Monday, July 15, 2013

A Report From the 20th International Climbers' Festival

It was an amazing festival this year!  So much was going on, that I couldn't possibly get to everything.  But here are some things that happened.

It looked like trouble for the Climbers' Fest when local police confronted the festival director.  But Brian just stared them in the eyes, appearing to use some sort of Jedi mind trick on them, and they calmly walked away.  
 Stacy taught me how to coil a rope faster,
 and she taught Sierra how to lead climb.  Now Sierra can set up her own climbs.  Thanks Stacy!
 I tried to explain the joys of developing Wyoming's boulders to a crowd of sport climbers.  It felt a lot like trying to explain the Philosophy of Science to
7th graders.
 Ashley and I spent a session bouldering in the shade at Motown during the hottest day of the festival.  It was just like Thailand.

Wind and Rattlesnakes was very well done!  Kyle did an amazing job of putting all the interview puzzle pieces together into a coherent and moving story.  I'm looking forward to seeing it again.

I also enjoyed every keynote speaker this year.

But my favorite part of the festival was showing the Rock Shop to some boulderers who could truly appreciate the area.  Danny, Kerrek, Charlie, Joseph and Catrina joined us for a beautifully cool, overcast day.

The original plan was just to warm up on the Paralysis wall.

Everybody climbed "Jammin is a Thing of the Past" and "Fighting Paralysis" to get things started.

Danny climbing "Fighting Paralysis."

 Then Kerrek started trying moves on a project I'd partially cleaned and given up on, to the left.
 Kerrek can use holds that I can't quite believe in yet.
 He came close enough to sending the line using his beta to prove that the line can be done.  But he stopped trying it because he wanted to save some skin for "Gem Thief."
 We all tried the project, and there might be different, difficult but workable, beta for all heights.

Catrina on the Paralysis Project.

Then Charlie decided to try skipping all the bad holds using a large dyno.

 Joseph gave that a shot as well.
 They both came close enough to catching the move to show that this method will work.  But climbing this section of the wall using any method remains a project.  Who will be the first?

Danny made masterful use of the casually dropped preemptive excuse.  "My skin is so soft.  I've barely been climbing."  But it turned out that it wasn't even necessary.

He sent "Starry Night."

Then Kerrek climbed "Gem Thief" after quite a few attempts.  It's the first V11 he's climbed in a single session, but he confirmed the grade saying that it's harder than the V10s that he's done.

Before we left the area, everyone climbed "Super Nova."

The next stop was the UFO boulder.  While Charlie, Kerrek, and Danny worked on that, I noticed another nearby boulder that Justin had cleaned, that I recognized from his blog.  It was so much fun to be able to jump on a new boulder that was already cleaned up and ready to go.  Thanks Justin!  I worked on up problems, and Ashley did a long traverse right to left across two sides of the boulder.  We aren't sure if her traverse is a first ascent or not.

Ashley near the start of the traverse.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the great festival this year!  And if you were there, I hope that you had as much fun as I did, and that you come back next year.


Peter Beal said...

I met Kerrek and Charlie at Mount Evans last week! Kerrek was very close on Clear Blue Skies

Lloyd Family said...