20100219

The SoCal Retailers' Ice Demo - Lee Vining Canyon

2010 02 17 & 18.  The shop employees of Southern California get to climb some incredible rock.  Joshua Tree, and the Needles are less than a half day drive, and the Valley, Eastern Sierra, and Red Rocks are all within a day.

But winter sports are a little harder.  The skiing surrounding Orange and San Diego Counties is, well, wanting a little bit: wanting for acreage, terrain, and snow.  Of course, Mammoth and June Mountains are only 6-8 hours away, but seriously - if you had only 2 days off and a minimum wage job, would you:
  1. participate in a year round sport with a one-time investment in gear like surfing or  bouldering, or;
  2. buy a season pass annually at an over-priced ski area, or;
  3. buy lots of gear for to climb frozen water at a few published locations in California when the conditions are just right.
Hmmm.  Not a hard decision.  Still the sales reps for the ice climbing gear companies know that shop employees who can speak with some experience and a lot of passion for the sport will sell more product then those who pull on pebbles all winter instead.  So they host an ice climbing demo for the SoCal shops, an opportunity to come up and use the latest tools, crampons and boots.  I came along with Sierra Mountain Center for safety management.

Raphael Slawinski, a wicked hard ice climber, physics professor, and Arcteryx athlete, joined us to add to the stoke and gave a kick-ass (and ass-kicking) slide show of climbing mixed and pure ice in the Canadian Rockies and, of all places, Pakistan.

It was a great two days, and I'll show photos of them to you once I find the cable to my camera, lost somewhere in the backseat of the Subaru.  Until then - Cheers!

2010 02 25 - Finally found that cable - accidentally left back in Lake Tahoe.  So here are the photos!