For the past few years we have been entertained by Ben Erdmann who recounted several amazing expeditions with his buddy Jess Roskelley. Now thanks to our new sponsor Adidas, we will have both of these amazing climbers at this years fest! The guys will be fresh off of another Patagonia expedition and will be back with fresh adventures!
Jess Roskelley has been an extreme athlete and mountain guide for half of his 30 years. He grew up in an outdoor sports family, hiking, backpacking, climbing and mountain biking throughout the west.
“My dad used to put me on his back and we would mountain bike through the Tetons, the Selkirks, and other mountain ranges looking for moose, elk and antelope,” Jess said. “He took me on many climbs as well and, as I grew older, I knew then that mountain climbing was in my blood.”
Jess was a three-sport varsity athlete throughout high school, competing in wrestling, cross-country and track, sports that developed endurance, strength and determination. He also raced mountain bikes around the Pacific Northwest and snowboarded during the winters.
Jess passed the Rainier Mountain Guides exam at age 18 and began guiding clients on Mt.Rainier. During his breaks from multiple ascents of Washington’s highest peak, he would find more challenging alpine climbs throughout the Cascades, developing a passion for more extreme mixed ice and rock routes. “Extreme alpine climbing challenges me mentally and physically,” Jess said, “There are so few activities where rigorous training and past experience are essential to making immediate and critical life and death decisions.”
In 2003, Jess reached the summit of Everest via the North Col/North Ridge Tibet route, becoming at the age of 20 the youngest American to stand on top at the time. He’s gone on to challenge peaks and routes throughout the world, focusing on unclimbed lines and other extreme alpine routes.
Ben Erdmann is an avid Alpinist and an Industrial Rope Access IRATA/SPRAT Level 3, working with rigging systems as a passion and profession. His initial introduction to recreational climbing was through frozen waterfalls, seeding his pursuit of the cold and sheer wall. Migrating his year between the extreme poles of the Western Hemisphere, he winters in Patagonia and summers in Alaska where he continues to explore the remote walls of his beloved Kichatna Spires.
His ascents in Patagonia are marked by a continuous-movement style of Alpinism, the endurance pushes. With numerous successful summits of the FitzRoy and a recent first ascent in the quiet South Marconi region, his pursuit of learning the land and the life in Chalten continues.
In Alaska his curiosity of the Kichatnas and Patagonian climbing tactic application has resulted in teaming with close friend Jess Roskelley and Kris Szilas to establish a first ascent on the East face of the Citadel at VI AI5+ M6+ 5.10R A3 in 70 hours camp-to-camp. More recently he and Roskelley established a first ascent on the NE Face of Augustin in the unfrequented Trident Glacier region of the Kichatnas.
We are beyond excited to have Adidas, first time Michigan Ice Fest sponsor, sending the amazing team of Jess and Ben to the 2016 Fest!