Frenchman Mercier Wins Ouray Comp

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After dropping one of his tools, Will Mayo from Vermont gamely tries to muscle up one of the dangling logs near the top of the competition route at the Ouray Ice Festival. Mayo was the top U.S. finisher in Ouray, in eighth place. Photo by William Woody.

After dropping one of his tools, Will Mayo from Vermont gamely tries to muscle up one of the dangling logs near the top of the competition route at the Ouray Ice Festival. Mayo was the top U.S. finisher in Ouray, in eighth place. Photo by William Woody.

Jeff Mercier from France won the mixed-climbing comp at the 13th Ouray Ice Festival in southwestern Colorado. Mercier tossed a four-foot dyno to snag the top of the overhanging, plywood “diving board” projecting from the rim of the Uncompahgre Gorge and complete the only flash of the climb. Runner-up Ines Papert from Germany, a three-time winner at Ouray, spent several minutes at the final bolt-on hold, attempting figure-four moves to reach the top, before coming up just short on her own dyno.

The finals on Saturday, January 13, presented a mixed-climbing extravaganza featuring ice climbing to a long bolted rock climb, followed by wild moves between two vertically hanging wooden logs, and finally the diving board. The final followed a two-day preliminary round that winnowed a field of more than 40 with a cool traversing route on and under a curtain of hanging icicles.

The international allure of the Ouray Ice Festival was readily apparent, as 12 of the 17 finalists in the comp hailed from outside the United States. (Five of the 17 also were women, including Papert in second and Canada’s Audrey Gariepy in seventh.) The top U.S. finisher was Will Mayo, in eighth place.

Results

  1. Jeff Mercier (FRA)

  2. Ines Papert (GER)

  3. Evgeny Krivosheitsev (UKR)

  4. Boris Bihler (FRA)

  5. Carlos Carcia Bello (SPA)

Date of Event: January 9-13, 2008

Sources:Ourayicefestival.com, Montrosepress.com, Alpinist.com

View 23 photos of the competition and after party by John Evans

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