BD employee TJ Kolanko reports in from the International Climbers' Festival in Lander, Wyoming
The 17th Annual International Climbers' Fest in Lander, WY is a great climbing festival to check out if you have never been. Hidden in the heart of Wyoming are two of North America's best sport climbing crags, Wild Iris and Sinks Canyon, as well as the gateway to the infamous Wind River Mountains.
ICF (International Climbers' Fest) is organized and run by climbers for climbers. One of the more unique and longest running climbing fests out there, it focuses on getting people out climbing and connecting climbers together at the crag for a good cause. ICF is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to raise funds for bolt and anchor replacement at Wild Iris and Sinks Canyon as well as to supporting the Jim Ratz Memorial Scholarship and the Todd Skinner Fund. The purpose of the Jim Ratz Memorial Scholarship is to provide young people with the opportunity to experience the power of personal achievement and the experience of problem solving through climbing. The Todd Skinner Foundation is a non-profit organization formed to support the continuing legacy of Todd Skinner by funding endeavors in his spirit.
This years festival consisted of five days of events and climbing, with the highlight being Friday: a day full of contrived competitions from a bat hang where the competitors had to hang from their feet more than 20 feet off the ground, to a crate stacking contest in which the winner stood atop 21 milk crates. Check out the video. While watching a myriad of silly comps you could check out all the new gear at the tradeshow from all the sponsors. Friday night closed down with an interesting slideshow from Jason Kehl and a bit of drinking at the Lander Bar and climbers do like to drink!!!
Some of the other highlights of the weekend included a lot of climbing, with a series of clinics from a "Ladies Only" clinic to technical clinics like "Escape the Belay" (learning self rescue). There was also a showing from the Telluride Mtn Film Fest and a huge block party sponsored by our friends at New Belgium Brewery.
Black Diamond has been a part of the International Climbers' Fest for over a decade now and we are happy to continue to support this great event and the wonderful climbing community in Lander, Wyoming. Hopefully we will see you out there next year!