Send us a suggestion!

Freeze Fest 2020-2021

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scott Patterson, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. Canyonero

    Canyonero

    Messages:
    1,213
    Likes:
    1,349
    What are you saying? That there will be a significant rightward tilt in the campfire discussions this year?
    Yellow Dart likes this.
  2. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

    Messages:
    1,783
    Likes:
    2,229
    Location:
    Utah
    AYYY YO!

    Anybody wanna talk about the election?

    :D
    Yellow Dart, Bill and 2065toyota like this.
  3. Rapterman

    Rapterman

    Messages:
    1,121
    Likes:
    1,499
    Practical, politics free comment!
    I am looking (with un-tinted glasses!) at this whole mess as a small business owner (manufacturer) in Las Vegas.
    Covid is everywhere now and we have canyoneer friends and business associates and family who have had it, and an employee
    who has lost 3 relatives to it.
    It's not pretty. Our GOAL is to keep ALL of our employees healthy and keep it out of our shop.
    For us personally that means avoiding all non-essential travel and gatherings. And rigorous wearing of masks, and instituting
    strict distancing polices at our workshop. So far, Covid free.
    As a counter example, our accounting firm owner decided it was a good time to vacation with a couple of buddies.
    Came back, (without symptoms yet) and mask-less infected 9 of her 10 employees. Everyone home sick.
    The remaining employee, overwhelmed, admitted to ER with heart attack symptoms.
    Moral of story?
    Here is a good resource for risk assessment in your area:
    covidactnow.org
    Ram, Dan H, RThatcher and 5 others like this.
  4. Kuenn

    Kuenn

    Messages:
    1,666
    Likes:
    1,902
    An editorial post, my apology to all.

    I will attempt to be non-political... as it is increasingly difficult these days. At first glance you might think this is in opposition to what Todd @Rapterman wrote previously. I hope by the end (if you read that far) that is not your conclusion.

    First of all if I may speak for the majority, we have great empathy and respect for the small business owners, healthcare professionals, first responders, educators, police and fire departments… It is a lengthy list. Those who do the best they can to do the jobs they love and or are duty-bound to do, in spite of circumstances and consequences. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all of these people, and many more like them, for their daily contribution and sacrifice to carry-on and not be canceled by the pandemic.

    This post isn't joining chorus with the "cancel culture" movement that most of us are repulsed by (oops, sorry), this is not that. I'm in support of those who aren't for canceling something just because it’s easier to do than to engage in the mental and often physical work to figure out a way to continue holding "normal" activities (as much as we can be normal) and give the middle finger to the notion of just quitting. I applaud those who figure out ways to make things safe, to those who attend who are committed to follow the rules and be safe, while they keep on keeping on. Are many of these events essential? No, they are only essential in an effort to ease back to normal.

    Personally, I've done a few things in the past 9 months that definitely weren't "essential", I bet you have too. A few times I looked back and thought how ignorant it was - on both sides of the health protocol line. At the beginning of all this there were many unknowns and we logically erred on the side of caution. Today, we kind of know what this thing is. An invasive plague that is 70 to 90 nanometers in diameter (for comparison a sheet of paper is 100,000 nm). I think it's safe to say it's found a way to slip through every blockade we've thrown up.

    The experts are now saying that our communities and homes are the current hotbeds. OK, accepted... I'm still going home tonight. Even with the vaccine on the horizon the experts are saying the average American (you and I) will not have general access to it until next July or August. And to add insult to injury, if enough Americans opt out of taking the vaccine, at the end of the day, we're not gonna be a whole lot better off than we are right now. And, is it a vaccine or just another flu shot? And on the other hand, other hand, other hand though, repeats the Zode at the fork in the Road. (Seuss)

    Enough! Let's get to work and be smarter than being tossed around by a moving target. Is there a risk in doing, especially, extracurricular things? You're damn right there is! But we don't have to cower to the risk.

    Summary
    I've found my views changing over the past nine months. I was among those who first embraced the phrase, "if you don't feel comfortable, don't come". Thinking that a personal choice offers the best of both worlds, you make the decision to participate while the rest party on. I've watched the effects of that line of thinking play out, over and over. It's a divisive and exclusive stand. In essence saying we’re going to do this and we don’t really care if you come. Now I try to think more in terms of, "how can we make it safe so that you want to come".

    I sit on the advisory board of a recreational camp where literally hundreds of youth and families come and enjoy activities throughout the year; from water sports, hiking, camping, rappelling, etc. At the beginning of the pandemic we made the decision to close the camp this year. It was the "easy" decision, and a safe way out.

    Last week I visited the camp for the first time this year. I had invited a friend and his daughter. She was jumping for the chance to rappel from the 40 foot tower. You might say I was breaking my own rule in being there (I was), but I felt like it was worth the risk. We had an enjoyable couple of hours together. They left and I hung around to close up. As I surveyed the camp I came to the realization of what a total waste of a resource our earlier decision had brought about. I could cite more examples.

    This discussion started with whether or not a traditional event should go on in a pandemic world. I submit it's a much broader topic. Honestly, I do not have a dog in the Freeze Fest fight. Whether it goes on or doesn't, it's of no consequence to me. But I do stand in awe of those who figure out ways to do things. Participants who are committed to engage and be safe. And then make it so, Number One.
    Ram, Dave Melton, Dan H and 4 others like this.
  5. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

    Messages:
    1,172
    Likes:
    1,306
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Great thoughts above.

    "Engage". Ha ha. Nice reference. Makes me think about the first ascent of Mont Blanc for some reason...

    I dunno. Been trying hard to "avoid the touch" (instead of "touching the void", another climbing reference).

    There's been gobs of things cancelled, which, is I guess the high road and the low hanging fruit solution. Harder is keeping on while trying to reduce or eliminate the risk.

    We're not meant to be isolated. This virtual campfire helps, but, its hardly a long term substitute for the real thing.

    The "cancel culture". I've known a few folks who've taken that to the extreme. Been in a fair spat about it with a few, even. Had a person bust on me for posting a photo of ski terrain while I was by myself, nobody around, and with a stated intent of distancing. Was still too much for them and they felt I was part of the problem and encourging of people to "get out there". Another friend has really urged folks to not post anything fun outside for the same reason. Very strongly worded.

    Public land is getting heavily used. Folks are getting out. Maybe even way more than normal. Maybe because its all they have due to most other social events and public spaces being closed down or restricted.

    Folks are wiggin' out here because the gummint (Utah gov) has required bars to shut off alcohol sales at 10pm. I'd think letting them stay open even later would be better, as folks would have more time and space to spread out. Doesn't really impact me or my peers but I feel for some of these watering holes.

    Its been tough. Pandemic fatigue. Try to be patient. Try to be kind and respectful.

    Has been hitting pretty close to home for me. I don't want this thing, but, I'm almost resigned to getting it...seeing friends and co-workers get sick, even while being very careful. Linguring effects are something I don't want. So, I keep being vigilent the best I can.

    Stay safe out there!
    Ram, Bill, Dave Melton and 6 others like this.
  6. Rapterman

    Rapterman

    Messages:
    1,121
    Likes:
    1,499
    Thank you Kuenn and Brian for great comments. Many of us (Desi and I included) ARE wiggin' out to one degree or another.
    But we ARE going to get through this and things will start to get better.
    Some tips from our workplace, which can apply to freeze-fest and canyoneering and beyond.
    This is a respiratory virus, so the most important (and least hassle) thing you can do to protect yourself and others is to wear a
    high-grade mask. N95s are rightly reserved for front line workers, but outdoorresearch.com (of mountaineering fame)
    has created a great mask kit which offers N95 level protection. We tested a couple then purchased them for all of our employees.
    Wearing those all the time, then distancing when eating or drinking + plus frequent handwashing (sanitizer or canyon swill) COULD mitigate
    most of the risk of many outdoor activities.
    Our experience has shown that for this to work everyone has to understand and abide by strict ground rules, otherwise one persons refusal to hug or lean in could be interpreted as rude.
    Nothing personal, mate!
    IT"S COVID
    :wtf:
  7. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

    Messages:
    816
    Likes:
    924
    Lots to say, but I'll just back to work of providing for my family and for the 36 of my employees and their families so they can eat and pay their bills and enjoy life
  8. MMclimbhigh

    MMclimbhigh

    Messages:
    14
    Likes:
    9
    Location:
    Ridgway, CO
    Good discussion all. We'll get through this. When things are a little more under control, perhaps FreezeFest '21/'22 will be the biggest yet? Maybe it can spread out to other venues as well? Who's up for a New Year's Day descent of the Squeeze? How 'bout an icy Choprock? Bust out those 7mm suits :cold:

    Be kind, respectful, and patient. Stay safe my friends.
  9. SCard

    SCard

    Messages:
    111
    Likes:
    145
    So you're saying that Sandthrax will be empty and the Black Hole will be a place to myself??? Hmmmmmm.......:happy:
    Yellow Dart and Ram like this.
  10. Bill

    Bill ...

    Messages:
    346
    Likes:
    770
    Location:
    Utah
    just stay out of my bubble :)
    Yellow Dart, Ram and Kevin like this.
  11. Fat Canyoner

    Fat Canyoner T2

    Messages:
    68
    Likes:
    109
    If people are looking for an alternative to FreezeFest, Australia and New Zealand are pretty much COVID free and both have great canyoning options. You'll need to plan a long trip -- there's a two week quarantine on arrival -- and flights are hard to get, but definitely worth considering.

    We all shake our heads at the situation in the US. Bizarre how politics can get in the way of public health. Over here, the community (and politicians from all sides) pretty much universally fell behind things like early, strict lockdowns (with financial support for businesses and workers), mask wearing, and other social distancing measures. The result is we currently have almost no restrictions in place, and large parts of the country have gone a month or more without any community transmission. Other than challenges with international travel, life has almost gone back to normal, and we only ever had a few hundred people die.
    Ram, Tumbleweed, Kevin and 5 others like this.
  12. Rapterman

    Rapterman

    Messages:
    1,121
    Likes:
    1,499
    Thank you for posting Fat Canyoner. I think it is REALLY helpful for people in the USA to hear first hand what is happening in other places.
    Can't wait to come visit New Zealand and Australia SOON and check out your canyons!
    Best
    Todd
    Ram, Dave Melton and hank moon like this.
  13. Nan

    Nan

    Messages:
    14
    Likes:
    23
    As I've watched (my sons live in NZ), it's been even better than "only a few hundred people" dying: current statistics are listed as 25 deaths, 2096 infections, and no community spread. Compare that to Utah (around 1.72 million fewer residents than NZ), with 1062 deaths, 235,872 infections, and a nearly 25% positivity rate. NZ has geographic and size advantages, and certainly governmental differences, but it was leadership differences in a time of crisis that I saw as most significant between NZ and the US. Watching Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director of Health Ashley Bloomfield was wonderful. There was solid steady direction, empathy, efforts to build unity, transparency, collaboration with others with expertise, economic support, and most important, a focus on best science-based practices. Here, incredibly, this has not only been absent, but there has also been a movement to deceive and divide the populace for perceived political and other advantages. And the opportunity for something similar to the Go Hard, Go Early response NZ followed was wasted here.

    That seems factual to me, but it could be viewed as political. So let me just say KUDOS to NZ! And hopefully we can begin to move in a better direction soon.
    RThatcher, Ram, Kuenn and 2 others like this.
  14. Craig

    Craig Feeling My Way

    Messages:
    97
    Likes:
    101
    Is it possible to travel to Australia from the USA? I planned a trip to Australia for next April but gave up hope of it happening. According to Australia's Department of Home Affairs (https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions) the borders are closed to tourists. But I do see conflicting information when searching tourist travel based sites. I wouldn't mind the 14 day quarantine as I plan to stay for several months.

    If anyone knows how to get a tourist visa into Australia, please let me know. Maybe by next April the USA's Covid-19 infections will be more under control and the borders can begin to reopen.
    Ram likes this.
  15. Fat Canyoner

    Fat Canyoner T2

    Messages:
    68
    Likes:
    109
    Yeah, they've been trying to prioritise getting Australians home on the limited international flights. I think they've now managed to achieve most of that. There's definitely people getting travel exemptions, but they seem to mostly be those with a business justification.

    April is a long way off still. I know there has been lots of media commentary about creating some sort of pass where people who have received the vaccine will be able to travel here. I imagine they will probably want to see the effectiveness of the various global vaccines (in particular whether they actually prevent people being contagious, or just protect against serious illness) before things open up. I think we're still looking at about March for mass vaccine rollout here.

    Australia is now letting arrivals from New Zealand in without a quarantine period. That will hopefully go both ways early in the new year. I think both countries are more focused on restarting tourism with other countries where the disease has been contained, rather than opening up to high risk countries (like the US).

    I wonder whether offering training on canyon specific ropework would be enough to get granted a travel exemption?
    Ram, Rapterman and ratagonia like this.
  16. Craig

    Craig Feeling My Way

    Messages:
    97
    Likes:
    101
    That is a good idea. Maybe I can get an adventure company in Sydney to sponsor my visa. :)
    Fat Canyoner likes this.
  17. townsend

    townsend

    Messages:
    483
    Likes:
    465
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Excellent, but let me add that N95 masks are no longer in short supply, meaning it is okay for the public to purchase such.

    This is an excellent N95 mask sold to the public: https://n95maskco.com/collections/n95-masks?sscid=81k4_91kil&
    Here is a review of this N95 mask by Michael Hansen, M.D.:

    In the western slope (Colorado), I still see individuals who "aren't afraid of catching the virus" and not wearing masks. You find them entering convenience stores, grocery stores, Home Depot, etc.

    This isn't bravery or freedom -- it is rather a total disregard for your fellow citizen. The virus might not hurt you (you might be asymptomatic or only have a mild case) but might kill those you come into contact with. Would you drive 60mph through a school zone in front of an elementary school? Of course not. So please take precautions to protect others (even if you don't care about your own health).
    Ram, Downward Bound, Dan H and 4 others like this.
  18. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

    Messages:
    404
    Likes:
    459
    Location:
    La Verkin

    A bit easier to lock things down when your country is an island, and has the population of Alabama...

    Also, Hobbits don't get covid, so they can't spread it. :happy:
  19. Fat Canyoner

    Fat Canyoner T2

    Messages:
    68
    Likes:
    109
    I'm in Australia, which has a population size closer to Texas. But yes, being an island helps. We still have people arriving by air and sea every day, so we're not shut off from the world. And our quarantine systems have had plenty of flaws, but there is active attempts to fix them as they are uncovered.

    We've just had a fresh outbreak in part of Sydney in the last few days (testing of the strain suggests it arrived with a US traveller). It's spread to less than 100 people so far, but the entire region the cases are centred in (about 150,000 people) has gone into a five-day hard lockdown, with people only allowed to leave home for essentials. Massive testing has been rolled out in the area, about 40,000 people were tested yesterday alone. Tracing is undertaken of each confirmed case, including everywhere they have been and everyone they spent time with, with those close contacts isolated and tested. Broader travel restrictions have been put in place -- anyone from the greater Sydney region (about 5 million people) now can't travel to other states.

    All of this is inconvenient, but the aim each time we have an outbreak is to throw massive resources into halting it in its tracks. Melbourne (population 5 million) had the biggest outbreak (still only a few thousand cases). As a result of a lockdown and mandatory mask wearing it now has zero community transmission.

    It is possible to stop the spread of COVID. We've proved it previously, and will do so again this time. Our community overwhelmingly gets that short term inconvenience is worth it to save lives.
    Kevin, Rapterman, Ram and 2 others like this.
  20. Katy

    Katy

    Messages:
    3
    Likes:
    2
    Hear hear!
Similar Threads: Freeze Fest
Forum Title Date
Trip Reports FreezeFest XVIII Mar 1, 2020
General Discussion Freezefest XVIII 2019-2020 Oct 26, 2019
Trip Reports First Time at Freeze Fest Jan 8, 2019
General Discussion FreezeFest XVII- 2018-2019 Dec 5, 2018
General Discussion FreezeFest Survival Guide Dec 5, 2018
Trip Reports Aussie FreezeFest: Whungee Wheengee Canyon in the depths of winter Jul 12, 2018