Beyond the flashy casinos, hotel high-rises and Elvis-themed wedding chapels that have come to define Las Vegas, NV is a different sort of playground. Red Rock Canyon, just 17 miles west of the strip, is a climber’s dream: sport climbing for days; soft, friendly sandstone; and endless crack systems–literally something for everybody. Each year, climbers from all across the country descend on Red Rock Canyon for a weekend of jamming, clipping and gear placing, followed by good music and good beer. This is Red Rock Rendezvous, one of the largest climbing festivals in the country.
One of the best parts of Red Rock Rendezvous is that the event is centered around education and is organized into a series of hands-on clinics taught by athletes and guides. Participants are given a menu of options, everything from “Trad for Beginners” to “Advanced Sport” and even classes as specific as “Off-Width Training” and “Taking Falls”.
“I love getting to spread the stroke to all the clinic participants. Getting people to step outside their comfort zone and push themselves on the rock is actually really inspiring to me and it is part of the reason why I love climbing. Whether it’s on a 5.8 or 5.12.” – MHW Athlete Ethan Pringle
“Learning to push hard, manage fear, breathe, and focus… Don’t think I’ve ever fallen so much on anything in my life, but can’t wait to come back … Thanks to Ethan Pringle for the awesome clinic, encouragement and extremely patient belay. It was a privilege being under the tutelage of such a badass, respected climber.” – MHW Ambassador Paulina Dao
When you’re being belayed by a professional athlete on some of the most unique and fun rock in the country, it’s hard not to push yourself. But that’s only half the fun. Red Rock Rendezvous is just as much about the rock as it is bringing the passion, stoke, and lovable weirdness of the climbing community together.
“For me the best part of the Rendezvous was catching up with old climbing partners and friends I’ve shared incredible adventures with to the far corners of the earth… Somehow, the years have gone by, but it took only a moment to rekindle our friendships: we still laugh at the same jokes, we still are unbelievably in love with climbing and adventure. It’s those human connections that make it so special.” – MHW Athlete Freddie Wilkinson
“It reminded me yet again about everything I love about climbing. Plus, climbing some fun sandstone slabs and hanging out with a great crew of people was an awesome way to spend a weekend. ” – MHW Athlete Angie Payne
Easily one of our favorite moments of the festival was the photo contest. There were a ton of absolutely radical submissions, so we knew we had to go big for the winners. The obvious choice was to design giant checks because… why not.
Our athlete team chose the winning photos out of over 1,000 submissions! These were the three glory shots that won the grand prize:
And of course there were some honorable mentions:
And who can’t appreciate bottomless beers from New Belgium and groovy tunes from Polyrhythmics…
“It’s the perfect festival to calm the throb of your tips with a cold brew, meet athletes and rock heroes, camp under the milky way, and get loads of great swag. Beginners can learn new skills from pros (like mastering big wall technique from the El Cap pirate himself!!), and experienced climbers have endless walls of red rock canyon to play on. Can’t wait to go back next year!” – Dustin J.J.
“…It was an absolute blast! So much so that I stayed an extra night, topping off an epic weekend of slacklining, highline and big wall practice with a 2am dance party on top of my van. It’s Monday night now, and I still have a huge grin on my face; now, about RRR17…” – Sunny Stroeer
Once again, thanks to everyone who came out and climbed hard. The event was a huge reminder of how strong the climbing community is. There’s a million reasons to stay in your comfort zone, so we raise our glasses to everyone who put everything aside to push their limits in an absolutely beautiful, challenging and scorchin’ hot place!