Department of Tourism
International Climbing Event Coming to Red River Gorge
RED RIVER GORGE, Ky. – More than 800 rock-climbing enthusiasts are expected to participate in the Petzl Roc Trip at Rocktoberfest Oct. 12-14, 2007, as local climbers join with international athletes to draw attention to preservation of climbing areas in the Red River Gorge area of eastern Kentucky.
This year’s Rocktoberfest is being co-sponsored by Petzl America, a leading climbing gear manufacturer, and the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition, whose mission is preserving climbers’ access to Red River Gorge. The event is expected to draw an international crowd of climbers for a weekend of clinics, competitions and fundraising efforts, according to organizers.
The climbing coalition is in the process of acquiring ownership of the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve, a 750-acre plot of undeveloped land currently being used for rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking and other recreational purposes.
“Petzl is thinking of every way possible to help us pay off the mortgage and protect the Pendergrass-Murray Preserve,” said Morgain Sprague, fundraising coordinator for the climbing coalition and an employee of the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources. Sprague noted that the preserve is located mainly in Lee County, where climbing is an important source of commerce and revenue.
Petzl Roc Trip, now in its sixth year, has been successful in bringing the international climbing community together to celebrate the sport at various locations in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Open to climbers of all ability levels, the 2007 Petzl Roc Trip/Rocktoberfest features a diverse lineup of events, including top American and European athletes competing and providing clinics, as well as live music and a film screening.
Rocktoberfest is an annual fundraising event to preserve the gorge and surrounding areas for climbing and recreation. The goal of the October 2007 event is to raise $10,000 to $15,000 for the climber’s coalition.
Another event at Red River Gorge in September is expected to attract about 150 climbing enthusiasts, said Matt Tackett, owner of Red River Outdoors, an outfitter in Slade. This gathering, set for Sept. 14-16, is a “learn to climb” event for beginners sponsored by mgear.com, he said.
For more information about the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition, visit www.rrgcc.org. More information about Petzl can be obtained by visiting www.petzl.com.
The Kentucky Department of Tourism, an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky’s economy.