February 23, 2008

CODY ICE FEST and the Gathering 2008

The Cody Ice Festival was such a great time this year. So many good things to talk about. I have to say this is one of the best events i get to attend for Mammut every year. In so many ways it's like going home for me. I get to spend time with great friends who i only see once a year during Presidents day weekend. The weather was outstanding. Rick Williams and Chad Alldredge joined me along with a few others to keep the Idaho influence strong during the event! Rick,Chad and I climbed Broken Hearts on Friday with Arlene and Karen. (photo above of Rick on the fifth pitch of Broken Hearts). The next day, Rick and i combined forces and took a group of fifteen to the Outdoorsman in Cabin Creek for a clinic. The following day i took Ken and Mandala up Stringer. We had an absolute blast cruising around the Cody ice gullies. I received some really great letters from Arlene, Karen, Ken and Mandala. Thanks so much for spending the time with me. I really enjoy seeing others find joy in the same things i do. It was great.

I am already looking forward to next year.

The Gathering 2008 - Twin Falls, Idaho

In 1998 Brian Wood, Jessica Shaw and I got together and spent an extended weekend revisiting many of the ice climbs I had explored in the Cooke City area several years earlier. We had a great time and the following year we invited others to join us. As the years passed, this annual gathering of friends grew in attendance to include Rick Williams, Scott Stevens, Rob Vegas, Beckey and Brian Poulsen, and Amber Bennet.

The Gathering has become a celebration of friendship gained through climbing and exploring together over the years. As our lives become more complicated and family and occupations lead others to far of places, the Gathering has gained an even greater purpose. Often this is the only time many of us get to ice climb together anymore. Over the years we've been to Cooke City, Cody, Provo Canyon and even the local stomping grounds and birth place of our ice climbing lives-Teton Canyon. Several years ago i learned that the late Alex Lowe also met with friends for climbing adventures in Cody Wyoming. They too called their annual once a year time together, The Gathering.

This years location of Twin Falls was last minute. Justin and i decided to check out the conditions on our way to meet up with Abe, Dallin, and Sam. This proved to be a great thing and by late afternoon the others were arriving in Twin Falls. Wade Seeley joined us the following morning. We climbed, ate good food, and got rowdy. Justin lead his first mixed climb for a great birthday present to himself. We all got pumped silly and laughed the whole time. Brian Poulsen was there in spirit but his physical form was unable to make it due to being an in demand Lawyer now! Although it wasn't good for us to not have Brian there, it was likely in his best interest as i think we might have done a few things illegal! Next year we won't be so rowdy...