Well, I have to say that it was frigid, windy, and fun. The first two descriptors in that sentence don’t necessarily go with the last one, haha! I found the pull-out off of Delmoe Road just fine. I drove over toward the sponsor tent and pulled up alongside it to make sure that was where I was supposed to be. There stood Conrad Anker, a tall friendly climbing legend that gladly shook my hand and actually remembered my name later on! This was the place! I parked close at first, so that I could visit with Mack & Michelle and Dillon, who were all camped right next to the competition registration tent. Later, as it got busier, I unloaded my gear and parked farther away from the main event. Michelle had a cold, which I’m pretty sure I caught, judging by this morning’s symptoms, haha! I’m about due for one. I hung out with them and we got registered and snagged T-shirts and stickers and maps, etc. Our names were all entered for the raffle to be held at the end of the day.
Competition time came. I made my way down the ATV trail and caught up with Dillon, Mack, and Michelle as they got to the Heart of Darkness boulders in the Trailer Bouldering area. I couldn’t warm up. I decided to try out my GoPro Hero 6 Black instead. I haven’t checked the footage yet, but I got enough that I should be able to tell what kind of qualities it has. That’s a project for later today. After a while, I was standing in a choice patch of sunlight and was still so cold with the wind that I couldn’t think. I left my crash pad with Mack, Michelle, and Dillon, and headed back to my truck. I threw my heavy, wind-blocking puffy coat on over my Mammut insulating layer, which was over top of my long-sleeved T-shirt, which was over top of my regular T-shirt. The sherpa sweater that I had worn for my heavy layer did nothing to stop the wind and its icy bite out amidst the boulders in the woods. The snow on the ground was an indication of the temperature averages that the area had had over the last few days. I sat in my truck, in the sunshine, with all of my layers on, heater on full-blast, trying desperately to warm up. It took a long time and never fully took hold until I crawled into bed at the hotel after a hot shower last night. I sat bundled up in the sunshine in my truck for most of the day, going up the road occasionally to use the facilities.
I ran into Denise and Mike, whom I had met at Spire one day, and visited with them for a bit until Dillon, Mack, and Michelle returned. While eating a grilled cheeseburger, I talked to Conrad Anker and he invited me to join him and a group of Vets ice climbing in Hyalite Canyon soon. I told him I was honored to meet him. The scorecards were reviewed and it was time to announce the winners. Mack and Michelle both took second place in their respective classes, and Michelle gave me her cap, since she and Mack had both won one. My name got called for the raffle and I grabbed the coveted updated, all-in-one climbing guide to the area we were in (outside Butte up around the Pipestone exit and Homestake Pass). Michelle grabbed a climbing guide to Paradise Valley and gave it to me. I was in heaven! Guidebooks are like gold to me!!! I headed back to the hotel, took a hot shower, and crawled under the covers to get warm. The alarm woke me at 0500 hrs this morning.