CLIMP UP! 2010 Gathers Climbers in the Great Lakes
This fall the Great Lakes Section of the American Alpine Club hosted: CLIMB UP! The four day event was organized for our section members to gather, climb, socialize and celebrate another year of adventure. The event took place on the south shore of Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan.
On Thursday, September 30th the film 180 Degrees South was presented on the campus of Northern Michigan University. The film follows adventurer Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. Along the way he gets shipwrecked off Easter Island, surfs the longest wave of his life and prepares himself for a rare ascent of Cerro Corcovado. Jeff’s life turns when he meets up in a rainy hut with Chouinard and Tompkins who, once driven purely by a love of climbing and surfing, now value above all the experience of raw nature and have come to Patagonia to help use their influence to help protect it.
On Friday, October 1st Mark Wilford presented “Climbing: A Forty Year Perspective.” The show took participants on a whirlwind tour of many classic climbing areas around the world. The audience was amazed and thrilled as Mark recounted some of his biggest adventures. The South Superior Climbing Club and Down Wind Sports were co-hosts for the film and slide show. Both the film and Mark’s show were well attended by club members and the University body as well.
On Saturday, October 2nd the crew headed to the local crag, The AAA Wall, for climbing and camping. The climbers were greeted with steel grey skies and freezing cold rain. Not to be shut out the climbers participated in Slack Lining, a Crate Stacking Competition, Aid Climbing, and really good camp fire discussions. Fortunately, the skies cleared and everyone hopped on a few routes to finish off the day. At the AAC BBQ party, brats were grilled (a midwest staple) and it was a great opportunity for climbers to socialize and network. The first edition of the Marquette County Rock Climbing Guide was released at the party!
On Sunday, October 3rd the weather was stunning and everyone woke after a long night and hit the crag! Half of the group stayed and worked projects and demo’ed shoes at the AAA Wall while the others ventured off to the Secret Crag to develop a new route.
Soon the snow will be falling and we will trade in our rock shoes for ice climbing boots and crampons. This weekend was a fantastic opportunity to meet fellow climbers and to work on issues that involve our climbing community. Year one of CLIMB UP! Is in the books and we are eagerly waiting when we can all meet again- thanks to the American Alpine Club!
Follow us on Facebook to see photos of the event or to learn what else is happening at the Great Lakes Section of the American Alpine Club.
- Bill Thompson
Section Chair- AAC Great Lakes Section
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