Muir Valley

Crown Jewel of the Red River Gorge

 

 

Friends of Muir Valley (FOMV) is a volunteer-based organization that owns, operates, and maintains Muir Valley. FOMV was originally formed in 2004 as a volunteer organization to provide volunteer labor and raise funds to help maintain Muir Valley and keep it open to the public. The FOMV is one of the top Access Fund chartered Local Climbing Organizations.

 

The relationship between Muir Valley Nature Preserve LLC and Friends of Muir Valley

 

Muir Valley is the name given a tract of land purchased by Rick and Liz Weber in 2004, which they developed, operated, and maintained as Muir Valley Nature Preserve LLC through March 31, 2015. The Webers made access to Muir Valley free to the public for the purpose of rock climbing, hiking, and enjoying nature. It was the their vision from the onset to make Muir Valley available to the public in perpetuity by gifting it to a non-profit organization. The Webers have nurtured FOMV over the past eleven years, and it became their choice as the eventual owner/operator of Muir Valley. With FOMV's amazing fundraising drive in 2014, it demonstrated that it was more than capable to take over ownership and management of Muir Valley and keep it running into the future to the standards set by the Webers. On March 31, 2015, the Muir Valley Nature Preserve LLC was dissolved when Rick and Liz Weber donated Muir Valley to FOMV.

 

FOMV is now a 501 (c) 3 non-profit corporation. Donations to FOMV are tax deductible for those donors who itemize deductions.

The FOMV Board of Directors

Chairman

Roger VanDamme has been an very active supporter and advocate for Muir Valley since its inception in 2004. Aside from his administrative chores as Chairman of the FOMV Board of Directors, Roger has created, headed up, and successfully completed numerous construction projects in the Valley, including the three restrooms, several bridges, and major trail and road building. You can usually find Roger at Muir on weekends on a tractor or swinging a pulaski axe.

 

Roger and his wife Sarah are avid rock climbers and take trips several times a year to other climbing venues around the country. They enjoy sport climbing, and are also experienced in multi-pitch trad climbing. Although they reside in Indianapolis, you will usually find them in the Red River Gorge on weekends.

 

Roger also spends a lot of time keeping airliners from running into each other. His career as an air traffic controller spans xx years.

Roger VanDamme:  fomv.chairman@gmail.com

Vice Chairman

To be added.

Name:  fomv.vicechair@gmail.com

Secretary

Zachary (Zach) Davis has been involved in Muir Valley since 2011 through trail days and helping out with other projects such as the Muir Valley Project video . He spent his first few outdoor climbing trips learning to lead climb in Muir Valley and has been excited about what the Valley has to offer ever since. Zach is now enthused to become involved even more by serving on the board starting in Feb 2015.

 

Zach is a dedicated rock climber spending as much time as possible sport climbing at Muir and other crags at the Red. Though, throughout most of the week you will find him bouldering in the evenings at Climb Time in Cincinnati after his work day as a team leader at Ohio National Financial Services. He also frequents many other climbing destinations throughout the year in Tennessee, West Virginia and Colorado. Zach can be reached at: fomv.sec@gmail.com Zach's LinkedIn link.

Zach Davis:  fomv.secretary@gmail.com

Treasurer

Jessica Hannes has been an active supporter of Muir Valley for many years and has been on the board since 2013.  As Treasurer, Jess has been integral in streamlining the financial records of Friends of Muir Valley including managing donations, preparing financial statements and the annual budget.

 

Jess and her family began climbing in 2009.  Although they climb at multiple destinations throughout the country, the Red River Gorge is their primary climbing destination with Muir Valley being top on their list.  This is due to Muir Valley's excellent routes, facilities and overall safety practices.  Jessica's husband Chris is a professional firefighter and certified EMT who also volunteers on the emergency rescue team when visiting the valley.

 

Jess hails from Kenosha, Wisconsin and works in Chicago, Illinois.  She has over 20 year experience in leading customer service, sales and retention call centers.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ripon College.  Jess is an avid traveler and loves outdoor activities including camping, hiking and road cycling.

 

Jessica's contact information is fomv.treasurer@gmail.com.  If you would like to connect with her via Linkedin her address is www.linkedin.com/in/jessicahannes

Jessica Hannes:  fomv.treasurer@gmail.com

Financial Secretary

Theresa Augustine is ...

 

To be continued

Theresa Augustine: email to be added

Information Technology

My name is Mike Davenport and I am a general surgeon in Northern KY. My first exposure to Muir Valley was in 2007 when me and  my kids, Eric and Jenna, attended the Muir Valley climbing camp. It was amazing and we fell in love with Muir Valley and the Webers. We are avid  climbers and Muir Valley is home! I am honored to call Rick and Liz good friends.  I volunteer on the Wolfe co. SAR team and also participate in the Muir Valley Rescue Group.  I am honored to be on the board of FOMV and look forward to continue the legacy that the Webers and FOMV have established.

Dr. Mike Davenport:  fomv.it@gmail.com

IT Advisor

Mark Ryan grew up in Cincinnati and started climbing in the Red River Gorge in 1978 when the Mt Parkway was a toll road. After several years, he took a trip to Seattle for vacation and didn’t come back to Cincinnati for 16 years; he was busy climbing all over the west coast. In 2004 Mark heard of this new place to climb called Muir Valley and has been volunteering to help ever since. Along with valley maintenance, he has bolted several dozen routes in Muir Valley you might have enjoyed climbing. In addition to being the IT Administrator for the Friends of Muir Valley Mark is also an AMGA Certified Guide and the Training Officer for the Wolfe County SAR Team. When not busy with volunteering or training, Mark tries to get some climbing in on the weekends. He can be reached at fomv.ad@gmail.com.

Mark Ryan:  fomv.ad@gmail.com

Publicity Chair

Tricia Coakley has been a very active supporter and advocate for Muir Valley since 2011 through fundraising activities, weekend emergency response, and helping out in the parking lot. Tricia initiated and managed the 2014 Indiegogo campaign to help achieve the stretch goal for FOMV to receive the gift of Muir Valley.  She is a new board member as of February, 2015 and is very excited for the opportunity to serve FOMV through public relations service.

 

Tricia and her husband Michael are beginning rock climbers and love Muir Valley for its abundance of quality sport routes and maintained trails. Tricia and her husband,

 

Tricia has worked as an environmental research scientist for Western Kentucky University and now for the University of Kentucky. She has a passion for community education about water quality issues and is currently pursuing a master of public administration to begin protecting the environment from “the other side of the lab bench”. Tricia can be contacted at fomv.publicity@gmail.com

 

Tricia Coakley:  fomv.publicity@gmail.com

Muir Valley Ambassador at large

Michael Kirkendall (Tricia Coakley's bearded half) is one of the Valley's ardent volunteers. Visitors do a double take when they first see him, as he is the spitting image of John Muir himself. You will see him on a tractor one minute and giving guidance and leadership to new visitors the next. Michael has been a valuable resource with Muir's many maintenance and construction projects.

 

Michael and his wife Tricia might even be considered residents of Muir inasmuch as they own a little log cabin on a small plot within the Valley. They are key members of the Muir Valley Rescue Group and have both assisted with and managed incidents involving climber injuries.

 

Michael and Tricia were also important contributors to the Muir Valley Pocket Guide publication, spending many hours researching, mapping, and photographing the Valley.

Tricia Coakley with John Muir (Michael Kirkendall)

Muir Valley Founders

Rick and Liz Weber have been climbing since 1999. Upon retiring, they climbed at many of the popular crags around the country. They were on a climbing trip late in 2003 to the Red River Gorge when they stumbled onto the land, which was to become Muir Valley. Shortly after purchasing it —literally on the day they discovered it—Rick and Liz immediately began building trails and developing climbs throughout the Valley, and opened it to the public in January of 2004. They helped form the Friends of Muir Valley group that same year.

 

On March 31, 2015, the Webers made a gift of Muir Valley to the Friends of Muir Valley. These two former owners now serve FOMV as enthusiastic volunteers.

 

Liz has a masters degree in engineering from Purdue and an MBA from IU. She retired as an engineering chief engineer from Rolls-Royce Aerospace. Although “officially” retired from climbing, Liz still gets in a few climbs as time and circumstance permit. Her most recent ascent was the 16-pitch Royal Arches wall in Yosemite Valley in the fall of 2012. She is a wildflower enthusiast, including mountain laurel, which grows in abundance in Muir Valley. Liz can be contacted at Liz.Weber5@gmail.com, MuirValley@gmail.com (606) 668-9066 or (317) 291-0354.

 

Rick is a graduate of Purdue University, and was founder and manager of several companies before retiring. He is an active AMGA-Certified Single Pitch Instructor and an Instructor for both Rescue 3 International and the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management in Technical Rope Rescue. Rick chairs the Technical Rope Rescue Committee for Kentucky's Division of Emergency Management. He also developed a rescue training facility at Muir Valley and has provided rescue training for many volunteers and professionals working throughout Kentucky. Rick can be contacted at RichardHWeber@gmail.com, (606) 668-9066, or (317) 291-0354.

Rick Weber:  richardhweber@gmail.com

Liz Weber:  liz.weber5@gmail.com

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