We knew scheduling a winter trail day would be a bit of a gamble… Unfortunately, the weather for the end of the week before 12/7 is calling for much more rain than we’d like leading up to a trail day, so we’re going to cancel and reschedule for a weekend with conditions more conducive to trail work. Thank you to all who RSVP’d, and to SEALgrinderPT (whose generous donation we will apply to lunches when we reschedule the trail day)! We’ll keep our eyes on the forecast and stay in touch!
The RRGCC is pleased to announce that Rocktoberfest 2013 was our most successful event yet, and it’s all thanks to you! The weekend of Oct 11-13 marked the RRGCC’s annual Rocktoberfest, and nearly 1,000 people from all over the map joined us to climb, arm-wrestle, crate-stack, win swag, hang out with vendors, and raise money for the RRGCC!
Based on the money raised during Rocktoberfest, we will be able to pay the first year’s mortgage payment for our latest acquisition, the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve (MFRP). In addition, we will be able to continue to improve existing and new trail and parking infrastructure.
The RRGCC was also excited to announce that we are one of the recipients of the American Alpine Club’s 2013 Cornerstone Conservation Grant. The AAC will award the RRGCC $5,500 to improve the infrastructure of your land, including roads, parking areas and approach trails.
Of course, we had lots of fun raising all that money! There were raffles and competitions and lucky attendees walked away loaded with swag. The winners of Black Diamond’s 2013 Clip ‘n’ Go Comp were Adam Taylor with 559 points and Sarah Brengosz with 179 points. Team “Individual” won the team competition with 1012 points. Prizes were provided by Black Diamond and Sterling Rope. The winners of crate stacking, sponsored by Bluegrass Bouldering and J & H Lanmark, were Matt Owen with 22 crates and Jen Metalko with 21 crates.
Keeping the crowd entertained throughout the night were Kris Hampton, who emceed the event, the Mike Creech Band, who made Rocktoberfest a true Kentucky celebration by providing some home-grown bluegrass music, and Miguel’s Pizza, who gave attendees a second wind by providing pizzas as a late-night snack. We’d also like to thank Elodie Saracco of Elodie Saracco PhotoGraphic for documenting the event.
Last but certainly not least, the RRGCC would like to give a special shout-out to all the volunteers who made this event possible, and to our wonderful sponsors: Outdoor Research, Black Diamond, Petzl, Patagonia, Marmot, Keen, Sportiva, BlueWater, Scarpa, Belay Specs, 5.10, Quest Outdoors, Moose Jaw, Mountain Gear, Evolv, Trango, Metolius, Ale8One, Sterling Ropes, Benchmark Outfitters, J&H Lanmark, Bluegrass Bouldering, The North Face, SoIll, Tenaya, Miguel’s Pizza, Red River Outdoors, The Power Company, Fox Mountain Guides, Driskell Home Repair, Whole Foods, Warrior’s Way and MtnRanks.
Check out a photo essay of the event here!
At this year’s Rocktoberfest, come out and climb at the Clip and Go Climbing Competition sponsored by Black Diamond!
Why, you say? Well…
1. You’re climbing on the property that you own (it’s why we do this Rocktoberfest thing!)
2. It’s cheap (only $15 dollars!)
3. Great prizes from Black Diamond (draws, cams, lights)
4. It’s at the Sore Heel climbing areas (tons of classic routes)
5. It’s fun for you and easy for us ($14.83 of your entry fee goes to pay for the property)
6. It’s all about endurance (check out the rules below)
7. It’s an all day climbing thing… (starts at 10:00 and finishes at 5:00)
8. … and you still won’t miss any of the events Saturday night
9. If you are a guy, girls dig competitors
10. If you are a girl, guys dig competitors
11. Sore Heel is the place to climb on Saturday. Since competitors get priority when it comes to the parking lot, there will be significantly fewer people there.
12. There are plenty of divisions, so there are more ways to win.
Individuals: Habanero and Jalapeno
Teams: Bourbon and Beer
Score sheets may be purchased at the Rocktoberfest registration area or at Sore Heel
Points are gathered by clipping bolts on redpoint. Competitors get 1 point for each bolt clipped until you weight the rope (finish the route, fall, or take)
All routes have a multiplier
More difficult routes have a higher multiplier
Score is points times the multiplier
Traditional routes have a fixed number of points
Belayers sign the card
Start time is 10 am in the Sore Heel parking lot
Finish time is 5 pm <<
Competitors total their own score cards <
There are no errors with the score sheet. If the score sheet is wrong, the score sheet is right.
Winners will get their moment of glory at the event Saturday night.
Example of the scoring:
Citizen’s Arete: 1st attempt: 6 bolts x 2 = 12 pts; 2nd attempt: 8 bolts x 2 = 16 pts (score = 16 points; you can try as many times as you want, but only the high point counts)
Sport climbing? It doesn’t matter if the gear is hanging. Gear climbing? Place ‘em yourself.
Note that access to the parking area will be limited to competitors on the day of the comp. However, the climbing areas will still be open to all. If you choose to climb at the Sore Heel climbing areas and not compete, please park in another area (i.e. Bald Rock Road, the Motherlode parking area, the Drive By parking area) and walk in.
The world meets nobody halfway. When you want something, you gotta take it. -Lincoln Hawk
This is a beginning. Nearly ten years ago, we set off on an adventure that saw us secure hundreds of climbs in Red River Gorge. Today, we own that land outright and can say that climbers and climbers alone manage more than 750 acres in the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve.
Today, we’re packed and ready to set off on another journey. This one, the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, is a 300 acre, largely undeveloped playground for climbs of all ranges.
So come celebrate with us and help us secure more than 1,000 acres of climber owned land. Let’s get out there, go the extra mile, and take our future!
Natural Bridge Campgrounds, host to several past Rocktoberfests, will again be our venue in 2013. To get there, head to the Red as you normally might and:
- At exit 33, get off of the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway
- Turn right off the exit
- Turn in to the rest area
- Take an immediate left.
If you get to the rest area, we should have enough signs and be making enough noise to get the point across to where exactly we’ll be. So “rest” easy
This is a rough map of this year’s Rocktoberfest location.
Registration and Costs
Help us do this right.. pre-register today!
- Friday: $5 ($7 at the door)
- Climbing Comp: $15
- Party and Events: $13 ($15 at the door)
- Dinner: $8 ($9 at the door)
- Sunday Clinics: $30
- T-Shirts: $10
Parking and Camping
Parking is available onsite, just follow your friendly volunteers to the nearest open spot. Please don’t park at the Rest Area – you will be towed.
Shuttles will be run each night to and from Miguel’s.
Feel free to crash and camp at the venue. We’ll have areas set up specifically for camping. Alternatively, you can use the shuttles to get to and from Miguel’s if that’s more your scene.
Crate Stacking - all weekend at the venue:
Crate stacking is back again this year. With the help of Bluegrass Bouldering, crate stacking will be around Friday and Saturday nights. Make sure to take the opportunity to unseat the reigning champ, Bram.
Rope Recycling and Raffle – all weekend at the venue, raffle Saturday night:
All weekend Sterling Ropes will be running their Rope Recycling Program. For those of you with old ropes, toss ‘em in the bin and Sterling will enter you in the raffle to win a brand new rope of their own making.
RRGCC Gear – all weekend at the venue:
As it is October, Outdoor Research has graced us with some custom beanies and hats to warm that noggin’ of yours. We don’t have all the pricing information just yet but, even without it, you should know all the proceeds go to yours truly.
Hot Dogs – all weekend at the venue:
Because they love happy climbers, Marmot and team will be serving up hot dogs through the night. Grab one for the road – donations go to the RRGCC and the protein goes to Saturday’s sends.
Reel Rock Tour 8 - when dark at the venue:
For Saturday’s motivation, watch some of the best footage of cutting edge climbing during the Reel Rock Tour 8 movie. When the sun drops, we’ll pump up the volume.
Clip-n-Go Climbing Comp - 9am-4pm in the PMRP:
The Black Diamond sponsored Clip-n-Go Climbing Comp in the PMRP is the best chance of the year to jump on as many routes . The PMRP is yours while you pull down and try to win some of the best gear BD has to offer. Be sure to pre-register for the comp.. if you forget, though, show up Saturday morning at the venue and leave time to drive to the PMRP by the comp start, 9am. At 4pm, it’s pencils down and we’ll head back to the venue for grub and gear. We will be offering a shuttle back to the venue after the comp but it will be first come, first serve.
Shoe Demo – morning at Miguel’s:
Saturday morning is your chance to swing by Miguel’s and try a brand new pair of shoes for a day. Whether you’re grabbing a pair from Evolv, MadRock, Scarpa, Tenaya, 5.10, or La Sportiva, you’ll be able to find a pair that’s right for you. If nothing else, you’ll have a ready-made excuse for why you didn’t send your proj.
Dinner – 6pm at the venue:
Bourbon n’ Toulouse is a region classic and we won’t miss the chance to bring the tasty stuff back for you. Check out their menu or just look below for what we’ll be serving. Notice, we do have gluten-free options! And because we’re trying hard to keep our trash impact low, bring your own bowls or expect that intense hazing will ensue!
- Jamabalaya - Meaty, Gluten-Free
- Red Beans with Smoked Sausage - Meaty, Gluten-Free
- Cajun Red Chili - Meaty, Gluten-Free
- Artichoke and Parmesan Cream with Mushrooms - Veggie
- Black Beans and Caramelized Corn - Veggie, Gluten-Free
- Vegan Black Beans - Vegan, Gluten-Free
Arm Wrestling Comp – evening at the venue:
For the second year in a row, The Benchmark Outdoor Outfitters in Lexington is running an arm-wresting tournament that will have you screaming, “I drive truck, break arms, and arm wrestle. It’s what I love to do, it’s what I do best.” Use the ragin’ cajun power from dinner to throw down at the table while you fight for your right to win gear in a ol’ fashioned, tourney-style arm wrestling competition. Buy-ins, elimination, and brackets galore, Benchmark will be running the table throughout Saturday evening so keep near their booth for the impromptu bouts. With all the dollars going to the RRGCC, you have no excuse not to fight for your right to prove your worth under the lights on the big stage. Go “over the top” this year for the RRGCC.
Get fired up, it will be exactly like this.. exactly:
Crate stacking – all weekend at the venue:
With two nights full of opportunities to unseat him, make sure that Bram doesn’t reign as champion for another year. No one wants to hear him continue to gloat.
Silent Auction – evening at the venue:
With plenty of amazing gear from our sponsors, you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss out on the best deals of the year at our silent auction. Head up to the party tent in the evening and get in on the action.
Hot Dogs – all weekend at the venue:
More dogs, more donations for helping improve, maintain, and secure the PMRP and MFRP.
Mike Creech Band:
To help us celebrate the start of our MFRP adventure, the Mike Creech Band will be bring the tunes. So help us tear up a rug Kentucky style.
Breakfast - 8am at the venue:
Simply said, Solid Rock Climbers For Christ makes one of the best breakfasts around the Sunday after Rocktoberfest. What’s their secret – it’s early, ready, tasty.. and all they ask for is donations to support the RRGCC. If nothing else, stop by and give these folks a morning smile for showing up and fighting for us year after year after year.
Clinics - 9am at the venue:
One of the best things about professional athletes coming to Rocktoberfest is that they’re good folks and want to share the love and knowledge. To give them a canvas on which to perform their art, we’ll be hosting professional clinics taught by some of the sport’s best athletes. If you missed them during pre-registration, stop by the registration desk for more information on what clinics are open and where and when they’ll be held. Below is a list of available clinics:
- Advanced Climbing by Sam Elias
- Beginner – Learn to Lead
- Beginner/Intermediate – Intro to Trad
- Beginner/Intermediate – Multipitch Efficiency by Brittany Griffith
- Intermediate – Sport and Redpointing
We’re here because of you and our generous sponsors. If you get a chance, give a special “Thank You” to the sponsors this Rocktoberfest. They’re here (and have been there) for all of us, making Rocktoberfest happen behind the scenes, adding schwag and fun times, and helping us secure access throughout the area.
Our Rocktoberfest Sponsors
RRGCC’s Frequently Asked Questions-
- What is the RRGCC working on right now?
- What is the RRGCC’s stance on bolts?
- What do I do if I want to bolt a route on RRGCC land?
- What do if I want to build a trail on RRGCC land?
- Where is MF parking lot going to be?
- When will it be done?
- Is the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve Closed?
- What about the mountain biking trails?
- Why doesn’t the RRGCC log the PMRP and/or MFRP to make money?
- How much do BOD members make?
This summer is slipping along and we’re quickly approaching August. With August comes our annual installment of one of the East’s largest trail days, Johnny and Alex Trail Day. With our ninth annual JATD, we have no intention of showing our age and are planning on one of the biggest JATD’s we’ve ever hosted. Now with the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve and the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve to maintain and develop, we need your help is diggin’ some dirt and hacking some high quality trails in the hills.
As always, we will keep you fed, providing Miguel’s for lunch and then Red River Rockhouse for dinner that evening. We also will have plenty of swag to raffle, auction, and just give away, all from our many generous sponsors. If you didn’t leave it all out on the trails, pick yourself up for a little pickin’ and grinnin’ from the 23 String Band, back and better than ever. And of course there will be plenty of frisbee tossing, volleyball volleying, and slip n’ slide.. slipping for your entertainment throughout the evening.
If you sign by July 26, you’ll be treated to a free JATD shirt! There’s even a poly-pro option for those of you that want to donate a little extra, a great shirt for those that want to show a little JATD pride at their next race. But you’ll have to sign by July 26 to get your shirt, so hurry!
Register at rrgcc.org/jatd/jatd.php and let your friends know that you’ll be doing your part in the Red!
As always, make sure to thank our generous sponsors every chance you get!
|REI||Access Fund||Red River Outdoors|
|Miguel’s||Red River Rockhouse||Bluegrass Bouldering|
|Benchmark Outdoor Outfitter||RockQuest Climbing Center||J&H Lanmark|
|Gordon Food Services||ClifBar||Gore-Tex|
|Lago Linda Hideaway||Elodie Saracco Photography|
Please do not drive up to the Sore Heel parking lot today. American Natural Gas will be doing some road work near the tanks and the work will make the road impassable.
To help let them do their jobs and avoid climbers having trouble, we’re asking that people park at either Drive By or near the Motherload parking lot.
This work should be done by the weekend but we will keep you posted if that time frame changes. As always, please respect the workers there and try to do whatever they might ask of you regarding avoiding areas or parking. And say thanks for the help they’ve provided recently, especially for the Coal Bank road.
Thanks all! And please share to help us get the word out.
What we did:
Over the past two days we finished the first stage of repairs to Coal Bank Road (leading to the Solar Collector, Darkside, Far Side, and Crossroads Crags). Mike Driskell has worked patiently with the oil company and as a result, the RRGCC and ANGi have come to an agreement: ANGi will supply the machinery and labor for road maintenance and the RRGCC will supply the gravel and materials.
The dozer operator began by removing all the large stones throughout the road. He graded the road from the turn off to the parking lot and cut a shoulder into the road to keep brush back. He added drainage along the side of the road and installed a 15-inch by 30-foot culvert midway up the hill to minimize water damage to the road. He cleared brush in the parking lot, filled in the mud hole, and created drainage so it would not fill with water again. He also created drainage off the hill so that water would no longer flow from the top of Far Side down the oil road, and cut a trench in the parking area. We then called a local gravel company to deliver 4 loads of gravel and graveled the road from the turn off up to (but not including) the parking lot.
By working patiently with ANGi, Mike Driskell arranged for them to provide the dozer and operator at no cost to the RRGCC and resulted in saving thousands of dollars. The RRGCC supplied the materials at a cost of $2300.
After the gravel settles and compacts, we will order 2 more loads of dense grade gravel for the hill. This gravel is the fine gravel they have used on the Bald Rock Hill (Motherlode Hill) and is what has helped keep that road in such good shape. This should take one day and we hope to have it completed at the end of June or beginning of July. The anticipated cost is between $1000 and $1400.
We are also considering options for graveling the parking lot. Ideally, we would like to have the budget to complete both the new parking lot at Flat Holler and gravel this parking lot as well. We will be assessing budget issues over the next two months to determine what is feasible on the current donations. The anticipated cost is TBD.
What you can do to help:
First and foremost, the biggest help will be for you to drive slowly and steadily on the entire length of road. Frequent changes in speed and sudden breaking cause ruts in the road, which are difficult to fix. If you have a 4WD vehicle, consider not driving in the same tire tracks as everyone else to help prevent ruts.
If you have a 2WD vehicle and you find that when you drive on gravel hills your tires frequently spin, consider parking on the side of the road at the top of the very first hill until we are able to add the additional gravel at the end of the month. There is a section that was widened for this purpose. Please make sure your vehicle is completely off the road and that trucks can make the turn from the side road to go down to Fixer Road. You may also consider putting your car into first gear and driving very slowly and steadily to prevent your wheels from spinning.
The second thing you can do to help is set up a recurring donation of $10, $15, or $20 (or more!) each month. To do so, please visit our donation page. Recurring donations help us with maintenance costs since we know the exact amount of money to expect at any given time. This allows for planning of projects such as road repair and parking lot construction. We value all donations and also welcome one-time donations. A fun way to donate this week is to visit West Sixth Brewing on Saturday, June 8 for their fundraiser for the RRGCC!
The third thing you can do to help is to keep being a good neighbor for ANGi oil since they are helping the RRGCC save thousands of dollars on maintenance costs. Next time you see a climber praking in front of oil wells, say “Thank you ANGi” by asking the climbers to find another parking spot.
Thank you for supporting the RRGCC.
The Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition (RRGCC) and Access Fund are thrilled to announce the acquisition of 309 acres in Beattyville, Kentucky. Named the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, the land includes several miles of cliff line, some of which has been developed but with the vast majority of it awaiting discovery and development. There is potential for more than a dozen individual crags and hundreds of high-quality routes.
The Miller Fork Recreational Preserve is located just seven miles from the popular Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve (PMRP) climbing destination in Lee County, Kentucky. The Miller Fork acquisition creates a brand new destination for climbers in the region, helping to relieve the access pressures and climber impacts on other crags in the Red River Gorge.
Previous owner and Lee County resident, Libby Roach saw the RRGCC’s involvement in community meetings, as well as climbing’s positive economic impacts on the local community. In early 2013, she approached the RRGCC with this land in the hopes of helping both the local community and the climbing community. “I care very much for Beattyville and Lee County. It is my hope that our decision to sell this beautiful land will only bring positive things to all.”
After being presented with the opportunity, RRGCC contacted the Access Fund for help. The two organizations worked together to finalize the purchase, with the Access Fund providing both a $10,000 grant and a $200,000 loan from the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign, the revolving loan program that provides local climbing organizations with the funds and expertise needed to quickly save threatened climbing areas. The RRGCC pulled from its own funds to make up the difference and purchase the property for $245,000. The RRGCC is now calling on the community to show its support for this ambitious purchase by donating here.
“The Access Fund is proud to support RRGCC’s protection of Miller Fork’s expansive climbing,” says Access Fund Southeast Regional Director Zachary Lesch-Huie. “Their partnership with the local community and ongoing commitment to expanding public climbing access has created yet another major Red River Gorge climbing area.”
The RRGCC made history in 2012 when it paid off the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve (PMRP), completing the largest land purchase ever by a local climbing organization. The RRGCC refinanced the PMRP loan through the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign in 2010, saving the local community over $10,000 in interest in fees under the previous loan. Now, the more than 750 acres, 450 plus routes, and several dozen crags that call the PMRP home are secure and will always remain open to climbing.
“Like the PMRP, Miller Fork is going to change the game in the Red,” says Paul Vidal, President of the RRGCC. “Acquiring this property illustrates the strength of the climbing community in this region and its importance to the area. Without the community of climbers and businesses supporting us and pushing us to look to the future, we wouldn’t have been able to secure this climbing.” The purchase of the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve will be another step in securing access for climbers, while furthering the RRGCC’s mission of ensuring open, public access to ample, quality rock climbing opportunities. Like the PMRP, the RRGCC will own and manage the property in perpetuity.
More information, including information regarding trail and route development, will be forthcoming as the RRGCC develops and implements its infrastructure plan.
About the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition
The Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition works to ensure open, public access to quality outdoor rock climbing opportunities in and around Red River Gorge, Kentucky. The Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition works to encourage the conservation of the natural environment on publicly managed and privately owned land by protecting, promoting, and ensuring responsible climbing.
About the Access Fund
Having just celebrated its 20th anniversary, the Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. The Access Fund supports and represents over 2.3 million climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering. Six core programs support the mission on national and local levels: climbing management policy, stewardship and conservation, local support and mobilization, land acquisition and protection, risk management and landowner support, and education. For more information, visit www.accessfund.org.
The RRGCC cordially invites everyone to Miguel’s Pizza at the Red for a very special announcement.
Date: Saturday, June 1st
Time: 8:00 pm
We would like to share some information with the community. We want to discuss with the community the past, present, and future activities of the Coalition. It is going to be an informal gathering… a little lighthearted story telling, then a slide show, then an announcement that might be interesting.
Everyone is welcome, and you won’t need to bring anything but high spirits and optimism.