Vince Anderson Returns To Ice Fest!

Vince is a third generation native of Colorado who climbed his first mountain at age five, started skiing at eight, and has called the mountains home his entire life. When he is not out guiding, climbing, skiing, he can often be found on the bike with his wife and three sons in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Since 1994 Vince has guided thousands of happy clients on custom ice climbing adventures around Colorado, the Canadian Rockies, the Alps, Alaska, the Himalaya, the Karakoram and the Andes. In 1998, Vince earned the highest level of certification available to mountain guides world-wide, becoming an International Federation of Mountain Guide Association (IFMGA) Certified Mountain Guide. Today Vince passes on his famed experience and calm to young aspiring mountain guides as an instructor and examiner for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA).

Vince is also passionate about climbing in his personal time. He ice climbed competitively from 2001 to 2008, attaining sixth overall in the World Cup Ice Climbing championship in 2002. Since 2010 he has been the route setter for the difficulty competition at the famed Ouray Ice Festival. Vince is an alpinist who abides by the “light is right” alpine style ethic. Most notably, he and Steve House completed their famous new route on the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat (26,660?, ninth highest mountain in the world) in alpine style without oxygen in eight days during September of 2005. Vince and Steve have also partnered on numerous other ice, mixed, and alpine climbs, including the first ascent of K7 West in Pakistan and a new route on the North Face of Mount Alberta in the Canadian Rockies.

You can check out more on Vince at Skyward Mountaineering. Skyward Mountaineering is a small and exclusive mountain guiding service owned and operated by Vince Anderson in beautiful Western Colorado. They offer customized climbing programs and adventures in Western Colorado, Eastern Utah and around the globe.

A super big thanks goes out to long time Michigan Ice Fest sponsor Patagonia for hooking us up with Vince!


Camp / Cassin to Send Sarah Morris to Ice Fest!

Our friends over at Camp/Cassin are ramping up up athlete line up with sending Sarah Morris to instruct at this years Ice Fest.  This will be Sarah’s first pilgrimage to Munising so it will be nice to show her some Midwest hospitality!

Sarah is passionate about covering big mountain terrain on a relatively quick schedule. Over the past few years, Sarah has expanded her first love of rock climbing to include training which enables her to excel on ice, snow, glaciers, and big trail runs. This has translated into an ability to combine the mediums in order to access bigger alpine terrain.

Sarah grew up in a small town in Northern California, and was introduced to the outdoors at a very young age, but didn’t technically learn to climb until she was at college north of the Bay Area. This resulted in a rapid obsession with the sport, despite recalling that she had “never been so bad at something without feeling discouraged. I was convinced from my first uncoordinated attempt at 5.6 that I would become a climber.” Sarah spent most of her first couple of years learning to climb at the local climbing gym and taking as many trips as possible to places like Bishop, Tahoe, Joshua Tree, Red Rocks, and Yosemite.

After transforming her lifestyle through climbing for a few years in CA, the opportunity arose to move to Salt Lake City, UT to attend graduate school at the University of Utah. Sarah also saw this as a good way to expand her climbing horizons. Since moving to Salt Lake City, Sarah has enjoyed the more immediate access to rocks in her backyard, and has found a big passion for winter alpine climbing. In the last year and a half, Sarah has discovered that long distance trail running is also a great way to travel through and learn about her new home (and keep her dog Makalu involved in all of the fun). For some climbers, diversity isn’t considered a helpful thing. Sarah thinks that it is the key to keeping her motivation for trying hard at an all-time high.

When Sarah isn’t climbing or running, she is working with her husband Nate to manage their company, the MED Alliance (MED). She is also passionate about teaching, cooking, gardening, and spending as much time as possible with Makalu.

Barry Blanchard Returns To Ice Fest!


Michigan Ice Fest is proud to announce that our good friend Barry Blanchard will be joining us again (use Canadian accent when saying “again”). We have our Gold  Level Sponsor Patagonia to thank for sending Barry to this years event!

Barry Blanchard is known world wide as the modern father of Canadian alpine mountaineering and hard ice climbs.  Often described as the “Bonatti of the Rockies,” and Canada’s greatest alpinist, the Canmore-based writer and photographer spends his time romping around the globe in search of adventure on high alpine faces.  Barry is an internationally certified UIAGM guide and frequently works as a safety coordinator for Hollywood. He has been featured ice climbing in the IMAX Extreme film and Vertical Limit. His exploits include the first ascent of the epic North Pillar of North Twin, first ascents in winter on the north faces of Les Droites and two successful expeditions to Mt. Everest. In 2002 he opened a new route on the Emperor Face of Mt. Robson. It was Barry’s seventh start over many years, and partners Eric Dumerac and Philippe Pellet insisted on the name Infinite Patience (VI, WI5, M5, 5.9). In addition to recent routes on the southwest face of East Kahiltna Peak, the southeast ridge of Mt. Asperity and the north face of Bravo Peak.


Barry is also the author of The Calling A Life Rocked by Mountains and will be available for purchase and signing!

With heart-pounding descriptions of avalanches and treacherous ascents, Barry Blanchard chronicles his transformation from a poor Native American/white kid from the wrong side of the tracks to one of the most respected alpinists in the world. At thirteen, he learned to rappel when he joined the 1292 Lord Strathcone’s Horse Army Cadets. Soon kicked out for insubordination, he was already hooked on climbing and saw alpinism as a way to make his single mother proud and end his family’s cycle of poverty. He describes early climbs attempted with nothing to guide him but written trail descriptions and the cajones of youth. He slowly acquires the skills, equipment and partners necessary to tackle more and more difficult climbs, farther and farther afield: throughout the Canadian Rockies, into Alaska and the French Alps and on to Everest, Peru, and the challenging mountains in Pakistan. From each he learns lessons that only nature and extreme endeavor can teach.

Gripped Magazine called his memoir, The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains (Patagonia, October 2014), “the most anticipated book of 2014.”  The Calling is the story of the culture of climbing in the days of punk rock, spurred on by the rhythm of adrenaline and the arrogance of youth. It is also a portrait of the power of the mountains to lift us – physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually – and the depths of relationships based on total trust in the person at the other end of a rope.

The book includes climbs with top climbers such as Kevin Doyle, Mark Twight, David Cheesmond and Ward Robinson, with killer photos and even Barry’s song playlist! Thanks again to our Gold Sponsor Patagonia for making it possible for Barry to be at this years Michigan Ice Fest!






John Roskelley To Attend 2019 Ice Fest!

Only a handful of climbers are worthy of the label “legend” but certainly John Roskelley is one of them.  We are so excited to announce that John will be making the trip east to present at Ice Fest.

John Roskelley

Author and photographer, John Roskelley, is a dabbler in everything outdoors. If he’s not dodging rocks on some alpine face in Canada or scratching his way up a frozen WI5 waterfall, John can be found paddling the Columbia River from source to mouth. John admits adventuring flows in his blood. In his first half century, John fought his way up four 8,000-meter peaks, including K2 and Everest, plus a plethora of devilishly hard, unclimbed shorter Himalayan and Karakorum faces and ridges. A graduate of WSU in geology, John has written four adventure books and in 2014 a paddler’s guidebook to the entire 1200 miles of the Columbia River. His photography has been on the cover of National Geographic, multiple book covers, posters, and other notable national magazines. John received the International Piolets d’Or Walter Bonatti Lifetime Achievement award in 2014 and was recently made an honorary member of the AAC. John and his wife, Joyce, have been married 46 years and have three great kids.

Scarpa To Send Andres Marin To Ice Fest!

Our first athlete for the 2019 Michigan Ice Fest has committed! Super stoked that our friends at SCARPA are sending Andres Marin to the fest! Andres works as a mountain guide, professional climber and competition route setter. He has competed in five ice climbing world cups and two world championships. When not competing, Andres spends his time searching for new places to explore around the world, spending over 200 days a year in the mountains. You can’t find a nicer guy and he will be a great addition to our Ice Fest family!

“My Mom will tell you when I was a kid I was constantly climbing, on everything. Born and raised in Colombia, in the middle of the central mountain range of the country, I started climbing mountains in my teens. I was captivated by the allure of adventure. In 2003 I moved to the USA and found myself completely addicted to Indian Creek and the Moab area, spending uncountable days climbing wide cracks and desert towers. My first visit to Ouray, I was stoked to experience vertical ice climbing and was immediately hooked. I love climbing mixed ice and alpine routes that drive me to intense focus and challenge. My passion lies in expedition climbing, exploring new mountains and trying to unlock the mystery of climbing new routes. Being out in the mountains, enjoying cool places with good friends is something I absolutely love, but I also love to come home and rock climb in the Black Canyon or go cragging with my dog Paco”. Andres is being sent to Ice Fest by our good friends at Scarpa!

Michigan Ice Fest 2019 Registration is Open!


Who’s excited?  We’re excited! Every year after the fest while participants are driving home, the organizers start the planning to improve your ice fest experience.  We are happy to announce that registration for the 2019 Michigan Ice Fest is now open! We have been working tirelessly to put together an amazing week of ice climbing and socials designed to bring our Midwest tribe together. Once again we feel we have pulled out all of the stops for 2019!  New for 2019, a brand spanking new website, also look for multi day classes, mixed climbing courses, an expanded free class program, and included with every registration will be a free Official Michigan Ice Fest Tee Shirt! Space is limited on all courses so grab a friend and sign up early!


Ice Conditions Report- 5-6-18

Opening Curtain 5-6-18
Opening Curtain 5-6-18

7 months.  What an incredible season for us at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore!  Arni and I headed over yesterday to find that there is still descent ice to climb but most formations are deteriorating fast. Its bitter sweet to start to put away your ice gear but we really can’t complain after this amazing season.  New routes were put up, Grand Island was open for most of the year, ice formations that we have never seen before popped up and were climbed, professional athletes put Munising on their radar and climbed amazing routes and inspired Midwest climbers to really get after it.




Prelude Curtain 5-6-18
Prelude Curtain 5-6-18

So now that we are putting the ice gear  away, we are beginning to start to work on the logistics for next years ice fest. As always look for some fresh ideas, new classes, and brand spanking new guidebook release!  Our target date for opening registration will be the end of May…..unless we get another cold streak and are able to get one more lap in!




Ice Conditions 4-29-18


Sunny skies and warm temperatures made for another glorious weekend for ice climbing!  The seeps are remaining to be super solid and providing hero ice for those that are not willing to give up their ice climbing season just yet.

Prelude Curtain 4-29-18
Prelude Curtain 4-29-18

Just like last week, some of the climbs are as fat as we have ever seen them.  Prelude Curtain, usually a narrow seep of ice, was big enough for 3 distinct lines.  As it stands, Prelude Curtain, Opening Curtain, April Ice, and the far right and far left side of the Curtains are still climbable.  The Curtains/Seeps along the Lakeshore Trail are still in and really nice.  This week we are looking at warm temps in the 70’s which will provide for some warm weather climbing sessions as the season begins to wind down!

April Ice 4-29-18
April Ice 4-29-18