Red Rock Rendezvous (RRR) is an annual rock climbing and social get together in Spring Mountain State Park near Las Vegas, NV put on by Mountain Hardware and Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. The YogaSlackers have been there since 2009 (or 2008. Seriously, we’re too busy slacking to count dates accurately!). YogaSlackers’ involvement in RRR no longer provides late night scenes in the Home Depot parking lot inventing new slackline setups that don’t need trees as anchor points. (Um, hello? Desert.)
2017 was my 6th RRR and 5th reunion of the “Tom and Tom show” with Tom Widdison. Yearly, we set up a slack park in the center of the main festival area and teach two slackline classes on Saturday and Sunday as well as give impromptu pointers, classes, and demonstrations all weekend long. We’re there not only to train BUT to entertain! This year we were joined by Sam Salwei, and Raquel Hernandez-Cruz teaching acro, Dani Whitehead, and Michelle Griffith teaching yoga. Kimberly surprised us last minute by making the trek all the way from Texas to assist, and various honorary YogaSlackers helped out like rock stars all weekend. Tina, Jen, and David, thank you for all you did, AND thank you for all the Goya chips!
This year we had more YogaSlackers than ever at RRR. I arrived the earliest on Wednesday night. Normally i just sleep in my truck but this year we planned to have a YogaSlacker Tent Compound so I started in on claiming an area by setting up a tent for myself. It was horribly windy the first night and I didn’t get the best sleep since I was a little worried about my tent (it did suffer some damage from the wind but didn’t blow away like so many other non-YogaSlackers’ campers’ tents did).
Thursday morning after i got up early to take sunrise photos, Tom arrived and we set up the slack park with 7 “garden” lines (relatively short and close to the ground), and one “rodeo” line with higher supports and a lot of sag. This requires pounding in a lot of 12″ nails to anchor the end of the lines (re: expertise, commitment, elbow grease). Then we had to thoroughly test out our work (re: playing on the slacklines). Shortly after the slack park was all set up and vetted for fun and safety, after receiving multiple messages from YogaSlackers ladies (Michelle, Dani, Kimberly) on their way from all over the US, I quickly realized that if i set up more tents in our compound, sometime during the night, women would occupy them! I immediately got to work at that task.
The next morning our group had grown with a number of late night (or perhaps more accurately early morning) arrivals. We cooked up breakfast (well, Tom Widdison cooked breakfast, the rest of us ate it) in the YogaSlacker East Compound – also known as The Parking Lot – and then, as we had no classes planned yet, we all packed up to go climbing. We headed out across the desert to First Canyon where Tom and I led some climbs for our group at an area called Romper Room. I also managed to fish a red tricam and a cam out of cracks. Bootying climbing gear is always gratifying.
We took a different route on the return back to the festival grounds following a string of cairns. (Seemed like the right thing to do.) Somehow we made it back before dark (unheard of!) and without even needing to use our headlamps (inconceivable!). Although i DID have my headlamp with me despite our planning to be back well before dark. Experience has taught me to ALWAYS bring a headlamp when doing something with The YogaSlackers – somehow all outings turn into an adventure and we seem to return after dark a surprising percentage of the time. David also considered this and brought his headlamp as well. (Told you he was an honorary YogaSlacker!) While no slackers were lost or benighted, we did have some incidents with rocks and cacti. C’est la vie.
Saturday and Sunday saw weather that was absolutely perfect for teaching a bunch of climbers slackline and acro. There were a few brief showers but the wind dried up the moisture and the clouds parted for clear skies and sunshine. The people who show up to take our classes are a usually a mix of complete beginners, people who have taken our classes in previous years, and those with some experience who want to improve their slacking. We try to offer something to help everyone expand and grow in their practice. We love to meet new people and play. You never know what can transpire down the road as a result of an introduction or connection. (As an interesting side note about how the ripples you create will spread, two of our helpers for the weekend, Jen and David, originally saw us doing acro here at RRR in 2015 and thought it looked interesting. They were inspired to give it a try, and later, a class with Sam and Raquel convinced them to come to the Chang Mai Thailand Retreat, where i was also in attendance and got to see them again!)
It is always nice to see and catch up with members of my climbing and slacker tribe at RRR and this year was no exception. The fact that there were so many YogaSlackers to play with just added to the fun. I tried my hand at a few of the climber contests (rope coiling and quickdraw assembly) but didn’t win any this year. I did play with LED poi during the dance party and i always win at that! Most of the weekend passed in a blur of slightly too early mornings, classes, playing on the lines and on each other (tutus were proudly worn by male and female YogaSlackers alike), meals in the parking lot, staying up a bit too late, and general camaraderie. As mentioned, the weather kept us guessing with cold gusts and rain, hot sun, and everything in-between.
With so many hands, taking the slack park down on Sunday was quick and easy. YogaSlackers, however, do not need slacklines to play. We entertained ourselves and others well into Sunday night. At festival’s end, while it was sad parting with friends and family, some of us were able to stay past Sunday and into the week for more rock climbing and adventure. We were even joined by more YogaSlackers, Paul Cassedy, and Kathryn Joyce. There seemed to be crowds everywhere we looked but we managed to get some great climbing in at an area called Moderate Mecca.
Looking forward to next year, we would love to have you join us at Red Rock Rendezvous. While packing for your trip, plan accordingly- remember the first rule of going anywhere with The YogaSlackers: bring a headlamp. As for the tutu, we’ll provide that.