Friday, January 22, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ouray Ice fest

I escaped the false reality of my own private ski touring lodge for a week of ice climbing and socializing at the Ouray Ice Fest in Ouray, Colorado. I arrived in Ouray a few days early to partake in some pre-fest climbing with my friend and celebrated ice climber Caroline George. If you are leery about ice climbing, as I am even after 6 years of dabbling in the sport, you should definitely check out the Ouray Ice Park experience. Top-rope opportunities abound for quality ice and mixed climbs, and you can bang off a bunch of pitches in a few short hours between your morning latte and your 3:00 happy hour cocktail-in-the-hotsprings-naked session. Once the festival began I taught a few clinics and met a ton of cool people. It turns out that ice climbers aren't just nut jobs that get a rush from the screaming barfies and thrusting sharp objects near soft tissue and climbing ropes. In fact, ice climbers have earned heightened status in my worldview because, as it turns out, they can really party. The Guy Lacelle Memorial Super Hero dance party was one of the best nights out I've had in awhile...

The user-friendly Ouray Ice Park

Caroline "Swiss Miss" George giving me a tour of the Ouray Ice Park

This is the real deal... top rope hero Caton rappels in for another lap on WI 3

Super (Canadian) woman Audrey Gariepy cranking in the comp

Arts and crafts aka emergency costume prep at chateau Patagonia

When it comes to ice climbing, I am a tool, a super-tool in fact. Luckily an ice tool is a fundamental part of the ice climbing system

The End....

Sunday, January 10, 2010