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Rock Climbing : News : Trips and Expeditions : Petzl ROCTRIP and RRGCC Rocktoberfest gains fundraising force

Petzl ROCTRIP and RRGCC Rocktoberfest gains fundraising force

Submitted by admin on 2007-09-30

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This year Petzl America, a leading manufacturer of quality climbing gear, aligned their annual Roc Trip with Rocktoberfest, an annual fundraising event held by the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition in effort to preserve climbing access in Eastern Kentucky. The RRGCC was recently awarded a $10,000 matching grant by the Petzl Foundation which will contribute to keeping climbing access open to 700-plus acres of land currently threatened to closure by the oil industry. The united events will be held October 12th – 14th, 2007, drawing an international crowd of professional and amateur climbers gathering for a weekend of clinics, competitions, and celebrations, while simultaneously raising awareness and funding for the RRGCC.

“The goals of this event are threefold,” said John Evans, Marketing Director for Petzl America. “To raise funds for the RRGCC and the Murray Pendergrass Preserve, to raise national and international awareness of the access issues facing the Red River Gorge, and to foster the already strong sense of community in the area. With the announcement of a $10,000 grant from the Petzl Foundation in France, the fundraising dynamic has taken on a whole new dimension.”

The aim of the Petzl Foundation is to promote and support environmental and social responsibility world-wide through the endorsement of projects dedicated to ecological preservation, education, research, and risk prevention efforts related to activities-at-height. In August of 2007, the Foundation awarded a dollar for dollar matching grant of up to $10,000 to the RRGCC. This is the second grant the France-based Petzl Foundation has award in the United States to date.

The RRGCC is a unified group of climbers advocating responsible climbing and preserving access to climbing in the Gorge and surrounding areas. The money raised and subsequently matched has been earmarked for their annual mortgage payment totaling nearly $29,000 for the ownership of the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve. This 750-acre plot of undeveloped land was purchased by the RRGCC for preservation and climbing access purposes, but without the necessary funding for the mortgage payments due through 2013, the land faces potential acquisition by interested oil developers. Donations can be made to the matching grant on-line at

“Now that the Petzl Foundation has stepped in there is a very good chance of having our full mortgage payment early which is amazing, and something we’ve never done before,” said Morgain Sprague, Board Member and Fundraising Coordinator for the RRGCC. “The awareness surrounding the reality of the RRGCC’s annual payments has grown tremendously since Petzl Roc Trip decided to come to Eastern Kentucky.”

Petzl Roc Trip, now in its sixth year, has proven successful in bringing the international climbing community together in celebration of the sport, from New York’s Shawangunks and British Columbia’s Squamish to Kalymnos, Greece, and Millau in the south of France. Open to climbers of all ability levels, the upcoming 2007 Petzl Roc Trip / Rocktoberfest features an action-packed line-up, including:

- Clinics for all levels with climbing’s elite, including Lynn Hill, Katie Brown, Chris Linder, Arno Ilgner, and many others

- Opening ceremony and climber’s roast hosted by climber/funnyman Timmy O’Neill - Unveiling of Sender Films’ latest release, “King Lines”, presented by filmmaker Peter Mortimer

- Invitational class “Flash Rally Competition” on routes rated 12b-14d featuring athletes including Chris Sharma, Dave Graham, Emily Harrington, Lisa Rands, Joe Kinder, Chris Lindner, Dani Andrada, Steve McClure, Tony Lamiche, Said Belhaj, and many others

- Open Class Competition for local hard men and women

- Over $2,000 in prizes from sponsors including La Sportiva, Keen, Prana, Sterling Rope, Five ten, and many others

- First ascent bounty placed on two long standing climbing projects yet to be climbed

- Saturday night party serving a diverse palette of musical tastes, with DJ Lafouche and a live local bluegrass band

- A new overall goal of raising $29,000 for the Red River Gorge Climber’s Coalition, a healthy increase over previous years

About the Petzl Foundation
The Petzl Foundation was founded in 2006 by Petzl president, Paul Petzl, to promote and support environmental and social responsibility world-wide through the endorsement of projects dedicated to ecological preservation, education, research, and risk prevention efforts related to activities-at-height. During the first year of inception, the Petzl Foundation sponsored projects that provided basic mountaineering training to Nepalis, offered mountain safety courses to the general public in France, and researched the impact of climate change on alpine vegetation. By supporting these types of projects, the Petzl Foundation seeks to create solutions that help support a balance between the cultural, economic, social and ecological spheres that humans inhabit. For more information on the types of projects the Petzl Foundation supports or to apply for a grant, please contact:

About the RRGCC
The Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition Incorporated (RRGCC) is a group of rock climbers who have come together to protect, promote and ensure responsible climbing at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. The RRGCC is committed to preserving and appreciating the natural environment in which we practice our sport, as well as education, support, and dedicated efforts with one another, non-climbers, and land managers alike. For more information about the RRGCC, please visit

About Petzl
Petzl America is the U.S. division of Petzl, headquartered in France. For over 50 years, Petzl has been developing innovative tools and techniques used by those entering the vertical world. Today, the Petzl brand is closely associated with adventure, exploration, rescue, and many notable exploits in the worlds of rock climbing and alpinism. Petzl climbing hardware and headlamps can be found in outdoor specialty shops and premium sporting goods retailers around the world. For more information, log on to


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