Professional Climbers International (PCI) Announces Launch of New Website

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1/7/11 – Professional Climbers International (PCI) is proud to announce the launch of its website, www.proclimbers.com. The site creates a centralized point to learn about climbingʼs brightest stars. It also provides a place to learn about PCIʼs three core initiatives, all of which serve to increase the value of climbing for the benefit of its athletes and industry:

• To increase visibility of the sport. • To increase the accessibility of the sport. • To promote behavior and public policy that preserves and protects our environment.

The portal provides a clear pathway for fans to connect with athletes, their accomplishments, projects, and interests. Climbers and fans will have direct access to PCI athlete profiles, featuring in-depth biographies, career highlights, photos and videos. Sponsors will enjoy the benefits of a featured product page where athletes will recommend their favorite gear.

PCI offers athletes at any stage of development the right tools to propel a career. PCI provides a wealth of resources to its members. These range from advisory services to portfolio development, from grants to public relations assistance. Membership is open to any sponsored climber, from a grassroots member receiving free product to professionals at the top of their game. “Our goal is to increase the value that both athletes and sponsors bring to their relationship,” explains PCI Chairman Rusty Klassen.

“Pulling together” is PCIʼs creed. In that spirit, PCI is partnered with The Access Fund, rock climbingʼs nationwide access advocacy group, to advance their common goals. Reflecting this, $10 of every PCI membership goes to The Access Fund, enrolling all PCI members as Access Fund members. In 2010, PCI worked with The Access Fund to revitalize its Ambassador Program. This initiative harnesses the presence of professional climbers in the community to promote and increase stewardship of all climbing areas.

To increase interest in and accessibility to the benefits of climbing, PCI has launched its first youth educational climbing programs in Sonoma, CA, at The Presentation School (K-8) and the Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley (K-12). “Climbing is an activity that kids of all ages and skill levels can enjoy,” says PCI Instructor Patrick Smithson. The successful implementation of the community-wide climbing program has only been a first step in enacting this initiative. “We want to create a highly replicable program in Sonoma, one that can be shared with hundreds, and eventually thousands, of Boys and Girls Clubs and schools across the country,” says PCI President Kevin Jorgeson.

PCI is also partnered with Brian Runnells, founder of the popular climbing news website, www.climbingnarc.com. This collaboration will provide Brian with the means to enrich his news stories with first hand information from the athletes. Viewers of Climbing Narc will now be able to learn more about athletes in the news by visiting the PCI website. "I'm excited about the partnership with PCI and I look forward to the opportunities this will provide to enhance both our brands,” says Brian.

Founded in 2009, PCI is a 501(c)4 non-profit with the mission to increase the value of the sport of climbing for the benefit of its athletes, industry and protection of the environment.

For more information, go to www.proclimbers.com. Images, tours and further information are available on request. For breaking news about PCI members and initiatives, follow PCI on Twitter @proclimbers and on Facebook at PCI.