Clean Valley Day!

Have you been enjoying the gorgeous weather lately?  It’s hard to believe we had a little snow storm last week!!

As we’re getting back out on the trails, it’s a great time to think about how we can contribute to keeping these great resources available to us.  One great way we can pitch in is to do some volunteer clean-up work!

This Saturday, April 13th, will be the the 34th Annual Clean Valley Day hosted by Clean Valley Council.  From 9-noon you can help clean up the area of your choice.  For more information on this event, click here.

Whether you decide to participate in an event like this, or simply make a commitment to leaving no trace this season when you’re out and about, there are all sorts of ways to help preserve our natural resources.

River Rock Photo Contest – Get Your Photos Framed!

Are you a photographer or a photographer-to-be? If so, we need your help. We’ve finally opened this great climbing gym, but we need to dress the interior walls a bit. Yeah, we could order some posters of people we don’t know doing things in far away places. But we’d rather have real images, of local people, enjoying the outdoor pursuits they love.

Here’s the deal. We’ve created a special Photo submission page here: <= Please read the instructions thoroughly before submitting your photo!

Have you submitted a picture? Awesome! Now, it’s time to vote for your favorites on the gallery page:

(Only one vote per image guys and gals!)

We’ll allow the contest to run until June 3rd. At the end of this one month period, we’ll take the photos that receive the most votes, blow them up, frame them, and hang them on the gym walls. Instant fame for your photos!

Ready? To get started uploading photos, click here.
To start voting on photos, click here.

Good luck!



The Perfect Shot

Climbing Photography

Have you ever watched a climbing video or looked at pictures of climbers and wondered about how the photographer managed to get that shot? We enjoyed watching this peek behind the scenes with climbing photographer Simon Carter.

Points to consider:

  • Be a climber. Before trying to combine climbing and photography, it’s important to have experience and skill with climbing alone.
  • Essential composition challenge: balance. “You want to capture good action — but you also want to try to get a balance between the action and the landscape.”
  • Logistical challenge: getting into position. Often the best angle for getting a great perspective on the climber and the landscape requires the photographer to be suspended out in space. This can require days of planning and set up, with ropes anchored on multiple cliffs.
  • Use your imagination. It takes experimentation and adaptation to get great climbing photographs.


SPCA Tail Chaser and beyond!

We loved seeing everyone out with their dogs on the greenway for the SPCA Tail Chaser 5K and Black Dog Salvage 1-mile walk last Saturday! It was a perfect day for enjoying the spring scenery with furry friends!

There are a lot of opportunities to get out and enjoy the outdoors while supporting a great cause. Participating in events like this is a great way to connect with others and give back to the community — and it also provides some excellent cross training to help improve your climbing! Here’s a list of just a few of the upcoming races/rides in this area:

April 5: Ferrum College Relay for Life “Put Cuffs on Cancer” 5K Run/1 mile Walk

April 13: Blossom to Bottle 5K, benefiting the YMCA Oncology Wellness Program

April 13: Blue Ridge Race for the Cure

May 11: Gallop 4 the Greenway 5K

June 1: Race for Open Space, benefiting the land preservation efforts of the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy

June 8 and 9: Bike MS Tour de Vine — choose from 25-100 mile routes featuring rest stops at various vineyards.

For more, please visit:

Roanoke Outside calendar of events


Do you have a favorite race or cause? Tell us about it in the comments!