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!

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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.

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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!

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT- PRESENTER CHANGES!

 

 

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Due to some unforeseen circumstances Kyle Dempster and Doug Robinson will not be able to attend the 2015 Michigan Ice Fest.  While we are disappointed that the guys won’t be able to make it this year we will most certainly see them in Michigan next year!  Thanks to some scrambling and hard work by Jon Jugenheimer of Black Diamond, and Brett Merlin of CAMP USA, we are very excited to announce that Raphael Slawinski  and Anna Pfaff will be joining us as instructors/presentors!

 

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Raphael Slawinski

I got into climbing late, in my mid-twenties. And maybe it was for the best, as I’m still excited about it more than twenty years later. It was moving away from the Canadian Rockies to the flatlands of Chicago, where I went to grad school, which got me into climbing. There were no mountains to scramble, so I started rock and ice climbing on small Midwestern cliffs. These days I’m comfortably settled back in Calgary, on the doorstep of the Rockies. Fortunately my job as a physics professor leaves me lots (but never enough!) time to play in my favorite mountain range.

Picture1It’s a good thing I like winter, because it’s really, really long here. There’s so much you can do: ice, mixed, ski … and sometimes, when the motivation’s high and avy hazard low, even winter alpine. Don’t get me wrong though, I love our summers too. High in the shadows of a big limestone north face, looking down on sunlit glaciers and forests far below, is one of the best places I can imagine being.

Ten years ago I discovered the great peaks of the Pakistani Karakoram. There’s something among those giant pyramids of granite and ice, rising above arid, brown valleys, that I haven’t found anywhere else. Whatever it is, it’s drawn me back time and again.

You can check out all things Raphael at his blog by clicking here!

 

Raphael is being sent to Michigan Ice by our Gold Sponsor Black Diamond!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anna Pfaff

Anna grew up in Ohio and started climbing when she moved out west in hery early twenties.  Some of her earliest memories of climbing include routes like the Emmons – Winthrop on Mount Rainier, Washington, the Salathe on El Capitan, Yosemite with Jean Readle, the Beckey-Chouinard in The Bugaboos, Canada. She has also climbed and ice-climbed in some of the most spectacular locations on earth. From Patagonia, Kyrgyzstan, Tibet, Pakistan, the Himalaya’s.  More info on Anna to come but in the meantime check out her blog here!

Anna is being sent to Michigan Ice by our Gold Sponsor CAMP USA!

 

UPDATE PRESENTATION SCHEDULE

Thursday

TBA

 

Friday

Ben Erdmann

Raphael Slawinski

 

Saturday

Will Mayo

Barry Blanchard

Gold Level Sponsor Black Diamond To Send Kyle Dempster!

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For years Gold Level Sponsor Black Diamond  has sent amazing athletes to our event  ensuring that we get the highest quality instructors, and are entertained in the evening with inspiring stories of climbing around the world.   This year BD  has graciously agreed to send Kyle Dempster!

Kyle Dempster who hails from the climbing mecca of Salt Lake City, owns a coffee shop, Higher Ground, and wins golden ice axes (known as the Piolet d’Or) for his ascents around the world, and to top it off, is a Black Diamond sponsored athlete.  Kyle, excited to be at this year’s Ice Fest, eat a pasty for possibly his first time in his life, and experience the Big Lake in winter.  Kyle began climbing with his cousin, Drew in 1994 at the age of 12 and partook on his first international expedition to Canada’s Baffin Island in 2005 at the age of 21 again with Drew. This trip, a turning point in his life in which he nearly gave up climbing, with Drew’s passing brought Kyle back to Baffin Island again to make peace with his memory.  Since then, he has been traveling the world from Pakistan to China climbing high altitude walls with many ascents around home in the Western US climbing ice and rock.

 

One of Kyle’s latest trips was a bike tour across Kyrgyzstan, inspired by his father who is a long time cyclist from Salt lake City.  He spent two months solo biking across the country, climbing many peaks along the way.  He learned a lot about the bike, himself and how much food he could carry at once with the goal of biking into a mountain range, climbing a peak and having a large enough food reserve for bad weather and biking back out to resupply.  It was a grand adventure and his hope is that the trip can be inspirational to other climbers seeking alternative modes of climbing transportation.

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 So stoked to have Kyle joining the ranks of athletes who have presented/instructed at the Michigan Ice Fest!  Thanks again to our Gold Sponsor Black Diamond for making it possible for Kyle to be at this years Michigan Ice Fest!

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Patagonia Sends Barry Blanchard To Michigan Ice!

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Michigan Ice Fest is proud to announce that our good friend Barry Blanchard will be joining us again (use Canadian accent when saying “again”) instructing our courses and headlining the Saturday evening presentations.  We are so fortunate to have our Gold Sponsor Patagonia for sending Barry to the 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.

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As if it is not enough just to have Barry at our event- this year will be a bonus as Barry’s new book, The Calling A Life Rocked by Mountains will be available!

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!

 

 

 

Patagonia Ascensionist Pack

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With our store beginning to transition into spring inventory, it is always nice to see new products flowing on to the sales floor that we really don’t have to wait for nice warm weather to use.  Fresh out of the box we just unpacked the Patagonia Ascensionist Pack that would make the perfect light weight ice climbing or fast packing pack.  Weighing in at a scant 1.4 lbs this ultra light pack is sure to make the spring skiing out to Grand Island more enjoyable!

 

Patagonia Ascensionist Pack

Designed for one-to-two day speedball ascents in places like Chamonix and Patagonia, this streamlined, yet highly versatile climbing backpack has everything you need, but absolutely nothing more. It features an integrated, asymmetrical spindrift collar that opens wide and closes in a single motion for fast packing. A secondary collar protects your gear from ugly weather, allows serious overstuffing and holds gear securely when the pack is hanging at belays. The removable frame sheet, made from a lightweight aluminum rod and covered with mesh, provides support for weighted loads and moves with you as you bend and flex. Ergonomic shoulder straps (with load lifters) match your torso’s contours for 24-hour comfort, and the hip belt has removable pads for simplicity. Four rows of exterior daisy chains provide lashing options for a rope, helmet and pad; ice tools attach via an integrated buckle and tool pocket. Other details include compression straps to carry skis and cinch down loads, an asymmetric profile for elbow clearance and a zippered pocket on the lid for quick access to small essentials. Made from lightweight yet durable 6.25-oz 210-denier nylon double-ripstop and 6.05-oz 400-denier nylon ripstop, with a 1.8-oz 40-denier nylon double-ripstop lining. All fabrics have a polyurethane coating.

See what Michigan Ice Fest friend Steve House has to say about this pack.