La Sportiva Marks Another Return To Ice Fest

There has been one vendor who has been with us since day one and it has been La Sportiva.  For 19 years Mark Wilford and La Sportiva have been coming up to help teach our Intro To Ice Courses and to provide some of the best ice climbing boots in the industry at our demo site.

Mark Wilford

Who’s the one guy you can guarantee you’ll see at the fest?  Mark of course!  A long time supporter of the festival, Mark is considered one of the most proficient and diverse alpinist/rock climbers in the world. With more than 30 years of experience, he has accumulated a long resume of bold rock ascents, alpine solos, Alaskan climbs and Himalayan expeditions. Among his most notable climbs are the first American solo ascent of the Eiger North Face, a first ascent route on Nameless Tower, a winter solo of the Diamond on Long’s Peak and first ascents in Alaska’s Saint

Elias Range. Although he has participated in sport climbing and ice-climbing events, Mark is considered a staunch traditionalist when it comes to the style and ethics of climbing.  “Whatever that means these days,” he jokes. “I just like to climb. I just love climbing.”

Mark Wilford in the early 90's soloing the East Channel of Grand Island


If you are headed out to the demo site you may have seen dozens of the Nepal Evo’s.  We had plenty of these award winning boots in men and women’s styles.  When the brutal cold winds come blowing in from across lake Superior, the La Sportiva Nepal EVO GTX Mountaineering Boot will be your foot’s best friend! La Sportiva combined a waterproof breathable Gore-Tex membrane, an insulated lining , and a durable leather upper to keep your feet warm and protected for many summits to come. The Vibram sole, featuring the Impact Brake System, provides tough traction on slippery inclines, while the 3D Flex ankle allows for maximum sole-to-surface contact on the steeps. An adjustable, removable tongue offers a comfortable, customizable fit for any foot shape.

Once again a huge thank you goes out to La Sportiva  for joining us again and continuing to support Mid West ice climbers and sending Mark back to this years Michigan Ice Fest!