How To Kill It At The Red Rock Rendezvous

The Red Rock Rendezvous is a pretty special event for climbers, and it's right around the corner: April 1-3. We're jonesing for some of that sun-drenched patina ourselves, so we thought we'd share a classic post about it from 2015.

If you're heading to Vegas soon for the Red Rock Rendezvous, you're doing one thing right already. From the party Friday night, to getting climbing tips from the pros, to the pancake breakfast on Sunday, there's a lot to take in. If you want to make sure to get the most from this special weeken, Jason Nelson's got you covered. He's been to eight already, usually as an athlete instructor. Here are his seven tips for having the absolute best time possible.

  • Be prepared for the weather.
    Although Las Vegas is generally dry and warm, springtime can be unpredictable. Bring a raincoat and a puffy in case it’s cool at night. Winds in the Nevada desert can be apocalyptic. If you're tenting, bring earplugs, perhaps some chemical sleep aids, and something to weigh your tent down while you’re out during the day. Those tent stakes might not be enough to keep your tent from becoming a kite. A 5-gallon water jug would work great for some extra weight, or a suitcase.
  • Be prepared to party.
    You didn’t sign up just for the climbing, did you? I didn’t think so. Take a little rest after climbing and then put your fun pants on and go have a good time! Sleeping at the event means you don’t have to get in your car after a couple beers. If you’re planning on driving somewhere else after the night's festivities, plan accordingly.  
  • Meet some cool people—by being cool.
    Events like these are a great way to make potential climbing partners, meet some of the faces you see in the magazines, and network. Don’t be afraid, instead be thoughtful and deliberate. Telling a famous climber that “you’re their biggest fan” might send them running for the hills. We’ve all seen the movie Misery and we know how that ends. Instead, tell them that they inspire you. Everybody likes a compliment. 
  • Do something extraordinary.
    Although this is not Burning Man, it doesn’t mean that gifting is not allowed. Do something special for a stranger. Why not? It will make both of you feel good. Sometimes the smallest amounts of thoughtfulness will turn someone’s day around.
  • Be prepared to learn.
    There are many great opportunities to learn all sorts of things from this event. Isn’t that why you signed up for a clinic? Listen to your instructors and ask questions. They're stuck out in the desert with you for the day, so you have a captive audience. Most athletes love talking about themselves anyway. Curb the conversation toward what you want to hear. Wondering about some gear? Most of the folks standing around at the tents all day are paid experts on gear. Is a GriGri rated to lower two people at once? Does washing Gore-tex help its waterproofness? These are all things you can find out at the event.
  • Take care of yourself.
    Airlines tell you to put your oxygen mask on yourself before helping someone else for a reason. Be prepared so you can make the most of the event!