Not only do I have the opportunity to present for the Appalachian Mountain Club in Boston, but the day after I get back from Aconcagua I'm flying to Ouray, Colorado to give a presentation at their 19th Annual Ice Festival! On behalf of Asolo, I'm presenting about my ten year journey of climbing the tallest mountains in each of the 50 states.
The Ouray Ice Festival is a four day event of presentations, ice climbing clinics, and of course a mixed ice and speed competition sponsored by Asolo and Rock and Ice Magazine. I've only ever been to one ice festival before, the Mount Washington Ice Festival, but there wasn't an ice climbing competition. I'm very excited to watch what I'm sure is going to be a fantastic demonstration of athleticism and skill.
My presentation is the first night of the extravaganza and I'm honored to be asked to present. Other speakers include Adrian Ballinger one of 70 IFMGA/AMGA certified guide with multiple 8,000 meter peak ascents, Ueli Steck - famous Swiss mountaineer with his most recent accomplishment of a solo ascent up the south face of Annapurna, and Aaron Mulkey an adventurous ice climber and kayaker in Wyoming and surrounding areas. I'm so excited to meet Ueli Steck especially, but the line up of presenters looks awesome!
Not only am I presenting at the ice festival, but I'm talking to the local high school Friday morning. Asolo offers a scholarship to a graduating senior who plans to continue their education in some sort of outdoor focused area. I'm not sure if I'm more excited to present to the athletes or the students. I feel like I could have a bigger impact on the students in getting them engaged in the outdoors whereas the athletes have already realized how special the mountains are.
After the festival ends on Sunday, I'm flying back to Maine so that I can go to school the following Monday. Even though I'm missing the first week of classes, Aconcagua and the opportunity to present as an event as big as the Ouray Ice Fest are 100% worth it.
Here's a link to the Schedule of Events for the ice festival: