Scarpa Saves the Day!

Scarpa has generously donated once again to keep the clinics coming to you for free again this year. So, stop by the Scarpa booth and say thanks!

Thanks to the local and regional guides who so generously donate their time to support this cause. They support the athletes our sponsors send to the event:

Diane Kearns–Seneca Rocks Climbing School, Wilderness Trails, Winchester, VA
Jim Taylor–Adventures on the Gorge, Appalachian Climbing School
Alan Goldbetter-Seneca Rocks Climbing School
Karsten Delap & Lindsay Fixmer of Fox Mountain Guides

The clinics have been such a successful component of the Vous, and we’re in the process of lining up another killer offering of clinics for 2011.

A couple of things to know:

  • You must be registered for the Rendezvous to participate in one of the clinics. Click the “Register” button on the homepage to do this.
  • Limit 1 Clinic per Person: In an effort to make the clinics available to more people, you can only sign up for ONE clinic.
  • You CANNOT register for someone else. The person who wishes to sign up for a clinic must contact us personally to do so.
  • Pre-Requisites: You must meet all of the prerequisites for the clinic you wish to attend. This will help make sure everyone is on the same page so your time won’t be spent on remedial skills.

To Sign Up:
Email the following pieces of information to Elaina Smith at New River Mountain Guides

  • Your name
  • Cell phone number
  • Name and Day of clinic you’d like to sign up for. Please list 1st choice and 2nd choice. You’ll be placed in the first available clinic.
  • Brief desciption (no more than 5 sentences) of your previous climbing experience including ability level.

Rendezvous Weekend Check-In:

All clinics will meet at 8:30 at the DINNER TENT on the morning of your clnic. Come prepared to go climbing for the day with your personal climbing equipment including but not limited to:

  • UIAA approved Climbing Helmet
  • UIAA approved Climbing Harness
  • Climbing Shoes
  • Chalkbag
  • Locking Biner & Belay Device
  • Climbing Rope
  • Climbing Hardware suitable for your clinic (Draws for Sport clinic, Trad Rack + slings etc for Trad Clinic)
  • 2 liters of water
  • Food
  • Sunscreen
  • Closed Toe shoes- no sandals or slides please
  • Prescribed Medication (if applicable)
  • Camera
  • Notepad and paper if you’d like to jot down notes

If a clinic you wish to sign up for is full, we recommend you show up at the DINNER TENT at 8:00 on the morning of your clinic and put your name down on the waiting list at that time. In the event there is a no-show/late arrival for your clinic of choice, you will be allowed to fill the spot on a first come first served basis. Arrive prepared to go out and climb for the day so as not to hold up the other clinic participants.

Intro to TRAD Leading with OR Athlete Bayard Russell

-Friday 9-4, FULL
-Saturday 9-4, FULL

Have you followed trad routes before and want to learn to lead? You’ll learn the art of leading trad routes with the safety of a TR back-up. Have your gear critiqued, build bomber anchors, considerations for rope management, planning for the lead and lots more.

Standard trad rack, cordelettes, slings, harness, climbing shoes, helmet, belay device

Recommended Experience:
You should know how to lead sport climbs and be able to top rope 5.8 cleanly and have 12 months climbing experience, experience following trad routes and removing gear is a plus but not required.

Climbing Photography w/ Alexandre Buisse(INTERMEDIATE)

– Saturday 9-4, FULL

Alexandre is the real deal, this guys has travelled all over the world shooting the mountain environment, check out his website ( ) His work has appeared in Climbing Magazine, Alpinist, American Alpine Club publications, Black Diamond and many more. His client list is impressive and we are psyched he’s coming to the Vous this year!

This an intermediate clinic since it shouldn’t be the first time people ascend a fixed line. They should at the very least be comfortable rappelling, and we will brush up on jumaring at the beginning. The idea will be to spend the morning taking turns, with a team of two climbing some route, somebody on a fixed line shooting and me or somebody else on a second fixed line. The others will stay on the ground and try to find more interesting angles. Then go grab some lunch, download the photos on laptops and do some reviewing and some processing.

For equipment, they should have their personal kit (harness, helmet, shoes, descending device, prusik loops, a couple of locking biners and slings) and a camera, much preferably a DSLR with one or two lenses. If they have a laptop, it will be great to bring as well. They should also try to bring colourful clothing, as it looks much better in the photos.

You will also need a climbing rope, a static lines and two sets of jumars/daisy/aiders (I will bring my jumars and a grigri, hopefully we can borrow the rest from one of the organizers or ask students to bring some).

Aches, Pains, Bumps, Bruises: (BEGINNER) A Wilderness Medicine Clinic by Climbers for Climbers New!

-Saturday 9-12, 14 spaces available

This clinic is for all of you who want to be a bit safer, whether your “out there” is here at the NRG or on a remote mountain in the Himalayas. We will focus on common climber injuries and treatment, extrication of injured partners, and what to carry in your first aid kit. The clinic will begin with a brief overview, spend the majority of the session practicing techniques, and wrap up with a question and answer period about wilderness medicine topics of your choice.

NO Previous Experience: Required We will cater to all levels. Actually the less people know, the more essential it is that they make the clinic!
What to Bring: First Aid Kit if you have one, recommended but not required.

Self-Rescue Scenarios (INTERMEDIATE)


If you climb long enough, you will eventually be involved in or witness some form of climbing accident or emergency. Are you prepared? This course will cover numerous scenarios where you will need to go to the aid of an injured or incapacitated climber.

Pre-Requisite Experience:

  • Been climbing for at least 2 seasons
  • some multi-pitch experience,
  • you should know how to belay,
  • understanding of gear and anchor rigging

The basic tools from which to construct an effective and efficient self-rescue, whether going up or going down. These include: belay escapes utilizing different devices, lowers utilizing different devices, counter balance rappels, tandem rappels, 3:1 haul system and rope ascension.

Harness, helmet, belay device, 2 cordelettes (at least 20′), 2 48″ slings, at least 5 locking biners, cordage for prusik/autoblock (6mm is good) Optional: Gri-gri, plaquette type belay device, more slings, more lockers All personal equipment is subject to inspection and approval by your guide to determined its’ appropriateness and safe condition.

Seneca Rocks Climbing School has been instructing all level of climbers for 40 years. Our focus is on multi-pitch trad climbing and over the years we have introduced thousands of new climbers to the multi-pitch environment of Seneca as well as taught hundreds of leaders the art of placing traditional gear and anchor building

Fall Safe with Alli Rainey and Kevin Wilkinson(INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED) UPDATED 4/23/11


Are you scared of falling even when it’s safe? Do you tense up when you’re belaying your partner and she’s about to fall? Learn how to safely fall and catch a falling climber while sport climbing. Includes falling practice for belayers and leaders, as well as mental hints and tactics. We’ll also gladly address any sport-climbing related questions/concerns during the clinic (training, redpointing, diet, etc.).

Friday Pre-requisites: UPDATED!!! 4/24/11
-Participants must have passed a belay test for climbing at an indoor gym (including tying in with a figure 8 follow through and belaying.
-Ability to climb/lead at an intermediate level (i.e. solid 5.10 onsight ability).
Lead belay experience and lead climbing experience is strongly recommended but not required.

Saturday Pre-requistes:
No prior lead/belay experience, 5.8/9 ability

Gear: Rope, harness, Grigri, locking carabiner, quickdraws, helmet, climbing shoes, chalk bag.

Ask a Pro: Jim Shimberg/Rhino Mountain Guides New!(BEGINNER/INTERMEDIATE)

-Friday 9-4, FULL

Ask a guide all the questions you were too afraid to ask. The focus will be on trad climbing but sport climbers alike will find they have plenty to learn from this pro. You’ll spend the day climbing great routes, learning about traditional gear placements, how to move confidently over the stone, etc. Students will be able to dictate the flow of the day and have all of the burning questions answered in an informal very organically evolving clinic.

This clinic is suitable for all abilities, though you should know how to tie a figure 8 knot and have solid belay skills. Come prepared with a willingness to learn and a good attitude.

What to Bring:
This is a hands-on-the-rock climbing clinic, so bring your personal climbing equipment harness, shoes, chalk bag, and helmet….and a pencil and paper if you want to take some notes!

About Shim:
Jim Shimberg has been teaching climbing since 1984 – starting by working for All Outdoors in Manchester NH – and becoming an independent mountain guide in 1986. Shim completed one of the first AMGA Certification courses in the USA in the early 90s. He lives with his wife Dawn and 13 year old daughter Rose Montana on a dirt road – in Campton, New Hampshire Big thanks to Sterling Rope for sending Shim to the Rendezvous!

Crank like a Girl w/ Petzl Pros: Whitney Boland & Andrea Szeleski (BEGINNER/INTERMEDIATE)

– Friday 9-4, FULL

This clinic is open to guys and gals alike. Whitney and Andrea will teach you the finer points of how to crush at the crag. Learn how to climb more efficiently through better technique. Learn how to turn your hips out, drop knee to extend your reach, when to back-step, and everything mechanical about climbing movement and precise footwork so you can flow up routes.

Pre-requisite: Solid belay skills and at least 6 months of continuous climbing experience, able to TR 5.8 cleanly
Equipment: Each person should bring their own harness, shoes, chalk bag and belay/rappel device.

Gear Refurbishment Clinic w/ METOLIUS New!

-Friday 10-11am
-Saturday 10-11am and 4-5pm
-No need to register for this clinic, just stop by the Metolius booth at the appointed times and Moses will hook you up with some knowledge.

Learn how to repair and refurbish your old and tired TCU’s from the guy who invented the things! Doug is the owner and founder of Metolius and will teach you all you ever wanted to know about caring for your gear. By the end of this clinic your gear will be in tip top shape and you’ll be ready to go send area testpiece The Greatest Show.

Equipment: Bring your trad rack!


  • proper care of your cams
  • how to inspect
  • maintain tip-top condition
  • lubing, rewiring, reslinging


Flow w/Amanda – Thursday 5-6:30pm
Shoulder/Neck/Arm/Wrist w/ Erin – Friday 8:30-10:30am
FLOW Yoga w/ Erin – Friday 5-6:30pm
Relax/Rejuvenate w/ Yves – Saturday 5-6:30pm

Lets get ready to rendezvous! And there is no better way to get ready to shake it, climb it, and crush it, than moving on your yoga mat! This year we will be offering a yoga clinic that will be designed specifically for climbers “special needs.”

Equipment: Bring your yoga mat if you have one, if not we will have some on hand for you to borrow, courtesy of PRANA and KULA YOGA STUDIO

Thursday 5-6:30 pm Amanda Ashley
Practice the yoga of Prana flow, an energetic class that is created through cycles of effective and creative sequences (vinyasas) linked together through the breath wave.

Knots & Friction Hitches: Intro Self Rescue (BEGINNER) New! w/ New River Mountain Guides

Saturday 10-12pm, FULL
Saturday 12-2pm, FULL

Pre-Requisite Experience:
Some climbing experience helpful, able to TR belay, and tie a figure 8 knot

What you’ll learn:
Knots- Figure 8 on a bite, overhand on a bite, clove hitch, munter hitch
Friction Hitches- Autoblock, Kleimheist, and Prussik their uses and application using different materials
Load Transfers- Master this skill and you’ll be prepared to get yourself out of a number of sticky situations like passing knots and belay take-overs

What to Bring:
Harness, Helmet, 1-Cordelette (6-7mm, 18-20ft), 1-Prussic Cord (6mm), 1-48″ Shoulder Sling, ATC w/ locking carabiner, 2-3 extra locking carabiners

Lil Groms: Kids Climbing Clinic w/ New River Mountain Guides

-Sunday 9-12pm

Wanna get your kids psyched on rock climbing? Sign them up for this clinic and we’ll show them how much fun climbing can be and ignite the bug to climb in a safe, fun and low pressure environment.

No previous experience required, suitable for kids age 5 and up. Parents welcome to tag along or not, your choice.
If your kid has climbing equipment (harness, shoes, helmet) go ahead and bring it, if not let us know and we will provide it for you.

Intro to Sport Leading with Scarpa Athlete Nick Duttle

-Friday 9-4, FULL
-Saturday 9-4, FULL
This clinic is for people with NO previous leading experience. You will learn how to lead sport routes with a loose TR backup, so you can learn how to clip smoothly and quickly without butterfingers, lead belay strategies paying out slack and taking it in, how to catch a lead fall, avoid common pitfalls new leaders often fall into.

Experience: Active climbers with 12 months continuous climbing experience, TR belay certified, No previous lead experience required
Gear: Personal climbing equipment (shoes, harness, belay device, helmet. Bring rope and draws if you have them, if not no worries.

Women’s Climbing Technique w/ Brittany Griffith

-Saturday 10-2, FULL

Hey Ladies!
Learn essential techniques sure to improve your climbing in a fun, carefree environment. Brittany is a blast to hang out with and doesn’t have a poseur bone in her body. In short she is a terrific ambassador for our sport. No wonder American Alpine Club hired her to be their events coordinator. She is sure to fire that organization up. She is here representing Patagonia and the American Alpine Club.

  • Participants must have prior climbing experience and be able to belay one another.
  • This will be a technique clinic only and participants will be top rope climbing only.

Trad Climbing for the Chicken-Hearted w/ Malcom Daly

-Saturday 9-4, FULL

Head Chicken: Malcolm Daly
Little Pecker: Jim (Shim) Shimberg

Requirements: Climbers who attend should have a good working knowledge of climbing terminology, solid belay and rappel skills and know how to tie and identify a figure 8 tie-in knot. We will not instruct on the basics of belaying and rappelling however, we can help with techniques that are specific to certain types of equipment.

Equipment: Harness, Helmet, Rappel/Belay device, Climbing Shoes, Rucksack, Water, Food, weather-appropriate clothes and hat. Participants should bring their own rack* of they have it.

This full day interactive clinic will cover many of the basics of trad climbing as learned through 40 years of trial and error efforts by the Head Chicken and his Little Pecker. We’ll start the day by tearing through a trad climber’s backpack and examine everything that is in it, why it’s there and how it’s used. This will focus primarily on the climbing gear but will also cover the accoutrements that make life safe and enjoyable on a day’s outing. We’ll cover:

  • packs
  • harnesses
  • first aid kits
  • dealing with shit
  • passive protection (nuts, stoppers, tricams)
  • active protection (cams, big bros, other springy things)
  • belay devices
  • slings/draws
  • clothes
  • food
  • water
  • lighting

Following this session will be the time to place gear and climb! We’ll find an area that has potential to practice placing and removing gear as well as be able to set up a mock lead. Attendees will have a chance to take a lead fall on the gear they place!

Note: This is not an anchor clinic. We will not instruct the “building” of SERENE anchors. If you want SERENE, listen to the Cowboy Junkies.

Caution: This clinic is unabridged and R rated. Language will be fluid, colorful and occasionally profane. We mean no offense: this how we communicate in the trad world. You WILL be changed by attending this clinic and you must be prepared for anything.

Trango have been building innovative climbing equipment since 1991 when we designed the first “tube-style” belay device that actually fit ropes, the Pyramid.


– Friday 9-4, FULL
– Saturday 9-4, FULL

Overcoming Fear of Falling
Being effective in climbing requires us to understand the consequences of our decisions and actions. In climbing the main consequence is falling. By understanding how to fall we diminish the chance of injury and allow us to focus attention effectively on climbing.

You must have at least 6 months of continuous climbing experience and know the basic knots, belaying, climbing skills, and be able to climb at least 5.8 on toprope without falling. This clinic is NOT for beginners who haven’t climbed before.

Equipment Needed:
Harness, shoes, belay device. Also bring a helmet if you have one.

REDPOINTING TACTICS with Dan Hague(Advanced)

– Friday 9-4, FULL

Intro to Climbing New!

-Saturday 9-4, FULL

The introduction to climbing clinic is your first step into the rock climbing culture. With emphasis on equipment and its use and learning the basic skills needed to confidently partake in a climbing outing, participants will leave with an understanding of what climbing is and the tools required. Plus, we’ll of course get in lots of time on the rock!

No previous experience required, personal cimbing equipment provided if needed (harness, helmet, climbing shoes).

Fox Mountain Guides & Climbing School is the Southeast’s largest Climbing School and offers climbing trips, courses and training throughout the USA and worldwide. We are the Southeast only AMGA Accredited program and only use AMGA Certified Instructors and Guides for all our programs. Contact us for your next climbing adventure!

Instruction by Karsten Delap and Lindsay Fixmer, check out their BIOS

Climbing Anchors with Appalachian Climbing School(BEGINNER/INTERMEDIATE)

-Friday 9-4, FULL
-Saturday 9-4, FULL

This course is for any climber who wants to improve their ability to place protection for leading, and rigging anchors. This intensive clinic will focus on selecting and placing various types of protection devices, how they work, and evaluation. Additionally you will learn the concepts behind rigging anchors, which anchor type to rig and why. This is the ideal course for climbers who want to learn anchor rigging or who want to become better at rigging anchors for either single pitch or multi-pitch climbing.
Pre-Requisite Experience: Should have some climbing background, but it is not necessary to know how to place gear or lead climb.


  • Understand how climbing protection works
  • How to place cams, stoppers, and various other types of climbing protection
  • Confidence in evaluating the protection
  • Be able to construct a variety of anchors using a cordelette, slings, or rope
  • Be able to control force distribution in an anchor
  • Evaluate the anchor for safety and function

Bring: Protection (stoppers, hexes, cams), Cordelette, 3 foot sling, 2 foot runner, Carabiners, Harness, Helmet, Note book