Ice Fest Organizer Brotherhood- Bill Thompson & Joe Josephson
The Michigan Ice Fest started thirty years ago as a way for the handful of hearty souls who enjoyed climbing in the area to meet up, share stories and do a little climbing. We bonded over the areas beauty and the adventurous nature of the sport and became something of a family. Stories spread by word of mouth, social media and film. Over the years our family has grown, a lot. No longer are we just 7 people climbing during the day and watching a slideshow in a bar, we’re now 1100 people climbing and watching slideshows in a historic theater!
I’m sure that is how Ice Fests have started in some sort of fashion all over the country. Good friends getting together, enjoying the comradery of sharing a rope- becoming family. There are dozens of amazing Ice Festivals scattered across the country and many of the organizers have made their way to Michigan and we are proud to call them our friends. If they are our friends, they are certainly your friends. How about we grow our family a bit and check out these other festivals….who’s up for a road trip?
Bozeman Ice Fest December 4-12th 2021
The Bozeman Ice Festival began in 1996 and is dedicated to promote and protect access to ice climbing in Hyalite Canyon. The event draws professional climbers and participants from across the globe for a myriad of clinics, demos of the latest gear, inspiring films and evening entertainment, and camaraderie of the climbing tribe. The clinics of the festival operate in Hyalite Canyon, one of America’s longest and most influential histories in waterfall ice climbing. Register here
Sandstone Ice Fest January 7-9th 2022
Held the first weekend of January each year at Robinson Park in Sandstone, Minnesota, the Sandstone Ice Festival is a fixture in the Midwestern ice climbing scene. The vibrant festival celebrates the best of winter adventure sports from ice climbing to skinny skiing, winter camping and snow shoeing. It is a gathering of kindred spirits who share a love for all things cold. The Sandstone Ice Festival reaches winter lovers from around the Midwest and Canada.
Come ice climb with friends from the past 15 years of festivals, take a basic, intermediate, women’s, or advanced clinic, scope out new gear at the vendor village and gear swap, warm up by the bonfire, and enjoy a brew from a local MN brewery (after climbing, of course).
Never been ice climbing but interested in trying it? With gear rentals, clinics, and a beautiful quarry of farmed and natural ice, the Sandstone Ice Fest is the perfect opportunity to dip your toe into this fun sport! More info here!
Ouray Ice Fest January 20-23rd 2022
For three days and three nights Ouray is an absolute ice climbing mecca; ice climbers, both novice and pro travel from around the world to celebrate the growing sport of ice climbing. During daily vendor exhibitions Festival attendees have the opportunity to demo the latest ice tools, apparel, and gear from the Outdoor industries leading retailers. Hundreds of spectators line the top of the Gorge on Saturday and Sunday to watch the world’s best ice and mixed climbing talent battle for the prize! And, with over 100 interactive and educational climbing clinics to accommodate every skill level, Festival participants are sure to have an experience to remember.
Nightly events include multimedia presentations by leading climbers, music, food, dance parties and a live and silent auction overflowing with screaming deals of the latest outdoor gear! For more information Register here!
Mountain Washington Ice Fest February 4-6th 2022
Since its inception 29 years ago this event has been eagerly anticipated by ice climbers in the Eastern United States and is considered one of the premier climbing events in the country. It is intended to be a celebration of ice climbing and winter mountaineering and the people that make it a part of their lives. It continues to provide a great opportunity for those attending to network, socialize, try new gear and participate in multiple day courses, one-day technical clinics and privately guided climbs. Each year they offer a variety of skills-based clinics and exciting slide shows with featured climbers and guides from the New England area and around the world. For more information or to register click here.
Michigan Ice Fest February 9-13th 2022
Quietly nestled on the south shore of Lake Superior we had some of the country’s most outstanding ice climbing and no one had ever heard of it! For year’s it was a secret treasure. With the release of two major films featuring the area, climbers are beginning to discover what many of us have known for decades: Michigan climbing is great and the Michigan Ice Fest is at the center of it all. The festival makes ice climbing accessible to the first timer, teaches advanced skills to those looking to improve and connects participants with the greater climbing community through slideshows and socials. To register click here!
Southern Ontario Ice Fest February 11-13th 2022
Come out for a climb and then celebrate the night away with a hundred of your closest friends at the Arlington with live-music, games, raffles and a silent auction!
More information here!
VALDEZ ICE CLIMBING FESTIVAL February 18-20, 2022
The Valdez Ice Climbing Festival is an annual event supported by the American Alpine Club and Access Fund. It helps us support our mission which is to care for and build trails as well as provide outdoor rec education through clinics and workshops! Come Send it with us in 2022! More info here!
Nipigon Ice Fest March 5th 2022
Canada’s longest running, premiere ice climbing festival features ice climbing clinics, presentations by outdoor adventurers, gear swap, fun games, and our legendary gear raffle.
Click here for information
Today, looking over Lake Superior, we have cold steel grey skies and snow is in the air. Our ice season is just around the corner but as we watch out west, it looks like many of our friends are already climbing ice and we are pretty happy for them. Soon our family will be getting together, ascending routes and sharing stories. It has been awhile and honestly we can’t wait!