Thursday, January 19, 2006

Back to Canmore

First place trophy thanks to Jeff Skoloda.

After a wicked week at the Ouray Ice Festival Kim and I have made it back home to Canmore. The mutt (chili dog) was excited to see us, thanks to Jen for taking care of her.

Kim and I stayed an extra couple of days after Ouray to visit with friends and do a little climbing. After so many visits, Ouray is starting to feel like a second home, and that's a good thing. It's a huge gathering of climbers also, I saw a lot of friends I hadn't seen in years (or at least since the last Ouray). I'm definitely planning on going next year.

I often feel a bit down after a good win or big trip, but Ouary has left me fired up. Maybe it's all the Mexican food I ate down south? I start eating Mex at the Que Bueno in the Denver Airport on the way south (near gate B55 if you're in the DIA, I think it's pretty good, especially the Tamales). I always eat there on the way through DIA, it's the first sign of Mexican civilization on the way south. The main problem with Canada is the serious lack of Mexicans--I've yet to find any good Mexican food here, I always bring bottles of salsa and jars of chile stuff back with me, but it just isn't the same as a big old plate of Mexican food... Maybe Mexicans don't like cold weather or something, but I'd sure appreciate it if a few more would move up here and bring their food along. Maybe beer and some sun too... Although I'm off beer for a while--Michael Gilbert (Ice Fester Local and comp organizer) remarked, "You know, we're not all alocholics here" after another night of debauchery at Ouray...

It was a trick to get back from Ouray with the trophy--I don't keep many trophies from events, but the Ouray trophy isn't just a piece of tin with a plaque on it, it's a piece of art that I'm very happy to have won. I think it's the coolest ice trophy I've ever received, so I packed it all up carefully and it made it home to take pride of place among the other Ouray trophies Kim and I have won. I'm going to try and get some more information about it, but Jeff Skoloda was the main artist along with an Ouray glass blower (send me the name and I'll add it here).

So it's good to be back home and de-toxing from a great event.


I had to take a rest day after the comp on Monday, I often feel beat up and just generally worked after a big event.

On Tuedsay Jason Nelson (of Lisa and Zane fame in Ouray) and I headed up the Camp Bird road for some climbing. Harry Berger had gone up there on Sunday during the speed comp and done something like 10 laps on Goldline (M10+) in an hour, pretty impressive, Jason and I were considering trying to match that action but got distracted as usual. We warmed up on Jason's new M8 on the side of Slip Sliding Away, (forgot the name as usual), great route for the grade--nice drytooling to a thin pillar, good fun. I was going to try for the second ascent of his M9 to the right of Slip, but it was pouring water. The sun in Colorado is just crazy strong, as soon as it touches ice it's like sun on a vampire.

We then headed to the Poser Cave, home to the classics such as Goldline (m10+) and Jason's new route, which I again forget the name of. I had a go at it onsight but broke a hold about halfway up, then dogged the rest of it with Jason's enthusiastic beta. It's a bit harder than the rest of the routes in the Poser cave, but I was able to get it second try then started the training action by downclimbing it while Jason added difficulty with appropriate heckling. Jason also did a lap on it, then we had at Gold Line for a while, doing up and down laps before finishing the session by doing a pullup every time we used a new hold on the way up. That hurt. Thanks to Jason for a wicked session!

Wednesday was a travel day, just did some quick Yoga as some sort of cold settled in and we got home too late to do antything useful.

Got back last night and had to get up early (well, 8:00) to go and work on the "How to Ice Climb" DVD project with Pat Morrow as well as Chris and Scott, thanks to them for making my technique tips look like they work.

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