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Petzl RocTrip 2007 : Red River Gorge, USA

"Pockets vs petrol"


Overhanging orange sandstone walls in the backwoods

An impressive sandstone massif lies well hidden in a forest near Lexington, Kentucky. The sandstone outcrops are horizontally striated and riddled with holes, with some extremely overhung areas... the site is a climbing paradise. This relatively recent discovery quickly pitted the interests of climbers against those of the oil industry!!! The area is used by oil companies, making cohabitation difficult. The only solution for maintaining climbing is the purchase of the land itself by the Red River Gorge Climbers' Coalition. This group was heavily indebted and had to quickly raise money to succeed. For a few years, they had been organized a gathering of climbers in order to pay down the debt. The Petzl RocTrip comes at the perfect moment to maximize promotion of this initiative. All the revenue from the event goes to this cause, with which the Petzl Foundation is also associated, donating 20,000 dollars. Hundreds of climbers from all corners have come together. The format of ultimate routes and open rallies is hugely successful. Mickael Fuselier gets to be the first to redpoint 50 Words for Pump (5.14a /8c+), Daniel Dulac puts up a new 8a, and Gérome Pouvreau does the first ascent of Thanatopsis 8b+. The whole community gets into the Southern spirit and gathers around the legendary Miguel's Pizza. In 2012, the RRGCC paid off its entire debt.