Tuesday, 13 January 2015


      This weekend I was lucky enough to session at the legendary Ice Fest in Ouray, Colorado.  It's been twenty years since the prophetic Jeff Lowe started this event and for that we should be grateful.   When I was a young climbing shop rat,  Lowe was more than just an inspiration, he was a mentor.  He disseminated his masterful technique through the instructional VHS video: Waterfall Ice.  I never got the sense that Lowe did these projects for profit, but rather as a completion of his vision and a sharing of his wisdom.

The weekend was super fun:  there were some quality folks on site and the vibe was like a Grateful Dead show minus the acid, Angels, tie dyes and free tickets.

This is Form

The Boss on the aptly named "Crossing Swords"

             It was a pleasure to see some real talent on the ice and nice to know that the embittered predictions of some people that "mixed climbing is a dead end sport" have not come true.  Neophytes lined up in droves for the clinics and the enthusiasm was contagious.  Hey, Canada! There were like, 2000 people at this thing, why don't we strike a crushing blow to our apathy and try the same here? Not just for the Banff Film Fest!

Eric and Riley gearing up.  Nice to see the young guns!
Seriously, this was nothing.

              The Competition: Normally, I have a distaste for this kind of thing since it sullies the very essence of our soulful pursuit, not unlike blogging.  BUT, here in Ouray I was moved by the (mostly) fun spirited nature of the competition and the serious fitness of all the competitors.  

Sasha has the Fitness!

Sara and Katie crushed their way onto the podium.  Nice work ladies!

Ines: Some of the finest technique imaginable

"Praise the Lord"

So stylish and sexy, these could only be Frenchmen

 Roger Strong Stoked!

Some nights it got festive!  #it'sawalkoff

One of the highlights for me was a random pub teamup with two local guides Lindsay and Jeff.  We rallied for the rarely formed Talisman which sports three exciting pitches that require steady 'nique from bottom to top.  Thanks guys!
Jeff on P.2

Lindsay is badass


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