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1st Annual Forks Fest 2012!

Posted on: October 30th, 2012 by Western Region

A great first year for the Forks Fest!

by AAC Member Chris Tatum.  Reposted from FlagstaffClimbing.com

Forks Fest

The Prow at Paradise Forks

You never know how a “first annual” event is going to go. Will anyone show up? Will folks enjoy themselves? Will the weather hold? etc.

This first annual Forks Fest event was awesome. I feel like it blew everyone’s expectations away. We had splitter blue skies with crisp mornings, a great turn out of psyched climbers and of course, amazing rock climbing.

Paradise Forks has some of the best crack climbing in Northern Arizona. People travel from all over to test themselves on the steep, relentless splitters. It is also one of the most intimidating climbing areas in Northern Arizona, which made it awesome to see so many climbers that had never been to Paradise Forks show up and have a great time! Flagstaff Climbing Guides had a hand in making that happen by putting on a few clinics throughout the weekend. Megan Massey put on a Women Only Crack Climbing Clinic and had a huge turn out on Saturday. There was a wide range of experience in the group but they climbed together in a supportive and fun environment. I had to sit on the canyon rim during the clinic (mostly because I am not a woman) and was so happy to hear almost non-stop laughter floating up from the canyon. It really seemed to go well and I saw nothing but smiles as the ladies topped out the Pillow Wall after the clinic.

I got to spend my afternoon teaching a clinic on anchor efficiency over near the Yogi Cracks. I had a great crew with a wide range of experience levels, one climber had been climbing for 30+ years and one for only 2 months! It just goes to show that we can always learn something new, no matter how long we have been at it. I feel like everyone got something out of the clinic and I must say, it’s teaching clinics like this one that really keeps me in love with my job!

After the clinics it was time for the party. The bon fire got started and the beer started flowing and nothing but good vibes spread. A hilarious crate stacking competition, a delicious pig roast and lots of fun awards got the night going. Just after dark Paul Davidson, a local climbing hero, put on a phenomenal slideshow with classic photos of the “old guard” crushing back in the day. The slideshow was heavy on history of our local community, something that we should not forget. I just hope the younger crowd will continue to pass down the good vibes and ethics that have made The Forks the area it is still today.

All in all, I think the weekend couldn’t have gone better. A big thanks to the Gnarbarians, especially Angela Mabe, for the hard work planning and preparing for this event. Next year will be even better! Thanks Flagstaff for being the best climbing community in the U.S. to be a part of!

Chris Tatum

Flagstaff Climbing Guides

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