Touted as one the best, if not the best, fund-raising climbing festivals in the Southeast is the New River Rendezvous (aka The ‘Vous) and this year attendees, volunteers, and SCARPA athletes all agree – it’s one for the books.
Put on by the New River Alliance of Climbers and a handful of volunteers from the surrounding New River Gorge area, the event attracted about 800 attendees and raised $20,000 to be used for park restoration, facility improvements and trail work.
In addition to the funds raised and huge support from local climbers, the weekend was packed with climbing and bouldering competitions, gear demos, SCARPA climbing clinics, and some serious arm wrestling and sumo-crash-pad wrestling competitions.
Other highlights of The ‘Vous 10th include great brews shared over SCARPA athlete Sam Elias’ slideshow, “Life on the Road,” and a short video by Nic Spruill about the bouldering area known as “The Dries” where the NRAC is working to make the area more accessible to bouldering enthusiasts with marked trails and designated parking lots.
Aside from the incredible climbing, tremendous support from sponsors and the forest service, The ‘Vous has helped keep the New River on people’s radar,” said Big-Cheese Rendezvous Organizer Maura Kistler. “All of the sponsors went above and beyond to increase participation and psyche.”
New this summer was the American Alpine Club Campground located just a hop away from the main ‘Vous event area. “It’s a great addition to the event and gave visitors a lot more space to camp and enjoy the grounds,”says Kistler.
The ‘Vous’ No-Waste Initiative was a major success this year as a solar-powered trailer was hauled in to power a majority of vendor booths and provide LED lighting. Kistler says everyone was very respectful and fully on board with the initiative.
While The Vous may be over, the New River still boasts some of the Southeast’s best climbing so don’t hesitate to get out there and create your own adventure. For more info on the New River Gorge visit http://www.nps.gov/neri/planyourvisit/climbing.htm.
All photos courtesy dpmclimbing.com