Bozeman Ice Festival

Date: December 5-9

Participants:  Susanna Phillips, Brent Maier, Abby Stensland, Bjorn Nabozney, Joshua Phillips, Minot Maser, Megan Monahan, Elizabeth Moore, Fintan Maguire, Jesse Blaha, Anastasia Wilde, Steve Hancock, Forest Dean
A large group of us once again made the trip to Bozeman for the 22nd Annual Bozeman Ice Festival.  We had a mix of first timers and several veterans.  All of us had an incredible time!  About half of us took at least one clinic while the rest climbed on their own (or, in the case of Jesse and Anastasia, took hundreds of photographs of all of us!). 
Three of us arrived on Wednesday so we could take clinics on Thursday.  Everyone else came down on either Thursday or Friday.  Those of us who took clinics all were in agreement that the instruction was outstanding and worth the expense.  The Festival seems to attract the “who’s who” of the climbing world and its always fun to rub elbows and learn with some of those folks you admire and read about.  Some of the clinics we participated in:  Light and Fast Alpine Climbing, Intro to Ice, Women’s Intro to Ice, Beginner Ice, Intermediate Ice, Mixed Climbing.

On Saturday, the majority of us got together for a complete day of climbing on our own at a flow called Switchback Falls.  Here we got three topropes set up and had a blast climbing, learning from each other and just sharing a stellar day on the ice.  Most had had enough by Sunday, but three of us (along with our erstwhile photographers) headed up to Twin Falls for a final day of tool swinging.
The evenings were primarily spent at the Emerson Events Center which is the home base for the Festival.  Along with the “kid in a candy store” environment that is the gear checkout/rental, there was beer (!), raffles, and some great movies and presentations to take in (Dawn Wall, Free Solo and Tom Livingstone’s presentation on his recent climb of the North Ridge of Latok I).
It was a phenomenal four days.  Great climbing, camaraderie and all around fun!  As always, looking forward to next year!  Forest Dean

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