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The Weber State University Outdoor Program and Gear:30, a local outdoor equipment store, will host the seventh annual Ogden Climbing Festival on April 10-12. The majority of the events will take place Saturday at the Lower Ogden Boulder Field located at the top of Lake Street in Ogden. The rest of the events, including the opening and closing of the festival, will be held at Gear:30 and the Weber Rocks section of the Swenson Gym complex.
The festival’s focus is to educate new climbers, and promote and celebrate rock climbing within the Ogden community.
To kick off the event Thursday night, Nathan Smith, a climbing enthusiast tagged by Rock and Ice Magazine as one of the “world’s most renowned climbing photographers,” presented a slideshow at Gear:30, sharing his experiences climbing in Mongolia.
“Photography isn’t just about taking photos; it’s about capturing the moment and making it feel real,” Smith said. “I want to make people feel like they’re a part of the photograph but, more important, have the desire to get out there and be a part of nature.”
Smith said a big reason why he went to Mongolia wasn’t just to take photos, but to climb the boulders and have a good time with his friends.
Friday evening will include two events at the Weber Rocks Climbing Wall: a free gear demo and the Collegiate Boulder Championship, a new event in the festival.
The demo will give climbers the opportunity to check out new gear and learn how to use it. Children will also be able to learn how to climb at the demo in a controlled environment.
The Collegiate Boulder Championship is a competition that involves four of the Wasatch Front’s best college climbing athletes, who will compete for a $250 cash prize sponsored by Young Subaru.
Mike Henderson, assistant coordinator for the WSU Outdoor Program, said he is excited for the championship because he believes it will attract more climbing enthusiasts to Ogden.
“Ogden is a unique area with really, really good climbing,” Henderson said. “We want people to know that and to come out and have a great time.”
The Red Point Boulder Competition on Saturday, followed by a free lunch and climbing clinics, will lead up to the festival’s keynote speech by Obe Carrion.
Carrion, a 24-year veteran of climbing who has starred in several films by Big UP Productions, will share his experiences competing as a professional climber, as well as what led him to become a coach for young competitors. His speech will take place in the Amer Sports Theater at 8:30 p.m.
Brandon Long, Gear:30’s marketing director, said the purpose of the festival is to bring outdoor and nature enthusiasts together.
“Rock climbing isn’t just for enthusiasts. It’s for whoever enjoys the outdoors,” Long said. “The festival is the perfect time to try rock climbing or advance your skills to the next level.”
The festival will end with an after party hosted by Gear:30, with free food and drinks provided by Roosters Brewing Company.
More information is available at Weber.edu/outdoor.