Monday, July 16, 2007

International Climbers Festival

If you don't live out west or follow the news, we are getting blasted by this never ending heat wave of near century temps. I really started to wonder if i would survive the July heat in Lander, Wyoming during the annual International Climbers Festival. Plugging away in my office a few days before leaving, i would drift back to the shirtless climbing weather in Sinks Canyon the day after the Cody Ice Festival (in February!!). Oh man, what was i thinking when i told the boys at HQ I'd attend this event during the middle of July on behalf of Mammut.

Somehow it all worked out and we were blessed with temps in the mid 80's most of the time. Heather and I arrived early for five days of personal climbing before obligations would keep us busy during the course of the event.

The last time I was in Killer Cave the route Endeavor to Persevere kept jumping out at me. It's such a striking Prow feature on the right side of the cave that just begs to be climbed. A three star must do route for visiting climbers. The Prow just keeps coming at you...forever!

After battling with Endeavor we spent the next few days exploring other classics along the Main Wall of Sinks Canyon while enjoying unseasonably cool weather for July.

The Festival was a lot of fun. Climbers from all over attended the event to participate in equipment demo's, climbing comps, and a variety of other activities. There was not a dull moment the entire weekend.
For me, the highlight of the event was "The Renegade" a tribute to Todd Skinner. So many memories of Todd came back as the photos and video played out on the screen. I cried... I laughed... and in the end i walked away with a renewed motivation to continue believing. Todd and i shared similar philosophies of partnership being central to climbing. I truly am grateful to have been blessed by his kindness.
-Dean Lords