The Mountain Man Rendezvous, with its iconic teepee, primitive weapons and various skins, was scheduled to take place last weekend in the UVU courtyard. But whether the always-outdoor event will happen or not depends on the forecast; and as of print time it is calling for rain.
Mountain Man Rendezvous is part of our cultural heritage in Utah. Characters such as Jedediah Smith, James Bridger, Etienne Provost, and Peter S. Ogden first began their trapping and trading in Utah in the early 1800’s, competing for the state’s wealth of resources. Most trappers worked for companies, others were free traders. The Mountain Man Rendezvous reunited the men from various areas and trades to share ideas, stories, and information, and to sell or trade their wares.
The location of the rendezvous was often planned in advance at the previous rendezvous, and the men would sometimes place messages along the trails for anyone who missed the information. Often the event was held on the Green River at Horse Creek, since renamed “Upper Green River Rendezvous Site” in Wyoming, but many sites in Utah also hosted the annual event.
Today, the event takes place all over Utah — in Heber Valley, Ogden and other locations, and are sometimes hosted in tandem with Native American powwows. Wares sold can include beads, pottery, jewelry, pelts, clothing, knives and axes, among many other things. There is always good food, generally barbecue, and contests such as axe throwing (if deemed safe).
A caveat for animal-conscientious people: there are always animal skins, teeth and other parts on display at these events — just as there have been from the beginning. If this is an issue for you, you may want to avoid this event.
For more information on the most recent Rendezvous or other upcoming events, contact the Outdoor Adventure Center, located next to Scoops in the Sorenson Student Center building.