Petzl Roc Trip Brings In Over $30,000 to Preserve Recreational Access, KY


Joint Petzl/Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition press release

This fall Petzl America and the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition (RRGCC) made history with an unprecedented effort to preserve climbing and recreational access in eastern Kentucky. By joining forces for this years annual Rocktoberfest fundraiser and climbers festival, Petzl and the RRGCC raised over $32,000a ten-fold increase from last years event earnings and more than triple the initial goal of raising $10,000 for the RRGCC. Fundraising power was bolstered by a $10,000 matching grant from the Petzl Foundation that provided added incentive for climbers to pitch in for climbing and recreation access in the Red River Gorge area.

In 2004, climbers and advocates of the RRGCC purchased the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve, a 750-acre plot of undeveloped land now being developed for climbing, hiking, mountain-biking, and human-powered recreation access. On October 1214, an international crowd of nearly 1,000 climbers gathered for a weekend of clinics, competitions, and celebration. The money raised during the Rocktoberfest weekend will help cover the RRGCCs annual $29,000 mortgage payment (due through 2013) to protect the Pendergrass-Murray Preserve. Without funds to cover the yearly mortgage, the preserve could fall into the hands of interested oil developers, which would shut down climbing on the land.

Fundraising by climbers to preserve access even made national headlines! This years RocTrip/Rocktoberfests philanthropy efforts piqued the interest of National Public Radios Its Only A Game. A segment covering Rocktoberfest aired on the nationally broadcast radio program on October 27. Globally, the event generated buzz on 8a (www.8a.nu), the Internets most widely trafficked sport-climbing site, which now spotlights the Red River Gorge as a world-class climbing destination.

This years Petzl RocTrip showed what can be done when a company with heart and soul gets behind something it believes in, says Robb Shurr, Director of Marketing and Business Development for the Access Fund, a national non-profit organization dedicated to keeping climbing areas open and preserving the climbing environment. Having places to climb is fundamental to Petzls business, but they took it one step further and got behind a local access issue with national importance and really pushed for success. Its exactly this sort of involvement, vision, and stewardship that will keep climbing and recreational areas preserved and viable for the future. Shurr continues, The Access Fund has always been proud to have Petzl as one of its biggest and longest standing partnerswere especially proud after seeing the success of this years RocTrip.

We owe the success of this event to the local communitythe volunteers, the RRGCC Board, area businesses, and the 1,000-plus people who came out and put dollars down in support of the Pendergrass-Murray Preserve, says John Evans, Marketing Director for Petzl America. I highly recommend other outdoor companies include this outstanding grassroots event in their outreach programs for 2008. I guarantee Petzl will be back to support this great cause.

The success of Petzl RocTrip/Rocktoberfest 2007 was supported by The Access Fund, Avery Brewing Company, Five Ten, Keen, the climber-friendly Miguels Pizza, La Sportiva, Prana, Red Bull, Red River Gorge Cabin Rentals, Red River Outdoors, Rock and Ice magazine, Sterling Ropes, and The Warriors Way/Desiderata Institute.

Petzl Roc Trip, now in its sixth year, successfully brings the international climbing community together in celebration of the sport, from New Yorks Shawangunks to British Columbias Squamish to Kalymnos, Greece and Millau in the south of France. Open to climbers of all ability levels, the 2007 Petzl Roc Trip/Rocktoberfest featured competitions, clinics, and celebrations of climbing; raised funds and awareness for local and national access issues; and drew over 35 high-profile, sponsored climbing athletes.