New River Rendezvous Wrap Up

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The 8th Annual New River Rendezvous saw over 1000 participants, athletes, volunteers and sponsors converge on the New River Gorge for three days of rock climbing and madcap fun, under skies that repeatedly went from stormy to brilliantly sunny.  The Rendezvous is the annual fundraiser for New River Alliance of Climbers.  Vice President Kenny Parker reports that this year’s fundraising total was the best ever, reflecting the common opinion that  Ocho Loco was the best edition of this event ever.

Here’s what was new/different/nutty/best about this year’s event:

  • Dessertapalooza, that crazy spread of sick desserts, was even bigger and more ridiculous than ever thanks to outstanding support from the Fayette County restaurant and baking community.  Organizer Karen Childers was blown away by the generosity of all she requested desserts from.
  • The yoga program blew up!  In past years, maybe 6 or 8 would show up for each class.  This year we have over 25 in several classes.  Expect to see more classes offered next year.
  • Athletes: Returning pros Chris Lindner, Lynn Hill, Brittany Griffith and Lisa Rands were feeling right at home while newbies Chris Sharma and Joe Kinder got a taste of what the Rendezvous is all about.
  • Journalist James Mills, from Joytrip Project, was highly visible shooting and interviewing.  For his complete event coverage check out joytripproject.com
  • Artastic Jamnation, the collaborative live performance art piece from Kris “Odub” Hampton and Jeremy Collins was a dynamic, multimedia happening that featured Jeremy dancing his way out of the crowd wearing a trash bag and some hillbilly teeth while on screen Captain Kirk talked about climbing the mountain… What the hell?  After stripping down, Collins tore into producing three canvases with Odub driving the crazy train with an original rap.  Twenty minutes later Malcolm Daly, owner of Trango, was auctioning off the art.  We have never seen anything remotely like this.
  • Mike Libecki’s two short films were well-received by the sizable crowd who stayed comfortably sprawled and attentive for Chris Sharma’s slideshow and Chuck Fryberger’s movie, Core
  • New York DJ Tim Keenan followed the triple header with an irresistibly danceable set of electronica.  Maybe the sleepers weren’t so psyched but the dancers sure were!
  • The slacklines were smokin’!  Andy from 5.10 and a team of pros from Gibbon Slacklines amazed the crowd with stunts including double front flips, hand stands and other hard-to-fathom maneuvers.
  • Caterer Joy Marr changed up the dinner menu this year and got rave reviews for her Mexican smorgasbord.  Thanks Joy!
  • Fayetteville’s new brewery, Bridge Brew Works, rolled out their brand new Black Lager and IPA and dusted the PBR.  Congrats to Nate Herrold.
  • The FurThrilla in Fayettevilla followed two rounds of sumo wrestling and brought about the rematch bout of Clowny vs. Ticklemonster.  Yep, another WTF moment.  The 7′ tall stuffed guys went at it like pros, pounding on each other while the gorilla ref managed the show.
  • Schoeller’s Dare to Wear Your Lycra Contest was probably the most ridiculous component of the whole weekend.  A parade of 20 lycra clad climbers vamped, pranced, strutted, and gyrated down the picnic table runway in a show that sent parents with children scrambling to get away.  Who knew so many would want to act so wacky.  A gaggle of eight judges awarded top honors to John Averette who sported a porn start mustache, a set of nun-chucks and a pair of hot pink and black zebra striped lycra.  Averette requested that Schoeller keep the amazing prize which was set of outer wear and write an equivalent value check to NRAC.  Classy move John!
  • The dyno comp saw the women steal the show.  come on fellas, ya gotta learn to huck!
  • Freekbass, back after blowing it up last Rendezvous, hit the stage loaded for bear and never slowed down.  Could there be a better band?  Could the dance floor have gotten any more crowded?
  • As far as the comps go:  The hotly contested division was Men’s Expert Trad with a slugfest developing between Pat Goodman, Dave Sharrat and Matt Wilder.  Dave won but the cognoscenti say that if Matt had gotten to the crag before noon he would have taken it.  Boulderers:  next year we hope to have a new guidebook so be ready to compete.  Participation was way off this year.
  • The Pancake Breakfast rolled more efficiently than ever with virutally no line developing through out the morning.  By the end of the weekend, 40 pounds of fresh-roasted organic Mattie’s Mountain Mud had been drunk.  Does any event in the country provide better coffee?
  • And finally:  No Theft.  Not one thing disappeared from the venue all weekend.  Now that is what we are talkin’ about!  

Thanks for coming.  Thanks for participating.  Thanks for donating.  Thanks for bringing your best self with you for what is being called the Best Event in the Country!  Hell yeah!

For more event coverage got to www.newriverrendezvous.com and the New River Rendezvous Facebook page.

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