Showing posts with label Ouray Ice Festival. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ouray Ice Festival. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

New routes, ice festivals, and the search for winter!

Home on the range in the South Fork Valley
©Doug Shepherd
It was a crazy winter this year, from work to a weeks of 60-70F weather in Colorado.  The search for ice required some early mornings, driving, and crazy ideas - but that's what makes it fun!

Monday, April 7, 2014

2014 Ice Fest Wrap Up

Jared Drapala & Adam Butterfield: Mammut NA love!
"And do you ever sleep?" asked Megan Davin, one of Mammut's Customer Service Representatives.  I had been explaining that I was headed to one more ice festival, number five this season, for four days. The Northeast ice season has pretty much come to an end, but the beginning winter months of traveling, competing, guiding, repping, and being around my favorite people have been one fantastic whirlwind.

Ice climbing is not going to change the world. But in my clinics over the 5 ice fests, I had a neurologist, a classical pianist, EMTs, professors, students, an astrophysicist, and other amazing minds. Putting a smile on these faces- people who may just save the world- is my goal for every clinic. Teaching, explaining, encouraging, and smiling. I'd like to think I hit 64/64, and I have a lot of photos to back that up!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Behind the Tights

First, an introduction.  I’ve had a somewhat ambiguous relationship with Mammut since about 2007 when JP Hong hooked me up with my first pair of Softech pants.  I’m fortunate to work just a few miles from the Mammut USA Headquarters in Shelburne, Vermont, and it has been a pleasure to get to know so many of the folks there—they work very hard! Through the years, I was the local female climber, guide, gym manager, they were the attractive Swiss brand down the road...

The Rose, a classic overhanging schist crack in my back yard, Bolton, VT.

Mammut and I became more official this year when I arrived in Ouray, CO, to compete in the mixed climbing competition and help out with clinics.  I ended up in Ouray thanks to an American Alpine Club “Live Your Dream” grant, and things exploded from there-- much appreciation to Dean Lords and Gribbin Loring.  I was happy with my performance in the competition, although the list of “what-if’s” still includes “What if it hadn’t been -4o F when I was up first to climb the comp route?”  I ended up timing out, glad to have hung on for as long as I could with frozen hands.  The experience was amazing and I met so many wonderful people.  During the festival, I was assigned to teach the Mammut Women’s Moderate Mixed and Ice Footwork Fundamentals Clinics, and through these clinics, was excited to expose more people to Mammut gear and faces. 

Stairway to Heaven, 1200', Silverton, CO before the Ouray Ice Festival.
First time seeing full sun in a long time. Photo Andrew Blessing
On the Ouray mixed competition route, Mighty Aphrodite. Working out the frozen fingers.

I returned to VT to manage our own ice festival, the Smuggs Ice Bash, and then headed to NH as a Guest Guide and Mammut rep at the Mt. Washington Valley Ice Fest (see Art Mooney’s posts below!).  Much gear was demoed, and there were many happy ice climbers. I stayed in NH for the following week to take the AMGA Ice Instructor Course with Art Mooney, Silas Rossi, and Marc Chauvin.  Although the ratio was 11 males : 1 female, I really didn't even notice-- we were just a group of guides practicing our skills and enjoying a week of climbing in Crawford Notch. 

2013 Dry Tooling competition at Petra Cliffs, the kick-off party to the Smuggs Ice Bash
And… the tights.  The tights go along with my first indoor dry tooling competition at Petra Cliffs, the climbing gym that my husband and I now own in Burlington, Vermont.  I outdid myself in an attempt to be as ridiculous as possible and wore blue star-spangled Wonder Woman undies over gold tights.  After this, people had high expectations.  I’ve been trying to appease them with finding new fun tights for each competition, but the “Wonder Woman” moniker has stuck.  I really thought the unicorn galaxy tights would win them over this year… Hey, when is Mammut going to put tights in their line?

Little Outdoor Giants photo, MWV Ice Fest 2013

I live in an amazing place, with great climbing in Vermont, sandwiched between the Adirondacks and the White Mts. of New Hampshire. I believe that the East really does make one tougher: the cold is colder, the ice harder, the schist sharper. But the snow is deep, the partners are friendly, and there are endless adventures to be had.  It's good to get away every now and then, to take a break with a new panorama, and to appreciate what we have in the East.

Glass Menagerie, Lake Willoughby, VT. Home of phenomenal steep ice.

Psyched to be inspiring other women in our crazy sport. Smuggs Ice Bash 2012.
I’m excited to bring more rock-ice-mixed-ski-guiding photos and experiences to the Team, and I'm happy to be hand in hand with the brand. Greetings!

Andrea Charest (say "Sha-REST")

Monday, February 18, 2013

2013 Ice

This year has been amazing for ice in Utah. It has been nice to set aside some of my skiing adventures to spend some time on the ice and meeting new people. A month ago Mammut team manager Dean Lords invited me to the Ouray Ice festival. Always up for something new I decided it would be a good experience to see and meet some new people. On arrival I was able to meet two of Mammuts ice climbing athletes Whit Magro and Andrea Charest. Although temps were sub freezing and the space heater at the tent wasn't enough to keep warm there was plenty of cool stuff going on to keep the mind off of being cold and focused on the festival.

Whit and Andrea pretty happy after the comp.

 Andrea had the first route of the day for the comp. Amazed that she did so well, especially for how cold it was.

 Whit on the mixed route. He took 4th in the mixed comp and second in the speed comp. Congrats man.
So after Ouray it was back to Utah. With some new friends and some new excitement to climb ice, I was on a mission to get out and see what conditions were around home. My new friends Matt and Sarah park were eager to get out as well and we had heard that the Spear of Fear in Joe's Valley was in and ready to go. I had seen pictures of it before and was pretty excited to actually get to be on it. We found it in great condition and had an amazing day and scored some great photos.
Next on the list was Maple canyon. Maple has always been well known for summer time climbing, but there is also wold class ice climbing there when conditions are in. Just so happens that they were some of the best conditions on years.
Sarah watching her newly wed husband climb the Spear of Fear.

This last month has been really amazing and the friendships I have made will last for many years to come. Special thanks to Dean and His wife Heather. Possibly two of the nicest and genuine people I have ever met. I could not have done it without you guys.

Dean and Heather wrapping up after a successful Ice Festival.

Steve Lloyd

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ouray Ice Festival 2013

Ouray Ice Park - Colorado
The 2013 Ouray Ice Festival in Colorado went off without a hitch thanks to our Mammut athletes and staff! Climbers world-wide attended the festival to celebrate the sport of ice climbing, learn tricks and tips from professional athletes and to watch some of the best mixed climbers in the world compete during the 18th annual event.
Box Canyon is where the Ouray magic happens - Andrea Charest on the mixed comp route
Mammut athletes, Andrea Charest and Whit Magro competed in both the Elite Mixed Climbing Competition and the Hari Berger Speed Climbing Comp. Both athletes also taught participants during daily clinics throughout the weekend!

Clinic participants gearing up in Vendor Row

Women's mixed climbing clinic with - Andrea Charest

Andrea Charest with her clinic participants
We had a great time meeting new friends and providing Mammut demo equipment for a large crowd of enthusiastic ice climbers.
Heather Lords kept folks engaged and entertained at the Mammut booth
... and with the occasional down time, we kept ourselves warm with Ambler Jackets and entertained with food and hot drinks at the Mammut booth in vendor row!
Steve Lloyd warming up a snack!
This was Andrea's first competition at the Ouray Ice Festival. Despite below zero temps and being the first athlete to attempt the route, she climbed strong and with confidence. I was psyched to see her compete so well!
Andrea Charest

Andrea calm and collected at -6 degrees Fahrenheit

Stylin' on the steeps!
Whit Magro also had a very strong run on the mixed comp route; easily picking up the 4th place title!
Mag-Daddy Whit Magro!

Right at home for Whit!

Whit sussing out the next section

Tough love with the Tuna Roll
The Speed climbing comp was a new addition this year to the Ouray Ice Festival. It provided a nice high-speed experience for athletes and spectators and was surely a home run addition to the festival!
Andrea Charest racing in the speed comp
By Sunday evening, Ouray Colorado was returning to a sleepy mountain town as many of the event participants and vendors headed home. It was easy to see the satisfaction on many faces from yet another spectacular Ouray Ice Festival. We'd like to thank all of the volunteers, participants and vendors who make the Ouray Ice Festival possible. Looking forward to 2014! We hope to see many of you return to Ouray next year!

~ Dean Lords