Hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts gathered on Thursday to participate in a climbing gear demonstration as part of the 8th annual Ogden Climbing Festival.
Held at the Weber Rocks Climbing Gym, the demo focused on introducing both climbers and non-climbers to equipment from a variety of manufactures.
The demo was the first event within the three-day festival, which was put on by Weber State’s Campus Recreation Outdoor Program, The Front Climbing Club and Gear:30.
“People can come and borrow shoes and harnesses and test the stuff out,” said WSU outdoor program coordinator, Daniel Turner. “People can try on what they like, and if it doesn’t work for them, they go and try something else.”
Turner emphasized that the demo is not just for seasoned climbers but for all experience levels.
“We cater to anybody, the whole experience spectrum,” Turner said. “It is all about enjoying the sport of climbing, for the first time for some and for others to which climbing is second nature.”
Gear:30, an Ogden-based mountain equipment retailer, also helped to organize the demo and festival. Gear:30 has been involved with the festival for the past three years.
“The event’s response this year has been unprecedented, and we’ve all enjoyed it,” said Gear:30 representative Otto Poulson. “It has always been our goal to connect with the community and connect the community with the outdoors.”
Front Climbing Club assistant manager Reid Woolsey described his participation within the event.
“We got together with Weber State and Gear:30 to try and expand this event because it has been smaller the last few years,” Woolsey said. “We all worked to coordinate the events and to get the sponsors together.”
This is the first year that The Front Climbing Club has been involved in the planning of the demo and festival, something that Woolsey was very enthusiastic about.
“Working with Weber State and Gear:30 has been awesome,” Woolsey said. “The climbing industry is growing rapidly right now, and it’s great to have such a large outdoor community to put on this event.”
Although the majority of the events participants were from Utah, some traveled from other states to join the festival.
One such participant was Matthew Hopkins, a student from Colorado State University.
Hopkins, who describes himself as a novice climber, said that he and other CSU students came to the festival as a networking opportunity to meet other climbers.
“I absolutely love the outdoors but am pretty new to climbing,” Hopkins said. “I want to meet people and learn from them and possibly go climbing with them someday.”
The Ogden Climbing Festival is an annual event and is always held during the second weekend of April.
Anyone who is interested in the WSU Outdoor Program and its activities can visit weber.edu/outdoor for more information.