Axes, plaid, suspenders and Red Cliff
RED CLIFF, Colorado – With flannel and suspenders as far as the eye could see, Red Cliff’s Man of the Cliff competition was the epitome of what a mountain town event should be.
It’s the second annual Man of the Cliff, an event that spawned from the ideas of a few Red Cliff locals as they dreamed of a true hometown event.
“It was one of those things that we talked about around the campfire,” said co-founder Amanda Armour.
Armour and fiance Adam Williams figured they’d invite some friends over and have a few lumberjack-style events in their backyard, but it grew into a much bigger event than they ever anticipated.
This year, more than 75 people registered to compete in events like ax throw, archery, keg toss, hammer throw and speed wood chopping. Last year, there were four people registered at the start of the event, Armour said.
The proceeds from the event go to local nonprofit First Descents, which provides outdoor recreation and kayaking camps for young adults living with cancer. First Descents founder Brad Ludden was at Man of the Cliff Saturday, flannel shirt and all.
Ludden said he’s honored the organizers of the event have chosen First Descents as the beneficiary two years in a row.
“We love to be aligned with non-traditional events like this – it fits our culture,” Ludden said.
Ludden especially loves the small town, local atmosphere at Man of the Cliff. He said so many events around the valley cater to tourists, so it’s nice to see something for the locals.
“It embodies the mountain spirit and the town of Red Cliff,” Ludden said.
A couple hundred people gathered to watch the events Saturday morning and afternoon, including those who took their Man of the Cliff characters to the extreme.
Tony Herrera, of West Vail, decided to camp out near the Red Cliff cemetery with five of his buddies – they wanted to get into the spirit of the event by camping out a couple of days in advance. Herrera said they were feeling ready for their roles as mountain men Saturday after living in the woods.
Josh Derryberry and Omid Rahimi were also living out the roles of mountain men – they came up from Denver with fake beards, plaid, flannel and Carhartt suspenders.
“Ax throwing – it can’t get any more manly than that,” Derryberry said.
Rahimi was just happy he could not only throw an ax in public, but also because he didn’t have to put his beer down to do it.
Competitors chopped wood, tossed kegs and, of course, drank some beer until about 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The event culminates today with the finals, and the crowning of the 2010 Man of the Cliff.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.