This year started off with one of the most epic experiences of my life. In January, I got the honor of attending the annual Ouray Icefest located in the Uncompahgre River Gorge near beautiful Ouray, Colorado.
What a magical place this is! Ouray was beyond beautiful. Steep magnificent mountains surrounding the cutest little town, and so much SNOW!!! I flew out to Denver with Heat Factory USA, from there we drove 6 hours to Ouray to get ready for the event.
Ice Climbing Competition
I was so blown away by the entire experience. The man-made ice formations, the Ice climbing competition, SPEED Ice climbing competition, and I even got to met a LEGEND… Conrad Anker!!!!
I met so many incredible people there. One person particularly, Robert who was there with American Alpine Club. He introduced himself right when I got there and offered to get me on the ice. So, I said let’s do it! Here I am on my first EVER ice climb! WI4
That was one of the most terrifying and epic experiences of my life! I don’t think I have ever been more stoked, you can tell on my face!
We stayed in Ouray for 6 days. We met some rad locals who showed us around. This was the Ouray Hot Springs. Soaking in the hot spring surrounded by snowy mountains while the sun set was a perfect way to end a day of ice climbing.
The second day of Icefest I got to hit the Ice one more time. This was such an epic climb, it was called “Boat Ramp” WI4+ A very talented Photographer, Mike Thurk, happened to be at Icefest capturing some of the pro climbers in the Comp. He went out of his way to capture a few shots of my special moment. I was beyond stoked to see these.
Look at that stoked face!!!
I was and still am over the moon blown away stoked to the core from this trip. If you would have said to me 6 months ago that I would be here ice climbing with legends then I would probably tell you to take your meds! No way in a million years did I see this coming. Was I terrified? YES. Was it worth it? YES. Would I do it again? HELL YES!
After Ouray Icefest it was back to Denver for Outdoor Retailer, the largest outdoor recreation expo & conference in the country. Where I got to hang out with Conrad again! He took me to get coffee and we sat and talked for an hour about climbing and life. He showed me photos from his recent expedition to Antarctica and photos of his family. He is one of the most genuine and down to earth people I’ve ever met.
I got to met so many amazing people. Jenny Fischer, Chris Schulte, and Alex Honnold just to name a few of my favs!
I’m so grateful for this opportunity and for Heat Factory USA for making this all possible. I’m still in disbelief that all of that happened, but it has definitely ignited a fire inside me that won’t be burnt out anytime soon. Its given me a whole new perspective, a brand new appreciation, and deeper love for this sport.