June 3rd, 2013 by Yasmeen

MFRP

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.

Miller Fork Recreational Preserve

“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.

May 21st, 2013 by Yasmeen

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.

May 7th, 2013 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: June 15, 2013 from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm

Where: Flat Holler trail head, PMRP (walk to (but not up) the hill that leads to the Sore Heel parking lot, and then walk forward a little, and then a bit left)

Why: To certify folks in the community to run trail days for the RRGCC!

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

No more submissions accepted at this time.
April 24th, 2013 by Yasmeen

From Rick and Liz Weber, owners of Muir Valley:

On Saturday, May 11, 2013, from 9 AM to 12 noon, a free training exercise will be conducted at Muir Valley on how to respond to a climbing accident. Although these exercises are routinely conducted for members of the Muir Valley Rescue Group, we have decided to open up this training for those outside the Muir Group — especially to those who regularly climb in areas where the official emergency response services are iffy.

We will be meeting at the Shelter House at the Muir Valley main parking lot at 9 AM sharp. If you wish to attend, please try to show up a few minutes early, as we will be leaving shortly after meeting to conduct the training scenario at the Bone Yard Wall. This will be a realistic scenario with a fallen climber.

Bring a helmet if you have one. If not, one will be furnished to you.

Muir Event

Poster by Stephanie Meadows

April 17th, 2013 by Yasmeen

Write-up by Mike Driskell, RRGCC Land Manager

We came, we saw, we did stuff.

The trail day this last Saturday was a big success! We had 30 people attend what was a beautiful day out. I’m not much of a writer but our accomplishments are worth writing about.

Dave Jasperson led a crew moving the bridge on the trail off the Motherlode parking area to a more sustainable location. It turned out awesome and should last years to come!

Josh O’Bryan led a crew installing culverts on sections of the trail off the Sore Heel parking area to divert water from coming off the trail and the road.

Jesse Sterr and Josephine Neff led the crew spreading gravel. We had some delivered to the Coal Bank area to help with the holes until the road crew can begin work. We also had some delivered to the Sore Heel area to try and improve conditions on the hill. We also dropped a load in the Sore Heel parking to fill in the muddy areas and expand the parking some.

Peter McDermott led the crew that was cutting trees in preparation for the Flat Holler parking area – hopefully to be open by June of this year.

THE BIG PROJECT OF THE DAY – led By Paul Morley, Stephanie Meadows, and Travis Peek

Image courtesy of Travis Peek

Image courtesy of Travis Peek

The last creek crossing on the way to the Darkside was composed of 3 very slick logs. Paul Morley and Stephanie Meadows donated the material, planed the project, and saw to its execution. Accompanied by the RRGCC Assistant Land Manager Travis Peek and a very capable crew, they produced a fantastic bridge that far outclasses the joke of a crossing we had before!

We also began repairs to the gate leading to the Darkside. I ran out of time, but will have it wrapped up this weekend. If you can lend a hand, gimme a call: 5024178902

Good things happened and it could not have been done without your help! It’s the people who made things happen that we owe our thanks to.

THANKS TO YOU ALL:

Peter McDermott

Eleanor Krause

Andrew Bundy

Amelia Bryant

Jereme Ransick

Travis Long

Josh O’Bryan

Bill Strachan (RRGCC Executive Director)

Dave “the Animal” Jasperson

Tim Fraser

Will Sweeney

Sally Minges

Pat Marrinan

Tim Black

Grant Sperry

Chuff-on-John Sites

Dan Chandler

Michael Miller

Angela Cecil

Brent Dupree

David King (RRGCC BOD Member)

Many Hostetlu

Sarah Brengosz

Amy Schneider

Benton Mcdaris

Sara Liles

Logan T Smith

Quinn Hill

Josephine Neff (RRGCC BOD Secretary)

Curtis Gayle Dyer

(Sorry if I left anyone out or butchered your name)

Special thanks to Travis Peek, the Assistant Land Manager. Without his help, it could not have happened! Thanks, brother.

April 1st, 2013 by Yasmeen
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March 11th, 2013 by Yasmeen

rrg cragThe RRGCC has been working hard on your behalf to secure more climbing. At this time we need the help of all Access Fund members.

We have located a piece of property that is 309 acres and has the potential for over 250 new routes. We are still negotiating the cost and terms of the agreement. Since the deal has not been signed, we are not releasing more information at the request of the seller. We hope to have everything finalized soon.

This is where we need your help. Access Fund members will have received an email asking to approve grant proposals. The RRGCC has applied to the AF for a grant to help with the cost of the purchase. Please open the link and click on the RRGCC’s grant request as a 5 (high priority).

We certainly understand that everyone would like more information about this deal, but please be respectful that these negotiations are fragile and we certainly do not want to lose this opportunity. We will provide more information as soon as we are authorized to release it.

Thank you for your support!

Your BOD

February 28th, 2013 by Yasmeen

The 2013 Annual Meeting of the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at the Pine Crest Camp Lodge located at 200 Pine Crest Camp Rd, Beattyville, KY 41311. Prior to the meeting, a continental breakfast will be served from 8:30 – 9:00am. A regular RRGCC Board meeting will then be held from 9:00 – 9:30am. This will be followed from 9:30 – 10:00am by a presentation and discussion of the Coalition’s Strategic Plan for 2013. Major initiatives to be pursued by the RRGCC in 2013 include finalization of an updated Memorandum of Understanding with the US Forest Service and Daniel Boone National Forest, further development of mountain biking opportunities on the Coalition-owned Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve (PMRP), and establishment of a fund for potential future land acquisitions. If you plan to attend this meeting, please RSVP on our Facebook page or to rrgcc@rrgcc.org so that we can get an idea of how much food and hand-outs we need to have.

January 18th, 2013 by Yasmeen

Many people returning home from the Red have to drive past Lexington. On Sunday, February 17th, shake up your drive home by stopping at the Kentucky Theater at 5:30pm to catch a showing of the movies that are part of the Reel Rock 7 film tour! Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the night of, and since this is a benefit for the RRGCC, we’ll get the proceeds from the ticket sales.

reel rock 7

January 9th, 2013 by Yasmeen

 

Shenandoah National Park

 

The Access Fund and Shenandoah National Park need you to help promote their climbing management plan (read more about “ROMP” here).

Please take a moment to comment on the document.

If you don’t know exactly what to say, the 3 bullet points in the action alert and the sentence before them make a good template:

 

 

The Access Fund, Mid-Atlantic Climbers, and New River Alliance of Climbers reviewed the ROMP and are in support of the management direction in Alternative B, subject to a few concerns outlined below.

  • Rock outcrops compose only 2% (3,920 acres) of the SHEN’s entire 197,438 acres. It is important to emphasize that other activities, such as hiking, camping, and vista enjoyment draw far more people and cause far more impacts than climbers. As stated in the ROMP, Old Rag is visited by an estimated 50,000 people annually, but the number of climber use-days for all of SHEN is estimated at only 500.
  • While the ROMP provides general information about the impacts causing concern, more information should be provided about the specific impacts at each rock outcrop where restrictions are in place or being considered. For instance, climbing at Hawksbill is prohibited, but the concerns leading to the climbing ban are not fully explained. More detailed information should be provided to further explain the need for restrictions.
  • Because climbers make up only a small percentage of rock outcrops users, the Park should consider if some climbing access can be allowed (even if other user groups are restricted or otherwise more directly managed) before restricting access to specific rock outcrops (especially those on the “watch list”). Park planners should consider ways to protect the natural resources without prohibiting access to climbers completely.