“If the price gets up to $3,000, I’ll buy everybody here a beer!” My attempted conversation is drowned out by the sound of 500 people cheering. New Belgium Brewery is auctioning off a signature “Fat Tire” beach cruiser bike. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Des Moines Bike Collective, a Des Moines based nonprofit. The man holding the current bid immediately raises his hand to increase his own bid to $3,000. And the cheers get even louder.
The Osprey Brand Team, a group of 10 Osprey ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country over 2009, lands in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Red Rocks Rendezvous. Here is brand team’er Theresa Blake’s red rock review.
Thanks to Osprey Packs, I was among 1000+ other lucky climbers who got to enjoy the 6th annual Red Rock Rendezvous this weekend in Las Vegas at the Red Rock National Conservation Area. I have never attended the Rendezvous before and had only ever seen pictures of the area, so naturally I was stoked to be going. I signed up for a clinic and hit the road to Las Vegas with my tent and trusty Osprey pack.
I was pleased to find a nationally protected conservation area in the midst of the Mojave Desert rife with unique geological features and ancient desert culture (quite the contrary to what most people envision when you think of Las Vegas). The Strip is just 13 miles to the east but is definitely small and pale in comparison to this place. Views abound for miles along the Keystone Thrust Fault with dramatic red and tan sandstone mixed up with rocks from ancient oceans.
The festival itself, which benefits the Access Fund, was held at Spring Mountain Ranch with camping offsite at Bonnie Springs, and was nicely put together by a hard working crew who were super friendly and helpful to boot. A funky-looking solar powered generator that reminded you of the sun and its vast capabilities accompanied the stage.
Climbing, food and libation vendors were poised offering something for everyone to buy or enjoy for free, thanks to generous sponsors. The beer provided by New Belgium Brewing Co was delicious and was served in cups made out of corn instead of plastic.
The Rendezvous was highly organized and brought together an amazing roster of professional climbers like Joe Kinder, Sonnie Trotter, Katie Brown, Micah Dash and a whole bunch of other superbly talented athletes to teach clinics and offer resources to fellow aspiring climbers. I found most everyone I met to be down to earth, fun and really, really excited about climbing.
With over 1,000 routes available in Red Rocks, there was definitely something for climbers of all ability levels. Add good beer, friends and music to this and you really can’t go wrong.
SIDEBAR: I learned about a mishap that occurred last year that reminded me how personally responsible we are when we recreate not only in the mountains, but everywhere we go. Apparently an event attendee vandalized a historic building at Spring Mountain Ranch during the festival. As a result, area officials mandated camping for the event be moved from the green-ish field directly next to the event pavilion out to the dustier Bonnie Springs lot several miles away. This made for “special” camping quarters when 40+ MPH gusts kicked up.
I was surprised to hear that someone attending an event like this would do such a thing given the event is a benefit for the Access Fund, but bad things sometimes happen when you get a whole bunch of people around with alcohol being served. This gives the climbing community a bad name and as we learned firsthand this weekend, cuts off our access and takes away our privileges.