BD employee TJ Kolanko reports on the Squamish Mountain Festival
Black Diamond employee TJ Kolanko, recently attended the always-popular Squamish Mountain Festival in British Columbia. Below is his report about the event and a few photos.
[BD sales rep Roger Strong crushing the classic in Squamish. Photo by Andrew Burr]
Back in Salt Lake, sweating bullets as the summer heat has set in here in Utah, and dreaming about the cool temps and beautiful cracks we just left in Squamish B.C. The BD crew was just part of the Squamish Mountain Festival which provided five days of clinics, multimedia presentations, parties and of course some of the best rock climbing Canada has to offer! Black Diamond athletes Tommy Caldwell, Cedar Wright, Jean-Pierre “Pee Wee” Ouelett, Sonnie Trotter and Alex Honnold were all out giving their best on Cobra Crack, the jewel of hard crack climbing in Canada, as well as numerous other classic routes at Squamish.
The Squamish Mountain Festival gathers climbers from all over the world to celebrate climbing culture. The days are filled with clinics to teach beginner climbers’ new technique and safety skills. The evenings premiered some of the best slideshows and presentations I have seen. The first night featured legendary alpinist and BD athlete Barry Blanchard, who told stories about his two-plus decades of alpine climbing. The second night revealed slideshows about big wall climbing from two of the most accomplished big wall climbers out there: Royal Robins and Tommy Caldwell. The Sunday night slideshow highlights came from Cedar Wright who bridges the plane between a stand up comedian and a pro climber. Cedar had the crowd in an uproar. I wish I had the space to describe Cedar’s slideshow, but you will just have to check out his blog (www.verticalcarnival.com) to watch it.
The festival closed down this year with a cowboy-themed dance party at the Howe Sound Brewery. The costumes and general gathering of talent provide great people watching and a good environment to celebrate yet another great mountain festival in Squamish! If you find your self with a spare time at the end of July next year, trying to escape the heat and get to a cooler crag, maybe we will see you in Squamish for the Mountain Festival in 2011.