OGDEN -- Education will be the focus of this year's Ogden Climbing Festival.
Weber State University's Campus Recreation Outdoor Program will educate, promote and celebrate the sport during the state's largest climbing festival, which began today in downtown Ogden.
The sixth annual Ogden Climbing Festival will feature a free gear demo and educational climbing clinics, a community climbing party and a community clean-up.
"Some of the world's best climbing happens in Ogden. People travel from all around the globe to experience it. Mark your calendars, and bring your family and friends to participate in a weekend of free climbing for all abilities," said Daniel Turner, Ogden Climbing Festival event organizer.
The festival events are open to the public, family-friendly and free. It is a chance to rock climb and learn about the sport in a safe, fun environment. This year's focus is education. Organizers have added several new classes and clinics for the public to participate in.
Organizers are encouraging experienced climbers to bring a novice-climbing friend. Children, youth and adults are welcome.
Among the events:
* Thursday, 7-9 p.m. OCF Kick-off Party at GEAR:30 (1931 S. Washington Blvd.)
Featuring an Everest expedition presentation by Will Calton: Everest summiteer, Will Calton, narrowly survived the descent from the world's highest peak, Mt. Everest.
See images and experience his personal story, "Preparing For and Surviving Everest."
He will recount his improbable record-high helicopter rescue, along with humorous and useful anecdotes on how to train in Ogden for the world's tallest mountain.
* Friday, 5-9 p.m. Free climbing and gear demo at Weber Rocks Climbing Gym at the WSU Swenson Stromberg Gym. (3848 Harrison Blvd.)
Free family fun rock climbing and education on the latest outdoor and climbing gear.
* Saturday, 10 a.m. Outdoor Red Point Boulder Competition at Ogden Boulder Field.
(Parking St. Joseph's High School located at 1790 Lake St. The access road leads approximately 700 yards to the lower boulder field.) A climbing competition with many levels of division held at one of Ogden's premier climbing spots. Points are awarded upon level of difficulty in each division. Registration is $20 and available Friday evening at the gear demo or Saturday at 9 a.m.
* 12 to 1 p.m. Free Barbeque sponsored by Red Bull
* 1 to 3:30 p.m. Free climbing clinics for all ages and abilities at the Ogden Boulder Field .
* 6:30 p.m. Free Hayden Kennedy keynote climbing presentation at WSU Wildcat Theater.
Hailing from good genes and an appetite for adventure Hayden Kennedy is considered one of the best all-around climbers in the U.S. He climbed his first multi-pitch desert tower at age 13. With a redpoint of 5.14c, Kennedy has free climbed El Captain in Yosemite National Park and has stood atop peaks such as Cerro Standhart, Torre Egger, and Cerro Torre in Argentine Patagonia.
Winning the Golden Piton Award for his bold ascent of Cerro Torre with SLC local Kyle Dempster, Hayden's goals and ambitions involve being as strong as he can be in all aspects of climbing. He will share his soul-inspiring adventures.
* 8:30 to 11 p.m. Climbing After Party at The Front Climbing Club (225 20th Street)
Free food and drinks provided.
* Sunday, 10 a.m. Ogden Boulder Field clean up and trail maintenance.
The event will conclude with a volunteer clean-up effort headed by WSU Campus Recreation Outdoor Program leaders to help maintain and restore the trails of the Ogden Boulder Field.
For a full event schedule listing, visit http://www.weber.edu/outdoor/ogden-climbing-festival-2013-Utah.html.