Climbing Colorado Ice, French Style

Why settle for a plain, old first place in a speed comp if you could do it in your underwear? Simon Duverney, an OR athlete and guide from Grenoble, France, didn't seem to think twice about it at this year's Ouray Ice Festival. He took first in the Hari Berger Speed Climbing Comp, and second in the elite mixed climbing comp. And just for good measure, he put up a new route in Telluride on the way.

"Just to explain, during the rules meeting they told us that we could get a time bonus if we climb in underwear," Simon says. "But it was a joke!"

Here is Simon's beta for the FA next to Bridal Veil Falls:

"We had been lucky because this line doesn't form very often. Apparently it appeared because of some modifications of the electric center above the falls.

"The line is obvious from the bottom, but take care—it's more complicated than it looks. Packing the gear, we did the classic 'guides climbing together' mistake: too much confidence. We arrived at the bottom with two sets of cams, but no no. 3 ... 'It's too heavy, the no. 3.' Even if the difficult pitch is the first one. We had some pitons, but no hammer. 'It will be ok,' ... hammering with an Petzl ergo ice axe... Wrong!

"Anyway here is the beta, have fun!"