We Shall Continue With Style- Enormocast Live is Coming to Ice Fest!

Yes the one and only Chris Kalous will be returning to his Midwest roots and broadcasting live his very popular climbing podcast- The Enormocast! You won’t want to miss the riveting interviews and chaos that comes with broadcasting a live show.

Do your friends complain that all you talk about is climbing? Does your girlfriend get a glazed over look when you try to explain to her just how run-out you actually were, I mean, you were really out there!  Does the man in your life have no idea why its so important that you cross through before you stab the mono, not after?

Well, my name is Chris Kalous and I am here for you. I know how scared you were above that piece, and will hold you tightly in my podcast arms until you feel better. I understand that your beta works for you, and you’re going with it even if you’ve fallen from that same spot 32 times- my podcast will be happy to belay you on the next burn.

Here at the Enormocast, no beta is wrong, no story is too long-winded, and I will never utter the words, “Can we talk about something besides climbing for a change?”

Each episode of the Enormocast brings you a glimpse into the climbing life through discussion, interviews, and my perspective backed by 27 years in the sport. So get on Itunes and subscribe, leave your comments here at emormocast.com or send me an email at chris@enormocast.com.

Be part of the live show Friday evening at Mather Auditorium!

If you climb there is a good chance you have run across the distinguished climbing podcast, The Enormocast. The host Chris Kalous has compiled countless interviews from interesting climbers from around the world and shared them with the greater climbing community. Chris is not only a podcaster, he is also an accomplished climber, journalist, talented interviewer  and all round entertaining guy.

Mountain Hardwear Commits to Sending Tim Emmett!

Mountain Hardwear, creator of performance apparel and equipment that empowers outdoor athletes to live boldly, is proud to announce that they will sponsor this years Michigan Ice Fest by sending Tim Emmett!

From pioneering deep-water soloing to climbing some of the most difficult ice climbs in the world, Tim Emmett is without a doubt one of the most versatile climbers out there. One of the UK’s climbing elite, Tim is as happy on rock as ice; his versatility has seen him finish within the top 10at the 2002 World Ice Climbing Championships as well as completing a series of hard ice routes, classic Alpine routes and notorious Scottish winter routes. In 2012, Tim completed the hardest ice climb in the world in Helmcken Falls, Canada. Always with an eye on something new, Tim has put up new routes as far a field as Mongolia, Cuba and Sri Lanka, a true pioneer of DWS (Deep Water Soloing) with trips to Vietnam and Thailand as well as venues closer to home in Europe. Tim is a published author, popular international speaker, and an accomplished wingsuit pilot. Tim is coming to the Michigan Ice Fest courtesy of our good friends at Mountain Hardwear.

MIF staff are excited to have a company like Mountain Hardwear supporting our Ice Fest and developing a partnership by promoting ice climbing in the Midwest.

La Sportiva To Send Angela V. Back To Ice Fest!

PC Andy Mann

Angela VanWiemeersch grew up as a competitive ice skater in Detroit, Michigan where she danced across the horizontal ice until her late-teens. Following a few years as a fashion design major in college, Angela embarked on a life-changing bike tour that recalibrated her life. After selling all her fashion supplies, Angela hitchhiked, paddled, and sailed her way through all of North America from the Arctic Ocean to the Panama Canal. While hitchhiking through California, Angela heard of a place called Ouray, where people wore spikes on their feet and held axes in their hands to climb frozen waterfalls. She was enamored. She took every last dollar she had and spent it on a month-worth of rent in Ouray and a bag full of used climbing gear. Angela found the happiness and inspiration she was looking and is now fueled by the beauty and challenge that ice climbing offers. From the Ouray Ice Park to virgin ice in Zion to amazing alpine adventures in Alaska, Angela is once again dancing on ice, only this time she’s moving upward on vertical icefalls.  Angela makes her way to the Fest thanks to La Sportiva.

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!