Conrad To Return To Ice Fest!


Michigan Ice Fest is proud to announce that Conrad Anker will be joining us again for the 2020 Ice Fest!  We have our Gold  Level Sponsor The North Face to thank for sending Conrad back to Munising for another amazing festival!

The master, the legend, the visionary… Conrad Anker has been pushing the limits of mountaineering for the last 30 years, evolving into one of America’s best alpinists. The Bozeman, Montana-based father of three is one of the most prolific explorers and mountaineers alive today.

At age 56, Conrad’s resume continues to grow, having notched the long-awaited first ascent of the Meru Shark’s Fin in India with partners Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk in 2011, which led to the Sundance-winning documentary, Meru. Conrad has climbed Everest three times, including a 2012 trip with National Geographic to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first American ascent of the mountain. On his most famous Everest climb in 1999, he discovered the remains of George Mallory, one of the two British climbers who died attempting Everest in 1924, helping to shed more light on one of mountaineering’s most famous mysteries. But for many years, one of his greatest passions has been down in the valley—specifically the Khumbu Valley of Nepal. In more than 25 years of expeditions to Nepal, Conrad and his wife, Jennifer Lowe-Anker, have developed deep relationships with the Sherpa people and founded the Khumbu Climbing Center in Phortse, Nepal, which provides a variety of safety training courses to high altitude workers.

Equally at home in Antarctica, the Himalaya or his home ice in Hyalite Canyon in southwestern Montana, Conrad continues a deep appreciation for wild places that was passed on from his father and grandfather who hailed from Big Oak Flat, California, just outside Yosemite National Park. Conrad climbed Mount Rainier by the time he was 16. He met his first climbing mentor, the late iconic climber Mugs Stump, while studying at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and working in a mountaineering store. The part-time carpenter and the late Alex Lowe–his climbing partner and best friend–went on to become climbing’s rock stars in the 90’s, setting speed records in the Himalaya and Antarctica. Though true alpine routes have been his forte, his résumé also includes big wall first ascents on El Capitan and first free ascents in Zion National Park. In 1997 alone, he completed first ascents in Antarctica, Pakistan’s Karakorum and on Yosemite’s El Capitan. Lowe once wrote about his best friend’s motivation for climbing: “Being in the mountains, for Conrad, is as natural and essential as breathing… It’s where his heart beats, where his soul abides.”

Throughout his career, Conrad has pioneered difficult new routes in the most remote places on earth. In 2016, while climbing Lunag Ri, an unclimbed 6,907-meter peak on the border of Nepal and Tibet with David Lama, an Austrian climber half his age, Conrad suffered a well-publicized heart attack. The following year, he led the TNF team of team of Jimmy Chin, Alex Honnold, Anna Pfaff, Cedar Wright, and Savannah Cummins to Wolf’s Jaw massif in Queen Maud Land territory, Antarctica. On his 12th trip to the continent, he established a new route with Chin on Ulvetanna, the highest peak in the area.

At home, Conrad serves on the boards of the Protect Our Winters, The American Himalayan Foundation and the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation.

Michigan Ice Fest 2020 Registration is now Open!

Say what? Feelin’ Fine at 29! That’s right- anyone can celebrate a 30 year anniversary  but it takes a special group to throw down for a 29th!  We are proud of our heritage and are super excited to offer a lot of new and unique programming for this coming ice fest.  We are happy to announce that registration for the 2020 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 2020! NEW THIS YEAR. Look for an expanded free kids program, The Heartland Grant,  Veterans programming, Artist on Ice, and much,much, more! Once again 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 4-8-19

Short seeps are still the ticket as warmer weather has moved in allowing for gloveless climbing and soft swings!  All of the Sand Point Curtains are climbable and we as Three Sisters, Lakeshore Curtains, Art of Seduction, Kramer Curtains and Ice 9.  Conditions are dependant on the day but the forecast does call for more snow at the end of the week!

Three Sisters

Ice 9 Area

Looking for another weekend of climbing?  The routes maybe short but it’s super fun climbing in April!

It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over – Ice Conditions Report 4-2-19

Spring climbing conditions continue to be excellent for the park’s seeps offering die hards some wonderful late season climbing.  Michigan Ice Fest Guides Bryan LaRue and Emily Gantner made the trek out to HMR yesterday and found stellar conditions.

Still stoked to get out?  Coming up we will have warm conditions but that just means soft sticks!  Pack the crampons, tools and sunscreen and we hope to see you in Munising this weekend.

Ice Conditions Report 3-25-19

Lots of sunshine and moderate temperatures greeted climbers this past weekend as they were getting after some late swings!  The bad news is as of yesterday all true waterfalls are deteriorating and pretty much unclimbable. The good news is that all of the seeps are holding their own and offering hero ice!  Sand Point Road seeps are all in as well as climbs out along the Lakeshore Trail.

The six day forecast looks favorable for another week of climbing so if you can’t stand to put away the gear just yet and want to play around on some of the smaller formations you still will have a chance!

Conditions Report 3-18-19

Cool temps prevailed this past weekend which offered great late season conditions for those who were able to make the trek up.  Early in the week saw some light rain but a cold north wind and plenty of sunshine helped to re form some of the climbs.  Michigan Ice Fest Guide Bryan LaRue spent a well earned day off and skied out to the West Shore to find great Lake ice conditions and good climbable ice.  The beautiful sunshine is starting to take its toll on the exposed West shore climbs!



The inland seeps are still in excellent conditions as they are protected from the sun and will remain so for quite some time.  Reports came in that Dairyland was too wet to climb on Saturday but froze overnight and was climbed on Sunday.



The Dryer Hose 3-17-19


The extended forecast looks favorable for another weekend of spring climbing! As always, 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. Feel free to call our Munising store at 906-387-8025 to get up to the minute conditions!

Ice Conditions Report 3-11-19


The Ampitheater 3-9-19

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!

Cold temps and snow are continuing to fall on the Upper Peninsula giving climbers mid season conditions in March!  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!

The Dryer Hose




Grand Island still remains accessible as the lake ice is super solid out to the west shore from the Grand Island Public access ice via skis or snowmobile.


A little warmer temps are predicted this week but our overnight still remain below freezing so don’t put those tools away yet…..look at that forecast!  Should be an awesome weekend in Munising so grab a friend and head on up for some amazing climbing!

Ice Conditions Report 3-4-19

Grand Island Pc John Miller

Cold temps and fat ice are what you will find if you are planning on venturing up to Pictured Rocks this week!  For the months of January and February the Munising area received 141.4″ of snow making access to the back country climbs challenging. If you are planning on climbing in the backcountry on the mainland bring snowshoes of skis! This weekend saw a flurry of activity with some folks working hard breaking a trail out to Dairyland only to find it was soaking wet!

Twin Falls Pc John Miller


Grand Island Pc John Miller
West Shore Grand Island PC Colten Moore

The lake ice out to Grand Island continues to be good and many climbers have been taking advantage and tagging the long and beautiful routes on the West Shore.  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! Special thanks goes out to the Millers and Colten Moore for their use of the photos!