I am happy to announce the official start and players for the first annual Coldfear Photo Hold’em Tournament. Each player will play their Round One photo next week but in the meantime, let’s start with a little trash-talking, bluffing and poker faces from the players. For more information about the house rules see the details here: Coldfear Photo Hold’em Tournament Rules and Info.
Rab Microlight Jacket goes to the most popular Bio
Two Grivel 360 Ice Screws to the best Poker Face Photo
Brian Mulvihill- My head weighs heavy on other people shoulders. The bite of the cold winter air is a chaser to the Old Crow bourbon that feeds my blood pumper. Between fitful evenings of nightmares and bedwetting, I still find the time to swing the sharp sticks at the frozen water.
Kevin Craig – Dubbed by one of his friends as “Lord Viking,” Kevin spends his winters anywhere there’s ice from Colorado’s Front Range to the San Juan mountains, Wyoming, Montana, Canada and even Norway ticking of classic climbs, fun rambles, and the occasional first-ascent. He’s been published both as a photographer for a catalog and *in* an ad as the model. He has also contributed to guidebooks as a contributing author and (again) as a photo model. In recent summers, he’s been spending his time dodging motor vehicles and mail trucks on his road bike. As a result of almost 20 years of mountain, rock, ice, and alpine climbing, he’s got a broad and deep library of quality photos; the trick is going to be sorting through them all. His favorite saying when heading into the great wide-open (especially when going with Mulkey) is: “we’ll either have a good time or a good story – maybe even both.”
Fredrik Marmsater- After 8 years in the biotech industry, I traded flasks for cameras and swapped a good paycheck and a career in cancer research for the chance to get avalanched, schlep huge back backs, jumar iced over ropes and be a big hairy mountain bad-ass and generally take significant risks to shoot photos for insignificant pay and having tons of fun doing it. While I can whip up a mean ErbB2 inhibitor, I’m pretty damned good carrying a big backpack, sport-jugging sketchy fixed lines and shivering on dark snowy ledges, soloing hard mixed lines, hucking 80 footers, running 100 miles or whatever it takes to get this shot. I eat that shit for breakfast. Bring it on, coldfear photo hold’em tournament! (Actually, I’m probably terrified on that scary fixed line and trying my damnedest not to show it…hopefully you guys will appreciate the images and I will not have to try to bluff my way through this whole thing).
Joel Anderson- One of these three is not like the other ones. Business at the base of Cabin Fever. Chose Architecture over alpine guiding, don’t regret it one bit. Chose Billings for the easy access to Cody. Retired climbing coach. Runs the Steepteam (http://billingsclimbingteam.
Matt Tredway- A little about me. l am a Taurus, love Blue Moon beer, and have never had a massage. l am an avid Sasquatch caller, love to knit, and have spent several summers watching sheep. l started climbing at age 12, and can honestly say that after all these years, l really have not improved that much. Sometimes, l want to just give it all up and become a dashing millionaire. l look forward to sharing some photos of adventures I have been lucky enough to participate in.
Ben Hoiness- I reign from the HUGE sandstone pillars of the very well known climbing destination…The Rimrocks. With a staggering stature of 5 foot 9, 160 pounds I intimidate a lot of people. I cut my teeth in the climbing world by annoying the locals of the Beartooths with stoke and talking them into showing me the “secret climbing.” This led to an irrecoverable course of the dirtbag lifestyle. These days I reside in the Bitterroot Mountains continuing the Montana tradition of a love for choss and local mountains.
Tim Banfield- I’m a top rope champion living in Calgary, Alberta. I’ve been told I climb slow and sew it up. My real job is selling homes and occasionally I take my camera along on climbs to get pics of others that can maybe make me seem cool too. I CrossFit, so obviously I don’t actually go outdoors much.
Matt Mioduszewski- You like beer, right? Me too! As the Northwest’s preeminent mountain beer photographer, a vote for me is a vote for beer—and a vote for America. And Canada I guess too, cause my pranks are made there. A pure snow and beer friend, I pair my beers with the mountains like a fine wine to cheese. And my camera always comes along to capture this sublime glory. I’ve been known to take on the persona of a Last of the Mohican character or two when I climb Mt. Shuksan. I consider myself a fractal avian of the corvid family, in just about the last wild, untamed, unpolluted, unfucked up fucked up fucked up… …So, that got kinda weird pretty quickly. Let your freak flag fly! If I had a catch phrase, you’d know it.
Cathryn Koptiuch- I was born fighting, fighting my twin brother to enter the world. I got the first breath of air. However, I was born pigeon-toed and had a terrible habit of tripping over myself. I learned to ski when I was three, but my tendency to turn my toes in complicated my attempts to stop pizza’ing. So I always bombed it. I mean, I could turn, but it slowed me down. At some point, I learned to walk with my feet (mostly) straight, but still, I wasn’t graceful (never was and probably never will be). Throughout my life, I’ve fallen in love with dozens of hobbies that get my adrenaline pumping. I discovered climbing my last year of college, but was well-aware of my paralyzing fear of heights. To conquer this fear, I figured I’d learn to skydive. Five dives in, 10K above the ground, jumping into clouds for the first time, my shoulder dislocated: OK, so that did not help my vertigo. I still rock climb, even though sometimes I completely freeze up with fear. And why not? That level of freezing is nothing compared to the deep chill that penetrates any number of layers of clothing whenever I go ice climbing. There’s only one solution. Have enough fun so you forget about it and hope one finger stays warm enough to work the shutter.
My climbing career began with “climbs” slowly walking up Cascade Volcanoes as a high schooler. When I got to college and discovered rock climbing, the idea of trudging up a glacier made me cringe. Surely enough, I became a better climber- my hair growing longer with ever whipper I took.
Mike Gasell- I am a Denver-based ice climber with a semi-real job and an unproductive fear of heights. Originally from Florida, a friend taught me to rock climb and then invited me on a trip to New Hampshire to ice climb for the first time. Unprepared for the cold, I bought the cheapest clothes and boots I could find which included women’s shell pants. I have been hooked since and it influenced my choice to move to Colorado and ruined every potential beach vacation since. I currently brave homeless people in the city and rush hour traffic in order to explore the Colorado high country looking for moderate climbs to scare myself on, but mostly find new reasons to bail and head to the coffee shop or bar to warm up.
Olin Erickson- Born to Joe and Bonee Erickson in January of 1978. Winter was formative on young Erickson’s psyche. At one point as a small infant, Olin was left in a snowdrift. Erickson attended college at Montana State in Bozeman and studied Crop Science. It was there in Bozeman he was introduced to climbing in 2001 by W.W. After competing in a summer biathlon in 2002, Erickson got a late start with friends on an attempt to climb Granite Peak. They failed to get to the Froze to Death Plateau before dark and ended up spending the night in the middle of some switchbacks. Later the following winter, Erickson lured W.W. into the mountains to go find the waterfall he thought he had heard while he was camped in the switchbacks. When asked if it was really going to be worth climbing that “little blob of ice,” Olin responded, “well, we’re here, we might as well.” They later called the climb “Strong and Stupid.” That experience led Olin into the path of other climbers in the area that were interested in exploring other ‘undiscovered’ places there might be ice. Erickson continues to find allure in the aesthetics that the climbing environment provides and the fitness it requires.
Vitality M.- If you have not heard my name, you probably get out a bit too often. I am the most interesting man on the internet. My feet don’t usually get blisters, letters on my keyboard do. Aside from sending the net, I am good at eating and not taking things too seriously. 🙂
Anthony Frabbiele- More commonly referred to as the “Stealth Yeti,” is a creature of the high altitude variety. A resilient creature, the Stealth Yeti doesn’t actually need oxygen to breathe, as noted by living for weeks at a time above 20,000 feet in elevation. Surviving at the extreme altitudes also requires that the he can survive being frozen solid in -40 degree weather, only to emerge to race up steep slopes until there is no land left to climb. When at the summit a deafening Yeti-Cry can be heard. The powerful cry unleashes avalanches onto potential competitors. Although he tries, he is unable to fly upwards from the summit, but instead secures a primitive board to his feet and descends, getting as close as he can to flying while hucking over ledges and the frozen corpses still entombed in the avalanche debris. His conquests are documented further at www.anthonyfrabbiele.com.
Travis Mcalpine- Climbing is my game. I’m a recent Alaskan transplant looking for a good time. I can be found trolling the Alaska backcountry in pursuit of anything alpine. I moved from the greater Yellowstone region in pursuit of the Alaskan dream. Ice is nice:) shred the gnar. My passion in life is to share it with others.
Jesse Morse-Brady- While living in the freezeless expanse just north of Nogales I learned of the palo verde beetle, Derobrachus geminatus, which can reach nearly nine centimeters in length, with a mandible exceeding a half centimeter in size. The palo verde beetle, impressive though seemingly innocent, may be a key player in the demise of commercial landscapes, boring holes in the roots of non-indigenous trees and undermining precisely-pruned topiaries. One can only hope that that this beetle never joins forces with the prairie dogs of North Dakota, or complete corporate annihilation may ensue. Oh wait…is this a photo contest? I thought this was a forum for discussing interspecies world domination. On that note, I currently shoot with a Sony Alpha Nex-6, though I have dabbled in the realms of film, point-and-shoot, and full-size DSLR. My backstock of ice climbing photos is slim and rather dated, so some innovation may need to occur in the upcoming weeks. As for climbing, I enjoy thin pockets and crimpers, as well as sunny days on plastic-y ice. When I’m not attempting to pioneer new ways of keeping my toes warm, I’m usually wearing scrubs at the hospital or editing medical manuscripts from my sub-studio apartment. Are we going to play cards, or what?
Pete Takeda- Lived in Yosemite for many years before moving to Colorado in the 1990’s. He started climbing ice around that time, eventually doing the first ascent of one of the world’s first M9’s. Since then he’s done first ascents in the Andes, the Himalayas, Iceland and Canada. He’s an author and writer who lives in Boulder.
Bob Thompson- I enjoy unnecessary alpine starts, long Red Bull-fueled weekend trips, and surfing Mountain Project and backcountry.com seemingly endlessly. Living in LA provides good access to the mountains in the Sierras where the fun begins. I have a slogan, bring on the epics! (well, not really).
Mike McNeil- Ice climber by day fire walker by night. Grew up as a flatlander, moved to less flat land, and now try to get to very unflat land as much as possible. I am a climber of over 20years and I am not afraid to be seen climbing WI2 and under as a matter of fact I seek them out. I have spent a fair bit of my free time searching out climbs in the Black Hills, Big Horns and throughout Colorado, Northern Wyoming, and Southern Montana. I am the advisor for the BHSU climbing club and the Disability Coordinator at the school. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and have a Masters in Counseling and am not afraid to involuntarily commit anyone that beats me in this contest.
Phillip Dobson- My name is Phillip Dobson and I live in Butte. I make custom knives and razors and I try to get out climbing at every opportunity. Winter is great because I get to combine my love of climbing with my love of sharp things. There’s nothing quite like swinging around with razor sharp weapons for hands and feet! I sort of ended up being team photographer for the friends I climb with. I think it was just because I am willing to haul a camera and actually stop to take pictures at inconvenient times. It’s worth it, though, to get the chance to share the awesomeness of the mountains with people. I’ve been fortunate to be able to visit and climb mountains I never would have dreamed of seeing ten years ago. The North Cascades, Canadian Rockies, The Bugaboos, the Fitz Roy Massif; these were just names attached to beautiful photographs. Now, because of climbing, I get to try to bring home those inspiring photos. It’s petty cool. I hope to continue to climb and photograph new and incredible places. The possibilities for exploration in the world, and even at home here in Montana, seem endless. Gotta go, there’s snow outside…
Jason Todd- I try. I really do. Sometimes I even try hard. I like long walks through windblown crust with snow falling out of branches down my open collar. A good wallow is hard to beat, even better by headlamp. A good dose of getting bug eyed with “The Fear” is easy for a wanker like me. Taming it is a challenge, but I try. Over and over. It makes me laugh every time, as Type 2+ fun is supposed to do. Frozen beard boogers are my favorite part of winter. You can’t get them on the couch and my lady digs ‘em.
Joshua Correa- I’m Josh from New York City. I’ve been climbing for around 3 years now. I strive to one day be mediocre at it. Currently I’m leading really easy stuff and happy about that. I enjoy climbing in the Adirondacks, New Hampshire and the Catskills. I also like easy alpine climbs on the West Coast. I also went to Ecuador once. It’s a nice country and worth a visit. You don’t have to take your shoes off at the airport and they have great potatoes. I went on a trip to Colorado once too, but everyone I met there was originally from New York or New Jersey, maybe they keep all the natives hidden away. The potatoes in Colorado were not as good as Ecuador and you did have to take your shoes off at the airport. I like skiing, long distance day hiking and sailing too. If you want to start skiing I can advise from personal experience that kid skis and climbing boots is not the best way to go. They aren’t too good for sailing either. I have not tried them hiking yet. Currently you can find me trying to climb plywood cracks at my local gym.
Shawn Gregory- Somewhere in the world, probably on the North Slope of Alaska.