Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Red Rock Rendezvous Recap - a note from Natasha

Since I began coordinating our Red Rock Program in 2007, my co-workers have been telling me about the Red Rock Rendezvous climbing festival. Everyone kept telling me how much fun I would have if I had the opportunity to go and what an awesome experience it was to be a part of the Rendezvous. Plus, there was also mention of a 'beer truck’ that piqued my curiosity!

Jason Martin, one of AAI's senior guides, coordinated the event and AAI guides led the Friday clinics and oversaw the safety of the climbing on Saturday and Sunday. Fortunately for me, this was the year that I was sent as an American Alpine Institute representative to the Fifth Annual Red Rock Rendezvous! (Maybe I’d even get the chance to 'investigate' the beer truck if time allowed.)

Two guides and I flew down from Bellingham to Red Rock (via Las Vegas, of course) carrying what seemed to be an enormous amount of gear for just a couple days of climbing and fun in the sun. My carry-on bag probably weighed as much as my checked luggage! By nightfall of the first day, we were settled in to the Spring Mountain Ranch, just outside the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area boundary, catching up with friends and co-workers under a starry night sky.

The concept of this event is unique and interesting: gather a bunch of climbers of all skill and experience levels, offer a variety of clinics, camp out on grass, get some vendors together to showcase cool gear, and throw a party! It really doesn’t get much better than that. There is truly something for everyone at this event.

The weekend passed by way too quickly in a whirlwind of excitement. There were numerous conversations with many interesting people, hours sitting in the sun talking about climbing, watching slidesho
ws in the evenings, and I even found the real beer truck - it wasn't a myth! From the sound of talk at camp, you could tell people did a lot of climbing, despite having to put up with a touch of unusual desert rain on Sunday. Everyone seemed to be psyched for the spring season.

Returning to the desert is always a pleasure. The union of sunny days and great company make the Red Rock Rendezvous a spectacular event and one that I felt fortunate to attend.

The weather is still excellent at this time of year, so if you want to get away for some beautiful climbing before the Red Rock season ends, please contact me at or call AAI’s office at 1-800-424-2249. We will get you out climbing!

No comments: