Climbers Purchase Atlanta Boulder Field with Help from Custom Chaco Sandal Program

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Chaco and Rock/Creek Outfitters raise over $8000 during the Triple Crown Bouldering Series to help the Southeastern Climbers' Coalition finalize the purchase of Boat Rock, one of the premier bouldering areas in the Southeast. Once threatened by development, this area is now a green space owned and managed by climbers.

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For the second year in a row, this program has helped to further grassroots causes and make a big impact for the climbing community

Rock/Creek Outfitters and footwear manufacturer, Chaco, Inc., announced this week that their Custom Chaco Sandal Program succeeded in raising the funds required to finalize the purchase of Boat Rock, a woodland climbing area inside the metro of Atlanta with more than a half mile of unique egg-shaped granite boulders.

The Chattanooga-based retailer teamed up with Chaco to create two custom performance sandal designs, which were offered during the 2006 Triple Crown Bouldering Series. For every pair of custom Chacos sold, Rock/Creek and Chaco donated $20 to the Southeastern Climbers' Coalition to go toward the purchase of Boat Rock. Rock/Creek and Chaco were pleased to announce that the program raised over $8000, enough to pay off the amount remaining on the Boat Rock mortgage.

A longtime favorite area for climbers, Boat Rock was slated for development, but through the continued efforts of the SCC and local citizens, the area is now a community park and green space. The SCC now manages 13.2-acres of this urban forest, which is home to large hardwood trees, wetlands, springs, and rare plants such as lady slippers and the Oconee azalea. The coalition has also developed an environmental education program, which encourages local school children to learn about the geology of the area along with the local flora and fauna.

In 2005, a similar effort from Chaco, Rock/Creek Outfitters, and The Triple Crown raised over $4,000 toward the purchase of Laurel Knob, a 1,200 ft. granite dome in Cashiers Valley located in the Highlands of North Carolina. Once threatened by development, Laurel Knob, renowned as the tallest crag east of the Mississippi River, is now owned by the Carolina Climbers' Coalition and is open to hiking and rock climbing.

"For the second year in a row, this program has helped to further grassroots causes and make a big impact for the climbing community," said Chad Wykle, Sales Representative for Chaco Sandals and co-organizer of the Triple Crown. "We've succeeded in helping these organizations gain access to two incredible climbing areas."

Chaco and Rock/Creek Outfitters have quietly gone about the business of gaining and maintaining access to outdoor recreation areas for many years. Chaco, with help from regional outdoor retailers, will put close to $20,000 into direct action causes this year in the Southeast alone. In addition to its individual environmental and access efforts, Rock/Creek Outfitters is a member of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, which distributes grants of up to $70,000 to conservation groups throughout North America.

For more information on Boat Rock and the Southeastern Climbers' Coalition, please visit: http://www.seclimbers.org.

About Rock/Creek Outfitters:

Rock/Creek Outfitters is a specialty outdoor retailer with over two decades of experience in the Southeast. Along with its online shops, RockCreek.com and ClimbingGear.com, Rock/Creek Outfitters provides quality outdoor clothing and gear for a host of activities including kayaking, rock climbing, camping, hiking, trail running, and adventure racing. Rock/Creek is committed to making a positive impact on the environment. For this reason, it uses outdoor retail as a platform to encourage outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship and to improve access to the backcountry.

About Chaco:

While many businesses focus solely on profits, Chaco seeks to follow the three steppingstones to sustainability: profits, people and the planet. They strive to minimize their environmental impact, better the lives of the people with whom they work and maintain healthy profitability so they can keep their initiatives moving forward. To further support their sustainability initiatives, Chaco donates three percent of after-tax profits to organizations dedicated to caring for people and the planet. Chaco currently supports the Conservation Alliance, the Sierra Club, American Whitewater, Leave No Trace, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and many others.

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BROOKE SCOTT
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