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Mammut Alpine Team Athletes Win 1st & 2nd at Ouray Ice Festival

Wharton, Mayo Take Top Honors; Mayo Inspires with Donation of Prize Cash Back to Ice Park

Last weekend at the annual Ouray Ice Festival, Mammut alpine team athletes Josh Wharton and Will Mayo won 1st and 2nd place respectively in the festival’s invitational competition. The festival, held January 9th-11th 2009, is the premier international ice climbing gathering in the U.S., bringing climbers, gear manufacturers, outdoor enthusiasts and spectators together for a weekend celebration of the sport.

Wharton, known for his skills in rock, ice, mixed and alpine climbing took first prize in the competition, and took home a $2000 purse that will help fund an upcoming expedition to Patagonia. Wharton and his partners are recent recipients of a Mugs Stump Award grant, an endowment helping small expedition teams pursuing climbing objectives that exemplify light, fast, and clean alpinism. With climbing partners Colin Haley and Dylan Johnson, Wharton will attempt the North Pillar of Pakistan’s Latok 1 an oft-attempted but yet-to-be-completed prize of Himalayan mountaineering, according to Climbing Magazine (

“Ouray Ice Fest is a great opportunity to share this sport with more people and get them excited about what we do, and hopefully get them out there doing it themselves,” added Wharton.

Mayo, known for necky alpine, ice, and mixed climbing ascents in the frigid climes of New England and New York’s Adirondacks won a $1000 cash 2nd prize, which he immediately donated to “Got Stump?”, a somewhat informal climbing community project supporting the Ouray Ice Park while recognizing climbers who pursue the sport with prostheses due to injuries, accidents, and even war wounds. Mayo said he found himself inspired by an Iraqi war veteran who was sharing in the climbing and the spirit of the festival.

“I was inspired by the opportunity to share the sport of ice climbing with so many people throughout the course of the weekend. Recognizing that as climbers, what we do is often about opting to pursue adversity, I thought a nod to those who have faced real adversity and still opt to pursue climbing was in order,” said Mayo. “It was an honor to have that element among us.”

Mammut, inspired by Mayo’s motion, spontaneously matched the donation to the Ice Park in honor of “Got Stump?”. A female festival attendee was inspired to do the same, turning a $1000 cash prize into a $3000 donation to the Ice Park and ultimately, the sport while honoring a war veteran attendee. “Climbing can be perceived as a frivolous activity, and it was a great opportunity to give back through competition, which often generates the less altruistic side of us as athletes and as people,” added Mayo.

“We’re proud to have two Mammut athletes represent our brand in such a great way, not just by winning, but by demonstrating passion and appreciation of the sport and the comraderie it so often inspires. Josh and Will both push the boundaries of climbing and we’re honored that they are doing it in a style that reflects Mammut’s commitment to quality and alpinism,” said Ian Connor, marketing coordinator for Mammut USA.

About Mammut
Based in Switzerland, Mammut is a leading manufacturer of all-season alpine gear, apparel, and footwear. For more information on all Mammut Sports Group apparel, gear, athlete’s, and brands, contact Ian Connor at 800.451.5127 ext. 113, or log on to: For media inquiries, contact Alycia Cavadi at 617.262.5559 or