Speaker Sponsor- Arc Teryx, Katie Bono And The Lightning


Named for ARCHAEOPTERYX LITHOGRAPHICA, the first reptile to develop the feather for flight, freeing itself from the constraints of the horizontal world. At Arc’teryx our central purpose is to build the finest products possible. The Arc’teryx advantage is achieved by merging our unrivaled designs with the best quality, highest performing materials and assembling them in the most innovative and most durable manner for the intended use.

Our Speaker Level sponsor Arc’teryx  is proud to be sending one of their team athletes, Katie Bono to instruct and present a slide show Thursday evening.


21595134192_131673693f_cGrowing up in Minneapolis, Katie’s first introduction to the outdoors came in cross country ski racing. This taught her many skills that she would use later on, including how to suffer for long periods of time and how to cope with absurdly cold weather. In high school, Katie travelled to the Canadian Rockies for the first time on a training trip and fell in love with the mountains. This love affair deepened while ski racing for Dartmouth College in New Hampshire when she discovered climbing. After retiring from the ski racing circuit in 2011, Katie began guiding and had the chance to pursue climbing more extensively.

Now Katie lives in Canmore, Alberta, in the first mountains that blew her mind over a decade ago. She also spends several months of the year guiding big-mountain and alpine terrain in Washington, Alaska, and South America. Katie gets way too excited about pretty much any kind of climbing, but the mental component and commitment of alpine climbing is a huge draw for her. She also has a thing for moving fast in the mountains. With an inherently fast-and-light (albeit non-mountainous) background of ski racing and trail running, she finds it really rewarding to combine those elements with climbing. Katie recently discovered the joys of mixed climbing, as well, and probably spends more time hanging upside-down on ice tools than is good for her.

Katie also really enjoys the multi-faceted component of climbing because there are so many aspects of it that can contribute to your experiences as a climber, and because of that, there’s always something new and different to learn about yourself, your partners, and your environment.

Photo courtesy of Chris Snobeck
Photo courtesy of Chris Snobeck


Katie has been pretty busy lately and we are excited that Katie recently sent The Lightning, an incredible, long mixed route, going at M13, established by our friend Will Mayo.  By completing this climb, located in Vail Colorado, makes Katie the first American woman to climb that grade!  Can’t wait to hear the story during her presentation Thursday Night!

Thanks Arc’teryx for committing to support Mid West ice climbers and sending Katie to this years Michigan Ice Fest!

Gold Level Sponsor Steps Up- Arc’teryx Roger Strong And The M280 Harness

One of our gold level sponsors Arc’teryx is really stepping up to the plate this year by sending one of their team athletes, Roger Strong to instruct and present a slide show Friday night.

Roj’s former career was a captain of a commercial crab fishing vessel in the Bering Sea of Alaska: a job he did for over 20 years (You can see him profiled and posing on the first two seasons of the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch.)

He’s been climbing for nearly 25 years and feels lucky to have climbed all over the globe, opening new rock, mixed, alpine and big wall routes in Alaska, Canada, Mexico and the U.S.  Roj loves being on anything vertical, steep and long, mixed with horrible weather to keep him feeling like he’s still getting his ass kicked on the boat somewhere. He attributes any success that he’s had in the mountains to his close relationships with his wife, family and friends coupled with the rigors he’s endured on the deck of the crab boat.

Besides Roger, Arc’teryx is also sending some of their popular climbing harnesses to demo so participants will be able to check these out and go “hang” out at the demo.  Arc’teryx designed the M280 Mixed Climbing Harness to give demanding ice and mixed climbers a lightweight, comfortable feel with all the features they need and nothing more. Thanks to revolutionary WST construction, this Arc’teryx harness disperses weight throughout the entire width of the waist belt, so it doesn’t need bulky padding. The M280 Harness includes two gear loops to hold your draws and four ice clipper slots to help carry screws and holster tools. Arc’teryx also used mesh leg loops to decrease bulk even further and shave weight to a mere 9.8oz.

Don’t forget to check out one of these sweet harnesses at some point Ice Fest weekend!

Another bonus is that Down Wind sports will also be stocking an array of Arc’teryx clothing in the store and between slide shows participants will be able to shop for killer deals!

Thanks Arc’teryx for committing to support Mid West ice climbers and sending Roger to this years Michigan Ice Fest!