Friday, October 25, 2013

Rocktoberfest Wrap Up

8 am ..  #planB #1/36th irish
Have you ever traveled to Slade Kentucky?  An endless expanse of corroding steel pipes and smoke stacks protrude from the hillside as we crossed the bridge joining Kentucky to West Virginia.  Cool air washed over my face as the window droned and came to a close.   4 hours separate the town of Fayetteville WV and Slade KY, I closed my eyes and rubbed my face.  The mounting fatigue from our early departure was beginning to catch up with me.  The Cumberland region of the United States is steeped in history and is now the sarcophagus of a once thriving export driven economy.  At one point the area that stretches from KY up to WV and parts of PA contained the world’s largest coal and natural gas operations.   Remnants of this life still lie decaying along roads and in towns across the Mid-Atlantic.  It’s easy to forget where we came from with luxuries like smartphones and iPads, this thought occurred to me as I aimlessly browsed the interwebs on my iPhone.   We made a left at the next exit and sunlight bounced off the review mirror, temporarily blinding me.  I could tell from our previous vantage that our destination was not much farther.
Our first stop of many on the trip was Miguel’s, the always-active pizza and gear shop positioned not far from the interstate in the Red River Gorge.  Our stay was brief and we made our rounds introducing ourselves, shaking hands with new and old friends.  The aroma of fresh cooking filled the air, the indistinguishable smells of fresh vegetables, bread and pizza hung on every breath.  Cooking is the universal language of hospitality…  It’s easy to feel at home here.  As enticing as it was to post up and forget about the day, drifting into stories of adventure, our stay at Miguel’s needed to be brief. We had work to do.  After a run down on new 5.10 products for 2014 we packed up, only to return 4 days later for the RRG Rocktoberfest.

5.10 Demo, Urban Krag. Dayton OH
In the 4 days that followed we managed a tremendous amount of Demoing, Clinic-ing, talking, eating and driving.  The weather was warm as we made our way from Slade to Lexington and north to Cincinnati/Dayton OH where we Demoed shoes at Urban Krag and Quest climbing gyms among others.  A shout out to Kris and Annalissa, you guys are awesome!  They cooked us an amazing meal and put us up while we worked in the area.  Thursday evening rolled around and we headed south to Louisville and then back to Slade for the Rocktoberfest.

The Red is one of many spots in the region with amazing sandstone bluffs and caves intertwined with memories of industry.  It has a quiet beauty.  When you stand under a swooping overhang that’s 110 feet tall, it’s easy to see why the Red is one of the premiere climbing destinations in the country.

B. Dorough showing off...  new 2014 product

The RRGCC’s annual Rocktoberfest is geared at raising funds for climbing access and preservation in the gorge.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, as this was my first Rocktoberfest.  From the minute we set up shop on Friday Five Ten’s booth was rolling.  It was great to see all of the people show up for such a cool event that supports a great cause.  7am came early Saturday morning.  Demos kicked off on the bright and the day proved to be warm but great for climbing.  I was under a common misconception prior to Saturday, that you wouldn’t have much opportunity to climb with so many people at the event; I thought the cliff might be “crap” show.  I was wrong.  The Red is so vast that you can easily escape any crowd, no matter how large it is or if you are looking for a scene you could find that easily too.  We managed to get a little climbing in over the weekend and I was blown away by the generosity and hospitality of our hosts the RRGCC.   Thank you guys for putting on such an awesome event and doing what it takes to preserve climbing for future generations.

If you are unfamiliar with the RRGCC or the Rocktoberfest, I encourage you to check out their website.

We value rock climbing as a form of recreation that is good for both individuals and local communities. We also value the world class rock climbing opportunities found in and around Red River Gorge, Kentucky as a national treasure that are deserving of our best efforts to preserve for all Americans and for all climbers to enjoy, experience, and appreciate.

Our vision is to build an organization that provides the public service of securing and preserving the highest quality climbing opportunities and inspires climbers to become “Citizen Trustees of Climbing”—empowering ourselves through “ownership” (taking responsibility) and direct participation.

Our mission is to ensure open, public access to ample, quality outdoor rock climbing opportunities to meet the needs of current and future climbers and to encourage the conservation of the natural environment, on publicly managed and privately owned land by protecting, promoting, and ensuring responsible climbing.

Our strategy is to first responsibly secure the opportunity to climb, whether on public or private land, and then make climbing sustainable for climbers and the environment, and finally to make all climbing exemplary.

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