“Casket Quarry: Stories From the Vault”

For the 2020 Duluth Ice & Mixed Fest, we’ve assembled a multi-generational panel of accomplished local climbers for a conversation about Duluth climbing, and how skills honed at Casket translate outside the box!

For over forty years, climbers have challenged themselves on vertical rock and ice at Casket Quarry. Join the Duluth Climbers Coalition for a moderated discussion with four climbers spanning nearly a half-century of Casket climbing, from the earliest days of sans-helmet, straight-shafted ice hacking (when the burial vault company that gave the place its macabre name was still in business) through the quarry’s transformation into a modern and equipped mixed climbing arena and training ground. Hear first-hand how lessons learned here have been used successfully on epic climbs from Nipigon to the Rockies, from the Alps to the Ice Climbing World Cup!

Introducing our panelists:

Rick Kollath’s climbing career began in 1973 when he was dragged up Yosemite’s Half Dome by moonlight. Since then, he has been a fixture of Duluth’s climbing community and has accumulated an impressive number of ascents throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe—including climbing the North Face of the Eiger just prior to his sixtieth birthday!

James Loveridge started ice climbing in the Lake Superior region in 1991. After sharpening his skills in Munising, he began establishing hard new routes in Minnesota, Colorado, Utah, and the Canadian Rockies. Through his work as a gear rep for some of the climbing’s most iconic brands, James is well connected and well informed about the people and equipment at the cutting edge of the sport. James is almost single-handedly responsible for the mixed climbing revolution at Casket Quarry .

Adam Dailey began climbing in 2004, peak bagging fourteeners in the Colorado mountains. Things got serious when he discovered there was fantastic ice and mixed climbing right here in his own backyard. Known for his Herculean strength, Adam has competed at the Ouray Ice Festival in 2013 and 2014, he has established FA’s in Nipigon Ontario, and he’s sent some of the hardest mixed routes and ice climbs in North America. Recently, Adam has been turning climbing in Duluth upside down in the Ely’s Peak tunnel. 

Climbing is the latest in a long list of gravity-defying physical activities in Claire Poppendeck’s resume. She discovered a love of rock and ice climbing while attending college at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In just a few years, Claire has advanced from climbing neophyte to competing in the Denver Ice Climbing World Cup! Mixed climbing is a natural fit for her ability to multi-task: Claire can unicycle and play the violin at the same time! 

Panel scheduled to begin at 7:30 pm. Followed by audience Q & A!