2014 Red Rock Rendezvous Sponsored Athletes

Red Rock Rendezvous John Evans' photo clinic

John Evans (Petzl) and his photography clinic participants.

Red Rock Rendezvous event sponsors are bringing an amazing group of athletes to the Red Rock Rendezvous this year. Stay tuned, as we’ll be adding bios and photos over the next week. To sign up for the event, click here.

Alli Rainey Petzl athlete 2014 RRR Alli Rainey, Petzl: Alli started climbing toward the end of her senior year of high school, and her life took a right turn (in her opinion!) the first day she stepped off the ground onto vertical terrain. Because her childhood had been focused around pursuing academic excellence, she’d already committed to four years at Harvard. After graduating magna cum laude, she quickly determined that no real-world job would likely ever match her passion for climbing, so she sought out a way to make climbing the center of her world. In addition to help from her awesome team of sponsors, Alli has supported her (20+ year) climbing career by tutoring, writing, editing, teaching/coaching other climbers, and now, teaching yoga. Most recently, she’s earned certificates in personal training (CPT) and yoga (RYT-200). She continues to study sports science in order to broaden her knowledge of athletic training in an effort to help both herself and others achieve new heights in sports mastery.
The North Face Athlete Alex Johnson will be at the 2014 Red Rock Rendezvous Alex Johnson, The North Face: One of the very few women in the world who consistently climbs V12s, Alex has built an impressive resume of first female ascents including Red Rock’s Lethal Design, Clear Blue Skies on Colorado’s Mt. Evans, Hueco Tanks’ Diaphanous Sea, and many others. She’s notched golds and silvers in World Cup competitions, is a five-time United States National Champion, and received Climbing Magazine’s Golden Piton Award for Breakaway Success in 2008.
Screen shot 2014 03 04 at 5.20.06 PM Ammon McNeely, Omega Pacific & Five Ten: Ammon holds the most Speed Climbing World Records and First One Day Ascents on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He’s climbed El Capitan 75 times via 61 routes. Ammon has been the conductor of many ascents on El Capitan, most of them in a day (under 24 hrs): Plastic Surgery Disaster, Wall of the Early Morning Light, Atlantic Ocean Wall, and most recent climbing one of the hardest routes on El Capitan, The Reticent Wall along with Dean Potter & Ivo Ninov in 34 hours and 57 minutes, shaving the existing time by more than five days. An avid BASE jumper and wingsuiter, he also loves all things flying.
Bluewater Ropes athlete Andres Marin is an athlete instructor at the 2014 Red Rock Rendezvous Andres Marin, Bluewater Ropes: Andres grew up in Ibague, Colombia. His passion for guiding has allowed him to guide in all types of terrain, such as rock, alpine, skiing and high altitude. In 2011 he and his partner received the Mugs Stump Exploratory Grant to go and climb new peaks in the Southern part of Kyrgyzstan on the Kyrgyz-Chinese border. They were the first American expedition on the range and established two alpine-style first ascents. During the 2011/2012 ice and mixed climbing competition season, Andres stood on the podium in every competition ranking him as a world class mixed and ice climbing competitor. Photo by Claudia Camila Lopez.
Osprey Packs is bringing professional mountain biker Anthony Diaz to the 2014 Red Rock Rendezvous Anthony Diaz, Osprey: With a background in both cross-country and downhill racing Anthony was a perfect fit for enduro racing. As a top-10 professional downhill racer, he switched focus to enduro racing in 2011 with great National results. While living and training in Durango, Colo., Anthony provided custom suspension tuning to other professional racers. In 2012 and 2013 he focused on opening his own business, Diaz Suspension Design (DSD) while continuing to race cross-country, downhill and enduro. DSD was officially launched in Durango, Colo., in 2013 specializing in custom tuning/revalving and general suspension maintenance with quick turn-around for customers nationwide. Anthony is one-of-a-kind; super talented racer, very industrious and knowledgeable about anything technical, an amazing skills coach, Devo volunteer, and all-around nice guy.
Warrior's Way Arno Ilgner will be at the 2014 Red Rock Rendezvous Arno Ilgner, The Warrior’s Way: Arno Ilgner distinguished himself as a pioneering rock climber in the 1970s and 80s. In 1995, after searching the literature and practice of mental training, Arno formalized his methods, created The Warrior’s Way, and began teaching full time. Read Arno’s article about “The Importance of Experiential Knowledge” in Falling by clicking here.
Audrey Sniezek is teaching at the 2014 Red Rock Rendezvous Audrey Sniezek, Metolius & La Sportiva: Professional rock climber, Audrey Sniezek has been climbing since 1992. Excelling in difficulty for both sport and bouldering, she has climbed up to 5.14b, bouldered V9 and been a US National team member competing in World Cups in the US and abroad. She has climbed all over the world and has dabbled in Alpine and mountaineering. Other skills include some multi-pitch, traditional gear placement and ice climbing. She is a climbing trainer, teaching clinics and doing personal instruction for gyms, events and individuals. She has studied and trained extensively to improve her power as a rock climber and it’s an area of knowledge she’s excited to share.
Blake Herrington, Outdoor Research athlete, 2014 RRR instructor Blake Herrington, Outdoor Research: Blake Herrington learned to climb as a teenager while working for a small bakery in North Cascades National Park. His first trips into the mountains instilled in him a familiarity with untraveled alpine choss and a love for remote peaks. Now in his mid-20s, Blake has lived in Denver and Bellingham, before recently settling into the mountain town of Leavenworth, Wash. He has established over two-dozen new alpine routes or first free ascents from Alaska, to Colorado to Argentina. Blake is also a widely-published author, having contributed articles to Alpinist, Climbing and Rock & Ice. He has climbed sport and traditional pitches up to 5.13a, but considers diverse alpine routes the most engaging and inspiring sub-set of climbing. Despite savoring the alpine cooking of many climbing partners, he counts himself among the best camp chefs he’s had the opportunity to climb with.
Chris Barlow Headshot Chris Barlow, Trango: Chris has been climbing since age 11. Without doubt, the pursuit of climbing has been the single greatest driving force in his life. Chris has traveled extensively to climb, from North Carolina to California, Washington to Texas, British Columbia, Mexico, and the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. He loves nearly every aspect and challenge of climbing, from bouldering to remote alpine big walls, with a special love of hard traditional climbing. Chris loves the complex challenges trad climbing offers: having the strength to do the moves, the ingenuity to protect the pitch, and the focus to manage the risk. Recently, Chris has become more interested in the creative aspects of climbing with an ever growing love of exploring unclimbed terrain, whether it’s bolting new routes at a local crag or pushing a new line up a remote big wall. Chris works as a freelance writer and educator and has been fortunate to work in programs through which he can share his passion for the wilderness and climbing with young people. Read Chris’ article “The Purple & Blue Rope” by clicking here, or his reflection on the 2013 Rendezvous by clicking here.
Black Diamond Athlete Chris Schulte: Compression Specialist on Independence Pass by Sean Coburn Christopher Schulte, Black Diamond & Five Ten: Chris has been a dedicated boulderer, active explorer, and area developer for more than a decade. Over the years he has established hundreds of first ascents up to v14 across the western United States, France, and Switzerland. This last winter he climbed his first v15, the Big Island in his favorite area Fontainebleau, France. His tastes in climbing run to the esoteric: technical arêtes, slopers, mantles, and slabs, blending balance with power and interesting techniques. Chris has been teaching at the Rendezvous for five years. He believes that anyone can climb near the limits of possibility with dedication and awareness strengthened by experience.
Dawn Glanc is an athlete instructor at the 2014 Red Rock Rendezvous Dawn Glanc, Black Diamond: Dawn Glanc, pronounced, “Glance”, was born and raised in Brunswick Ohio. Now she is a year round resident of Ouray, Colorado. Dawn enjoys all types of climbing. However, ice and mixed climbing is her specialty. Dawn has followed her passion for climbing all over the world. She has climbed in Canada, Norway, Greece, France, Italy, Montenegro, Sardinia, and Iceland. She has first ascents on waterfall ice lines in Cody, Wyoming, and the western fjords of Iceland. Dawn has also competed in the Ouray Ice Festival Competition, The Bozeman Ice Festival competition and the Vail Winter Games. She won first place in the women’s division in Ouray multiple times. Dawn is also an American Mountain Guide Association certified Rock and Alpine Guide.  She guides full time for San Juan Mountain Guides and Chicks Climbing.
Elaina Arenz is an athlete instructor at the Red Rock Rendezvous Elaina Arenz, La Sportiva: Elaina is the owner/operator New River Mountain Guides and has pursued climbing as a career for 19 years. She is a certified AMGA Rock Instructor, an AMGA SPI provider and Warrior’s Way Trainer. During the winter/spring season she guides for Jackson Hole Mountain Guides and the American Alpine Institute in Red Rock, where she has been spending the winter training for her Rock Guide Exam this April. She was recently featured in “Women Who Dare: North America’s Most Inspiring Women Climbers” by Chris Noble. This is her second time to attend the RRR teaching clinics, and she’s excited to share her experience and knowledge with you.
GORE-TEX athlete Emilie Drinkwater, an athlete instructor at the 2014 Red Rock Rendezvous Emilie Drinkwater, W.L. GORE & Outdoor Research: Despite being cold for ten months of the year, Emilie loves being based in the Northeast for the abundant rock and ice terrain (though the Canadian Rockies are a close second). She has been guiding for 14 years, co-owns and operates Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides, and also works with Alpine Ascents International and Exum Mountain Guides. Emilie’s adventures stretch from remote backcountry ascents in New York’s Adirondack Park to Kashmir’s Karakoram mountains and countless amazing places in between. She is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide.
Gordon McArthur 2014 RRR athlete OR Gordon McArthur, Outdoor Research: Gordon McArthur has been climbing for 16 years, but only in the last five have things really gone a lot deeper. “He says that even though we sleep, our desire does not,” says Gordon. “’It is who we are.’ We are desire. It is the essence of the human soul, the secret of our existence. Absolutely nothing of human greatness is ever accomplished without it. Desire fuels our search for the life we prize. The same old thing is not enough. It never will be.” Gordon lives, breathes and eats climbing, whether sport, mixed or ice. “When I am climbing, things feel right, smooth, like it was meant to be.” He lives in Cranbrook, BC and travel a lot, living out of his van and relishing the opportunity to see the world whilst living his dream. “Life is crazy, wrangling my kids, running my design business, and sharing life with my wife,” he says. “There’s never a dull moment and always a new adventure. It’s perfect, really.”
Screen shot 2014 03 04 at 5.43.31 PM Heidi Wirtz, The North Face: Heidi Wirtz is one of the country’s few prominent female adventure climbers. She has been climbing for over twenty years, letting her passion for adventure and exploration lead her to exotic and remote places around the world. Heidi has pioneered new routes up un-climbed big walls and mountains and pushed the limits of female exploration. She is known in the United States as “Heidi Almighty” for her bold and technical climbing, as well as speed ascents in Yosemite Valley. Heidi co-founded the nonprofit Girls Education International in 2006, and more recently spearheaded a new business, Earth Play Retreats (EPR). Her company offers adventure yoga retreats.
Jediah Porter, Evolv, is an athlete instructor at the 2014 Red Rock Rendezvous. Jediah Porter, Evolv: Jediah Porter is a full-time part-timer. He works as a mountain guide, for OutdoorGearLab.com, as a substitute teacher, climbs and films with the “Smileys Project”, and is on the Evolv National Team. Guiding and instruction work requires an even mix of rock shoes, approach shoes, ice boots, and ski gear. Off the clock, he climbs and skis all over North America. He goes by Jed and takes pride in using the right tool and skill for the job, unless he doesn’t have that tool or skill. In which case he’s an excellent improv. He is an IFMGA certified guide and has lived most of his adult life in the Eastern Sierra of California. From that home base, Jed climbs rock throughout the desert west, skis the peaks and glaciers of North America’s finest ranges, and alpine climbs wherever inspiration takes him.
Jeff Fox, Osprey Packs Jeff Fox, Osprey: Shortly after he started walking, Jeff discovered that the bicycle was a much more fun and efficient way to get to the next destination. Jeff grew up in Colorado which gave him many opportunities to ride all types of bikes ranging from BMX, road, cyclocross and mountain. He took XC mountain bike racing seriously during the hey-day of the 90’s but now rides for fun with the occasional endurance race or team relay as motivation to stay fit. Working as the Bike Marketing Manager at Osprey packs allows him to seek out the best singletrack all over North America while advocating for better cycling opportunities everywhere.
Jim Shimberg, La Sportiva athlete, will be instructing at the 2014 Red Rock Rendezvous Jim Shimberg, La Sportiva: BIO – Jim Shimberg, known as the fossilized Hebrew guide of New Hampshire, has been teaching rock and ice climbing since 1983. His wife, Dawn, is a social worker and his daughter, Rose Montana is an alpine ski racer in high school, in Plymouth NH. This is his third time teaching at the Red Rock Rendezvous. ”Shim” enjoys the camping at Spring Mountain Ranch (when its not TOO windy) and meeting all the young enthusiastic climbers who come to the desert! Check out his website by clicking here.
Jonathan Siegrist talks about his first time climbing at Red Rocks Jonathan Siegrist, Metolius: Jonathan “JStar” Siegrist is a rock climbing addict and not afraid to admit it. He’s sculpted his entire life around this pursuit. All year long he travels the country and the world in search of new climbing, old climbing, good climbing, and even sometimes bad climbing – he loves it all. Over the last four years he has found himself settling in Las Vegas, Nev., during the darkest winter months and he’s grown to completely love it there! He’s spent countless days climbing in Red Rocks and around the area, and he’s still motivated by the beautiful stone and incredible climbing potential around here. He is stoked to be at the Rendezvous yet again! Read Jonathan’s recent blog post by clicking here, or check out our 2013 Q&A with him by clicking here.
John Evans mug John Evans, Petzl: John Evans has been at the helm of Petzl America’s marketing since 1999. An avid lifelong shooter (starting in the first grade with a Kodak Instamatic), his two decade long marketing career has given him great insight into the photographic arts. Shooting at a professional level since 2001, John’s work is focused on the hard-to-capture world of climbing and other adventure sports like canyoneering and trail running. His photos are a regularly seen in the Petzl catalog and have also been published in Rock and Ice, Climbing, Gripped, Klettern, Mountain Gear, REI, and many other publications.He has been teaching the Rendezvous’ climbing photography clinic for seven years now. You can check out some of his photos at johnevansphoto.com or on Instagram.
Screen shot 2014 03 04 at 7.18.05 PM Kate Rutherford, Black Diamond & Edelrid: As a rock climber and jewelry maker, Kate Rutherford obviously loves rocks. Their inherent beauty draws her to all kinds of wild places in the world. “I think climbing is a most incredible physically creative way to get up close and personal with the environment and the beauty that surrounds us,” she says on her website. “This world is huge and life is ours to explore it.” Her passion for beauty, the environment, and playing out in the wilds is transferable. And through her blog, art, and any other vehicle she is committed to inspiring that passion in others. This, she says, can be her gift to the world, “the only way I can hope to convince others to care deeply for the beauty of the natural world, and help save our planet.” Read our profile on Kate by clicking here.
Bluewater Ropes & La Sportiva Kyle McFarland will teach at the 2014 RRR Kyle McFarland, Bluewater & La Sportiva:  Kyle McFarland, 23, is a professional rock climber living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Kyle has spent the last 11 years climbing competitively–both sport climbing and bouldering–as well as helping to develop new routes/problems wherever and whenever possible. In his years as a climber, Kyle has become a successful climbing instructor and accomplished routesetter, traveling the globe pursuing his passion of rock climbing and sharing it with others.
Osprey Pack athlete Krista Park will be at the 2014 Red Rock Rendezvous Krista Park, Osprey: In 2003 Krista was introduced to mountain biking while working as a Senior Electrical Design Engineer at Motorola in Atlanta, GA. Once-a-week group rides led to racing and traveling. By the end of 2006 she had quit her job, sold the house and was living in a 40’ class A motor home on the road in search of a new town to call home while traveling the USA cross-country (XC) race circuit. The “two-year plan” lasted seven+ years, and she became focused on racing at the highest level possible, against the best cross-country racers in the world by competing on the World Series race circuit. After qualifying for the 2012 USA Olympic long team she switched focus to domestic Enduro racing for 2013 and 2014. “My technical skills continue to improve, next up a Turner DHR downhill bike!”
Leslie Timms, La Sportiva athlete, will be instructing at the Red Rock Rendezvous, 2014 Leslie Timms, La Sportiva: Leslie Timms, professional guide and climber, is the owner/operator of On the Rocks Climbing Guides in Ontario, Canada. Leslie loves all styles of climbing and has the chance to push herself in all disciplines during the cold Canadian winter, when she travels with her husband to guide and climb around the world. Striving to become well rounded, she has climbed 5.13c sport and trad and bouldered up to V10. More recently she has gotten into route developing, with an FA of the bold 45m “Above the Clouds”, a 5.13a mixed line that was a long standing aid route in Lion’s Head, Ontario. Leslie is a passionate, fun spirited guide and climber, who loves to share this passion with others keen to learn.
Luis Rivera, La Sportiva athlete, will be instructing at the 2014 Red Rock Rendezvous Luis Rivera, La Sportiva: Luis “Lucho” Rivera has been climbing for 14 years. He started climbing in Yosemite Valley, the Mecca of the climbing world. He’s been a La Sportiva Athlete for the last five years. He’s most passionate about establishing first ascents from sport climbs to big walls. His most recent accomplishments include the first free ascent of Liberty Cap in Yosemite Valley, a first free ascent of an old aid route on Fifi Buttress in Yosemite, and possibly the longest and hardest single pitch in the High Sierra on the Incredible Hulk. He lives between Foresta, Ca and his hometown of San Francisco, Calif.
Madaleine Sorkin OR athlete 2014 RRR Madaleine Sorkin, Outdoor Research: At 15, Madaleine Sorkin was guided up her first multi-pitch climb, the Prow, on a Colorado 14er. It was the range of experiences from the butterflies in her stomach the night before, to seeing daybreak in an undisturbed landscape, to exploring a small spire and naming it Macaroni and Cheese, to the sublime exhaustion by the end of the day that drew Madaleine into the art of climbing. Approaching her 30th birthday, Madaleine began to practice a single mantra: Own It. She ruthlessly applied this mantra to big wall free climbing, and it made 2012 a banner year for the insatiable athlete. She teamed with young guns (including fellow ambassador Nik Berry) and enjoyed career-highs in both the Black Canyon (Hallucinogen Wall VI 5.13 R) and Yosemite National Park (El Corazon VI 5.13, El Capitan).
Maija bio Majka Burhardt, Osprey: From African rock climbs to mixed routes in New England, Majka finds passion in the moment adventures morph into greater understanding. She’s the author of two books, a filmmaker and a poodle owner. Her first lead fall was onto the smallest Tri-Cam and she’s often more comfortable above a micro-nut than a bolt. She’s climbed throughout the world, put up first ascents in Namibia, Ethiopia, South Africa, the US and Corsica and has a new project in Mozambique, The Lost Mountain, combining a new route on a 2,000′ granite big wall, finding new species for science, and starting a new conservation area on the countries second highest mountain. Learn more at majkaburhardt.com
Nik Berry OR athlete 2014 RRR Nik Berry, Outdoor Research: Growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah, Nik Berry learned to love playing in the mountains at an early age. Introduced to climbing in Little Cottonwood Canyon in high school, Nik was immediately hooked. Attending university in Flagstaff, Ariz., intensified his obsession, and also allowed him to meet some great friends who showed him how to succeed and thrive in all of climbing’s disciplines. With this young group of dedicated climbers, Nik would travel every weekend to Hueco, Indian Creek, Bishop, Joes Valley or Redrocks to further hone his craft. Nik’s obsession turned his college years into a four-year climbing road trip that left him with a B.A. in business and a masters in rock climbing.
Blogger Pamela Shanti Pack Pamela Pack, Petzl: Pamela Shanti Pack isn’t just a climber; she is an offwidth junkie. It didn’t take her long, after developing compartment syndrome, to switch gears from crimping on edges and pockets to stacking her hands and feet in some of the most awkward offwidth cracks known to man. “As the fourth surgeon told me that I would never climb again, I had a vision of Craig Leubben on the infamous offwidth roof Lucille in Vedauwoo, Wyoming. Craig was definitely not crimping. In the following years, I replaced crimps with fist stacks, arm-bars, knee-bars, inverts and pivots as offwidths became my greatest passion.” Pack isn’t always cramming her thigh into a wide crack, you can also find her around the Bering Sea doing things that a cartographer does. Yale University is the place where she skipped away with an Art and Architecture degree and is now creating 3Dmaps of the ocean floor. Read Pamela’s article on the notoriously difficult offwidth Jihad by clicking here.
Peter Croft and Conrad Anker Incredible Hulk High Sierras CA Peter Croft, The North Face: For most of his career Peter Croft has concentrated on big rock routes. Peter is celebrated by his climbing and mountaineering peers for numerous achievements, however a favorite being his history making free solo link-up of Astroman and the Rostrum in Yosemite. Peter began climbing in Canada where he grew up and inevitably gravitated to Yosemite Valley where, after climbing the biggest cliffs there, began to do link-ups of two or more big walls in a single day.This led to his present neurosis: traverses, link-ups and big wall free climbs in the High Sierra.Peter sometimes writes about his adventures in various climbing magazines and, in between climbs, logs serious couch time watching TV with his wife Karine and their dog Archer.
Shannon Joslin, 2014 RRR instructor Shannon Joslin, La Sportiva: In addition to being a rather famous climber, Shannon is a feline geneticist at the University of California, Davis. She lives in a cooperative house with six fine specimens, two loyal pups, and nine chickens in downtown Davis. She gardens, pays bills, composts, cooks, and plays with jigsaw puzzles. She thinks compartmentalization is rad. “All of this is just an aside to what really matters– rocks,” she says on her blog. She started climbing at a gym called Rocknasium in Davis, California sometime during or slightly after the year of 2010, and since then she has been infatuated. To prove a point, or to indulge her love of the sport, she recently decided to pick up her life and live in a van to pursue climbing full time. She’s endlessly excited.

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