The Better State...Idaho or Utah?

After living most of my life in Idaho, I now reside in Utah. As much as I try to securely hold onto Idaho as my favorite state, I do have to admit that Utah is a wonderland of opportunities for a guy that likes to rock climb, camp, and trail run. So which one do I like better? This is how I settled that debate:

Utah is my home. 

Idaho is my vacation-home.

I'm starting to like the fact that I don't live in Idaho anymore. Now my time spent in Idaho feels more like a vacation--an escape from my regular routines and surroundings. Have you ever noticed that locals are rarely patrons of the various attractions in their own cities and states? They all go out of state to "play." So I'm in a good position. Utah will keep me entertained and in shape so that I can have the time-of-my-life when I go to Idaho.

Eventually, I'm going to get to the point where I will have lived in Utah longer than I have lived in Idaho. This is when I'll officially become a "Utard." But don't worry. My wife and I set ourselves up perfectly to where we will always have a solid foundation in Idaho. We currently have a lot of family that still lives in Idaho. But family members die and move away eventually. We needed a foundation--a driven-down-stake--that would keep us connected and visiting Idaho for years on end. Our solution was the Idaho Mountain Festival.

This event is close to our hearts. Our reasons for establishing this event and keeping it going indefinitely fall all over the place, but our top reason is because we love Idaho and didn't want to forget it. With this event, we think about Idaho all the time and anticipate gathering with old and new friends every year to party in one of the prize possessions that this gem state has to offer...City of Rocks/Castle Rocks.

Even if you aren't a rock climber or trail runner, I hope that you'll find a reason to reunite with me and my family on an annual basis by attending the Idaho Mountain Festival.

Movie Premiere Parties: WELCOME TO THE HOOD

A portion of my time, these days, has been focused on some pretty exciting climbing parties that I am organizing at some climbing gyms in Boise, Logan, and Rexburg.

I'm putting on the Sticks and Stones Movie Premiere Party, Rock Haus Movie Premiere Party, and Urban Ascent Movie Premiere Party. All three premieres will be showing the new bouldering film called WELCOME TO THE HOOD that features Daniel Woods, Paul RobinsonGuntram Joerg, and Anthony Gullsten.

Showing: Welcome to the Hood
Date: March 24
Time: Doors open at 8pm; Movie starts at 9pm
Place: Sticks and Stones - 49 E Main St, Rexburg, ID
Cost: $5
More Info Here: Sticks and Stones Movie Premiere Party

Showing: Welcome to the Hood
Date: March 31
Time: Doors open at 8pm; Movie starts at 9pm
Place: Rock Haus Gym - Logan, UT
Cost: $5
More Info Here: Rock Haus Movie Premiere Party

Showing: Welcome to the Hood
Date: April 7
Time: Doors open at 8pm; Movie starts at 9pm
Place: Urban Ascent Gym - Boise, ID
Cost: $5
More Info Here: Urban Ascent Movie Premiere Party

If you live in or near these cities, come out and show your support. I promise you that you'll have a great time.

Not only are we going to watch the freshest bouldering movie to hit the screens, but we will be be giving away some swag from Asana, La Sportiva, Solid Rock - Climbers for Christ, and from others.

These parties are fundraisers for the newest climbing festival to hit the western states, the Idaho Mountain Festival. All proceeds are going to help the festival with all it's permitting, rental, and insurance costs.

Come out and support.

Welcome to the Hood highlights the 2 month trip to Switzerland, Austria and France shared by climbers and friends Daniel Woods, Paul Robinson, Guntram Joerg, and Anthony Gullsten. Climbing in Ticino, Murgtal, Silvretta, and Fontainebleau, the crew accomplished some of their biggest climbing achievements to date. Witness Guntram and Anthony send their first 8B+/8C, Paul make the first ascent of an 8B+, and Daniel make the first 8B+/8C flash in the world. At around 40 minutes in length, Welcome to the Hood gives you an inside look at the psyche and motivation that goes hand in hand with living and climbing with elite athletes.

A Dream Come True...the Idaho Mountain Festival

As of last summer, Jennilyn and I decided to move forward with a dream of organize a climbing festival at the City of Rocks.

My first trip to the City of Rocks was April of 2007. We were able to put together a large group of friends from college and high school and spent three enjoyable days there climbing, camping, and mountain biking. There were 11 adults and three kids sharing two campsites. Half were climbers and the other half were not. But everyone had fun. I believe that this was the first trip for almost everyone in that group. We felt like pioneers.

Since then we've gone multiple times, and have always succeeded in getting a large group to go at least once a year. The location is beautiful and plentiful when it comes to landscape and climbing. So why not enlarge our annual group climbing trip to be a national climbing festival?

What's a climbing festival? In my mind a climbing festival is a reason for climbers from all over to gather and celebrate the sport. Climbers come in groups, they all throw their tents up in an open field (the tent city), they participate in odd activities for free climbing gear, and they just climb everyday. During this time you get to form new friendships and strengthen old ones.

So here it is. Jennilyn and I are the founders of the newest climbing festival in the U.S.A. and the only one in Idaho. And it is called...Idaho Mountain Festival.

Official Press Release of the Idaho Mountain Festival


It may be 7 months until the Idaho Mountain Festival - Powered by Asana, but it isn’t too early to save the date for the newest climbing festival to hit Idaho on September 27-30, 2012 at Castle Rock State Park and City of Rocks National Reserve.

The Idaho Mountain Festival will be joining similar festivals, such as the International Climbers Festival, Red Rock Rendezvous, and New River Rendezvous, to offer a four-day event where climbers, as well as trail-runners, can gather to enjoy endless climbing, trail races, activities, giveaways, music, meals, and workshops. Visit for complete details.

The festival will be held near Almo, ID in Castle Rocks State Park and City of Rocks National Reserve, home of the grand collection of granite domes for multi and single-pitch climbing, trad-climbing, sport-climbing, and bouldering. With the location being no more than a 3.5 hour drive from Boise, ID and Salt Lake City, UT, The Idaho Mountain Festival is the perfect convenient climbing event for friends and families to gather as a closing social for the 2012 climbing season.

On September 27-30, 2012, festival attendees will enjoy a slew of free amenities including tent-camping, dinners and breakfasts, and entertainment. Festival tickets will go on sale starting in March. Ticket options include an all-inclusive ticket for $45 that includes almost everything and a daily-pass ticket for $25 that excludes the free tent-camping.

The Idaho Mountain Festival has teamed up with Asana ( to make this event possible. Asana is an Idaho based company that specializes in bouldering specific climbing gear. With much excitement, Jamey Sproull (the founder of Asana) said, “Asana Climbing is proud to present the 1st Idaho Mountain Festival. What a great opportunity to lure climbers from all over to see the beauty and grandeur of the granite in Castle Rocks and the famed City of Rocks! With Asana being based in Boise, we feel like we are welcoming the community into our backyard for a 4-day party of climbing, clinics, music, and fun. We look forward to this being the first in a long tradition of a yearly event that highlights what Idaho has to offer our ever-growing climbing family.”

As of now, the Access Fund and Solid Rock – Climbers for Christ have also jumped on the bandwagon as sponsors for the festival. The Access Fund will be sending their new Conservation Team to manage an Adopt-a-Crag day that will allow the climbers to give back to the parks and nature by cleaning up climbing areas and trails. Solid Rock – Climbers for Christ will be providing a Sunday Morning Breakfast as well as sending one of their athletes to host a bouldering clinic.


The Idaho Parks and Rec has been great supporters of the Idaho Mountain Festival. They have welcomed the event with open arms and are anxiously waiting to welcome and assist all the gathering climbers.

Park Superintendent, Wallace Keck, made the following statement when asked to share his excitement about the festival, “As one of the country's premier granite face-climbing destinations Castle Rocks State Park and City of Rocks create the ideal location to host the Idaho Mountain Festival. Park staff is excited to showcase the facilities, exceptional climbing resources, and grand scenery to this year's attendees. We strive to offer exceptional recreational opportunities and experiences, and providing a home here for the Idaho Mountain Festival is sure to accomplish this and more.”

Start making plans to attend the Idaho Mountain Festival with your family and friends. More announcements and information will be provided in the future.

Please direct all questions and inquires to Ben Eaton at Follow the news and happenings of the festival by becoming a fan of the Idaho Mountain Festival Facebook Page and Google+ Page.