The International Climber's Festival successfully placed itself upon the hottest week of summer in Lander, Wyoming. I spent every night for a week intermittently sleeping and sweating (and perhaps accomplishing both simultaneously for a few hours at a time) in Dave Goldman's backyard. Mornings, if started early enough, were cool, but before long the day star would always steal the chill of the Winds from the town at their eastern slopes. And then we would burn.
My first official task as a fulltime volunteer for the 'fest was hanging topropes at OK Corral. Tough work. I joined Lauren and David, Rick, Justin, and Amanda to get the ropes hung.
... and Dave
Post TR-hanging we sat in the parking lot and did our best to look official (while hiding in the tiny shade cast by vehicle rear doors).
As the day's clinics showed up we turned temporary tour guides, making sure the clinic pros knew where they were heading. "You know where you guys are going?" we asked one group. "Yeah, OK Corral!" the leader responded, pointing at Main Wall, the most obvious crag although a mile away. "Right, OK Corral," we said, pointing directly behind her.
Clinics shuttle up. Yeah, they got full size buses up to Wild Iris main lot
Along with actual work ($$) and setting up a photo show at the Cowfish (-$$), I got to help with registration and the final keynote.
Registration at Wild Iris
Elyse, ICF organizer, swamped under responsibilities
I also made sure to stick my head in to the vendor fair alongside blog favorite Matt Steele, and to reap the rewards (read: free boozes) of our work at the VIP Party.
Zach Rudy running an obstacle course while testing his grip strength
Sam Lightner tallying scores
A BD competition: tying in blindfolded
The Dyno Comp
The VIP party
after everyone else has had the sense to go home
Eventually the ICF came to a close. I celebrated by finally getting to do some climbing of my own after a busy week of socializing and event wrangling. Viv and I got out to Squaretop on Monday night, then Ken rolled in on Tuesday. He and I mixed things up and hit three crags he'd never seen: Fairfield, North Country, and Shady Side.
At Fairfield we tried new routes I hadn't done before (Fossil Logic was a great roof up high with an easy approach) and I successfully pumped off the 5.10 finish to Hangfire, 12a, again. North Country and Shady Side were both new to me as well. I tried my hardest - maybe too hard - on that last day and walked away with my strongest send being a 5.10a. Still, a bad day of rock climbing is still a better day than anything else, especially when shared with your best friend.
After crossing the Indiana Jones-style swinging bridge back to the Popo Agie campground in the hot Lander sun, and following a conversation with the incredibly friendly camp hosts, Ken and I soaked our beaten tips and tired feet in the cool waters of the (still raging from a heavy snow year) Popo Agie.
all the rage this year: sun shirts
The show I hung at the Cowfish was a three-way effort between myself and my friends Sagar Gondalia and Kyle Duba. Sagar guides out at Devil's Tower these days; Duba is well known for his Lander climbing documentary Wind and Rattlesnakes and his beautiful photos all over the newest, colorful edition of Lander Rock Climbs (the regional climbing guidebook). That edition will soon become the not-as-new edition, so I recruited what friends I could in the hopes of getting some photos to add to the upcoming 2018 book.
Steele on Pale Face Magic, 10d
Pauly K goofing around at the top of Queen of Hearts, 12a
The light got good second go...
Blaine Limpus on The Amp That Goes to 11, 12a
Straight from shooting with Blaine and Austin early Monday morning, just shy of two full weeks of living in my old home, I took off to Victor, Idaho to meet the lady from Flagstaff.