Cassar Jewelers ClimbFest 2008: Recap and Award Recipients

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Lynn Hill gets a quick session in at the boulders during ClimbFest 2008. Photo by Devaki Murch.


Ogden, Utah, April 3-19, 2008 — Ogden Climbing Parks is proud to announce the recipients of the Cassar Jewelers ClimbFest 2008 of the Mountain Adventure literature and art awards. The annual ClimbFest event brings together artists and authors to share their passion for the mountains through art and literature with the local Ogden Community. Jeff Lowe and Ogden Climbing Parks hosted guests Pat Ament, Lynn Hill, John Bachar, Warren Macdonald, Pete Takeda, Dick Dorworth, Jeff Long and others for a weekend of celebration of Mountain Adventure. CLICK HERE to see a photo gallery from the event

Climbers gathered together with community leaders in Ogdens’ Union Station on Friday night for the dinner and awards ceremony with guest speaker, Dick Dorworth reading from his book, Night Driving. Saturday offered a glorious day of bouldering under blue bird skies for Ogden locals joined by climbers, Lynn Hill, Dick Dorworth, Ron Olevsky, John Bachar, Pete Takeda, Warren Macdonald, Pat Ament and Jim McCarthy. The day began with a clean up of the 26th street boulders and went on through the afternoon with climbers scouting out climbs and problems in the crags above Ogden. Saturday evening brought presentations by acclaimed authors John Bachar, Jeff Long, Dick Dorworth, Pat Ament, Warren Macdonald and Jennifer Jordan in the historic Eccles Community Art Center. The full collection of artwork and photography was presented in the beautiful Victorian home and offered an intimate setting for climbers to speak to the artists and authors about their work.

In every area of human striving, there are certain people who through the course of their vision, personality, and creative acts influence the evolutionary arc of that endeavor. In the realm of mountain adventure, Jeff Lowe and Ogden Climbing Parks has created a special award, the LifeCimb Achievement Award. The 2008 recipients of the LifeCimb Achievement Awards are Lynn Hill, John Bachar, Warren Macdonald and Pat Ament for their passion and contribution to the past, present and future of climbing.

Jutst a few of the fine works of art and photography at ClimbFest 2008. Photo by Devaki Murch.


Jeff Lowe and Ogden Climbing Parks would like to thank the sponsors, contributing artists, authors, and the Ogden community for making this wonderful event a success.

Ogden Climbing Parks, established in 2004, has a mission to promote the joys of climbing as well as secure access to and preserve the environment of the mountains and cliffs. Current major initiatives being undertaken by the staff of OCP include the design and planned erection of the world’s first year-round, refrigerated, freestanding ice climbing facility in the center of downtown Ogden. In September of 2008, the second edition of Utah’s High Adventure Mountain Film Festival will be held at the beautifully restored Peery Egyptian Theater, and the adjacent David Eccles Conference Center. OCP has begun to train instructors under the auspices of the American Mountain Guides Association. Once training is complete, these instructors will work with children within the Ogden and Weber County school districts, underserved members of the community, and interested adults to allow them to safely experience climbing in both indoor and outdoor venues.

Please contact Jeff Lowe at Ogden Climbing Parks for more information 801-392-9181

The 2008 ClimbFest team


Cassar ClimbFest 2008 Literature and Art Award Recipients:

  • Best Short Story – Non Fiction: Jock Glidden for a chapter from his unpublished memoirs which conveys the experience of the three most memorable climbs of his long and distinguished career.

  • Best Short Story – Fiction: Dingus Milktoast for “Juxtaposition” which illustrates the classic theme of the redemptive power of climbing.

  • Best Non-Fiction Book: Dick Dorworth – Night Driving- Invention of the Wheel & Other Blues is a splendid record of one man’s personal journey through the backroads and mountain ranges of the world; woven into the history of a wildly experimental, consciousness-expanding era.

  • Part Edward Abbey; part Jack Kerouac; part Thomas Wolfe; part Hunter S. Thompson; Night Driving establishes Dorworth as THE “beat” writer of the mountain community and he may well go down in history as the Godfather of the modern road trip.

  • Best Fiction Book:Jeff Long The Wall – The wall continues Jeff Long’s decades old exploration of some of the deeper and more unsettling aspects of climbing. “Great mountain tales can take you to the edge of destruction, and that’s where things start to get interesting,” says Long, “because one thing I’ve learned on expeditions and climbs is that there’s nothing like the brink of the abyss to bring out the angels and demons…. In The Wall I wanted to weave a few of these dangers together into a sort of a Gordian knot, one that couldn’t be neatly untied, only cut.”

  • Best Guide Book: Jerry Handren – Red Rocks Guide Book- This guide is a prime example of the new generation of guide books. It covers an important climbing area and is beautifully illustrated with accurate photos, route drawings and topos.

  • Best Poetry and the Lifetime Literary Achievement Award:Pat Ament – “ Light is sound” a compelling poem that uses the vertical landscape to reveal the discovery that the climber, like the rock he climbs on, is all the same quiet structure.

  • Best of Festival Book:Pete Takeda – “An Eye At The Top Of The World” Part CIA spy novel, part personal journal, all mixed with lots of great climbing action, creates a totally absorbing reading experience. **

  • Best Painting or Drawing: Leighan Falley- oil on canvas- “Skier”. Artful rendition of an extreme skier leaping boldly into the void.

  • Best Photograph:Nathan Smith -“Ice Climbing in Idaho”. This photograph captures all the drama, energy and beauty of the ice climber’s winter landscape.

  • Best of Festival Art and Photography: Ammon McNeelly – “Incoming Storm”

  • Ammons’ wild and brightly colored brush stokes somehow evoke the urgent energy climbers feel when they see a violent weather front approaching.

  • Peoples Choice award visual arts:Corey Rich – “Beth and Tommy”. Beth Rodden calmly reads her book as her husband, Tommy Caldwell peers nervously off the couples portaledge bivouac high on El Capitan. Featured in Corey Rich’s book My Favorite Place.


** An Eye at the Top of the World tells the tale of the Cold War CIA, who with cooperation of the Indian Government trained the world’s best mountaineers to spy on China using a transceiver powered by a plutonium battery. The battery held four pounds of alloyed plutonium-238 and plutonium-239. The device was lost in 1966 – avalanched into a glacier at the base of a legendary mountain called Nanda Devi.

The glacier is the source of the Ganges River. Pete first heard this legend as a campfire yarn while living in Yosemite Valley in the 1980’s. Over the years the fable turned out to be fact. He then quit his day job and spent three years researching and writing An Eye at the Top of the World. In 2005, Takeda and three others traveled to the mythic Indian Himalayas to retrace the steps of the CIA expeditions – nearly losing their lives in attempting to unravel the mystery.

CLICK HERE to see a photo gallery from the event

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