Thursday, April 3, 2014

RRRR: Red Rock Rendezvous Recap

I really just wanted to have the title of this post resemble a pirates' favorite letter, but in reality we all know that's P! (because its like an R, but its missing a leg) But in all seriousness, I can only begin to say how much fun I had at the Red Rock Rendezvous this past weekend! Not only did I spend time with so many great people, but it was my birthday on Saturday and my partner Laura was able to make it for the festivities as well.

A Beavertail Cactus (Opuntia basilaris) in bloom with the Red Rock Escarpment in the background

I began Friday of the festival leading a U-climb clinic all day for new climbers. We focused on all the fundamentals of the sport and by the end of the day everyone could go through a safety check, rappel, and utilize good body positioning and technique on 5.7 climbs. Such a fun group of folks getting their first outdoor climbing experience, or at least a refresher.

On Saturday I had the pleasure of assisting professional climbing athlete and yogi Heidi Wirtz with her Yoga for Climbers clinics. I'm not a practitioner of yoga, but definitely an interested observer, and the opportunity to learn a thing or two from Heidi was a real treat. Not to mention it was also my birthday! Although this was Heidi's clinic and certainly her expertise, she let me put up a route in the afternoon at the Hunter S. Thompson Dome called Squire and rated 5.10c. I called it an "easy-hard" route, because of its overhanging nature but with big jugs to grab onto. Got to love that grade "easy-hard", they're always a lot of fun.

Panorama I took of Heidi leading her group in some yoga poses. Can't beat this setting for yoga!
I definitely picked up some yoga poses and stretches to add into my stretching regiment. It was great to get some instruction in yoga from a climber that obviously is able to tailor her practice towards improved climbing movement. But I have to admit I was very sore after 2 sessions of yoga that day!

Heidi stopping on the hike out to take a photo of a good looking barrel cactus. So great to see someone appreciating the little things! Definitely check out Heidi's yoga and climbing retreats at Earthplay Retreats.

Saturday night was definitely the party night at the Rendezvous. Lots of people dancing to the music, and the beer was flowing freely. Had a great time hamming it up with my friends after a long day in the desert sun.

Sunday I was assigned to multi-pitch guiding, probably the most popular opportunity at the Rendezvous. I took two great guys from Pennsylvania up Lotta Balls 5.8 in the First Creek Canyon. Despite some high winds I was able to stay attached to the thin face section of balls the route is known for on pitch 2. These guys had a great time and were super appreciative to get up on a multi-pitch climb and learn a few more efficient techniques for station and rope management.

My first Rendezvous will definitely not be my last! I look forward to next years event and many more after that for years to come!