The Michigan Ice Fest started almost thirty years ago as a way for the handful of hearty souls who enjoyed climbing in the area to meet up, share stories and do a little climbing. We bonded over the areas beauty and the adventurous nature of the sport and became something of a family. Stories spread by word of mouth, social media and now film. Over the years our family has grown, a lot. No longer are we just 7 people climbing during the day and watching a slideshow in a bar, we’re now 700 people climbing and watching slideshows in a historic theater!
I’m sure that is how Ice Fests have started in some sort of fashion all over the country. Good friends getting together, enjoying the comradery of sharing a rope- becoming family. There are dozens of amazing Ice Festivals scattered across the country and many of the organizers have made their way to Michigan and we are proud to call them our friends. If they are our friends, they are certainly your friends. How about we grow our family a bit and check out these other festivals….who’s up for a road trip?
Bozeman Ice Fest December 7-11th 2016
The Bozeman Ice Festival began in 1996 and is dedicated to promote and protect access to ice climbing in Hyalite Canyon. The event draws professional climbers and participants from across the globe for a myriad of clinics, demos of the latest gear, inspiring films and evening entertainment, and camaraderie of the climbing tribe. The clinics of the festival operate in Hyalite Canyon, one of America’s longest and most influential histories in waterfall ice climbing.
Sandstone Ice Fest December 16-18th 2016
Celebrating their 12th year of winter fun, this vibrant festival celebrates the best of winter adventure sports from ice climbing to skinny skiing, winter camping and shoe shoeing. It is a gathering of kindred spirits who share a love for all things cold. The Sandstone Ice Festival reaches winter lovers from around the Midwest and Canada. For more information click here!
Ouray Ice Fest January 19-22nd 2017
For three days and three nights Ouray is an absolute ice climbing mecca; ice climbers, both novice and pro travel from around the world to celebrate the growing sport of ice climbing. During daily vendor exhibitions Festival attendees have the opportunity to demo the latest ice tools, apparel, and gear from the Outdoor industries leading retailers. Hundreds of spectators line the top of the Gorge on Saturday and Sunday to watch the world’s best ice and mixed climbing talent battle for the prize! And, with over 100 interactive and educational climbing clinics to accommodate every skill level, Festival participants are sure to have an experience to remember.
Nightly events include multimedia presentations by leading climbers, music, food, dance parties and a live and silent auction overflowing with screaming deals of the latest outdoor gear! For more information click here!
Mountain Washington Ice Fest February 3-5th 2017
Since its inception 24 years ago this event has been eagerly anticipated by ice climbers in the Eastern United States and is considered one of the premier climbing events in the country. It is intended to be a celebration of ice climbing and winter mountaineering and the people that make it a part of their lives. It continues to provide a great opportunity for those attending to network, socialize, try new gear and participate in multiple day courses, one-day technical clinics and privately guided climbs. Each year they offer a variety of skills-based clinics and exciting slide shows with featured climbers and guides from the New England area and around the world. For more information or to register click here.
Cody Ice Fest February 10-12th 2017
Established in 1998, and now under completely new management and leadership the Cody Ice Climbing Festival seeks to teach and inspire climbers of all abilities to achieve great new heights. The Cody Ice Climbing Festival offers world class instruction through on ice clinics in one of the most exciting ice climbing venues in the world. Nightly speakers will draw from some of the most accomplished and inspiring alpinists and ice climbers alive. Regardless if you are an experienced climber or completely new to the sport the Cody Ice Fest can raise you to the next level as well as connect you to the ever growing community of climbers. The new Cody Ice Fest will be a champion for safety, stewardship, education and tons of on and off ice fun. For more information or to register click here!
Michigan Ice Fest February 14-19th 2017
Quietly nestled on the south shore of Lake Superior we had some of the country’s most outstanding ice climbing and no one had ever heard of it! For year’s it was a secret treasure. With the release of two major films featuring the area, climbers are beginning to discover what many of us have known for decades: Michigan climbing is great and the Michigan Ice Fest is at the center of it all. The festival makes ice climbing accessible to the first timer, teaches advanced skills to those looking to improve and connects participants with the greater climbing community through slideshows and socials. To register click here!
Today, looking over Lake Superior, we have cold steel grey skies and the trees that are at nearing peak color. My furnace has kicked on as the temperatures are starting to dip towards freezing, and I’m stoked, we are officially only a month away from climbing ice in the Midwest! Watching the weather, it also looks like many of our friends out west are already seeing snow and ice up in the mountains, pretty happy for them as well. Soon our family will be getting together, ascending routes and sharing stories. Honestly it doesn’t get any better than that!