AMGA SPI Course To Be Offered!

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

SPI COURSE SEPTMEMBER 13-15th 2020 Marquette Michigan  $530.00 SOLD OUT!

SPI COURSE SEPTMEMBER 19-21st 2020 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 SEPTMEMBER 17-18th 2020 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

Michigan Ice Fest 2021

 

Over the last few months we have been thinking a lot about our Ice Fest family and we hope everyone is safe, healthy and persevering during this pandemic.  With this summer heat and concerns over COVID-19 we sure are longing for cold winter nights and climbing ice!

 

The Michigan Ice Fest staff are continuing to monitor all developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and our top priority remains the health and well-being of all Ice Fest family including participants, staff, volunteers and Munising community members.

 

We are moving forward with planning for our 30th Anniversary the weekend of February 10th-14th 2021, while also remaining flexible to make any necessary changes as more information becomes available. Many of you have been asking when registration will open and we feel that it would be prudent to wait until November 1st to begin registration.

If at some point it becomes apparent that we will have to cancel the fest, all registered participants will have the choice to receive a full refund or move their registration forward to the 2022 Michigan Ice Fest.

We will continue to follow guidance from local and state public health and safety officials to ensure a safe Ice Fest experience for everyone involved. For up to date information regarding the festival please monitor our web, facebook and Instagram pages.

Ice Conditions Report 3-1-20

Cold temps and windy conditions ushered in the weekend in the Upper Peninsula giving climbers mid season conditions in late February!  Saturday gave way to sunny skies and mild temps and it is beginning to feel like spring climbing season is here.  All climbs are fat, fat, fat! Based on what we saw this weekend, it looks like the next few weeks will be the perfect time to come up and climb in Munising!

 

Midnight Rambler PC John Miller

 

The Ampitheater PC John Miller

 

The lake ice out to Grand Island has formed from public access to the island dock and Murray Bay.  Several ice fisherman were seen crossing and when we spoke to them they reported that the lake ice thickness varied from 8 inches to 3 inches.  They did warn that this can change daily so please ask locally if you are planing on venturing out. West Shore lake is is still not safe to travel on and access to the East Channel climbs remains unsafe to cross from Sand Point!

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 head on up for some spring climbing!

 

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? We have you covered for all the latest snow and ice conditions on all of your favorite climbs. Check back often for updates, pictures, and trip reports!

Ice Fest 2020 – Hey Let’s Do This Again!

The 2020 Michigan Ice Fest is officially over and 1167 participants/athletes and staff ascended on the beautiful Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising, Michigan for what was once again the largest gathering of ice climbers in the Midwest ever! Climbers from  33 different states and 5 different countries were represented this year, as participants traveled from far and wide to enjoy the camaraderie and the chance to climb the spectacular ice formations at Pictured Rocks!

One of the main goals of this year Fest was to develop and enrich the climbing community of the Great Lakes region. We do everything we can to give back, and this year, our 29th anniversary we decided we can do more.
Becoming a carbon neutral event was high on our list. Our climate is changing and this years programming reflected our commitment to the environment.  For the first time ever participants were able to offset their carbon during registration and we are proud to announce that $1500 will be donated to the Honnold Foundation. Over the next few festivals we have plans to reduce and offset all of the carbon emissions related to the festival, including travel, shipping and festival events.
Festivals make a lot of waste, but they don’t have to. Again this year we partnered with Klean Kanteen to reduce the amount of single use plastic our parties produced. It was a huge success and inspired us to do even more for 2021.

Another focus this year was diversity, equity, and inclusion. Looking around at Ice Fest over the past many years, we realized that there were a lot of people not being included in the fun. Climbing is not an exclusive club. Anyone who wants access and membership in our community should be encouraged and welcomed with open arms.  We developed a partnership with Lowa Boots and Big City Mountaineers to help break down these barriers. The BCM brought 8 wonderful kids from Minneapolis to experience the wonders of climbing in the U.P. and we are very excited for the future of our sport!

 

TUESDAY
Tuesday MIF staff and volunteers set up an exhibitor display and opened registration at our headquarters in downtown Munising. Participants had the opportunity to shop products, interact with athletes, and talk with sales reps from some of the leading manufacturers in the outdoor industry. Once again our Gold Level Sponsor Fits Socks hooked up the first 100 online sign ups with brand new socks to keep their feet warm during the event.  In or effort to reduce our dependence on single use plastic cups, Klean Kanteen provided a MIF logo pint glass to be used throughout the weekend!  Big thanks to Fits and Klean Kanteen for sponsoring our event!

WEDNESDAY
The festival was officially underway on Wednesday as several full courses headed out with our professional athletes.  For the first year ever we offered back country trip to Grand Island but unfortunately the big lake did not cooperate as there was not enough lake ice to safely get participants to the island.

Our main stage presentation was the Sterling Rope Film Adaptive. The film followed Jim Ewing – a Sterling Rope engineer and below-the-knee amputee who enlists professional climber, Maureen Beck – born without her left hand – to attempt the first all-adaptive ascent of the über classic and deeply remote Lotus Flower Tower (5.10+) in Canada’s Cirque of the Unclimbables.

A casual climber’s social on Wednesday night at Shooters beckoned those who had climbed all day as well as those that had just arrived in Munising, and plans for more type-II fun were made for the following day.

 

THURSDAY
New to the fest this year was our morning Coffee Talks at The Gallery Coffee Company.  The programming started off with Former Former Army Ranger 3/75 and Executive Director / Founder Veterans Expeditions, Nick Watson who spoke on military veteran climbing.

Best thing ever was that new sponsor YETI provided free coffee throughout the festival during our mornings at the Gallery Coffee Company!

Great stories kept coming in all day of climbers hitting the ice during one of the colder days of the festival. Wide eyed first timers we able to experience the force of an angry Lake Superior as the cold winds were relentless.

Once again we offered Free Ground School classes run by the good folks at the American Alpine Club on the AAC Boulder! This year we are proud to say that 279 participants took advantage of the free classes to learn valuable skills.

The evening presentations at the Mather Auditorium included a powerful presentation on climbing, diversity, & inclusion from festival favorite Nikki Smith.

First time Ice Fester, Graham Zimmerman entertained the crowd sharing his experience of the first ascent of Link Sar in Pakistan. A gripping tale filled with all of the details of this brilliant first ascent with his partners Steve Swenson, Chris Wright and Mark Richey.

The final presentation of the evening was from our good friend and North Face athlete, Sam Elias.  It has been awhile since Sam was at the fest and it was great to have him return home and present on his project, Cities to Crags, showing some amazing climbing gyms and programs being developed in many urban cities.

A highlight for many at Ice Fest are these wonderful and unique presentations……we were barely 48 hours into Ice Fest and the stoke was already high!

The evening’s social kicked off at our new party headquarters, The Gallery Coffee Company and a sampling from our official beer sponsor- The Ore Dock Brewing Company.

 

FRIDAY
Waking up early Friday morning to a bluebird day,  climbers hit the trails in search of ice. Several groups headed out the Lakeshore Trail, while others walked, skied or snowmobiled out to the backcountry climbs. Wide eyed first timers we able to experience the force of an angry Lake Superior as the cold winds were relentless.

Our morning Coffee Talks included Climbing Photography with Austin Schmitz.  Missed the show?  You can catch the live stream here!

Many consider the performance of climbing as an art form in itself, so it only seemed natural to bring a climbing artist to Ice Fest highlighting our new program Artist on Ice. We were excited to have our first visiting artist Craig Muderlak showing his art as well as presenting a Coffee Talk.

Our final Coffee Talk of the morning featured Carolie Gleich who shared her personal stories about Himalayan ski mountaineering and citizen activism, highlighting the parallels between adventure and advocacy and the tools and advice you need to influence public policy.

Most clinics at the fest were filled to capacity and we were fortunate to secure some of the best professional athletes to instruct our clinics and offer some amazing learning opportunities for our participants, all of which wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors.

Working in conjunction with Veterans Expeditions, we were proud to offer ice climbing opportunities for our Nations veterans. The group headed out to lakeshore to get instruction from Karsten Delap. Our Verglas for Vets program  will move forward to the 2021 fest and continue to offer vets the opportunity to meet other veterans and experience the sport of ice climbing in a supportive educational setting.

Thankfully, our friends from Big Agnes set up a warming tent down on Sand Point to give participants safe and warm place to escape the cold wind. They stayed out there all weekend and were a great place of refuge.

Late afternoon had our headquarters full of good smells and smiling faces as Brittany Griffith of Patagonia Provisions cooked up some wonderful treats just in time for hungry climbers fresh off the ice! Mackerel? Yes we had some.  Sushi?  Of course we had that too! Missed out?  We have to have her back again next year!

We had a very long line winding throughout the community center…..why you may ask? Well YETI decided to sell YETI drinkwear at $10.00 and have Conrad Anker engrave them!

We are pretty stoked that YETI has joined our team as they brought a lot of special touches to our event from the free coffee, to the $10 drinkwear. The amazing part of the drinkware sale is that YETI raised $3000 for the SHARP Team!  Over the last 8 years participation at Ice Fest, and climbing around the central Upper Peninsula, has grown a ton.  That growth has brought a lot of good things to the area but has also brought an increased risk of accidents.

SHARP is a team of local climbers and Ice Fest guides that are trained in high angle rescues, to assist local agencies in case an accident happens. Thank you to YETI in assisting to help in making climbing in the Upper Peninsula more safe!

Our presentation schedule for Friday kicked off with Garrett Peabody at the Community Center highlighting his climbing facility in Fenton Michigan.

One of our pushes this year was to make our event more sustainable and part of that was to bring Protect our Winters in for a panel discussion. Interesting perspectives were shared from Caroline Gleich, Conrad Anker, Ryan Vachone and Graham Zimmerman!

 

Friday evening the festival gathered at the Mather Auditorium for introductions , announcements and presentations.  The Michigan Ice Fest has a long standing relationship with the National Park Service and each year the superintendent and chief ranger come on stage to officially welcome participants to the park.  This year the rangers surprised the audience with an announcement of opening Munising Falls to climbing for two days of the festival!  The climb has been closed since the 1990’s so this was a special treat for this years participants and we thank the park service for allowing this unique opportunity!

Photo by @wilkinsonvisual – www.wilkinsonvisual.com

Ice climbing in Kentucky?! You bet there is and we learned all about it from Ice Fest friend and film director of Gone Tomorrow The Story of Kentucky Ice Climbing. This adventure documentary took the audience for a bourbon-fueled ride deep into the bushy hollers of Appalachia with a crew of harmless misfits as they raced to search out and climb new ice routes before they’re gone!

With a packed auditorium of over 700 people, Patagonia athlete Steve House finished the evening off with an entertaining presentation of his career in climbing.  Always an Ice Fest favorite, we are lucky to have the talents of someone like Steve at our event.

Friday’s after party we took it to the streets! Friday night after the presentations we hit the circus tent on Maple Street right in front of Munising’s finest brewery, the East Channel Brewery which offers a variety of unique beers “made with water from the freshest lake in the world!” Fire pits and space heaters kept climbers warm and the cold beer was a great way to top off a special night.

 

 

SATURDAY

Our hosts at the Gallery Coffee company didn’t disappoint with the morning presentations.  Fueled by amazing coffee our first presenter was James Mills speaking on The Adventure Gap.  The nation’s wild places——from national and state parks to national forests, preserves, and wilderness areas——belong to all Americans. But not all of us use these resources equally. Minority communities across our country are much less likely to seek recreation, adventure, and solace in our wilderness spaces. It’s a difference that African American author James Edward Mills addresses in his 2014 book, The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors. Missed the show- check it out here!

Following James, Conrad Anker held a true Coffee Talk by inviting the audience to join him on stage to discuss climate change.  This unique presentation offered a more intimate discussion on a topic that is near and dear to our festival.  Watch the full presentation here!

As usual, we got the ball rolling early with equipment hand out for Ice Fest courses. One of the unique aspects of the Ice Fest is the opportunity to take a course, whether entry-level or advanced, from one the most accomplished climbers in the country. Sent to the festival from our sponsors, these athletes work with participants to give them the tools to be successful. Talented, patient, funny and some of the nicest people in the industry, these climbers are what make Michigan Ice Fest so darn fun (and welcoming!)

The demo area at The Curtains saw lots of first time ice climbers learning the basics on some of the many routes that were set up. Crisp temperatures greeted the eager participants but most climbers were able to top out on their first climbs. Hundreds of people were challenged throughout the day with a variety of climbs. Morning excitement to get on the ice quickly gave way to the afternoon exhaustion that can only come from climbing hard in U.P. temps and Lake Superior gusts.

Saturday afternoon we celebrated mountain literature where Ice Fest brings together writers/athletes and of course, our book loving participants!  Our host the Falling Rock Cafe, is the perfect setting to grab a snack and coffee, buy a book, and have a discussion with one of our athlete/authors!

For those who came off the ice a little early, they were treated with stunning imagery at Paul McSorley’s slideshow at the Community Center.

With a long day of climbing, for some their third or fourth in a row, everyone converged upon Mather Auditorium for the highly anticipated Saturday night presentation of Himalayan Ice. Alpinists Ari Novak and Karsten Delap set out for India to explore one of the most remote valleys in the Indian Himalaya with local climber Karn Kowshik. Their goal was to meet with the indigenous population of the Spiti Valley and try to support local ice climbing. What they found was perhaps the biggest treasure trove of unclimbed ice in all the Himalaya. All four members of the expedition were on hand to give our audience a first hand account on why and how this expedition took place!

The final program of the evening was from mountaineering legend Conrad Anker chronicling his storied climbing career. Mather Auditorium had standing room only as the audience as Conrad took us from Yosemite to Everest to Meru, recounting the most prominent stories and pivotal points of his life of mountaineering.

Prior to the shows we introduced our 2020 Sue Nott Scholarship winners, Alex Hansen the Heartland Grant Award winner, and the Mark Mahaney Scholarship winners.

With a still incredibly packed auditorium, the evening concluded with the now legendary Michigan Ice Fest raffle where we gave out close to  $10,000.00 worth of gear and clothing to some very excited climbers. Soft shells, belay parkas, ropes, crampons, shells, packs, tools, screws, and ice boots were only a few of the items raffled off to the biggest Saturday night crowd we’ve ever had!

After the raffle climbers gathered to celebrate a great weekend of climbing at the “Chris Kalous Dance Party” which was buzzing with the sounds of The Way Outs!

 

SUNDAY
The classic UP weather opened and a wee bit of sunshine warmed climbers as they headed out to Sunday classes and the demo.  The effects of climbing hard all day Saturday and a late night of socializing must have taken its toll on climbers as the demo area was very laid back all day on Sunday. This afforded climbers their choice of routes for most of the day.

With all the changes we’ve seen this year it was another great Michigan Ice Festival and we appreciate all of the patronage we get from Midwest climbers. We are proud to say that over the weekend we were able to sign up 116 new members to the American Alpine Club, and exposed hundreds of first-time climbers to the sport of ice climbing — not to mention all the professional athletes who were able to experience the cold and masochistic world of Midwest ice climbing for the first time.

 

As you look back on your Ice Fest experience we ask you to think about the companies and organizations that you saw this weekend, and if you liked what you saw or tried on during the weekend we encourage you to buy local. Buying local in the Midwest supports the reps that came, and in turn helps to keep the Michigan Ice Fest alive and healthy. Feeling some retrospective remorse for not buying those mountain boots? Down Wind Sports is still offering the Ice Fest discount for the next week. Give them a call at 906-387-8025.

We also want to thank all those who volunteered their time, energy, and hard work throughout the weekend. Without these folks Ice Fest would simply not happen.

The reason our event is so successful is because of the assistance behind the scene from all of our sponsors. If you were at the event and had fun, enjoyed the presenters, or loved the killer raffle prizes please drop the following sponsors a note to tell them that you appreciate them and their support for the Michigan Ice Fest!

 

 

We also can’t thank our athletes enough.  Over the years they have shared their expertise and knowledge to thousands of Michigan Ice Fest participants giving them a solid foundation to help them to enjoy the sport we love and to help keep them safe while out climbing.  The 2020 lineup was as strong as it has ever been- to the following we are forever grateful. Many of these athletes are guides and would love to see Michigan Ice Fest participants in the future.

And finally, thank you so much for being part of the Michigan Ice Fest this year! The festival is a gathering of our tribe and we are so thankful that climbers from all over the Midwest continue to come up and celebrate everything that is Michigan Ice. We hope you had an great experience and you can be sure that we are already working on bringing you the best Ice Fest in 2021…..our 30th anniversary! Be sure to keep up with what is happening with the Michigan Ice Fest through our blog at michiganicefest.com or on our facebook page!

NEXT YEAR’S DATES!

ICE FEST February 10-14th 2021

 

Climbs Classes Will Be On During Ice Fest

Just a reminder that the Michigan Ice Fest will be conducting classes Wednesday through Sunday at Ice Fest.  That means classes will be on the following climbs starting at 9am each day: We appreciate if folks can stay away from these areas during class times.  Please note there will be NO CLASSES on The Dryer Hose or The Ampitheater all weekend long!

Looking for a secluded spot to climb?  Please stop by our headquarters where we can direct you to many areas that see little or no climbers all season long! We appreciate everyone cooperating to make this event happen!

Twin Falls

The Curtains

Lakeshore Curtains

Opening Curtains

Bridal Veil Falls

No Boundaries

Drake Seep

School Room

Swamp Thing

Big Pine Pillar

Miners Falls

There Will Be Monsters

Boomer Falls

Little One

Saturday Evening & The Chris Kalous Dance Party!

We are really, really stoked for this party!  Ice Fest 2020 is shaping up to be our best ever and we have lots of changes in store this year.  What we are NOT changing is where we get our beer. This year we have once again connected with the Ore Dock Brewing Company from just up the road in Marquette.  They love the U.P. as much as we do and were really excited to be involved with Ice Fest.

We put our thinking (drinking?) caps on and came up with four special, Ice Fest only, beers to give away at our climber’s after parties.  We loved it so much we had some stickers made to celebrate.

Make sure you grab a brew, a sticker, and say hello and thank you to the folks from the Ore Dock!

 

New this year we will be celebrating Saturday evening at Gallery Coffee Company in downtown Munising. Please note a couple of changes to this years party:

*In our effort to be more sustainable there will be NO MUGS OR CUPS for the complimentary beer at the party.  If you were one of the first 800 participants to sign up you will be receiving a Klean Kanteen Pint Glass to enjoy your beverage.  Can you bring your own?  Heck yes!  Please bring the pint glasses to all of the socials- thank you for helping to make this years Fest the most sustainable Ice Fest ever!

*Dancing….yes dancing.  Remember last year when Chris Kalous came to the fest?  Did you hear about his take on our party?  If not check out his Runout Podcast here.  Apparently he missed out on the shenanigans on the dance floor last year.  So this year we are going all out and having the first ever Chris Kalous Dance Party!  Wild costumes are strongly encouraged and will fit right in with this years band The Way Outs!

The Wayouts are an eclectic band that fuses music from multiple genres tastefully.  The musicians reside throughout the Midwest & beyond, but all have ties back to the Upper Peninsula.  The Wayouts sound has a heavy focus on the lead vocals of Cheryl Peterson (St. Paul, MN), and the keyboard antics of Matt Suomi (Witchita, KS). The band’s unique sound is retro, synthy keyboards, groove-heavy drums from Kris Schaefer (St. Paul, MN).  Jack Quick (Seattle WA), is traveling to sit-in with the band on lead guitar, bringing a West-Coast vibe to Ice Fest.  Rod Gendron (Munising, MI) fills the gaps with funky bass, vocals, & acoustic guitar.

 

 

 

 

 

Information and Tips for the 2020 Michigan Ice Fest

We are STOKED for the 2020 Michigan Ice Fest!  Our goal is to make this as much fun as we can.  On this page you’ll find a ton of information and tips about the event and how to make the most of it.  Please read this information carefully.

michigan-iceclimbing-icefest17-wilkinson-7046

Festival Sign In

When you arrive in Munising you will need to sign in at the event.  You can come to our headquarters and our friendly staff will get you all set for the weekend. You will get your official lanyard, which is your ticket into all things Ice Fest, as well as any updates to the schedule and any important information.

Our Headquarters

Our headquarters is located at the Central Community Center inside the old elementary school. This will be the center of the Ice Fest Universe.    You’ll get your demo gear here, meet athletes and reps, shop, and see some of the presentations.

You can see a map of the building here.

Schedule

There is a lot going on during the weekend, both on and off the ice, and you don’t want to miss any of it.  There are schedules in the festival guide and at the headquarters.

The schedule is also available here

Demo Gear

If you paid for the demo you have access to our gear for the weekend.  If you did not pay the demo fee, the gear is not included in the $50 registration fee.  If you need gear and didn’t pay for the demo you can send us an email and we can add it to your registration.

Every morning after the classes get gear (See event schedule) we start checking out demo gear for the day.  You’ll go to our demo room where our staff will get you fit with the equipment you need.  The line can get quite long on Saturday and Sunday morning so showing up early and being patient goes a long way. You’ll be required to leave a credit card or drivers license in exchange for the gear.  We have a limited number of helmets and harnesses so if you have your own we encourage you to bring it as we will certainly run out of these.  If you don’t have these two critical pieces of gear, it may be a good idea to purchase one.  They are discounted at our headquarters to make it more affordable.

To speed up the demo process and get you more time on the ice we’ve made a few videos to ensure you get everything set before you head out into the cold. Please watch our videos on how to fit your boots and how to fit your crampons.

All demo gear must be returned by 6PM every evening. No exceptions.

Other Gear to Bring

There are some other basics that we don’t provide that will make your class much more enjoyable.  We recommend bringing:

  • Good Attitude – It goes a long way, in both climbing and life
  • Warm Clothes – Dress in layers and how you would usually dress for all day outside.
  • Extra gloves – Thin gloves to climb in and thicker gloves to not climb in. You can never have enough gloves
  • Snacks and Hot Drinks – Keep your energy up and your belly full
  • Camera – This will be an experience you’ll never forget and you’ll want pictures.
  • Backpack  – It’s always nice to have something to carry your gear
  • Skis or snowshoes are really helpful when accessing backcountry climbs

Discount

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the gear you want, or if you fall in love with the gear you demo.  Down Wind Sports will have a store setup at Headquarters where they will have all the gear you need and even more that you want, and best of all, everything will be on sale!

Transportation

We will have a shuttle that runs continuous loops from the headquarters to Sand Point. This is the best way to get around as there is NO PARKING AT SAND POINT. If you are planning on going somewhere other than Sand Point driving is your best option.

Backcountry shuttles may be available to the Miner’s Castle area. Please inquire at headquarters.

 Where to climb

Ice fest is a busy time at Pictured Rocks.  Really busy. But that doesn’t mean that there is no ice to climb.  The popular and easily accessed climbs see huge crowds,  but climbers are friendly and this is Ice Fest so we get the best people in the world attending, share your ropes, share your climbs, share your festival.  We’re a family, let’s make everyones experience a great one.

If you’re looking for a little more solitude and are willing to work for it, grab an Ice Fest staff member.  We can point you in the direction of climbs that receive only a handful of ascents a year.

If you have any questions please feel free to email or call us.  Your experience is our highest priority.

East Channel Brewery Street Party Friday Night!

 

 

Friday night after the presentations join us for a good ole street party fun- this is definitely a celebration you won’t want to miss! What street?  Maple Street right in front of Munising’s finest brewery, the East Channel Brewery which offers a variety of unique brewed beers “made with water from the freshest lake in the world!”

“Located in beautiful Munising, Michigan, East Channel Brewing Company was founded in 2016. We aim to provide tasty brews and a friendly atmosphere. So if you’re in town checking out all Munising has to offer, stop in for a pint and some good company. We’ll be happy to have ya. Cheers!”