trail building learned indoors
– Ideally, cut some trails

Saturday evening – Optional 7pm – 10pm?

I’ll host a get together at my place, with cold beverages and burgers. Driskell Home Repair will be feeding you. Discussions on the day’s lessons and an information exchange among participants (brainstorming session, our chance to hear what YOU think, this is very important).

You are welcome to stay the night, I enjoy the company, but space is limited, chairs, sleeping bags, ground pads and tents (if its raining) are recommended.

Sunday – Optional 9am- 3pm?

– Meet and greet in MFRP parking and short review of Saturday’s trail layout basics
– Layout new trails discussing the “how”s and “why”s of our path
– Micro ecosystems and how to avoid them
– Trees species, intro into tree cutting selections – what to save and why
– HWA identification and education

Register now!

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July 15th, 2015 by Yasmeen

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June 30th, 2015 by Yasmeen

May 6, 2015. Lexington, KY – As many are aware, the recent rains and flooding in Miller Fork Recreational Preserve and the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve took a heavy toll on the roads and bridges. The RRGCC put out a call to help and our community came through in a big way! Many of you donated and several hardy souls helped put our washed away bridges back in place. One member of the local community came up big in a way we didn’t anticipate and we are very grateful!
Mr. Bernard Benningfield, a Powell County resident, contacted the RRGCC after noting the damage caused by the recent flooding. He offered his services and those of the company he works for, ATS Construction. In a meeting with RRGCC President Bentley Brackett, Mr. Benningfield expressed his desire to work with the RRGCC to address our immediate needs and foster a relationship for the future. He offered to fix the road leading into the MFRP, with ATS donating the manpower, equipment, and expertise to get the job done.
ATS Construction is a third generation family-owned road construction company based in Lexington, KY. They have several locations across the Central Kentucky Bluegrass Region and work all across the area.
Mr. Benningfield and ATS certainly came through on their promise to go the extra mile. Work began on Friday morning and continued into Saturday afternoon. Huge improvements were made, not only repairing the road but also re-routing it in order to lessen the chance of a washout happening again. Five culverts were upgraded and replaced, and two new culverts were installed. A 500 foot section of road was relocated to higher ground, the rest of the road was graded, and poor drainage areas were addressed. The existing parking lot was also graded. All told, 150 tons of stone were laid.
We cannot express our gratitude to Mr. Benningfield and ATS Construction enough. As a local resident, Mr. Benningfield is very active in his community. A member of the Powell County Search and Rescue Team, Mr. Benningfield is also an avid hiker who enjoys spending time in the Red River Gorge with his wife, Lisa. He has clearly shown that he is an excellent steward of the land and community he loves!
The road leading to the MFRP is in the best shape it has ever been! While there is still work to be done to ensure the road stays in good condition, it is now completely passable, making it easier for you to enjoy the land you own!

About the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition
The Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition is a 501(c)(3) non-profit working to ensure open, public access to quality outdoor rock climbing opportunities in and around Red River Gorge, Kentucky. The RRGCC works to conserve the natural environment on publicly managed and privately owned land by protecting, promoting, and ensuring responsible climbing. The RRGCC is an affiliate of the Access Fund and a member of the Land Trust Alliance, operating according to the LTA’s national land trust standards and practices. For more information, visit
About ATS Construction
ATS Construction is a third generation family owned road construction company with operations that have served the Central Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region since the 1950’s. ATS Construction delivers superior service and quality workmanship while utilizing a safety-oriented approach. We are a full service highway contractor, which employs a dedicated, well trained, professional workforce capable of performing all types of highway and road projects. The ATS team of engineering, project management, technical consulting, estimating, and material testing personnel can meet the needs and schedule of your project–including Public Works, Commercial, Industrial, Farms and Private Residential. Our well-maintained fleet of equipment utilizes the latest computer and GPS systems to ensure your project is completed to your specifications. We strive to deliver the highest quality product at an economical price and will go the extra mile to deliver your project on time and on budget. For more information, visit

May 11th, 2015 by terri

On Saturday, May 2, dozens of volunteers gathered in the PMRP for a Trango-sponsored trail day, with the main focus being to rehabilitate one of our most well-loved crags, The Shire. Trango provided the materials and even brought swag for the workers! After a brief information session headed by RRGCC Land Manager Mike Driskell, the volunteers headed off to their respective work areas.

A small team tackled the repair of the Sore Heel shortcut bridge, which had been split in two in the recent flooding. They spent all day salvaging parts from the old bridge and putting together a new (higher!) bridge.

Further up the trail, another group worked on reinforcing the Sore Heel shortcut trail, repairing a small footbridge and armoring the trail to better handle flooding.

At The Shire, the bulk of the volunteers busily worked on completely re-doing the base. The old terracing, which was badly deteriorated, was torn out. New, more stable terracing was put in place using treated lumber the volunteers hauled up from the parking lot. The shortcut trail that bypassed the main trail and headed straight up the hillside was closed and covered up. A new trail that will better handle wash-out was put in, complete with stone steps to minimize erosion’s affect on the trail. By the end of the day, it looked like a brand-new crag!

We also got to meet the kind EKU professors who are doing the RRG Economic Impact Study, as they kicked off their Spring in-person data collection phase on the same day!

We owe a huge thanks to Trango for sponsoring the trail day and providing the materials, to Rob Moore for all of the time and effort he dedicated to the planning and execution, and to Miguel’s for supplying lunch to the hungry volunteers!

Our work, however, is not done! We have another Trango Trail Day on Saturday, May 16 to finish the work at The Shire. We need your help to make this happen! Please RSVP at: