Rock and Rave

posted by dpm on 02/26/2013


This past Saturday, about 1300 people turned out for the Rock and Rave fundraiser at Stone Summit Climbing Gym in Atlanta, Georgia. Rock and Rave was the brainchild of John Juraschek, a Southeastern gear rep affiliated with the title sponsor Outdoor Research.

Rock and Rave at Stone Summit Climbing Gym in Atlanta, Georgia. All photos DPM unless otherwise noted.

"The goal of the event was to put a little energy back in the community," he said. "We wanted to raise the bar a little on what is possible and raise a bunch of money for some really deserving organizations. The Access Fund, Southeastern Climbers Coalition, and Carolina Climbers Coalition have done more and worked harder than any others in the world, really, to support their climbing community and the climbing resources we all depend on!"

Before the event kicked off, Chris Sharma got to run some training laps on the steep wall. Train for Spain!

Pulling off the vision for the event was no easy task, but dozens of volunteers and sponsors immediately stepped up and offered support. By 5:00 the gym was closed to climbing for a short while and within an hour a small city of vendor booths sprung to life. Shortly after, the parking lot was packed, and climbers flooded through the doors. Sweetwater Brewing began pouring cold pints of beer and Mellow Mushroom Pizza started churning out pies.

A competitor going big during the highball bouldering comp.

It was a whirlwind event with so much happening at once it was hard to keep up. Throughout the night a silent auction and raffles were going on to raise money. The bouldering area was wide open and packed with crowds of pumped climbers cheering each other on. The area in front of the main lead wall was beefed up with thick foam for the highball bouldering comp hosted by world superstar Chris Sharma. Some of the young crowd spent hours on the Velcro wall, bouncing as high as they could and landing front flips to find themselves stuck upside down, giggling uncontrollably until their friends peeled them off.

Have some trustworthy friends ready to pull you off before attacking the Velcro wall!

Sharma wasn't the only superstar of climbing to show up either. El Capitan speed climber Hans Florine was there and gave an intense slideshow documenting his history of unprecedented runs up the Nose route. Hans also took part in the speed climbing competition that barely slowed him down from signing autographs.

Hans Florine during his impressive slideshow about speed climbing on El Capitan.

As most of the events finished up, the lights dimmed, the glowsticks came out, and event emcee Kurt Smith turned the tables over to DJ's Claymashun and Skirora. Red Bull-fueled energy spilled over on the dance floor when the "Harlem Shake" bumped from the speakers and the crowd of 1300 undeniably outdid every "Harlem Shake" video Youtube has to offer.  

Biggest rave ever held in a climbing gym?

Sponsors and participants were blown away with the success of the event. There's nothing better than having an amazing party and coming away with about 36,000 dollars for the Access Fund, SCC and CCC! The Access Fund couldn't have been more impressed. "We were blown away," they said. "What an awesome evening and event. A HUGE THANKS to everyone for pulling this thing off!"

The Access Fund's Southeast Regional Coordinator Zachary Lesch-Huie and Executive Director Brady Robinson trying to decide what to do with all the money that was raised. They briefly discussed a climbing vacation but decided instead to use the funds to continue protecting and preserving America's climbing resources. Photo: Rock and Rave Facebook

Special thanks go to Stone Summit for hosting the event and Outdoor Research for being the title sponsor. Sponsors included: Prana, Mellow Mushroom, Sweetwater Brewing, Unique Outfitters, Arc'Teryx, Black Diamond, Bluewater Ropes, DPM Climbing, Darn Tough Vermont, Evolv, FiveTen, High Country Outfitters, LaSportiva, Mad Rock, Misty Mountain, Mountain High, Petzl, Red Bull, Robeks, Scarpa, Sterling Rope, Teamscum, and Walltopia.

Hans Florine gets photobombed while signing autographs.

The event couldn't have been pulled off without the organization skills of John Juraschek, Katie Coley, Corey Wall, Jessie Phillips, Coach Emily and the kids from Urban Core Climbing as well as many others. Having emcee Kurt Smith, Hans Florine, and Chris Sharma there was the icing on the cake. So many positive comments have poured from the community that there is little doubt that the event will happen again next year; so if you missed it, plan to come out in 2014 to have a great time and give back to the climbing areas we love. 

You can take Sharma out of California but you can't take the California out of Sharma. Shaka bra! A huge thanks to Chris Sharma for making the long trip from Spain to make this event truly special. Photo: Rock and Rave Facebook

The same thanks goes to Hans Florine for coming all the way from California. See you next year?