Black Diamond Equipment, a leading global climbing and freeride ski brand, is proud to announce the recent achievements of their athlete team at the 16th Annual Ouray Ice Festival and as recipients of the Mugs Stump Award for 2011.
At Ouray, the most notable performance belonged to Josh Wharton, who just returned from a serious back injury, as he crushed the men’s field and became the first person to be a “three peat” champion at North America’s most prestigious ice festival.
“What an incredible showing from Josh at Ouray,” exclaims TJ Kolanko, Black Diamond’s Grassroots Marketing Coordinator. "He topped out nearly six minutes faster than the second place finisher. From the start of the climb through the cruxy, dry roof section near the top, his confidence and determination shined as he cruised the difficult 25-bolt mixed route. It was an awe inspiring performance."
In addition to Wharton’s victory, Black Diamond athletes graced the men’s field by placing in three of the top four places respectively. Whit Magro, known for his impressive solo ascents, Himalayan expeditions and difficult free climbs, finished in third place. Salt Lake’s own, Kyle Dempster, who was awarded the 2010 Piolet d’Or for his Xuelian West climb, finished in fourth place.
As in past years, Black Diamond athlete and Ouray local, Vince Anderson, served as the competition course setter for the event. Debuting a new format this year, climbers were allowed 20 minutes to complete the route. When time ran out they were lowered and scored according to their highest controlled point. Normally, competitors are only allowed to preview the route from the top of the gorge when no one is climbing it. This year, given the difficulties, they were each given 30 minutes to climb the day before the competition.
Not to be overshadowed, Black Diamond athlete, Dawn Glanc rounded out the impressive showing from the Black Diamond team by winning the mixed climbing competition for women. Zoe Hart, who was competing in her fourth Ouray competition, placed fourth in the women’s field.
The wave of positive news continued for Team BD as the Mugs Stump Award winners were announced last Sunday, with four of the top five teams affiliated with Black Diamond. The prestigious award was created in 1993 in memory of Mugs Stump, one of North America's most prolific and visionary climbers.
“BD athletes are on a roll in 2011,” stated Kolanko. “Four out of the top six finishers at Ouray were using BD Fusions! And now the Mugs Stump news! It’s been an incredible week for us.”