Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ouray Ice Climbing Festival, CO

Suwei on ice

Lafayette, CO - So...first things first. Just giving a heads up to everyone out there reading this ...I'm planning on re-joining the workforce. That's right, I'm looking for a job. I've spent the last week or so cleaning up the ol' resume and reading everything I can about renewable energy. I've updated my Linkedin account ( and I'm working on creating an online interactive resume. In other words, I'm gearing up to engage my network. That includes all of you! So, please, if you hear of anything coming down the pike, just let me know.

With that said...we're on to our next entry. The Ouray Ice Festival. Jenn Tse flew out from California to join us again this year. Also joining us this year was Jovie Havard, another climbing friend of ours from California who moved out to Boulder last year to start a PhD program here at CU. On Thursday, Jan. 8th, the four of us crammed into the truck for the 6-hour drive southwest to Ouray.

This being my second year out to the festival, I didn't have high hopes of getting in too much climbing. First there's the challenge of getting up early to get early pickin's on demo equipment (size 10 boots can be hard to come by after 8:00 am). Then there's the problem of finding a climb without a line of folks waiting to give it a try. Then there's the fact that I really know very little about ice climbing and sort of suck at it, so it takes forever to get geared up and actually make it up the ice. That said, the ice park was not all that crowded on Friday (probably because it was dumping snow all day long). We actually managed to get two climbs set up before we all got cold and called it quits and before the crowds arrived.

Clockwise: Jovie with her game face on/Jenn on ice/Random climber in Box Canyon/Jenn demos a pair of crampons/Suwei finishing up a climb/Ice Axes/Sign to Box Canyon Falls.

Saturday, we figured there would just be too many people out there to even make an attempt at climbing. We got a slow start and wandered up the hill to watch the competition. This year, I guess, they scaled things back a bit. Only 20 competitors, one day of comps, and one mixed route rated M9. M9 is supposedly about a 5.12 in rock climbing terms. M stands for mixed rock and ice.

Ice Climbing Competition Clockwise: #20 Mathieu Audibert/Spectator/2nd stage of the comp route/Young Spectator/#7 Stephen Koch in his swimwear/#9 Zoe Hart/ 4 photos of Competition Winner, #19 Josh Wharton coming off the wall and catching himself/Festival Booths.

Besides the main competition, there were tons of other events to check out as well. There's the ice axe throwing competition, the screaming barfies competition (see how long you can submerge your hands in a bucket of ice), lots of clinics and demonstrations, the lasagna feed at the community center (incl. all the Fat Tire you can drink), the Petzel party (more Fat Tire), slide shows (more Fat Tire), and oh course, you have to go and check out the Orvis hot springs. Tanya, Glenn and the rest of Team Hideous were there as usual, but we barely saw them this year as they are pretty much an event of their own.

Clockwise: Screaming Barfies Contestant/Ice Climbing Demonstration/Jovie wins a spot in the money box/Tight Rope Walking/Dirty Truck.

As usual, I took tons of pictures. I find that ice climbing is technically not all that easy to photograph, but Box Canyon, the ice park, and a hell of a lot of good climbers make it hard to put the camera down.

Speaking of photos. While not looking for work, I found this on the web: I was looking through the article and though, "boy, those photos look a lot like mine." It wasn't until I scrolled down far enough to see Drew, that I realized, "those are my photos." Here is my post from last year: Not that I mind. I like the fact that folks are actually checking out the blog. By the way...if anyone knows of anyone who would be willing to pay me to take photos...well...please see the first paragraph.

Suwei climbs at the School Room / Jovie tackles the Big Wall

Check out the slide show for more photos:

Ice Climbing Festival, Ouray, CO

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Thanksgiving in Joshua Tree National Park, CA

Jen on Lead

Lafayette, CO - Happy New Year everyone!!! We made it to 2009! In celebration, I'm posting the last of my photos that I took in 2008. These come from our Thanksgiving climbing trip down to Joshua Tree National Park with the Rock Rendezvous group. My right knee was giving me a hard time so I spent most of my time reading and taking pictures of others climbing. Here are the results... enjoy:

From top: Suwei and Robert in search of Mt. Grossvogal/Suwei belays Robert on Atlantis Wall/Suwei chilling in camp/Robert leads Maggie's Farm on Mindless Mound/Eng-Shien warming up/Joshua Trees/Climber atop the Aiguille de Joshua Tree/Robert not taking any chances with the temperature/Eric on Solar Technology, Atlantis Wall/Suwei taking it all in.

As always... there's more fun in the slide show. Click the link below:

Joshua Tree National Park, CA