By: Rick Casey
The first annual Climbers Festival was, I have to say even as a biased participant, an unqualified success. The Outings Committee hopes to make it an annual event!
The format of the event was the simple tried and true formula that has been followed by climbers ever since the sport began: lead some fun rock climbing routes, and then get together for a meal and/or drinking afterwards. The trips were open to all qualified CMC members, and a number of rock leaders volunteered to lead: John Fernandez, Jeff Boring, Chris Grosshans, Clare Reda, Brenda Leach, Gretchen Gaugler, Irina Overeem and myself (Rick Casey). Jeff, Chris and I were the primary organizers, but I must say Jeff did most of it.
In all, about thirty people participated. The climbing teams were organized around trips announced through the state website, but described as being part of the Climbers Festival. Trips were then followed by the cookout to which all climbers were invited. All food and refreshments were provided by the Outings Committee, with funding through BMS (Boulder Mountain Schools).
(Yes, the Outings Committee does have a budget to party!)
The different trips departed at various times, the earliest getting started at 7am. Destinations ranged from the Wind Tower to the Whale’s Tale to the West Ridge, and varied in grade from 5.6 to 5.10 (on top rope). I was paired as a co-leader with Clare, and so we each took up a separate couple of people, forming two three person teams on two easy routes on the Wind Tower formation.
Check out the size of the gear rack; this girl is ready for anything! (click to enlarge)
In the afternoon, I then led a trip at Supremacy Rock, where a top rope was set up on Supremacy Slab. My co-leader, Wayne Densmore, built a trad anchor at the top (as there are no bolt anchors). We belayed a number of climbers up the route, including Jen Widmer, Carrie Simon and Matt Dawson, among others. Here’s a shot of Matt in one of the cruxy parts:
(click to enlarge)
The best part was that the Outings Committee was lucky enough to be given access to the patio on the west end the Visitor’s Center for the BBQ; this was quite the score! I had no idea this patio even existed, but it was the perfect venue for the event. The Eldorado Canyon State Park staff was very easy to work with and the Outings Committee was quite grateful for this gesture.
That’s Jeffrey Boring of the Outings Committee raising his hands in celebration of how well the event turned out. (click to enlarge)
The great working relationship between the Park and the Club is mutually beneficial, as the Club contributes to safe climbing in the Park. In return, climber and Eldorado Canyon State Park Ranger (since 1990), Steve Muelhausen, comes and gives a presentation on climbing safety to the Rock Lead School every year.
The event turned out so well that the Outings Committee is planning on repeating it next year. The timing of the event comes after the completion of the Basic Rock School (BRS) and before the beginning of Rock Lead School (RLS). We hope it will help to foster development of more rock trip leaders for the club, and the community around them.
You can view all my pictures of the Climbers Festival here.
And, for Clare Reda’s pics, here.