The 10th Anniversary of the Red Rock Rendezvous not only had a great attendance rate by pro climbers and climbing enthusiast alike, but also had the best weather it has seen in the past years. The tormenting desert winds took a hike the weekend of the festival, which left climbers with the perfect conditions for enjoying the festival events and outdoor activities.
The weekend was filled with various clinics from wilderness first aid, multi-pitch climbs, trad leads and even mountain bike clinics by our very own Osprey athletes Jeff Fox and Alison Gannett. Osprey provided demo packs to attendees for a chance to test out our new hydration packs and reservoir as well as our climbing specific packs, the Mutant and Variant.
As the festivities began to wind down and outdoor enthusiasts returned from their adventures, Red Rock Rendezvous continued the party with events like the Dyno Competition, where individuals would miraculously dyno to holds 6-9 feet above, and with guest speakers including Conrad Anker and Malcolm Daly who spoke about some of their landmark climbs from the past years, to bumping beats from various DJs later into the night.
Whether you were a local from Las Vegas, a dirtbag from different parts of the country, or a newbie just checking out the scene for the first time, Red Rock Rendezvous offered experiences for all skill sets and allowed strangers from all walks of life to celebrate climbing and outdoor community.
Today, Jailhouse Rock outside of Sonora, California is entering a brand-new era in climbing. But for 20 years, it was nothing more than an open secret with limited access. While climbers like Beth Rodden and Alex Honnold cut their teeth here, access was extremely sensitive because it ran through private property. The landowner was supportive of climbing but equally weary of letting Jailhouse Rock become known. Thanks to the efforts of the Access Fund and local climbers, an easement was negotiated with the landowner — thus opening it up to a whole new world (and era) of climbing.
Climber Beth Rodden made the first ascent of what is likely Yosemite’s single hardest traditional pitch: Meltdown, a 70-foot 5.14 crack at Upper Cascade Falls. Beth lives near Yosemite and loves to bake in between climbs and travels.
I normally hide from the heat when climbing. I feel like a raisin when the temperature gets into the 90’s, shriveling up and withering away. But this summer, I was more than happy to stick around Yosemite. With a fairly empty park because of the Hantavirus scare, it was a nice time to enjoy the shadier, higher climbs that I rarely visit.
My neighbors had been suggesting Mt. Starr King to me for years, probably due to my constant state of injury. They thought surely the 5.0 dome would be gentle on my injury-prone body. Their thinking was brilliant and one sweltering hot weekend in September we set off on an adventure.
My spring has been filled with travel around the country to visit shops, stores and climbing gyms. It’s been a great way to get out and see all the different climbing communities across the country, but I am looking forward to six uninterrupted weeks at home.
On a recent trip to Maine, I was able to visit with the good people of Alpenglow Adventure Sports. They own a small outdoor store in northern Maine, which reminded me of the outdoor stores that I grew up with: quirky shops with every bit of space filled to the brim.
I grew up with Alpine West. It was a small outdoor store located in a corner spot of a long, skinny, brown building in downtown Davis, California. Bordering the train tracks, it was filled wall to wall with all sorts of outdoor goodies. From sleeping bags to climbing gear, ski boots to water filters. Not an inch of the store was empty. My dad is an avid outdoor enthusiast, and while his interests have changed over the years from skiing, to climbing, and now to kayaking, I associate the outdoor stores with childhood memories.