Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I, uhh....sorta fell behind the curve once more.  All the same, happy to report that the Cody Ice Fest was a blast again this year.  Don Foote does an amazing job of putting it all together and really pulls off a great event.  New Belgium Brewing definitely does their part as well (bottomless Ranger IPA's -- dear lord...).  And of course a huge thanks goes out to Black Diamond and Sterling Ropes for their support also.

Confession time: by mid-February I'm usually pretty well sated in terms of my appetite for ice climbing so, while Cody is renowned for it's long, continuous ice lines, word is slipping out on the high-quality bouldering to be had just on the edge of town (shirtless in the winter sun no less), I was quite happy to sneak in an afternoon of pure, sandstone-pullin' joy in good company.

Marko: getting full-value from his Five-Tenies.

LoLo: saving the day with a delicious beverage.

Doug Shepard did a great job of warming the stage for Jack Tackle as team BD provided the entertainment for Friday evening and the beer flowed freely as we all mingled and laid plans for the following morning.

Doug and Jack: covering the finer points, err, pints.

Saturday was a fantastic clinic day for me with a few familiar faces and a couple of new friends, covering lots of material on the super-classic Broken Hearts.  At the end of the day, my best "teachable moment" was backing off the very top of pitch three... I tried left; I tried right; center was missing and replaced with a surging cascade of ice water that revealed just how little of the entire pitch was actually attached to the wall.  So, I stuck to my plan and backed off exactly where I told my students I would.  In discussing the matter and how to decide when to back off in general, I stressd the point (to my group of six dudes) that "I've backed off way easier stuff in front of way hotter chics than you guys."

Broken Hearts, Pitch 1: everybody up!

More Rangers; Majka Burhardt on Ice Climbing and Africa, not in Africa; a massive dinner; the "Tough-Axe Awards" (I took first for easiest pitch backed off) and a drunken pull-up contest rounded out the evening.  Well, that and a few more Rangers...

Given the hangovers and the fallen temps, my partner Marko and I opted for a recovery day before presenting Sunday evening.  I filled in for Jim Shimberg on short notice, which was nice, since I had much less time to stress over getting my show together.  A quick assemblage of still shots with a soundtrack by The Melvins got things going and, much to my relief, everyone seemed to enjoy the collection of climbing vids that I put together.  Needless to say, I was pretty stoked to sit back and see the audience actually watching the show...

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