Just got back from a trip to Vegas for the annual Red Rocks Rendezvous climbing event. It was my first time to the event, to any climbing event actually. I had always avoided them in the past cause I felt they represented a separation of the purity I sought in the outdoors and especially in climbing.
I remember this quote from Ron Kauk, a famous Yosemite climber, who summed it up well: "I live in two worlds, the one where nothing is sacred except money and the other where everything is sacred." And, that's how I felt about climbing. I felt that it was my refuge from the daily 9-5 grind that I was partaking in to "make a living." I wanted climbing to have nothing to do with capitalism. But, just like life, ultimately we don't have much control so you might as well go with the flow. Plus, I ended up having a good time, meeting some cool folks and running into old friends. And, most of the vendors are some of the most down to earth people you will find. They are people who actually turned their passions into a career...pretty much what most people seek out of life.
There were many companies present: Black Diamond, Petzl, Blue Water, Prana, Climb On!, Windstopper, etc. As climbers, we have likely touched all of these companies in some capacity, but the last thing I wanted was to hear some sales pitch and be "sold" on one product versus the other and luckily that wasnt the case. Most of the vendors were on the level. Pretty much climbers like the attendees...they would rather be out climbing, and likely were at some point in there day. After all, we were a short mile or two from the gates of Red Rocks.
By the way, the climbing was excellent as always.