Q&A with Sean Hanagan, reigning Man of the Cliff
Today marks the start of the seventh-annual Man of the Cliff at Nottingham Park in Avon, where feats of strength and finesse separate the men from the boys, the women from the ladies and the riveting play-by-play from the bad puns.
Between carefully starching and ironing his lucky flannel shirt and applying a secret concoction to his immaculately trimmed beard, Sean Hanagan, reigning Man of the Cliff, took a few moments to give Vail Daily readers some key insights into his competitive process.
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VAIL DAILY: What kinds of advantages has your title afforded you over the past year? Has it been difficult to fight off the hordes of fans and rabid women?
SEAN HANAGAN: It has afforded me a chef’s table at Kirby Cosmo’s, free parking at the Bear Lot in Beaver Creek and free home delivery of the Vail Daily. Yes, it has been difficult. I actually had to get an additional dog.
VD: What’s it like being married to the reigning Woman of the Cliff? Do date nights consist of archery contests and axe throwing?
SH: It’s fabulous and intimidating. Date nights consist of whatever the hell she wants them to.
VD: What types of products do you use to keep your beard so perfectly coiffed?
SH: I have a custom-made salve that I created myself, and some of the ingredients are secret, but the majority is Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey and bacon fat.
VD: Do you have any lucky charms or talismans that you carry, any superstitions or mantras that you chant when you step up to the line for each event?
SH: I have my lucky flannel. I refuse to compete without that one, even though I have 40 others. Every good man should. And my mantra when I step to the line is, “I’m a lumberjack, and I’m Ok.”
VD: What have you been doing to physically and mentally to prepare to defend your title?
SH: I’ve been doing pushups and watching “Full Metal Jacket.”
VD: I’ve heard tell of a secret Man of the Cliff training ground. Would you compare it to similar training courses for events such as “American Ninja Warrior”?
SH: Oh yeah, we even have our own double salmon ladder.
VD: Would you like to issue any personal challenges to your competitors?
SH: I wish you all the best of luck.
Snow usually comes and goes in this part of the state. A forecasted storm is expected to stick around for a while. Forecasters are calling for snow to persist throughout the weekend in the high country, with a prospect of a couple of feet of powder by the time the storm starts to diminish on Monday.