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!

November 12th, 2013 by Yasmeen

New LotMike Driskell and Travis Peek, our tireless Land Management staff, have completed work on the Flat Holler Parking Lot, made possible by the American Alpine Club’s Cornerstone Conservation Grant.

This should alleviate the burden on the Motherlode parking areas, and keep cars from lining up along Bald Rock Road.






Please begin using the Flat Holler Parking Lot if you are planning to climb at Sore Heel and aren’t sure that your car will make it up and down the 4WD hills to the Sore Heel Parking Lot. The map below illustrates the locations of these areas.

Lot and Trail

November 12th, 2013 by Yasmeen

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!

October 22nd, 2013 by Yasmeen

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 Courtesy of Elodie SaraccoRocktoberfest, 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.

Courtesy of MtnRanksLast 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!

October 9th, 2013 by Yasmeen

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 <<> in the Sore Heel parking lot
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.

September 26th, 2013 by Paul Vidal

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)
  • Saturday
    • Climbing Comp: $15
    • Party and Events: $13 ($15 at the door)
    • Dinner: $8 ($9 at the door)
  • Sunday Clinics: $30
  • T-Shirts: $10

Register Today!

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
Stallone Strong

Benchmark’s George T, getting pumped for the Arm-Wrestling Tourney

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

Outdoor Research
Black Diamond Keen
Marmot Petzl
 Access Fund The North Face
Red River Outdoors Evolv American Alpine Club Red River Rockhouse
Benchmark Outfitters Bluewater Ropes KyMBA Five Ten
J&H Lanmark La Sportiva Miguels Pizza Bluegrass Bouldering
Moose Jaw Mountain Gear Mountain Ranks Patagonia
Rockquest Scarpa Sterling Rope Trango
 Metolius Ale-8-One CamelBak Joshua Tree Products
Solid Rock Climbers for Christ Rock Candy Holds Power Company Climbing Rocksport
So iLL Quest Outdoors Perfect Descent Mad Rock
Warriors Way Wolverine Publishing Fox Mountain Guides Belay Specs