By Emily Baker
Mountain Works and the Quarry climbing gym are bringing “the biggest free traditional rock climbing workshop” to Provo, said Darren Knezek, climbing expert and owner of Mountain Works.
The festival is in Provo”s Rock Canyon this Saturday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. World-renowned climbers and other expert climbers will coach anyone who wants to learn how to place traditional gear and climb.
The gear, ropes and belayers will be provided. Twenty routes, ranging from 5.5 to 5.12 ratings, will have the ropes pre-set. Experienced traditional climbers will instruct people on the technique and gear placement.
The coaches ascend ropes placed alongside the climbers on the long routes. The experts will instruct from the ground on the short routes.
“This event is going to be really good because people are going to be shown how to climb from some of the best traditional rock climbers,” said 18- year-old climbing expert, Aaron Wilkinson. Wilkinson is a Mountain Works employee from Orem.
“We want people to understand that it is not as hard and as scary as people think,” he said.
Rock Canyon has 259 established routes. Mountain Works owners and employees have been the founders of 207 of them.
Five world-renowned climbers will be at the event. Steve Petro and his wife Lisa Gnade of Salt Lake County will attend. Yosemite pioneer and big wall alpinist, Jim Birdwell, will bring his experierence. Birdwell will also present a slide show at a raffle at the Quarry that evening at 7:30.
Jeff Pederson, who established much of Utah”s sport climbs, will advise climbers. Doug Heinrich, an expert in traditional, sport, ice, big wall and alpine climbing will also attend.
The people at Mountain Works are known for their expertise in sport climbing. Many of them have founded difficult traditional routes as well.
“I don”t think people realize they have all of this perfect instruction available to them,” Knezek said.
The hosts want people to get excited about traditional climbing in Provo. “It opens up the whole world of climbing that you can”t normally do,” Knezek said.
The workshops will show the basics to this climbing style. Instructors and legendary climbers will explain the basic gear needed to start traditional climbing.
The Quarry will host a raffle and slide show Saturday at 7:30 pm. Climbing gear and prizes will be given away. Tickets can be purchased at Mountain Works for $5 each.