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Central Rockies Section

Central Rockies Section. Thanks to an enthusiastic group of CRS volunteers headed by Rick Casey, the AAC established a high profile presence among the vendors and organizations at the Ouray Ice Festival in January. The AAC tent was well positioned at the entrance to the vendor area Thursday through Sunday. Many visitors, especially younger climbers, stopped by for information about the AAC. As for the ice climbing itself, the competition event was covered by the major media. The two winners were from outside the U.S. Around 2,000 people were in town for the festival.

The Sixth Annual Cody, Wyoming, Waterfall Ice Roundup (www.southforkice.com) was once again a wonderful, quaint, and friendly event. Approximately 55 people from more than six states took part in the climbing and the festivities. Slide shows were given every evening, February 13-15. All three short presentations on Friday were given by Club members. Greg Sievers provided images of Bridalveil Falls and Keystone Green-steps (600'+, WI5), in Valdez, Alaska, from the mid-1980s including a “show-and-tell” display of a vintage Chouinard equipment, strap-on crampons, and Lowe Big Bird axes. Mark Jenkins, an Outside magazine writer, gave us a slide-show tour of remote unclimbed peaks in southern China, Tibet, and Burma. The third show of the evening was a brief overview of alpine climbing in Idaho by Dean Lords. Saturday evening’s program was given by local fun hog Aaron Mulkey with an entertaining array of digital imagery and sound.

Quite a few new areas have been discovered and explored in the Cody area, many right in the South Fork Valley (Shoshone River basin). Many new and existing ice routes are having the rappel descents bolted because of the gathering V-thread waste in the drainages and rapid deterioration of cordage. Aaron Mulkey is the driving force in locating and climbing many of the new waterfalls. He and friends have also graciously installed many of the rappel stations. For current conditions, visit his Web site www.coldfear.com.

While our Section was the primary financial sponsor of the Cody Festival, thanks for support are also due to Mammut (Schoeller garments, gear, and free hats), Magicline.com, MSR, Trango, New Belgian Brewery, and Red Bull. Don Foote, the event organizer, did a great job keeping the happy crowd focused during the programs and touting the AAC and other sponsors. The dry-tool pull-up contest was a hit, and the “well-past-40” men took overall honors by a good margin. Bison Willy’s Bunkhouse (www.bisonwillys.com), the adjacent AAC system hut, was full all weekend. Our thanks to Kenny Gasch for his undying support and partnering with the AAC for this fine wilderness facility. Nothing beats a hot shower and clothes dryer after a long, hard day of climbing in sloppy ice conditions.

The fourth annual Lumpy Trails Day held October 23 at Lumpy Ridge, was an amazing success, with nearly 60 volunteers attending. The Club hosted Front Range climbers, Club members, locals, and Rocky Mountain National Park employees to improve climber access trails to one of the country’s most popular and photogenic rock climbing areas. This year we were joined by nine students from the Adams County School climbing team and their coaches. The Park provided 10 NPS trail crew employees to guide the group to the Twin Owls Rock access trail. The group gave a “face lift” to over 400 vertical feet of extremely rugged mountainous trail. Over 40 wood water bars were installed to help check runoff, control erosion, and act as stairs Dozens of huge stones were moved to build new steps and armor against further erosion.

Greg Sievers, Chair