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Annual Climbing Festival Slated for April

Apr 07, 2016 03:38PM ● Published by Rachel Hall

By Rachel Hall | r.hall@mycityjournals.com

Ogden - Outdoor enthusiasts will convene in Ogden come rain or shine for the ninth annual climbing festival scheduled for April 8 - 9. The Petzl Ogden Climbing Festival presented by Osprey (OCF9) and supported by the outdoor program at Weber State University, GEAR:30 and the Front Climbing Club aims to bring together climbers of all abilities.

“We tried to keep it as inexpensive as possible so that anybody who is curious about learning about climbing will come,” GEAR:30 manager Greg Reynolds said. “We are trying to introduce new people to climbing, but we’re also trying to educate people.”

The two-day event features keynote presentations from Mike Libecki and Alex Puccio on Friday, April 8 beginning at 7 p.m. at the WSU Shepherd Union Building Wildcat Theater. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Libecki will present about a few of his expeditions, including stories about Africa, Greenland, Antarctica and the Marquesas Islands. Puccio will discuss her climbing experiences, including what it is like to be the only woman to ever climb multiple V14s.

The event continues on Saturday, April 9, with educational clinics offered from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“These clinics have something for everybody, and they’re all free,” Daniel Turner, outdoor program coordinator for WSU, said. “The Ogden climbing festival is family friendly. There are activities for every age group and every ability.”

Those who may feel intimidated by a sport such as climbing can rest assured that others at the event may have felt the same way at one point in time.

“A lot of people are intimated by rock climbing. It seems like a really extreme sport,” Reynolds said. “For people who have been curious about rock climbing, this festival is probably one of the best ways to get involved. The atmosphere is very friendly and open. There are a lot of people there who are new.”

The festival allows sponsors to not only connect with the community but to educate people on the gear they need and the techniques that will keep them safe on a climb, according to Reynolds.

“Our goal is to offer outdoor products at good prices and be as knowledgeable and as helpful as we possibly can,” Reynolds said about GEAR:30 participating in the climbing festival, as well as services offered at the store regularly. “It’s a very safe sport. It’s very rare people are killed or injured when using the proper gear and techniques.”

The free event is made possible because of generous sponsors such as Petzl and several others who stepped up to financially back the event, according to Reynolds.

“I think this is a festival that will last for decades,” Reynolds said. “This festival is one of the best opportunities throughout the year to introduce climbing. There are also plenty of opportunities to just hang out and talk to fellow outdoor enthusiasts.”

It is not uncommon for visitors to the festival to develop a new-found passion for climbing. The event also offers a way for residents to support the community in return.

“We want to continue to help people become educated and help people develop lifelong pursuits,” Turner said. “By supporting the event, you are supporting a number of local vendors and retailers.”

The climbing culture has a rich tradition in Odgen, according to Turner, who sees the annual climbing festival as an eye-opening experience and valuable education for interested individuals.

Pre-registration can be completed at the keynote presentation on April 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Weber State University’s Wildcat Theater. Onsite registration can be done at the Saint Joseph High School parking lot, located at 1790 Lake Street in Ogden, 30 minutes before a clinic begins. All clinic registrations are first-come, first-served.

For more information about the climbing festival, visit www.weber.edu/ogdenclimbingfestival or search for “Ogden Climbing Festival” on Facebook. 

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