Scarpa North America Blog

15 Years and Counting – Annual Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival Coming into Shape

Oct. 25th 2011

Bozeman Ice FestivalThis coming December 7-11th, The Bozeman Ice Festival will be holding its 15th annual event in the beautiful Hyalite Canyon of Montana. Since 1996 climbers of all abilities have flocked to Hyalite to discuss technique, check out new gear, learn about the sport, and share in the camaraderie of ascending frozen water. Each year the event draws world-class athletes and guides from around the globe to educate, mentor and clinic burgeoning and passionate ice climbers about the necessary skills and safety techniques, the latest tools, and craft of the sport. As a sponsor for the event, SCARPA is pleased to help share in promoting and preserving the Hyalite Canyon’s ever-growing ice climbing heritage.

By day festival-goers are invited to participate in one of the many daily clinics led by world-class alpinists, such as SCARPA-sponsored climbers Will Gadd, Gord MacArthur and local lad Kris Erickson. Clinics range from basic skills to advanced techniques, anchoring protocols and strength training. Kitty Calhoun deemed the festival’s women’s ice clinic, “the best one day women’s specific clinic in the country.” Because quality instruction is best kept to smaller group ratios, space is limited. On-ice clinic spots are on sale now at

By night the participants make their way back to Bozeman’s Emerson Culture Center (111 S. Grand Ave) for après socializing, the newest gear, speaker series, films, and raffle. To be expected, “Ladies Night” is first, and will take place on Thursday, December 8 with proceeds from the gear raffles and beer sales supporting the nonprofit Friends of Hyalite.

Friday and Saturday will be a special, two-part multimedia historical retrospective on ice climbing in North America, featuring the primary special guest, the legendary Jeff Lowe, as well as other ice and alpine climbing pioneers, Barry Blanchard, Michael Kennedy, Henry Barber, and SCARPA athletes Will Gadd, Kitty Calhoun, and Kris Erickson. Ice climbing’s rich history will be brought to life by those who shaped it through rare footage and interviews with Yvon Chouinard and Patt Callis. On Saturday, Kris will pay a special tribute to his old mentor, Alex Lowe, and the most spectacular route he ever did in Hyalite: “Winter Dance”.

The Sunday closer is a dinner party with the raffle to end all raffles, with gear and prizes. $15 gets you enough Spaghetti & Meatballs for a week, and a raffle ticket to put you in the game. More raffle tickets are available for $5, or three for $10. All proceeds from the Bozeman Ice Festival are put directly toward the Friends of Hyalite, an organization that supports winter access into Hyalite Canyon for ice climbing.

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