Ouray: 2010 Ice Festival recap

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From The Durango Herald (Chuck Slothower):

[Dawn] Glanc was one of 24 competitors at the 15th annual Ouray Ice Festival. Climbers descend into deep ravines and slowly climb up, using ice axes and crampons. Every competitor climbs the same route, about 100 feet up a wall of ice. Climbers have 20 minutes to advance as far as they can. “The goal is to get to the top,” Glanc said. “Not everybody does.”

As the climbers methodically worked their way up masses of icicles in Ouray’s Box Canyon, fans watching from bridges cheered them on. Besides the competitions, the ice festival hosted children’s and adult ice-climbing clinics, 50 vendors’ tents and an estimated 5,000 spectators. Live music, a film and a superhero party were scheduled for Saturday night…

“This is the biggest and best ice festival that’s held in the United States,” said Glanc. “All the other ice festivals try to be like this one.” The crowds of novices far outnumbered the competitors…

Josh Wharton of Rifle repeated Saturday as men’s champion. Ines Papert of Germany won the women’s division. As for Glanc, she did not repeat as champion but finished in third place in the women’s competition. “That’s pretty darn good,” she said. “I’m pretty happy with that.”

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