Nevada Miner Claims All-Around at Highgraders Holiday
by Samantha Wright
Aug 31, 2012 | 1790 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
IF I HAD A HAMMER – Jeff and Kyle Carpenter of Creede won second place in the Double Jacking contest at last weekend’s Highgraders Holiday mining contest in Ouray. (Photo by Samantha Wright)
IF I HAD A HAMMER – Jeff and Kyle Carpenter of Creede won second place in the Double Jacking contest at last weekend’s Highgraders Holiday mining contest in Ouray. (Photo by Samantha Wright)

OURAY – Crowds thrilled to an impressive display of machinery and muscle at Miner’s Park in Ouray last weekend at the annual Highgraders Holiday mining contest.

The event drew a small but deep field of professional miners, including many from the San Juan Mountains and other mining districts in Colorado, and some from as far afield as Nevada, Wyoming and Arizona.

For the third year in a row, Nevada miner Steve McDonald took home the coveted Best All-Around Miner title and the $500 cash prize that goes with it. The title goes to the miner who accumulates the most points in multiple events throughout the two-day contest.

The notorious Carpenter brothers of Creede showed up to vie for the Double Jacking title in which partners take turns swinging an eight-pound hammer to sink a drill steel into granite. But they were bested in their efforts by Nederland-ites Jesse Patridge and Emmett Hoyle who took first place in that grueling event.

Hoyle and Partridge were also the men to beat in the Single Jacking contest, taking first and second place respectively. Powered by mental toughness and unsurpassed physical brawn, Hoyle sunk his drill steel in impressive 10 inches into the rock, within the time limit – a personal best.

Locals shone in the Team Drilling event, with Ouray natives Eric and Kyle Shoenebaum (a father/son team) taking first place and Amos and Clifford Jaramillo of Silverton coming in second.

Highgraders Holiday organizer and Ouray native son Bumper Williams was particularly impressed with Patricia Capistrant’s effort in the women’s Single Jacking contest. She sunk her drill 4 3/4 inches into the rock – two inches deeper than her closest competitor. “That young girl can swing a hammer!” he said.

Williams was pleased with the turnout for this year’s Highgraders Holiday. “We had 19 competitors in the single-man drilling, and 10 teams for machine drilling, and a lot of folks in the mucking machine,” he said.

One thing that sweetens the draw is the prize money; this year Highgraders Holiday doled out $8,000 in cash prizes. The money comes from local sponsorships as well as entry fees.

Highgraders Holiday is the last hoorah of the summer season on the mining contest circuit. And because the event was discontinued for several years prior to being resurrected four years ago, it is still fairly small compared to similar contests in other parts of the state.

“We grow a little bit every year,” Williams said. “We’ll make this thing into the Super Bowl yet.”

As Highgraders Holiday grows, so does local enthusiasm for the event – particularly now that there is somewhat of a mining renaissance happening in the area.

“There were a lot of people down there you don’t normally see – a lot of the locals,” Williams said. “It was fun.”


Overall results from the 2012 Highgraders Holiday

Best All-Around Miner:

Steve McDonald

Double Jacking:

1st: Jesse Patridge and Emmett Hoyle

2nd: Jeff and Kyle Carpenter

3rd: Greg Holford and Steve McDonald

Team Drilling:

1st: Eric and Kyle Shoenebaum

2nd: Amos and Clifford Jaramillo

3rd: Harley Gardner and Rick Ernst

Men’s Hand Mucking:

1st: Steve McDonald

2nd: Jesse Patridge

3rd: Emmett Hoyle

Women’s Hand Mucking:

1st: Dorothy McCarthy

2nd: Amy Hill

3rd: Stephanie Haynes

Single Man Drilling:

1st: Clifford Jaramillo

2nd: Aaron Calhoon

3rd: Rick Ernst

Women’s Spike Driving:

1st: Amy Hill

2nd: Jenna Bokken

3rd: Patricia Capishant

Men’s Spike Driving:

1st: Jesse Patridge

2nd: Steve McDonald

3rd: Clifford Jaramillo

Women’s Single Jacking:

1st: Patricia Capistrant

2nd: Jenna Bokken

3rd: Paige Cybluski

Men’s Single Jacking:

1st: Emmett Hoyle

2nd: Jesse Patridge

3rd: Steve McDonald

Machine Mucking:

1st: Roy Andrean

2nd: Terry Rhoades

3rd: Bobby Gallegos or @iamsamwright


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