It’s time to get ‘mantastic’ |

It’s time to get ‘mantastic’

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
NWS Man of the Cliff 1 KH 10-1-11

RED CLIFF, Colorado – Red Cliff is a mountain town like no other in Eagle County – it’s small and remote, and there’s a special something, a personality, that makes this town so charming.

And with an event like Man of the Cliff in its third year, the town has truly come alive.

Adam and Amanda Williams founded the event after talking about it around the campfire more than three years ago. They wanted to bring some life into their town, so why not invite some people to wear plaid, grow out their beards and throw some manly stuff around like axes and kegs?

And while the Bloody Marys and beers were flowing Saturday morning, the event, sponsored this year by Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, is about much more than ax-throwing and drinking. All of the proceeds go to First Descents, a local nonprofit that sends young adults with cancer to outdoor camps.

Last year, Man of the Cliff raised more than $8,000 for the charity – that’s enough money to send eight people to camp.

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For guys like Tony Herrera and Tim Byram, neighbors in Vail who camped out with more than a dozen people in Red Cliff for the weekend, the cause is the first reason to get involved with Man of the Cliff.

The second reason is, of course, the competition.

Byram said the event is all about getting “mantastic” as well as supporting a good cause and drinking good booze.

Man of the Cliff attracted a lot of repeat competitors this year, but first-timers were everywhere, too.

K.C. Slager, who just moved to Boulder a couple of months ago from Arizona, had never been to Red Cliff before Saturday. He was impressed.

“I like the setting. The town is really cool,” he said. “It’s definitely a nice little getaway. I feel like I’m far from everything. It’s a well-placed event, for sure.”

He liked that the event’s announcers were staged on top of a vintage firetruck and that the smoker from Mango’s restaurant could be seen on the hillside behind the events. It was a nice mountain touch, he said.

“There’s a lot of burly, strapping men and good-looking, wilderness ladies out here,” Slager said.

Competitors drove in from around the state, with one man coming in from as far away as Laramie, Wyo.

“It’s great fun,” said Zack Liesenfeld. “There’s nothing like this up in Laramie.”

Zack and his brother, Ben, who lives in Colorado Springs, were dressed in their best mountain-man costumes. Ben Liesenfeld said he got his inspiration from the movie “Joe Dirt.”

“It’s just a great time,” he said. “You come here and get to drink beer and throw axes, bows and arrows, toss kegs and dress like this.”

Tom Codevilla, of Boulder, likes the Man of the Cliff for the atmosphere, too. He was dressed up in suspenders and camouflage pants. His shirt featured a picture of a friend’s beard and said, “Life’s a beard.”

“It’s kind of like an athletic competition, but not really,” Codevilla said. “It’s just a blast. You just get out and everybody has a lot of fun. People heckle you and you drink beer and throw axes – it’s fantastic.”

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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