Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dirt Fest

Chris Guyer climbing "Beckey's Crack".

The Dirt Fest (a local outdoor bouldering competition in Billings, MT) just occured. I had always wanted to boulder in the competition but for some reason I could never make the event, this year was my first time at the competition and I must say it was worth it. The sandstone climbing is high in fun factor, the event is really low key and friendly, and the hosts (the local climbing gym - Steepworld) are fantastic.

I grew up climbing these same sandstone blocks while in High School and I was always saddened by the trash in the area. It comes down to decades of abuse by careless beer drinkers- shattered glass. The area (Zimmerman Park) is now regulated so no partys can occure thus the park is much cleaner. Well anyway, Erik Hayes (who also grew up climbing on the Billings rims) and I got to talking about how we needed to organize a clean-up day. We thought that the Dirt Fest would be a perfect opportunity to try a little stewardship. Jim Rott and Chris Guyer (from Steepworld) jumped at the idea. La Sportiva gave us a shoe certificate to award the garbage clean up winner, which was awesome! It's a great way to win a free pair of shoes independently of how hard one climbs.

We passed out trash bags to the participants and most every one who climbed collected garbage! It was awesome! The winner, Ryan, won by collecting pieces of glass all day long, by the end of the day his garbage bags weighed more than him!

Ryan (the winner of the clean up). You can't fake excitement like this!

It was an awesome time, thanks again to Steepworld and La Sportiva!

Cheers, Loren

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