‘Rock’ Festival returns to Robson

Climbing crew to stage event in ideal setting just west of Castlegar

Milk Crate Matterhorn – The 'Tower of Power'is a popular and thrilling competition at the TAWKROC Rock Climbing Festival.

The Kootenay Rock Climbing Festival welcomes legendary Australian mountaineer John Fantini to the September 20 event at the Lion’s Head Pub in Robson.

Guest speaker Fantini, who now resides in Penticton, has innumerable first alpine and rock climbing ascents to his credit around the world and, at the age of 71, is still going strong, putting up hard new sport routes in Skaha Provincial Park.

Organized by TAWKROC (the Association of West Kootenay Rock Climbers), the Kootenay Climbing Festival is set for its third annual staging this Saturday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will be held by the natural rock climbing wall behind the pub and will feature a zipline for the kids, slackline, door prize draw, silent auction and the always popular Tower of Power competition, which sees competitors try to stack the most milk crates… while standing on them!

Different for this year is the fact the Lion’s Head now has a family dining license which means kids can come and go from the restaurant anytime before 7 p.m. (Children must be accompanied by an adult). Everyone is welcome and there is no cover charge, although, as this is a fundraiser to help new outdoor route development, donations are greatly appreciated.

The local TAWKROC group  was established in 2009 to help promote outdoor rock climbing in the Kootenay region. It organizes work parties to improve rock climbing areas and by offering a bolt fund for climbing developers. Every year the organization reimburses climbers who spend time and money putting up new rock climbs in the area. In 2012, TAWKROC became a chapter of the Climbing Access Society of British Columbia and its directors are now committed to ensuring various climbing areas in the Kootenays remain accessible for all.

Last year TAWKROC reimbursed outdoor route developers for $668.48 worth of climbing hardware for new areas developed in Castlegar, Nelson and Creston. Also, later this autumn TAWKROC is organizing a work party to improve access to the Koch Creek climbing area in the Slocan Valley. Directors have also been busy replacing old anchors and bolts at the Kinnaird Wall in Castlegar, an area popular with locals and visitors since the early 1960s.

For more information about TAWKROC or the Kootenay Climbing Festival, please contact director Vince Hempsall at vhempsall@access-society.ca or call (250)354-7535.

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