Now I could talk about onsighting a cool M8+ or spew about how the WI-6 routes in Ouray aren't really that hard, or brag about soloing a bunch of fun WI-4 routes in the Box Canyon...but i'd rather tell you about popping off of the M5 in front of my class while teaching a "Hard Mixed Clinic" for the Ouray Ice Festival! It was awesome. I wasn't even embarrassed... i was laughing too hard - along with the rest of the class! I am happy to be human. Regardless of what i got done while at the Festival, the value for me comes from teaching clinics to other folks who are psyched to learn about ice and mixed climbing. It pretty cool to watch people catch the vision and see the light in not being held back by what they know and opening their minds to change and experience evolution. Sometimes i get tips, sometimes people take me out to dinner, and i've even been asked "hey, wanna come back to my hotel this evening??" but the best payment is getting to make new friends and watch them get after it on the rock and ice. It's pretty cool. Kinda like being a guide but completely different at the same time. I'm not there to get paid.
Well, i'm on my way home now and i can't wait to get out of Grand Junction. My rental car was due back at 1pm but my flight doesn't leave until 5pm. If any of you have spent time at the GJ airport there isn't much to do so i'm gonna get caught up on my sleep! I wish that was the case; i've got way too much to get done with the quickly approaching Winter Outdoor Retailer. Big changes for the Mammut athlete program!