Kelly Cordes and Masatoshi Kuriaki share their inspiration. "High Alaska, the classic from Jonathan Waterman, started it all for me. But different writings have influenced me in different ways at different times. For me, influence has come from photos, words and people."
There are over a hundred lines in the Ouray Ice Park, but—if you're actually looking to climb—any veteran's recommendation is: "Wake up at 6 a.m., claim a line, and lap it all day. Best of luck." Yet competition morning, January 12th, was different, if only for a few minutes.
"It may sound strange, but it was as though a period of my life was ending this spring. At first I was grieving for the past and very lost, but eventually I had to learn how to let go, and I entered a new life."
There are a multitude of reasons we climb—more often than not they are expressed in pithy, sound-bite phrases like Mallory's "Because it's there." Within, Mike Robertson offers a reason more satisfying.
When contemplating a climbing trip from a US mountain town, several important factors come to mind: blue—even turquoise—water, cultural experiences and a European location where the dollar isn't drowned by the Euro.