10th Annual Rocktoberfest in Kentucky's Red River Gorge is a huge success—again!
If you are a rock climber east of the Mississippi River, there is one month that signifies positive: October. The warm, stagnant, brutally humid conditions of the summer months are finally pushed out giving way to blue skies, crisp dry air and high friction on the rock. Add to this the amazing colors the trees give the overall landscape and you realize it’s here... that beautiful month we climbers refer to as ROCKTOBER!
October also marks the month that perhaps the single most important and significant climbing event in the East takes place: Rocktoberfest, at the Red River Gorge in beautiful Slade, Kentucky over the weekend of October 8-10. Hundreds of climbers from all around the world gather to see old friends, climb on the world-class cliffs and simply have a good time. This year marked the 10th anniversary for this annual event. An estimated 900-1,000 people were in attendance—the largest to date. During this two-day event, attendees have the opportunity to take part in various different activities: a climbing comp, clinics from professional climbers (including BD athletes Brittany Griffith and Sam Elias), water-balloon launching, American Gladiator-style jousting, a dyno contest, a band, a late-night DJ, stacks of food, and loads of other things that kept the festival going non-stop.
On Saturday night if you were lucky enough to come by the Black Diamond Equipment booth, we held an AWESOME arm-wrestling competition (totally impromptu) where winners had the chance to score BRAND NEW, FREE gear from Black Diamond and Patagonia! It was all fun with people winning quickdraws and ATCs until this one massive dude, Dan (who I SWEAR was half man, half tree), walked into the booth wearing Carhartt overalls over an Under Amour shirt. The rules quickly changed: if anyone could beat Dan they would win a $400 jacket, if Dan beat 10 people in a row, he would win the $400 jacket. It was on and the crowd quickly tripled into a mob. Superman Dan took on all comers. You had to be there—it was crazy! In the end Dan CRUSHED 10 people in a row for the big win! Who knows… perhaps this will become a new part of the annual itinerary for years to come? We shall have to wait and see. The dope beats courtesy of old school RRG “local” and KY resident DJ CLETUS (note: when you see Cletus, make sure you acknowledge the fact that he’s from Kentucky) kept everyone moving long into the evening. It was an amazing night.
In the end more than $30,000 was raised for the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition, making this year the most successful event so far… BRAVO!!! The RRGCC is the brainchild behind Roctoberfest—if you’re not familiar with the organization, I highly suggest visiting their website and getting involved with what they are doing: www.rrgcc.org.
— Matt Ginley, BD sales rep