Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Portland Ice Festival Recap

Saturday night was the 2nd Annual Portland Ice Festival at Portland Rock Gym. Hubby and I decided to make a date night out of the evening.

We ate dinner at Doug Fir, a trendy restaurant suggested by the Climbing Cutie. The atmosphere has a definite hispter feel and it seems you must have a certain cool factor (plus body piercings, tattoos or bold hair) to work there. We were there early enough that our lack of coolness didn't matter.

We ordered the Tempura onion rings for an appetizer. Don't know about you, but Tempura conjures up images of light batter to me. These onion rings, however, were more like donuts with an onion inside. We nicknamed them o-nuts though there was plenty of dough to be had. Not that they weren't tasty, they were, though a tad heavy on the salt.

I ordered the Hawthorne Pasta and hubby ordered the Meat Loaf. Both were yummy, but the salt from the onion rings seemed to have made everything we ate too salty. We bumped into one of my climbing forum buds and his wife on the way out. They ordered the trout and the chicken special and loved them. Not salty.

After dinner we walked up the street to the Portland Rock Gym. The preliminary dry ice climbing competition was underway. See the picture if you have no idea what I'm talking about. I'd never seen anything like this. Using ice axes instead of your hands, you climb up a wall. It requires a tremendous amount of upper body strength, a lot more than regular climbing.

People sat around watching the competitors. I was hoping to meet climbers from the forum I belong to so started walking around in the crowd asking if they belonged to the website. I got a few puzzled looks, but did find a few people. It was fun putting faces with names and taking their picture. I saw a couple of the people I'd climbed with at Rocky Butte. This picture is me with one of them. I also bumped into a couple guys I'd met at a get together in the spring. They remembered me, or maybe what they really remembered was the picture taking soccer mom. Either way, it was nice to see them again.

Besides climbing, a few manufactures like Petzl and Black Diamond had brought equipment to look at. Hubby checked out the ice axes and boots. He also came home with a couple of catalogs. Hmmm, wonder if he's planning to use them to write his Christmas list. A local climbing store Climb Max gave demos on how to dry ice climb. I wanted to try it, but didn't want to do anything to mess up my ankle any more. Next year!

After the prelims, Mark Westman presented an awesome slide show on two climbs he did in Alaska. His slides and his narration were mesmerizing. It was fascinating to see this kind of hardcore alpine climbing and hear about all the stuff they faced and the fun they had. I introduced myself and of course, asked if he (and his wife) would mind talking to me about a few things for my book. He said yes!

The hubby and Climbing Cutie finally got to meet. Cutie apologized to hubby for getting me into climbing! Wasn't that sweet?

After the slide show, they raffled off some really great prizes in between the final rounds of the dry ice climbing competition. When the money was totaled (raffle, matching funds from Montana and donations), the total raised for Hyalite Canyon was approximately $2000! A big thank you and congrats to all who were involved in putting on such a great event!


Marianne Arkins said...

Except for the salty food, it sounds like you had a great time! And... hey... Hubby-cutie AND Climbing Cutie. Great pic *G*

Melissa said...

It was a great time! I really like the pic of hubby and cutie, too, Marianne! I took over sixty pics at the event! It was hard to pick which ones to put on the blog, but I knew that one had to be there!

Brandy said...

O-nuts? Tempura IS a light batter, weird.
Glad you had a good time and it was sweet of climbing cutie to apologize to your hubs! Wonderful pictures, thanks for sharing.

Have a great evening!

Melissa said...

Wasn't that sweet of him? But then again he is the cutie! I'm just glad hubby finally got to meet him and some of my other climbing buds.

Oh, and I plan to have a good evening, Brandy. Hubby took the kids to Irish Dance. I now have peace and quiet and a huge chunk of writing time to finish my chapter. That's tonight's goal!

Dru said...

I love the picture and hubby and Climbing Cutie.

Sounds like it was a very good and interesting evening.

Good luck on your writing and I hope you had a good Tuesday.

Melissa said...

Glad you liked the pic! It was a good time. I also think it was good for hubby to meet some of my Internet climbing friends/partners. He got to see first hand they were nice people.

Back to work! If I finish the chapter then it will have been a very good Tuesday! Unfortunately my hero is not cooperating with me right now.

Nathalie said...

Climbing... it is something I once did and will never try again... I am so afraid of heights!

Melissa said...

I'm scared of heights, Nathalie, but I love climbing. It's also helped me with my fear of heights, too. I can't imagine not climbing!

Lily said...

It is great you can forget about your fears to achieve something. Must have been nice that he answered some of your questions :)

CrystalG said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

Melissa said...

Lily - Climbing has been so wonderful. I can't believe some of things I've been able to do that would have totally frozen me in fear before. Oh, and I haven't ask him any questions yet except if he'd mind talking to me about the book at some point. It wasn't the time or place, but I look forward to hearing what he and his wife have to say!

Hi Crystal! Yes it was a wonderful time. I hope Cutie and company decide to do this again!

Lily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lily said...

Hope he will be nice enough to remember you and answer some of your questions :)

Melissa said...

I hope so, too! He seemed like a really nice guy. Speaking of which, I should send him some of my questions!

Nathalie said...

You really should...they say there is nothing better than the present (um... it really sounds better in french) I remember once I wanted to get a letter of reference. I waited so long that my teacher just forgot about me and I missed a good opportunity.