New River Rendezvous Re-Cap...Guest Blogger | Team Mammut

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New River Rendezvous Re-Cap...Guest Blogger

Whew! Talk about being ridden hard and put away wet! My keeper finally took me out of my box to clean me up after my road trip down to the New River Gorge in West Virginia last month. He just ducked out for lunch so I'm going to give everyone my take on the New River Rendezvous-one of my favorite events ever!

The Crew, made up of Ian Connor (Mammut marketing coordinator), Dean Lords (Mammut athlete) and Peter Kamitses (Mammut athlete) and myself (giant Mammut Mastodon) headed down South in our rented RV. I wish I had some funny stories to tell you about the drive, but the humans made me ride in the cargo compartment. It sounded like a good time, I could hear laughing and music coming from inside. I'll admit, I was a bit nervous about this trip. Last year the local park rangers pulled my plug after I was just beginning to stretch from my travels and I spent the rest of the event in my box. My keeper promised things would be different this year and I grudgingly agreed to go. So after 14 hours of driving we arrived.

I didn't see much that first day but I heard Pete went climbing. That guy is an animal (no pun intended) and he was intent on climbing some 5.13's. He came back Friday evening totally stoked about climbing in The New. Here's a picture of Pete throwing down...

Anyway, while the Crew talked to folks out in the tents I got myself psyched for my first appearance of the event. I was a little nervous...who wouldn't be? I didn't know if folks down in West Virginia liked mastodons, would the park service pull my plug again, would my keeper REALLY set me up on top of the RV like he promised? I still hadn't even seen the light of day yet! But I could hear the music, smell all the people (mastodons don't see very well, but we have an exceptional sense of smell!) and the food...wow, I was ready to chow down! But I had a job to do first.

Finally around 10:00pm, Ian and Dean got me ready to go. I was a little concerned about the power lines overhead but Ian said not-to-worry. So up I went on top of the RV. Peolpe stopped and looked in awe! Come on, how many times do YOU see a 25ft mastodon on top of an RV? But I felt like The Man up there in all my Mammut glory, lights shining on me...it was glorious!

After an hour the park service guys said I had to come down...too close to the power lines apparently (I TOLD them!), but it was one of my proudest moments ever!

The next day, Dean, Ian, Lee (Mammut Southeastern rep) and some friends took advantage of the nice weather and went bouldering at a place called Hawk's Nest. It sounded like they had a great time, I could hear Ben & Ronnie (Lee's friends) talking about it. Here are some pictures...


Saturday night everyone at The 'Vous was in great spirits! I bought the beer for the entire campground, the band sounded great, the kid's were pulling down in the dyno comp, and there was more great food. Even the rain didn't dampen the party. The Crew was busy talking with people and I thought they forgot about me but then Lee, Pete, Ian and Dean plugged me in. Ben and Ronnie helped me out of the way of the power lines and there I was...back feet on the RV and front feet on the tents!

A cheer went up from the crowd and I was The Man again! I got so into the spirit of things that I raised up on my hind legs at some point and my keeper decided to put me to bed. Ah, it was worth it!
Sunday was busy with the sponsors cooking everyone breakfast (I know I smelled crepes!) packing up, some more climbing, then the long journey home. I hope next year the boys let me climb, mastodons are excellent sport climbers! It sounds like I'm headed to Salt Lake City for the Mammut Bouldering Championships on August 9th. Look for me on top of the Shilo Hotel parking garage and come say...whoops, got to go. My keeper is back from lunch and he gets mad when I use his computer. See you next year at The 'Vous!
Stampy