SCARPA will join hundreds of climbing and bouldering enthusiast in West Virginia May 17 through 19 for the New River Rendezvous 10. The climbing festival, more commonly referred to as “The ‘Vous”, is put on each year by the non-profit New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC). The ‘Vous is a grassroots, three-day celebration of everything climbing as well as the NRAC’s largest fundraiser.
Several SCARPA-sponsored athletes will offer climbing clinics and demo shoes. “SCARPA has made the clinics possible because it allows us to keep costs way down,” said Big-Cheese Rendezvous Organizer, Maura Kistler. SCARPA is bringing four athletes to The ‘Vous: boulderers Dan Horne and Michael Rosato, route climber Seth Bentley, and Editor of dpmclimbing.com, climber, and author, Mike Williams. Williams is a local in the New River Gorge and leads guided climbs.
Photo Courtesy: New River Alliance of Climbers
“This year we have about 30 sponsored athletes attending and over 100 volunteers,” Kistler says. “The event is run by local volunteers and has been for the past ten years. Without them we wouldn’t be able to make this happen.”
The ‘Vous attracts climbers from all skill levels because of its community feel and intimate setting. The festival kicks off with Dessertpalooza (you can guess what that entails) which leads to more of the weekend’s crazy activities such as Crash Pad sumo wrestling, free massage and acupuncture treatments, karaoke, a beer running race, and a major dance party to end it all.
In 2008 the NRAC began a No Waste initiative. “The National Forest Service has been very generous in letting us host the event here and we want to do as much as we can to preserve the area and eliminate waste.” Kistler says. The NRAC will supply a watering station and is using a solar-powered trailer provided by one of the festival’s sponsors to power vendor booths and provide LED lighting. Participants are asked to bring reusable utensils and cooking supplies, and to not dispose of anything on the park grounds.
All registration fees and funds received are used to sustain and improve the climbing areas in the New River Gorge as well as support climbing advocacy with local landowners. Local climbers and those in surrounding areas are already asking how they can help and preparing for a weekend of safe, friendly fun.