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Central Rockies Section

Central Rockies Section. For the third consecutive year, the Section sponsored and helped fund the Waterfall Ice Roundup in Cody, Wyoming, on February 18-20. Some 50-60 climbers from five states traveled to Cody to attend this event, which is also known as “the friendliest little ice festival in the Northern Rockies,” to sample 99 local ice routes, demo equipment, and enjoy the catered food and evening slide programs. For the first time, an AAC staff member, Membership Services Coordinator Jason Manke, attended. Section Chair Greg Sievers has written a letter to the editor of Climbing magazine regarding the possible over-use of V-threads for ice climbing anchors and rappel stations. Numerous V-threads, slings and rap rings have been found in the drainages below Cody’s waterfalls. This littering has prompted concern from the U.S. Forest Service in Cody. We hope to enlighten climbers to reuse or replace existing rappel station material before authorities become more involved in the matter.

In March we co-sponsored a dZi Foundation fundraiser in Estes Park at the Trail Ridge Outfitters store. Local legend, armchair mountaineer, historian, and walking encyclopedia on the Himalaya, Dale Vrabec provided an enlightening view of trekking in Nepal in the 1970s. Images and stories of the Makalu and Everest regions were enjoyed by all. The evening event raised $1,000 for the dZi Foundation, which implements, supports, and funds projects to improve the basic quality of the lives of people primarily in Ladakh, Nepal, and Sikkim.

The Section advertised for proposals and offered to assist a Section member to attend the Bulgarian Alpine Club festival in Vratsa, Bulgaria, during September 21-25. Kevin Frederick was the lucky recipient. The Federation of the Bulgarian Alpine Clubs (with support from the Mayor and the Municipality of Vratsa and Vrachanski Balkan Nature Park) hosted the event. Despite rainy weather, the festival hosted 150 climbers from many countries near and far. During his three days at the festival, Kevin gave a presentation highlighting inspiring places to climb in Colorado and Wyoming. The festival was a great experience, and everybody even managed to sneak in some climbing between the rain and the beer.

This was the fifth year that the AAC hosted the Lumpy Trails Day at Lumpy Ridge in Rocky Mountain National Park, This fine crack climbing destination in Estes Park offers high quality granite with 1- to 6-pitch long routes. This year on October 23 the 63 volunteers— Front Range climbers, Club members, and Park Services employees—collaborated to improve the climber access trails to The Twin Owls, one of the most popular and photogenic rock features at Lumpy Ridge. The result was a complete “face lift” of over 500 vertical feet of extremely rugged mountainous trail. Over 133 wood and rock steps and seven drains were installed to help check storm runoff, control erosion, and act as stairs.

Finally, the year’s activities ended as they began with a fundraiser. In October Heidi Wirtz provided a video image program of climbing travel to Siberia and Nepal. Liz Scully was instrumental in organizing the grassroots event, which raised $1,000 to assist several young Nepalese children to attend school in Kathmandu. The evening was co-hosted by the CRS, which provided locally made, custom embroidered AAC shirts and jackets for the raffle.

Greg Sievers, Chair