X Games Ice Climbing
'97 Ouray Ice Festival
Cruising the Zodiac
Chamonix: To Climb
or Not to Climb
Twight's New Route
Oregon's Smith Rock
1999 Ouray Ice Festival: Ouray, Colorado
In Saturday's second annual ice exhibition both men and women competed on a route of pure ice and pre-fabricated mixed rock. At stake, a week's vacation for two in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, which inspired a fierce competition.
Will Gadd, fresh from his Thursday victory in the men's difficulty ice climbing competition at the X Games, climbed past the sixth clip on the men's mixed route, "Titanic", M9, and made the highest mark among his 12 competitors. Figure fours, heel hooks, and a lot of spectacular falls left the rest of the men disappointed.
On the pure ice route, it was Bruno Sourzac of France who dominated the competition. Scoring 73 out of 100 points, Bruno ascended a fragile overhanging ice curtain with grace and efficiency while the spectators were shaking their heads. Although he fell low on the difficulty route, Sourzac won the overall event and is now dreaming about Cabo, where the only ice will be a sculpture in the punch bowl.
On Sunday, just a day after the X Games, Lizz Grenard, who took 9th there, and X Games champ Kim Csizmazia, dominated the women's mixed route. Grenard went up to the ice curtain and with just three minutes left fell just short of the top with a 25 foot whipper!
Csizmazia climbed strong. A figure four in the middle of the route put her on the ice curtain, but she ran out of time just a few minutes before reaching the top. She was the only woman to finish the route and thus became the 1998 overall winner.
Jared Ogden, Mountain Zone Correspondent