October 26th, 2014 by terri

Another Rocktoberfest has come and gone, and this year has proven once again that we have the best climbing community around! Despite the not-so-great forecast, the rain and the mud (so much mud), hundreds of you came from all over the continent to hang out with friends, check out the awesome vendors , climb and give money to support the RRGCC and the land you own!
We are extremely proud and excited to announce that all of your donations helped us raise over $20,000 towards our goal of the $35,000 required to match the Conservation Alliance 2014 Grant! This brings us so many steps closer to paying off the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, and we are so grateful that despite the unfavorable weather conditions, you all stepped up and made this happen.Dance Party (photo by Lisa Jolan)

On Friday, attendees ventured from tent to tent, entering raffles (with all proceeds supporting the RRGCC!), grabbing freebies and checking out the latest gear from the vendors. Later in the night, everyone gathered under the main tent and watched the Reel Rock 2014, Valley Uprising. As always, the film was a hit and became the talk of the night. Special thanks to William Keenan (“Uncle Dave”) for doing the sound. After the movie, DJ Carlos Atman kept the party going for a couple more hours for a crowd of energetic dancers.




On Saturday, after a morning yoga session with Danielle Bartos, the rain gods smiled on us and the weather cleared up enough for us to proceed with the Black Diamond sponsored Clip-n-Go comp, held for the first time at Miller Fork so the competitors could sample the routes their donations are helping to secure. Congrats to the winners listed below- give ‘em a high-five (and maybe ask for some training tips) if you see them!
Women’s Jalapeno:
1. Anna Fahey

Men’s Jalapeno:
1. Nathan Ross
2. Steven Lee
3. James Hanson

Women’s Habanero:
1. Lindsay Auble
2. Sarah Brengosz
3. Hayley Watts

Men’s Habanero:
1. Jon Shen
2. Dan Beck
3. Ben Circello

Teams [Beer]:
1. Dirty Nuts
2. Blue Poo

Teams [Bourbon]:
1. Guiding Light
2. Team Guido
3. Lost in Transgressions

While the competitors (and many others) were out enjoying the climbing day, Andrew and Hannah Tolliver spent their time improving the land, installing an awesome sign welcoming visitors to the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve. They deserve a huge pat on the back for their efforts.

Venue (photo by Lisa Jolan)

The party continued Saturday night, and thanks to extra volunteers the always popular crate stacking was able to get underway despite the rain. The winners, stacking 24 crates each, were Brett Dougan and Synda Clements. Our event this year even gained the attention of the Pendergrass and Murray families – James Paul, Robin, David, and Karen (all cousins and all descendants of Daniel Boone Carter Pendergrass) stopped by Saturday evening to check out the festivities. (If those last names sound familiar, it’s because Mr. James Paul Murray is the gentleman who sold the PMRP to the RRGCC all those years ago!)


Then everyone moved back under the tent to dance to the music of the Mike Creech Band. The party continued late into the night, but since this community is so great, lots of volunteers still managed to emerge from their tents early in the morning. After re-fueling with breakfast provided by the Solid Rock Climbers for Christ, they helped clean up the venue. Our pro athletes (Regan Kennedy and Josh Muller, Karsten Delap, Margarita Martinez, Chuck Odette and Maggie Smith-Odette, Shingo Ohkawa, Brittany Griffith, and Nick Duttle and Dan Mirsky) taught the clinic registrants some new tricks while the weather granted them a rain-free day, closing the books on another successful Rocktoberfest!

Throughout it all, Rae Hartley oversaw the army of volunteers, arriving at the venue early and staying late; our emcee Kris “Odub” Hampton made sure every sponsor got shouted out and every event got announced; and our incredibly talented event photographer, Elodie Saracco, captured each moment (check out her albums, shared on our Facebook page).

We’d also like to give a special shout-out to our amazing sponsors- we couldn’t do this every year without them! So, a big round of applause for…

Our Rocktoberfest Sponsors

Outdoor Research
Access Fund BlueWater
Petzl La Sportiva
Black Diamond
Patagonia Marmot Goal Zero Scarpa
Belay Specs Five Ten Quest Outdoors Moosejaw
Mountain Gear Evolv Trango Sterling Rope
Metolius Rab Joshua Tree Skin Care Miguels Pizza
Mountain Ranks Ale-8-One J&H Lanmark Benchmark
Tenaya CamelBak Red River Outdoors The North Face
Fox Mountain Guides Driskell Home Repair Power Company Climbing Bluegrass Bouldering
Red River Rockhouse Rockquest American Alpine Club Rocksport
Warriors Way DryPointe Wolverine Publishing Solid Rock Climbers for Christ
Perfect Descent West Sixth Brewing Eno
October 7th, 2014 by Yasmeen

2014 Rocktoberfest Clip and Go Climbing Competition @ the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve
Sponsored by Black Diamond (read: awesome prizes)



1. Points = bolts clipped on redpoint x multiplier. (Try often. Only the highest score counts.)
2. Stick clipping 1st bolt is allowed, but you must climb to it free.
3. Trad routes’ points are all or nothing.
4. Anchors = 2 bolts (so, 2 points).

Example route experience: The Hustler (with a grade multiplier of 2): 1st attempt, you clip 3 bolts x 2 = 6 pts. 2nd attempt, you clip 6 bolts x 2 = 12 pts. Your score for the route is 12 points.

Sport climbing? It doesn’t matter if the gear is hanging.
Trad climbing? Place ’em yourself.

Start time: 10:00am
End time: 5:00pm
Location: MFRP parking lot (GPS coordinates are 37°38’31.9?N 83°40’44.0?W (37.642204, -83.678900), and more detailed instructions are on your comp scoresheet and the registration PDF)

Scoresheets must be turned in to Rick or Yasmeen in the MFRP parking lot at 5:00pm sharp, with your own score tallied and entered in the appropriate spot.

You can compete alone or as a team (or both, if you buy both an individual scoresheet and a team scoresheet).

Female Jalapeno
Female Habanero
Male Jalapeno
Male Habanero
Team Beer
Team Bourbon

Final rule: if the scoresheet is wrong, the scoresheet is right.

October 1st, 2014 by terri

CONTACT: Bill Strachan, Executive Director
Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition

Rock Climbers and Lee County, Ky Cut Ribbon on Miller Fork Recreational Preserve

ZOE, Kentucky (September 30, 2014) – In a ribbon cutting ceremony, the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition (RRGCC) and the Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission celebrated the completion of preparations to provide access to the 309-acre Miller Fork Recreational Preserve. The RRGCC purchased this 2 1/4 mile-long canyon in June 2013 and immediately opened it for rock climbing development. Over the last year, the RRGCC has worked with the local Lee County community and the Access Fund, a national climbing advocacy organization, to build a parking lot and trail system improvements at the Preserve.  The RRGCC worked with local companies including American Natural Gas who donated the labor to build a gravel parking area.  Lee County supplied a trailhead kiosk and enlisted AT&T to provide telephone poles used by climbers to build bridges over Miller Fork. The Access Fund mobilized their Conservation Team to provide assistance to install the first bridge and build a primary trail along the valley floor. Volunteers from the climbing community and Eastern Kentucky University outdoor recreation programs then built extensions off of the primary access trail that lead up to the Miller Fork cliffs.

The completion of these preparations and the purchase of this forested canyon by the RRGCC are the result of a successful collaboration between climbers, the local Lee County community, and the outdoor industry.  The Miller Fork Recreational Preserve purchase was made possible through a low interest loan provided to the RRGCC by the Access Fund.  The Beattyville/Lee County Tourism Commission and the Beattyville-Lee County Chamber of Commerce have worked to support climbing on the RRGCC’s existing Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve (PMRP) and the new Miller Fork Recreational Preserve (MFRP) by building informational kiosks and facilitating cooperation between the RRGCC and local businesses. The kiosks, in addition to providing climbers with information about the RRGCC and MFRP, will highlight information about local businesses and activities. The kiosks will also give local emergency responders a map and instructions on how to get to popular climbing areas. An engraved lock has been placed on a sandstone boulder facing the kiosk, symbolizing the relationship between Lee County and the RRGCC. The outdoor industry is providing financial support to the MFRP purchase through a $35,000 Conservation Alliance grant to the RRGCC.  The Conservation Alliance is a group of outdoor industry companies that disburses its collective annual membership dues to grassroots environmental organizations.

Between the MFRP and the PMRP climbers are preserving over 1,000 acres of land dedicated to human-powered outdoor recreation.  Beyond providing climbing access, these two climber owned properties along with the 2,500 acre Ashland Wildlife Management Area provide a corridor of wildlands connecting the Red River Gorge Geologic Area with the Daniel Boone National Forest lands to the south.

The RRGCC is currently striving to raise $35,000 in funds to match the Conservation Alliance grant. So far over $7,000 dollars have been raised toward that goal.  On October 10, 11, and 12, 2014, the RRGCC’s Rocktoberfest event will be held in Slade, Ky to raise the additional matching money. Outdoor companies involved in Rocktoberfest include Outdoor Research, Petzl, Black Diamond, La Sportiva, BlueWater Ropes and over 35 other outdoor related companies who will be displaying their products.

September 8th, 2014 by Yasmeen

Event Overview

For those of you with short attention spans.
Don’t forget – pre-registration will save you cash! 



  • Yoga with Danielle Bartos
  • MFRP Comp
  • Crate Stacking
  • Silent Auction
  • Clips from Friday’s movie
  • Mike Creech Band
  • Food Truck Dinner(s) [not included in reg]


  • Breakfast from SRCFC
  • Clinics led by the Pros

Rocktoberfest, our largest annual fundraiser to benefit the MFRP, is October 10, 11, and 12 this year!

Before we go any further, our volunteers help make this shindig happen – please sign up to volunteer, and thank you!

We’re one payment down and four to go with the 309 acres we call the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, and with the Conservation Alliance Grant Matching Campaign we’ve got on the table, we’re planning to make a huge dent in what’s left to pay. We can do that only with help from our amazing community, sponsors, and donors (so, if you’re reading this: you!). That’s the whole point of Rocktoberfest – to get everyone together, have an amazing weekend-long party, and work toward our goals.


So, with all that, let’s get to the essentials (and we can’t emphasize this enough – pre-registering will save you cash!). The quick and dirty pricing breakdown:

  • Friday access: $7 ($10 at the door)
  • Saturday Comp: $17 ($20 at the door)
  • Saturday Access: $15 ($20 at the door)
  • Dinner: Food trucks this year! [Dan Wu of the Culinary Evangelist, That’s How We Roll, and The Tiptons] (Not included in registration or entrance cost)
  • Event Shirt: $15 ($20 at the door)
  • Clinic: $40


This year’s Rocktoberfest will be in the same spot as the past few years – at the Natural Bridge Campgrounds. To get there, head to the Red as you normally might and get off of the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway at exit 33. Turn in to the rest area and then 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. 😉

This is a rough map of this year’s Rocktoberfest location.


  • It’s been a hit for years, and we won’t disappoint: crate stacking is back. With the help of Bluegrass Bouldering, BlueWater Ropes, and La Sportiva, crate stacking will be around Friday and Saturday nights. We’re going to try to work in some exciting twists (head-to-head comps, for example). Last year’s winner summited 22 crates – ready to top that?
  • We’ll be showing a feature film Friday night – Reel Rock 9 (Valley Uprising) will give the younger crowd a taste of what Yosemite was like back in the day. We’ll start the screening around 8pm, depending on the sun and light, and we hope to see your doey-eyed, star-struck faces in the audience.
  • After the movie, DJ Carlos Atman will be hitting up the speakers with his turn-table, DJ’ing the scene through the evening.
  • If the night-time temperatures are as low as we all hope, Outdoor Research has graced us with some custom RRGCC beanies. Pick one up for $15, and it all goes to the Coalition.


  • Start the morning off right with a yoga class, courtesy of Danielle Bartos. Get stretched, flexed, and psyched for all that the rest of the weekend holds.
  • After yoga, jump into a car with a handful of your friends and compete in the Black Diamond sponsored Clip-n-Go Climbing Comp in the MFRP. Yes, you get to be part of the inaugural group of Miller Fork competitors – this year is the new property’s first comp! Clip’n’Go enough times, and you’ll win some of the best gear BD has to offer. Be sure to pre-register for the comp (again, it’s cheaper that way) – if you forget, though, show up Saturday morning at the venue and leave time to arrive at the comp start, 10am and it will wrap up at 5pm (both times sharp).
  • Once the comp wraps up, head back to the venue for a tasty selection of foods from various local food truck vendors (please bring extra cash – food truck dinners are not included in the cost of registration/entry). We’re trying this new approach to the dinner scene this year, so please let us know what you like about it, and what you’d prefer we do differently next year. Food trucks mean we don’t have to purchase food (or pay to keep it cold/warm/hot) or dedicate volunteers to picking up the food, picking up the serving equipment, serving, and returning the serving equipment. We hope you like this year’s new spin on post-climbing calorie consumption. :)
  • (off-site) Miguel’s Pizza will be holding a grand opening for their new gear shop (at Miguel’s) and donating a portion of their gear sales to the RRGCC for the Conservation Alliance Matching Grant Campaign. As always, thank you, Miguel’s!
  • While you’re munching and dinning, your ears will be soaking in some fantastic bluegrass tunes from local bluegrass artists Mike Creech Band.
  • Crate stacking will be fully featured again (thank you, Bluegrass Bouldering, BlueWater Ropes, and La Sportiva!), again with great prizes and even better stunts/comps.
  • We’ll do our best to mix in some clips of the previous evening’s Reel Rock 9 (Valley Uprising).
  • Thanks to our very generous sponsors, we’ll be running our silent auction. This is your chance to get your dream gear at your dream prices… and all of the proceeds go to the RRGCC. Everyone wins… that is, of course, if you win.


  • We’re sure you all will be waking up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Sunday morning without the least bit of fog between those ears of yours. If you don’t, though, the Solid Rock Climbers For Christ will be around again to serve up coffee and all the tasty trappings of a homemade breakfast. Be sure to drop in a little love – they donate all the proceeds to the RRGCC. That and anyone that wakes up that early to help make you breakfast deserves a little thanks and a proper smile.
  • We’re also going to have professional clinics taught by some of the sport’s best athletes. Stop by the registration desk for more information on what clinics are open and where and when they’ll be held. We’ll make a more comprehensive list of our clinic offerings available as we finalize the schedule and leaders, so please check back and keep an eye on our Facebook page!

Now that you have the full scoop.. what are you waiting for?!

Register Today!

Also, we’re going to take a moment and give a special “thank you” to our Rocktoberfest sponsors. They’re here 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

Outdoor Research
Access Fund BlueWater
Petzl La Sportiva
Black Diamond
Patagonia Marmot Goal Zero Scarpa
Belay Specs Five Ten Quest Outdoors Moosejaw
Mountain Gear Evolv Trango Sterling Rope
Metolius Rab Joshua Tree Skin Care Miguels Pizza
Mountain Ranks Ale-8-One J&H Lanmark Benchmark
Tenaya CamelBak Red River Outdoors The North Face
Fox Mountain Guides Driskell Home Repair Power Company Climbing Bluegrass Bouldering
Red River Rockhouse Rockquest American Alpine Club Rocksport
Warriors Way DryPointe Wolverine Publishing Solid Rock Climbers for Christ
Perfect Descent West Sixth Brewing Eno
July 21st, 2014 by Yasmeen

Recap by our Land Manager, Mike Driskell

All told, over a mile of trail built, 15 new signs in 8 locations, one large 35 foot bridge, and one smaller 12 foot bridge done.

Months of hard work, planning, and layout culminated in what in my opinion was one of our most successful and unhindered trail days ever. Despite the weather, over 100 folks came out to support, maintain, and show a little love and understanding for the crags we call home. The long hours in the woods and the days away from home all ended in one of the most satisfying events for me personally all year long. Cheers to those of you that paved the way, to those of that came out this time, and to those that shall come after who will enjoy our success (and hopefully come to appreciate it as we do).

Roger Bess, Eric Cox, & Josh O’Bryan – This large crew built the new bridge across creek to access Highlands, Monastery, Middle Earth, Corner Pocket, Neverland, etc. Constructed of large (and very heavy) telephone poles donated by AT&T (that donation was facilitated by Dedra Brandenburg and Lee County Tourism). The were stored at and delivered by Culver Supply, owned by Robert Stamper.

Jay Weekly & Katie Gamble – Installed new signage in 8 new locations and signs for 8 new crags. They were made and routed by Driskell Home Repair and DHR was assisted by Travis Peek, Geoff Graham, and Josh O’Bryan.


Pat Marrinan – This crew carried out a new foot bridge (built By DHR) to its new home over .25 miles back. They dug into the earth and built a solid base for its new home.

Art Cammers & Patrick Miller – Cut in new trail, armored bases, and improved existing layout of current trail at the Monastery. Furthered access trail to Middle Earth.

Dan Beck & Quinn Hill – Built first section of “Highlands area” trail re-route of of creek, including stairs and approximately 150 yards of trail. This re-route avoided several creek crossings that would add maintenance and upkeep costs.

Dan Chandler & Joel Handley – Built trail across a difficult and wet low lying area including significant armoring and drainage. This section avoided several more creek crossings, further reducing our maintenance costs.

Blake Maddox & Elemental Climbing Club – Armored a significant problem area where ATVs cross creek when water is high. To prevent erosion and maintain the ability for local users to use it, we armored the area using large stones, gravel, and creek rock. Efforts will also prevent further erosion to new bridge built with the assistance of the Access Fund Traveling Trail Crew.

Hannah & Andrew Tolliver – These guys were the independent force in the PMRP’s Flat Holler area, building a trail to the Shipyard – a new crag that includes 22 new routes. They were also able to make significant progress towards the famed “Waterfall Arch” in the Flat Holler area – a new multi-use trail destination!

Adam Gregory & Jesse Sterr – Installed some amazing new stairs moving into an awesome and well-built trail system that leads to the Hal Gardner Memorial Crag (currently under development). They covered approximately 100 yards or better with less than 15 cats!


Lago Linda Hideaway – Linda opened her campground and pavilion to our sweaty, dirty lot and gave us a place to convene and organize in the morning, and eat, party, and sleep at night!

Red River Rockhouse – Aaron and crew kicked off the evening festivities with delicious meat and veggie burgers, pasta salad, and cole slaw!

Miguel’s Pizza – Miguel and his staff supplied delicious veggie and meaty wraps for all the volunteers for a mid-day refueling!

Mike Creech Band – Kept everyone moving throughout the night to their fun and upbeat tunes, going with the flow and switching to a few Limbo-inspired songs when an impromptu Limbo tournament broke out!

May 12th, 2014 by Yasmeen

Who: People who are interested in helping as trail leaders at future trail days

What: A day dedicated to learning good trail building and maintenance technique

When: Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm

Where: Meet at Pine Crest before heading out to the MFRP

Why: To develop a larger land management group and seek out those interested in becoming an integral part of the land management process.

Please register below if you will be participating, and thank you!

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April 29th, 2014 by terri

The Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition is proud to announce that we have been awarded a $35,000 grant from the Conservation Alliance! The grant will be used to repay part of the $200,000 Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign loan that the RRGCC used to purchase the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve in 2013.

The Conservation Alliance requires that grantees be nominated by member organizations. We are truly grateful to Petzl for nominating us to apply for this grant!

The MFRP is a 2 1/4 mile-long canyon currently being developed for rock climbing access. The land is open to climbing and the RRGCC is actively involved in developing trails and other infrastructure at the Preserve.

The RRGCC is honored the Conservation Alliance chose to support us in our mission to purchase the MFRP. This grant furthers their mission of “engag[ing] businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values.”

In return for receiving the grant the RRGCC has pledged to raise $35,000 in individual matching donations by March 2015. The goal of the RRGCC’s Miller Fork Recreational Preserve Acquisition Campaign is to use the matching donations to accelerate the payoff of the Access Fund loan. To make that happen, we need YOUR help!

When visiting the RRGCC’s website, you will notice a new feature on our home page – a thermometer showing how close we are to reaching our goal of raising $35,000 by March 2015. Help the thermometer tick up by adding your own donation! Remember- if we own it, they can’t close it!

March 14th, 2014 by Yasmeen

Please RSVP for Miller Fork’s Fall Trail Day!

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January 17th, 2014 by Yasmeen

The RRGCC Board of Directors held its yearly Strategic Planning meeting at Torrent Falls on Saturday, January 11th, 2014. Among the topics discussed were:

  • Grant opportunities and applications for 2014
  • Potentially hiring an accountant starting 2015 to handle RRGCC funds and filing the 990 each year
  • The status of the RRGCC Memorandum of Understanding with the US Forest Service
  • Officer re-elections (positions reflected on the Meet the BOD page)
  • Discussion of the newly open BOD member position
  • Options for surveys of the RRGCC’s land
  • The need for storage space for the RRGCC’s tools and event paraphernalia
  • A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis

The BOD would love to hear your input on these topics and more. If you’d like to make your voice heard and/or get more involved, please join us at an open meeting at Pine Crest Camp Lodge at 9:00 am on Saturday, March 8th, 2014.

January 15th, 2014 by Yasmeen

2013 was a great year for the RRGCC. The highlight certainly being the RRGCC making a huge step in its ongoing effort to secure and protect open, public access to rock climbing in the Red River Gorge area of Kentucky and promoting conservation of the environment of the lands on which we climb.

That huge step was made possible by our very own Paul Vidal, who has been recognized on a national level by an Access Fund Sharp End Award for his achievements and contributions to the best climbing area and community on the globe, the Red River Gorge.

Thanks for having the vision to make the Miller Fork Recreational Preserve a reality, Paul!

–Bentley Brackett
Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition


Sharp End Award – Paul Vidal
Access Fund is thrilled to award Paul Vidal, past President of Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition (RRGCC), with a Sharp End Award for his leadership in protecting Red River Gorge climbing. Paul is a longtime volunteer and board member with RRGCC, diligently working to preserve climbing on public and private lands in the Red. He’s spent countless hours helping to organize trail days, put on RRGCC’s annual Rocktoberfest, meet with land managers, and build positive relationships with the local residents and businesses. In 2012, the same year that RRGCC successfully paid off their more than 750-acre Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve, Paul spearheaded the Miller Fork acquisition, working with local landowners and Access Fund to negotiate RRGCC’s successful purchase of the new Miller Fork Recreational Preserve. The Preserve encompasses 309 acres and protects climbing access to miles of sandstone cliff line. Thank you, Paul!