New River Rendezvous Blowout 2011!

posted by dpm on 05/23/2011


The verdict is in that the ninth annual New River Rendezvous was the best, most successful one yet!  The event went off without a hitch with nearly 1100 attendants enjoying great climbing and an amazing party.   Most important, however, was the success of the New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC) in raising nearly 30,000 dollars for their continued efforts at preserving the New River Gorge as one of the most beautiful and well-maintained climbing resources in the country.     


Springtime at the NRG is beautiful.  Climber on Discombobulated (5.11a)  

Photo: MW/DPM


As is often the case, climbers faced a bit of wet rock on Friday but that failed to dampen the mood.  Dry rock was ferreted out and great climbing was enjoyed by all.  The skies cleared on Saturday and participants in the climbing competition were able to come away with some significant ascents.  Sasha Digiulian made the first female onsight of the classic tiger-striped face of Quinsana Plus (5.13a) and DPM cameras were rolling.  Expect footage soon!  Alex David Johnson was able to repeat the classic highball Beauty Mountain Beatdown (V11) as well as establish a new V10 problem he called Heartbreaker.  Chris Sharma was seen at Summersville Lake’s Coliseum working out the moves on a potential 5.14d called Full Metal Brisket while Peter Kamitses fired off Freedom Tree (5.13d) in the Cirque.  DPM scrambled around the cliff tops in a frenzy compiling some great footage of top athletes that should be up soon!  But it wasn’t a pro-centric atmosphere at the cliffs and boulders.  Climbers of all ability levels roped up side by side with big smiles under blue skies.  In the end, Greg Kerzhner and Lena Moinova took first place in the sport comp and Nate Draughn and Holly McMullen took first on the boulders.  (full results below)


Sasha Digiulian onsighting Quinsana Plus (5.13a)  Video image: DPM


The events at the festival site were as good as the climbing.  The highlight this year was the kickoff of dessertapalooza which is traditionally a spread of treats extending farther than the eye can see.  In celebration of the Access Fund’s 20th year in business they were presented a massive New River Gorge-shaped cake made by local climber and cake boss Elissa Williams.  Amy Pickering led an ear-splitting rendition of Happy Birthday that could be heard all the way up and down the gorge.  Celebrating the success of the New River Alliance’s 12 year partnership with the Access Fund was as sweet as the desserts.


Access Fund Development Director Leici Hendrix celebrates 20 years of keeping climbing areas open.

Photo: MW/DPM


As the sugar-high kicked in the party level elevated for the sumo-pad wrestling, arm wrestling, and aerial combat of Clowny and Ticklemonster.  (It’s too zany to explain)  La Sportiva sponsored a West Virginia-style race where contestants sprinted 2 miles then had to chug a beer before crossing the finish line.  DPM held a Nerf-ball target-shoot that raised an additional 300 dollars for the Access Fund.  The Evolv - So-Ill dyno comp was outrageous this year with a huge well-lit wall and flying two-handed 180 dynos in front of a cheering crowd.  Alex Johnson took first for the men while Leanna Lockhart placed first for the women.  For the third year in a row, FreekBass took the stage and thumped heavy bass-riffs to the scratch of the turntable.  The dance floor got freeky and the beer kegs were drained!  


DJ Mon Voyage Neon.  Photo: MS/DPM


As fuzzy-headed climbers emerged from tents Sunday morning to climb and head home, one thing was clear.  The ninth New River Rendezvous was the benchmark event that all other climbing festivals will be measured by.  The Access Fund was blown away by the level of new memberships and money raised stating that it was, “their most successful event ever.”  Event organizer and NRAC board member Kenny Parker said, “After talking to the sponsors and reps that attend events like this all over the country it was clear to me that they were ‘wowed.’  I heard time and again that the planning and schedule was nearly flawless and the positive energy of the crowd was unmatched.  We quite simply ‘killed it’ this year and everyone that was here knew it.”  He continued, “One of the things we wanted to drive home this year was first, that the whole point of the Rendezvous was to raise money for NRAC and the preservation of our incredible climbing area.  Secondly, we wanted people to know that they are part of NRAC and that by attending the event and climbing in the gorge they affect the area in a positive way.  We couldn’t have had such a successful ‘Vous without the support and positive vibe of all in attendance.”


Black Diamond Rep Matt Ginley invites you to "pull his finger."  Photo: MS/DPM


For those that missed the event, there is always next year!  Despite the prevailing local view that this event can’t be beat we promise to try our damndest.  Stay tuned for a highlight reel of the events and excellent video footage of some great climbing on the perfect stone of the New River Gorge. 


Hit a target, win a prize at the DPM Nerf Launch.  Photo: MS/DPM


Mammut athlete Peter Kamitses in the crux corner of Freedom Tree (5.13d)  Video image: DPM


NRG local Eddie Avallone smelling the wrath of Ginley's finger pull on Silent But Deadly (5.13a)

Photo: MW/DPM


Comp Results:  (big apology to Lena Moinova, winner of the expert sport comp.  We had incorrectly given credit to Sasha Digiulian who didn't even compete!  Sorry Lena!)


Bouldering Competition:

Mens Expert:

1. Nate Draughn

2. Alex Johnson

3. Louis Aden


Men's Intermediate:

1. Corey Perez

2. Dustyn White

3. Trevor Farias


Men's Novice:

1. Jeffrey Kayse

2. Eric Miotke

3. Albert Matunis


Womens Expert:

1. Holly McMullen

2. Leanna Lockhart

3. Melanie Meinhart


Women's Intermediate:

1. Julia Gumpert


Women's Novice:

1. Alaina Kirchoff

2. Jennifer Nicely

3. Kelly Burmeister


Sport Climbing Competition:

Men's Expert:

1. Greg Kerzhner

2. Vasya Vorotnikov

3. Mike Anderson


Men's Masters (over age 45):

1. Dan Hague

2. Eric Swartz

3. Marty Vogel


Men's Novice:

1. Joel Gibbel

2. Chris Pipas

3. Michael Ryan


Women's Expert:

1. Lena Moinova

2. Jessa Goebel


Women's Novice:

1. Neysa Dominguez

2. Jen Cummings


Trad Competition:

Men's Expert:

1. Ryan Stocky

2. David Statler


Men's Novice:

1. Adam Weaver

2. Bryan Felkoski

3. Kyle Deisig


Women's Expert:

1. Jessa Goebel

2. Julia Statler

3. Jamie Grimm-Rice


Women's Novice:

1. Ruth Turner

2. Courtney Grimm