Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Sandstone Ice Fest-2012

The Sandstone Ice Fest....I mean The Sandstone Slush Fest as it was coined this year on Saturday.  We woke up from the tents to 34 degrees and rain.  We went to Amy's in town for breakfast to 34 degrees and pouring rain! We came back to the quarry after breakfast  to a soaking wet mess, but this time armed with an umbrella from the dollar store!
But, the stoke was high and the 150 people plus in the quarry that morning all still had a great time. Maybe it's our Midwestern character, maybe it was our desire to climb ice for the first time of the season, or maybe we are all just a little bit off our rocker.  But everyone had a smile, and I think the only person that complained just a bit was me (sorry!).

I opened up the morning by teaching the Intro to Ice clinic with Dave.  We had a great group of 15 people, some of them never had ice climbed before.  Everyone at the fest was able to demo some of the latest gear from Scarpa, and Grivel throughout the course of the day, which everyone took advantage of.
That evening we had a door prize raffle and and an MCA raffle for an entire Black Diamond ice set up of new tools, crampons and a harness.  In the door prize raffle, one winner won a sweet new Osprey Mutant pack! We also had a special guest speaker giving a slideshow on climbing the Grand Teton. It was a great show ;)
Sunday was a bit colder, with new snow overnight (finally) and a return to below frezing temps.  The day started with a Mixed clinic and another Intro clinic with climbers climbing every inch of free ice along the quarry wall. 

A great time was had by all, and we thank the MCA, Tony (the fest organizer) and Jeff Engel for being the lead Ice farmer of the 2012/13 season!  Without these folk, the fest would not be possible.

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