New River Rendezvous event report
Black Diamond sales rep (and serious southeast cranker) Matt Ginley attended the 8th Annual New River Rendezvous near Fayetteville, West Virginia. This event has grown into the largest and best climbing event in the East—while still keeping an amazingly authentic vibe and grassroots feel. Below is Ginley's report along with some videos that showcase the good times and wild nights.
Despite some heavy rain, condensation-covered rock, blooming poison ivy, bird-eating spiders, the occasional copperhead snake and one very close-call lighting strike, the New River Alliance of Climbers (and the Waterstone Outdoors crew) was able to pull off yet another successful New River Rendezvous lat weekend in Fayetteville, West Virginia—this being the 8th year of the event that takes place in the heart of the New River Gorge, one of the East’s major climbing destinations. Over 1,000 folks came from all of the country to spend the weekend enjoying and partaking in the many events that were offered.
Friday evening the event kicked off with the Black Diamond Equipment hosted the always-popular “Dessert-a-Palooza.” Climbers stood in a massive line that snaked all the way through the campground to get their hands on one of hundreds of delicious, decadent deserts and coffee from 8-11pm. Huge thanks to all of the local volunteers that stood along side myself and Black Diamond’s Grassroots Marketing Coordinator TJ Kolanko to help feed all of those hungry mouths.
Saturday morning began with a delicious pancake breakfast, courtesy of the American Alpine Club. Afterward folks had the choice to either go climbing, sign up for various clinics being offered by athletes or experts in their field, or partake in one of the climbing competitions (pick your poison: bouldering, sport or trad climbing were the options and the person with the best 10 sends within each discipline won). The evening had MANY highlights including Sumo Pad wrestling, a no-holds-barred mascot boxing match (you had to see it to believe it....) a couple of pro athlete slideshows, and perhaps the most interesting part of the whole event… the Dare To Wear Your Lycra contest. Black Diamond was proudly represented by our very own sales rep and climbing legend, Russ Clune, who daunted his old USA Speed Climbing uniform from the 1980s when, for some reason, lycra was accepted as functional attire for climbing and even considered—gasp—STYLISH. Wow. The event was capped off with a Freakbass, a rocking funk band, and hundreds of folks burning the midnight oil crowded the dance floor to boogie and get down, get down—a GREAT way to end an amazing event, for sure!
Once again, hats off to NRAC and Waterstone for pulling off yet another amazing and successful event. Thousands of dollars were raised and will help ensure that access stays open and that nasty decades-old climbing hardware will be replaced and keep everyone safe while enjoying this amazing, world-class climbing destination.