AMGA Courses to be offered this Fall!

The Michigan Ice Fest Guides will be offering an American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor Course as well as an SPI Assessment this May!

SPI COURSE September 15-17th  2021 Marquette Michigan  $550.00

The Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) Program teaches climbing instructors to proficiently facilitate and instruct the sport of rock climbing in a single pitch setting. The SPI is the only internationally recognized single pitch climbing instructor certification program in the United States. This program is the industry standard for facilitating single pitch outdoor rock climbing. It is also a highly beneficial program to complete prior to moving into the AMGA Guide Track Programs.

The SPI Program consists of a 3 day course and separate 2 day assessment. Candidates should meet the required prerequisites prior to attending the course or assessment.

Prerequisites:

  • You are a Professional Member of the AMGA.
  • You have a genuine interest in rock climbing and instructing novices on single pitch crags.
  • You are at least 18 years old at the time of the course.
  • You have at least 12 months prior climbing experience.
  • You are an active climber with traditional lead climbing experience (leader placing pro).
  • You have led a minimum of 15 traditional rock climbing routes (any grade).
  • You are capable of comfortably climbing 5.8 while on a top rope.

 

SPI ASSESSMENT September 18-19th 2021 Marquette Michigan  $395.00

The SPI Assessment is two days in length (minimum of 16 hours assessment time) and will take place at a single pitch climbing area where there are a selection traditional lead routes in the 5.6 range and top roping routes in the 5.8 range. The assessment will examine all aspects of institutional single pitch climbing that the Single Pitch Instructor may encounter. Day one will look at climbing movement and all aspects of technical systems from anchoring to assistance skills and general climbing competence. On day two the examiner will arrange for volunteer novice clients (non-paying) for the candidates to instruct in a group setting.

Prerequisites

  • You are a current member of the AMGA.
  • You have successfully completed an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course.
  • You have led a minimum of 40 traditional routes, most of which should be 5.6 and on a variety of rock types.
  • You are able to comfortably lead 5.6 traditional routes, which means you place protection.
  • You are able to comfortably climb 5.8 on top rope.
  • The SPI Assessment can be taken directly following the SPI Course if the candidate successfully completed the course and meets the assessment prerequisites. However, it is highly recommended that the SPI Course candidate take time practicing and consolidating the skills learned on the course before assessment (6-12 months).
  • You do not need First Aid training to take the course or assessment. However, it is your responsibility to hold appropriate medical certification for the location that you are working in.

 

SPACE IS LIMITED TO 6 PARTICIPANTS PER COURSE! Register Here!

New Clinics For 2022!

The Upper Peninsula is experiencing an early summer heat wave and all we can think about is ice!  We are very excited to have registration open and a whole bunch of new clinics for you to choose from. Check out the new additions to your Michigan Ice Fest!

NEW! Black Diamond Presents Introduction to Ice for People of Color

The MIF is proud to offer a powerful opportunity for POC to learn and develop ice climbing skills from our professional guides, providing POC the opportunity to not only learn alongside other POC Climbers, but to learn directly from POC instructors and mentors. The People of Color Clinic is open to all genders and is held in cooperation with Black Diamond and Climbers of Color.

Class is limited to 9 participants and with two routes selected there is sure to be plenty of climb time.   Scholarships may be available, please contact the staff at MIF for more information.  Space is limited for this course.

 

NEW! Guides Picks Clinic

The equipment you bring can really improve your day out on the ice.  You’re only as warm as your clothing layers and only as comfortable as your jacket and pants. Join a Michigan Ice Fest Guide as they discuss the perfect gear selection that professionals utilize before tackling the big routes.   During this off ice clinic we’ll help to steer you in the right direction, including our guide’s picks for their favorite clothing and equipment.  We have partnered with Down Wind Sports in Marquette to offer you a $50.00 gift card AND a 20% discount on any ice climbing gear or apparel as part of your registration so if you don’t have the right apparel and want to purchase we can help you out.

 

This will be a non-climbing class and participation is limited to 15 people. Preregistration is required

 

NEW! Black Diamond presents Introduction to Avalanche Safety with Will Gadd

More and more Midwest climbers are traveling into the bigger mountain ranges and whether they are tackling big mountains or remote waterfall ice, it is prudent to wear avalanche beacons. Avalanche transceivers, or beacons, are the best tools we have to find someone buried in an avalanche. Join us and learn how to use one and effectively carry a beacon on your next mountain adventure. The MIF Guides encourage you to learn as much as you can about snow, weather, and avalanches prior to venturing out into the backcountry and this clinic will be a great start!

This will be a non-climbing class and participation is limited to 15 people. Preregistration is required

 

NEW! La Sportiva Presents Footwork For Success

From the moment, the first tool is placed and the first step is taken, there are many minute muscle that are triggered to keep you stable on the route.

Our friends at La Sportiva are offering this informative course to help improve your footwork and to greatly improve your success on the ice.

Participants will climb in La Sportiva boots and receive instruction on precision foot placement, weight transfer, hip position, resting on steeper terrain, and leg driven movement.

All of these components should be considered when making a single move and having success on steep ice.

 

NEW! Introduction to Steep Ice with Nate Sackett presented by Blue Ice

Michigan has always been known as a place with steep and intimidating ice.  Become a better ice climber by putting new skills and tricks for efficient movement in your climbing quiver during this informative clinic taught by Nate Sackett. Gain knowledge on improving footwork and leashless climbing techniques required to tackle the sustained, steep ice in the WI4 to WI5 range.

 

 

 

 

 

NEW! Scarpa Presents Intermediate Ice With Aaron Mulkey

Improve your ice climbing technique!  This intermediate course will focus on improving footwork, developing efficient tool placements/rests, and creating ease in both your style and your experience of the route.  The goal of the course will be to develop the tools necessary to conserve energy for longer and harder pitches of steep ice.  Participants should have prior ice climbing experience.

 

 

 

 

 

NEW! Blue Ice Presents Introduction to Lead Climbing with Nate Sackett

This class is designed to introduce ice climbers to the gear and techniques associated with beginning to leading on ice. Students will learn proper use of gear and equipment and will be shown different techniques and when to use them. Student will also be able to demo the just released Blue Ice Screws! Upon entering this class the student must have knowledge of the basic gear and techniques associated with ice climbing.

Each participant will walk home with their choice of a 16 or 19cm screw!

 

 

 

NEW! Petzl Presents Master Anchoring Class with Dale Remsburg

This clinic is designed to introduce climbers to a vast array of climbing anchors, tricks and tips! Dale loves helping both new and experienced climbers to achieve their goals and this clinic will be loaded with helpful information for clients. Dale is an Internationally Licensed Mountain Guide (IFMGA) and Technical Director of the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). Never one to focus on a single aspect of climbing, he is an accomplished all around climber with high-end skills that cover all disciplines of climbing including; sport, trad, mixed, ice and alpine. His passion is teaching clients the finer points of climbing anchoring and safety.

 

 

NEW! Scarpa Presents Intermediate Ice With David Allfrey

Improve your ice climbing technique!  This intermediate course will focus on improving footwork, developing efficient tool placements/rests, and creating ease in both your style and your experience of the route.  The goal of the course will be to develop the tools necessary to conserve energy for longer and harder pitches of steep ice.  Participants should have prior ice climbing experience.

 

 

 

NEW! Introduction to Leading with Carlos Buhler Presented by LOWA

This class is designed to introduce the beginning ice climber to the gear and techniques associated with leading on ice. Students will learn proper use of gear and equipment and will be shown different techniques and when to use them. Upon entering this class the student must have knowledge of the basic gear and techniques associated with ice climbing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW! Mixed Climbing with Marcus Garcia Presented by LOWA

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore does not have rock that is conducive to mixed climbing…in fact it’s illegal to do so.  That’s why we are headed west for this brand new mixed climbing course!  A newly established crag in the Marquette area will be the setting for this introduction to mixed climbing.  Learn the essential techniques for transitioning from ice climbing to mixed climbing. Mixed climbing is ascending ice and rock, using techniques from both disciplines. Prior ice climbing is highly recommended.

 

 

NEW! Women’s Back Country Adventure With Sarah Hueniken Presented by Scarpa

This class is designed to introduce the intermediate ice climber to some of the back country formations along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  Participants will be shuttled into the back country where we will split the group and climb Bridal Veil Falls and Potatoe Patch Falls. Students will review proper use of gear and equipment and will be shown different techniques and when to use them. Upon entering this class the student must have knowledge of the basic gear and techniques including rappelling, associated with ice climbing.

 

 

NEW! Women’s Introduction to Leading on Ice with Lindsey Hamm presented by RAB

This class is designed to introduce the beginning ice climber to the gear and techniques associated with leading on ice. Students will learn proper use of gear and equipment and will be shown different techniques and when to use them. Upon entering this class the student must have knowledge of the basic gear and techniques associated with ice climbing.

 

 

 

 

 

NEW! Petzl Presents Night Climbing Adventure

What better way to get absolutely the most out of your trip is to climb at night! Not only will a night session extend your climbing time but it will offer a unique perspective of climbing a frozen pillar by the light of a headlamp. Each participant will be given a new Petzl headlamp to use for the night and keep for future climbing trips!

 

 

 

 

 

Our clinics fill up really fast so if one of these sparks an interest be sure to register as soon as possible at our registration page!

Michigan Ice Fest 2022 Registration is Open!

Register HERE!

Say what? That’s right- we have been working all year to get our registration open and make some special plans for our 30th Anniversary!  We are proud of our heritage and are super excited to offer a lot of new and unique programming for this coming ice fest.  Once again we feel we have pulled out all of the stops for 2022! We will be adding special events. athlete announcements and much more throughout the summer! Included with every registration will be a free Official Michigan Ice Fest Tee Shirt! You can check out many of our new programs on our website here!

Remember- space is limited on all courses so grab a friend and sign up early!

Ice Conditions Report 3-29-21

Saturday night saw a slight return of winter with 3 inches of snow falling overnight giving hope to a slightly longer season! There’s still some left small seeps left for the hard core desperate climbers. The remaining climbs left are The Curtains, Opening Curtains, Lakeshore Curtains and Prelude Curtain. The tops outs are not looking great, but it is something for those who just can’t give it up.

We want to thank everyone for a great season and start hanging on their tools to get ready for next season! Can’t get enough of the U. P.? The Michigan Ice Fest Guides do offer rock climbing trips in the summer time, visit our website for more information!

At Michigan Ice we take pride in being your go to site for current ice climbing conditions for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore as well as climbs throughout the Upper Peninsula. Planning a trip to Pictured Rocks next season? Be sure to pick up the local guidebook and as soon as the ice starts to come in we will have you covered for all the latest snow and ice conditions on all of your favorite climbs.

Ice Conditions Report 3-22-21 So You’re Sayin’ We Have a Chance!

This past weekend it was great to see the last of the die hards getting in some late season swings!  While our season has been shorter than we are use to it looks like we may be able to squeek out another week on ice climbing.  The seeps along Sand Point Road and the Lakeshore Curtains are still holdng their own and offering up those sweet soft ice swings!

With spring conditions please be sure to take caution with all top outs as the top of the route will be the first part of the climb to deteriorate. This time of year climbs can change overnight so it is best to have a flexible schedule if you are planning on coming up. This week we will get some rain on Wednesday but look at those overnight lows!  We are betting that there should be some ice to climb if anyone wants to give it one more shot!

At Michigan Ice we take pride in being your go to site for current ice climbing conditions for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore as well as climbs throughout the Upper Peninsula. Planning a trip to Pictured Rocks next season? Be sure to pick up the local guidebook and as soon as the ice starts to come in we will have you covered for all the latest snow and ice conditions on all of your favorite climbs.

Ice Conditions Report 3-17-21

Good to see some climbers out this past weekend looking for climbable ice!  A mixed bag of conditions were found as many of the true waterfalls are not climbable, as is many of the climbs that are fully exposed to the sun. Seeps tucked back in the woods are hanging in there.

Climbs that were in include:

School Room

Drake Seep

The Curtains

Boomer Falls

Opening Curtain

Prelude Curtain

Lakeshore Curtains

Totally Todd

With spring conditions please be sure to take caution with all top outs as the top of the route will be the first part of the climb to deteriorate. This time of year climbs can change overnight so it is best to have a flexible schedule if you are planning on coming up.

Also don’t forgot our photo contest is up and live over on Facebook. Head on over to our page and vote for your favorite!

AMGA SPI Courses to be Offered This May!

The Michigan Ice Fest Guides will be offering an American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor Course as well as an SPI Assessment this May!

SPI COURSE May 17-19th  2021 Marquette Michigan  $530.00

The Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) Program teaches climbing instructors to proficiently facilitate and instruct the sport of rock climbing in a single pitch setting. The SPI is the only internationally recognized single pitch climbing instructor certification program in the United States. This program is the industry standard for facilitating single pitch outdoor rock climbing. It is also a highly beneficial program to complete prior to moving into the AMGA Guide Track Programs.

The SPI Program consists of a 3 day course and separate 2 day assessment. Candidates should meet the required prerequisites prior to attending the course or assessment.

Prerequisites:

  • You are a Professional Member of the AMGA.
  • You have a genuine interest in rock climbing and instructing novices on single pitch crags.
  • You are at least 18 years old at the time of the course.
  • You have at least 12 months prior climbing experience.
  • You are an active climber with traditional lead climbing experience (leader placing pro).
  • You have led a minimum of 15 traditional rock climbing routes (any grade).
  • You are capable of comfortably climbing 5.8 while on a top rope.

 

SPI ASSESSMENT MAY 20-21st 2021 Marquette Michigan  $375.00

The SPI Assessment is two days in length (minimum of 16 hours assessment time) and will take place at a single pitch climbing area where there are a selection traditional lead routes in the 5.6 range and top roping routes in the 5.8 range. The assessment will examine all aspects of institutional single pitch climbing that the Single Pitch Instructor may encounter. Day one will look at climbing movement and all aspects of technical systems from anchoring to assistance skills and general climbing competence. On day two the examiner will arrange for volunteer novice clients (non-paying) for the candidates to instruct in a group setting.

Prerequisites

  • You are a current member of the AMGA.
  • You have successfully completed an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course.
  • You have led a minimum of 40 traditional routes, most of which should be 5.6 and on a variety of rock types.
  • You are able to comfortably lead 5.6 traditional routes, which means you place protection.
  • You are able to comfortably climb 5.8 on top rope.
  • The SPI Assessment can be taken directly following the SPI Course if the candidate successfully completed the course and meets the assessment prerequisites. However, it is highly recommended that the SPI Course candidate take time practicing and consolidating the skills learned on the course before assessment (6-12 months).
  • You do not need First Aid training to take the course or assessment. However, it is your responsibility to hold appropriate medical certification for the location that you are working in.

 

SPACE IS LIMITED TO 6 PARTICIPANTS PER COURSE! REGISTER HERE!

 

COURSE INSTRUCTOR

Karsten Delap

Originally from the flat lands of Indiana, Karsten has found his obsession in the mountains. He has climbed extensively throughout the United States and his experience outside of the U.S. includes many peaks over 17,000ft in Boliva and Equador, as well as major alpine objectives in Africa and Argentina. Lately Karsten has been traveling to more exotic climbing locals such as Armenia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand for work and play. Karsten spends his winters chasing ice and powder. Karsten is an AMGA certified Rock and Alpine guide and volunteers on many rescue teams throughout the Southeast. Karsten is an athlete with La Sportiva, Deuter, Bluewater Ropes, Julbo USA and Ibex Outdoor Clothing. More info at www.karstendelap.com

Ice Conditions Report 3-8-21

 

Chris Stark on HMR PC Matt Foss

From HMR to Grand Island we had another busy weekend of climbing here in Munising. Once again so many friends are coming up and getting after it all throughout the park! With the exception of the of the Amphitheater, all front country and backcountry climbs are still in and in fact growing!

This weeks forcast is warm with a possibility of rain on Wednesday. Many people are starting to call and we know you all are nervous about this warmer weather coming our way. As of today, the ice is still excellent and holding on strong. For everone’s sake we will send out another update later this week if anything changes. We still feel some of the best climbing is yet to be done, warm temperatures and soft ice is here and there is no reason to put away the gear yet!

Erik Olsen West Shore Grand Island PC Emily Gantner

Once again, it is still NOT SAFE to cross from Sandpoint Road to the East Channel Curtains. Several parties did climb on the island and they are crossing from the Public Dock to the dock on the island and traveling on the inland trails to access the climbs.  As always, please check lake ice conditions when you get to town before crossing.

Harrison Smith on the Dryer Hose 3-7-21

Bailey DeAugustine on Swamp Falls 3-7-21 PC Bryan DeAugustine

We also had a friendly reminder from Park Service staff that is it not appropriate to have open alcohol at climbs in the park. Please save your celebrations for the East Channel and By George Breweries.

 

 

 

 

 

In our opinion the best climbing conditions in the U.P. are in March as the ice is fat and the sun starts to come out from its winter hibernation!  There are still ample opportunities to get some swings in so grab your friends and we hope you head on up for some spring climbing!

Also don’t forgot our photo contest is still going on. Submit your photos using the #michiganicefest2021 on Insta or Facebook! The contest will end on MARCH 15th