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Tag Archives: Ouray

January 12th, 2010. Typing the date is a reminder that time flies.

We had a wonderful Christmas break with Max home from Seville, Spain and his junior year abroad, Sam happy not have to brave the congested halls of Bozeman High School and Isaac glad to have earned time on his X-Box. (During school the toy disappears, hmmm?)
Jenni was able to get out for a few afternoons with Chippy her horse and we all enjoyed a few days up on the ski hill.

Last weekend the climbing tribe converged on Ouray for the 15th Annual Ouray Ice Festival. The gathering was welcomed by good weather, nice ice and the usual truck full of New Belgium beer. Vince Anderson set the comp route, which was the best yet. With a sit down start, an epic chimney and the cliche headwall, the route was engaging, challenging and a testament to Vince’s route setting skills. People fell off at different moves and the winner, Josh Wharton, won by climbing the route faster than Sam Elias, the only other climber to complete the route.

While on the stand I looked at the ice and began to think about the impact the millions of gallons of water frozen for the winter has on the local water and bio-zone. Glaciers are nature’s reservoirs – holding water in the frozen state and letting it trickle back when temperatures warm up. The water that is used for the Ouray Ice Park is allocated and would continue down stream for agriculture use. Being winter and all there is not as much need for water. So…. the ice park stores the water, cools the local surrounding and then releases the water slowly for the coming spring and summer.

Perhaps the practice of farming ice is good for the environment. Saving water for future use and cooling the area at the same time.

Hats off to Will Gadd, of Canada, who in a 24 hour period climbed 193 laps on “Pick of the Vic”, a 145 water fall. Just about 28,000 feet of climbing! Amazing. The climb was a fundriser for the dZi foundation, a group working to improve the quality of life and education in Nepal.

I’m off to Nepal and the Khumbu Climbing School for year seven. Looking forward to a top notch group of student and three weeks of arduous hiking around the high reaches of Nepal.

All the best,

~conrad