Big times at local climbing competition

Competitors work on routes during Saturday's competition at The Edge Climbing and Fitness gym. (Photo courtesy of The Edge Climbing and Fitness)

I spoke with the owner of The Edge Climbing and Fitness gym the middle of last week about his upcoming climbing competition to be held Saturday. He was confident of a good turnout.

“We have 52 people signed up to compete,” Ammon Hartner said. “We’ll probably have some more sign up the day of the competition.”

When I showed up Saturday to help out, the place was slammed.

One worker said 90 signed up for the kids competition in the morning and 90 more had signed up for the open/adults competition in the afternoon-evening hours.

Partway through the adult competition — I was helping belay lead climbers — a man from Bozeman, Mont., told me that since several climbers from Idaho Falls had driven up to support their recent competition, they wanted to come down and support the Idaho Falls competition. And support it they did.

Dozens drove down from Bozeman — bringing some of their big guns. A large contingent also drove up from Utah — also bringing several hot shot climbers. The finals were dominated by these climbers and the finals routes had to be adjusted to become more challenging to determine the winners.

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I also managed to get up early Saturday and take my first serious bike ride outside.

I have been riding my bike to work and back, but this was my first test of my refurbished “Frankenbike” — a ride cobbled together from various parts.

I spent a bit of cash on new wheels and new components to get the bike running a bit smoother. I have no delusions of becoming Mr. Speed, but since the wheels needed replacing, I decided to update a few other things on the bike. I’m definitely happy with the results, but the jury is still out on whether I’ll be any faster.

Saturday’s wind took some of the fun out of my new ride.

My hope is that the weather will start cooperating for some outdoor adventures in the next few weekends.

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On the subject bike rides, there are a couple of interesting rides coming up to encourage people to get on their bikes. The first one is the Angry Horse Gravel Race, set for June 2. This ride/race will follow dirt/gravel roads in the Bone area. There are a variety of distances offered — 10, 25, 45 and 82 miles — with feed stations along the way. Proceeds will go to A Little Piece of Heaven Horse Rescue in American Falls.

Because this is one of those homegrown events, I think it’s good to lend our support. Go to for information.

The second event I hope to join is Around the Rock, a 155-mile ride around the Teton Range starting and ending in Victor. This ride is 50 percent on dirt/gravel and 50 percent on pavement. The ride starts out early in the morning and goes clockwise up toward Ashton across the Flagg Ranch Road to Flagg Ranch, then south toward Jackson, Wyo., then over Teton Pass back to Victor. Some people plan on splitting the ride in half and spending the night at Flagg Ranch or there about.

The ride (it’s not a race) is self-supported and put on by Fitzgerald’s Bicycles in Victor. Go to Facebook and search for Around the Rock 2018 for more information.

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Kris Millgate and the Teton Land Trust are putting on a program titled “Stories From the Wild, Films and Conversation with Outdoor Journalist Kris Millgate.” The free program starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Colonial Theater.

Millgate will share stories and films — including the premiere of her newest film. You can also pre-order her new book at the show: “My Place Among Men, outdoor expeditions with a smudge of awkward.”

It should be a fun night for folks interested in the outdoors.