Climber’s Gathering In Joshua Tree National Park Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

Environmental group, Friends of Joshua Tree, will host the 10th annual Climb Smart event at Indian Cove group campground, October 27-29, 2006 in Joshua Tree National Park.
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Joshua Tree, CA: Environmental group, Friends of Joshua Tree, will host the 10th annual Climb Smart event at Indian Cove group campground, October 27-29, 2006 in Joshua Tree National Park.

Climb Smart is a casual gathering of climbers and is the climbing community's largest event in Southern California. Over the past two years, the event has grown considerably, due in part to the increased support by its sponsors Patagonia, Black Diamond, Adventure 16, and Climbing Magazine. The goal has been to raise awareness for this incredible national park and the environmental issues surrounding it. Patagonia's Event Coordinator, Susie Sutphin, says, “Climb Smart is a great opportunity to work with like-minded companies and support groups who are working to protect our wild places.”

The close proximity to Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Central Coast makes it an easy weekend to come meet other climbers, learn some new skills, win some gear and support our national parks. The event offers an array of choices from climbing clinics for all abilities and top-rope stations to a buffet dinner and slide show Saturday night. Every year a huge highlight is the athletes who attend. This year stands to be no different when part climber, part comedian, Timmy O'Neill takes the stage Saturday night with his new show and film premier, Vertical Ascent. Joining him are athletes, Brittany Griffith and Eric Decaria, who will lead climbing clinics throughout the day both Saturday and Sunday with local guide outfitter, Wilderness Outings.

Joshua Tree Search and Rescue (JOSAR) and the Access Fund are the two other non-profits for whom the event raises awareness and support. In 2005, the event raised over $6000. Friends of Joshua Tree President, Kenji Haroutunian, says, “Climb Smart donations completed some critical funding goals such as a new Search and Rescue vehicle and an upgraded website which is more user-friendly and education based which supports our mission to protect and enhance the climbing experience in Joshua Tree. The best opportunity climbers have to give back to the land and community we love, is to come out and support these types of events.” Friends of Joshua Tree works to preserve climber's access, park resources and to influence park policies both locally and nationally

Climb Smart has moved this year to Halloween weekend for the cooler and longer climbing days. To celebrate, there will be LIVE music and prizes for the best Halloween costume at the Saturday Night Burrito Feed with beverages provided by New Belgium Brewery. Bring your old Patagonia Capilene and get a chance to exchange it for new Capilene and awards will be given for participation in the crag-clean-up We'll kick things off Friday night with a slide show by Brittany Griffith. Demos will be available and a silent auction Saturday night. Pre-registration is $70 for the whole weekend, $85 the day-of with discounted packages available for Saturday night only. FREE camping spots are available for the first 100 people who register on-line. For more information or to register go to, www.friendsofjosh.org.

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