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Rock climbers helping the growth of the sport in the Chattanooga area

John Dorough/Sales Rep for Petzl

John Dorough's job title is sales rep.

"It's hard to say it's a sales rep," Dorough said.

We went to work with John for two days, and we didn't see him sell anything. He works for a company called Petzl. We watched him take what Petzl makes, and put those products to use.

"They're manufacturing products like helmets, harnesses, carabiners, pulleys, ascenders, descenders," John said. "They also do a head lamp, hands free lighting."

That company works with a lot of different industries that need it's gear such as rescue crews or pole and tree climbers.

"Another big market for us is military," John said. "Obviously we've been to war in the mountains over in Afghanistan and Pakistan so they need mountaineering equipment to help move safer around the mountains."

John has been climbing rocks since high school in the early 90's. Now in many ways he works to grow that community that uses all of the gear he sells. The Chattanooga area is one place in the country where the rock climbing community is huge and continues to grow.

"When I first moved here there was a small contingency of climbers." John said. "In today's world it's a mecca for rock climbing. People are traveling here from all over the world to climb here."

The more people come here the bigger the need for places to climb.

"We're working with private and public land owners, and so we have to establish these relationships and create management plans with them," John said. "So it's really fun to take where I've grown my career, and my path with climbing and to get real involved with that to paint a real good future for climbing."

One specific place that is happening is in Rhea County, Tennessee.

"We're helping complete the Cumberland trail."

That among other things helps open up new areas for rock climbing in southeast Tennessee

"We are coming out here and climbing and kind of breaking it in," John said. "(We are) coming out and figuring out the lay of the land, the lay of the trails, the lay of the bridges, and still working on the infrastructure as well."

So, what exactly are they doing on the Cumberland Trail? That story next time on Making History.

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