Sending The Business in Red River Gorge, KY

By Bill Strachan, Executive Director Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition

As of Mid-February 2007 almost $16,000 had been collected towards the annual mortgage payment for the RRGCC owned Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve (PMRP) in Lee County, Kentucky. With the annual payment of $29,393 due on July 15, the RRGCC is continuing to ramp up its efforts to secure this purchase (For donation info see: www.rrgcc.org/membership.php.

The PMRP, with over 700-acres of land, is home to well over 300 routes with new lines being discovered and developed weekly. At the end of 2006, the first 5.14c in Red River Gorge was established when Mike Doyle redpointed Lucifer at the Purgatory area of the PMRP.

Equally important, the US Forest Service has stepped up the pace of the Red River Gorge Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) workshops. Currently on Step 6 of the nine-step process, participation by local climbers is key to maintaining climbing access on Federally owned land in the Gorge. Now meeting more than once a month, workshop participants are presently working to identify alternative opportunity zone allocations. At the heart of these meetings is an effort to find a solution that works for all stakeholders, the main options being: 1) emphasis on resource protection; 2) balance between resource protection and recreation; 3) emphasis on recreation and tourism; and 4) no action.

Finally the RRGCC has scheduled two Adopt-A-Crag Day events for 2007. The first event will be held in conjunction with the Red River Reunion being held at Miguels Pizza & Rock Climbing in Slade, KY on April 21, 2007. In keeping with the spirit of Earth Day, this Adopt-A-Crag Day will have a Gorge-wide Trash Clean-up and Scavenging Contest. Contestants will present their most interesting pieces of trash to be judged by the crowd that evening at Miguels.

Also, this year the 3rd Annual John Bronaugh & Alex Yeakley Adopt-A-Crag Day will be held on August 4, 2007 at the PMRP. This event is devoted to developing new routes and supporting trail development. Held since 2005, this day honors the legacy of the late John Bronaugh and the passion for climbing that he shared with his late son Alex Yeakley.