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Ice climbing festivals this weekend

If you need a dose of ice climbing festivities this weekend, January 30 – February 2, 2014, there are some ice climbing festivals going on. Here are a few that you can head to for some ice clinics, snowshoe clinics, demos and events.

Ice/mixed ice climbing in Ouray, Colorado
Ice/mixed ice climbing in Ouray, ColoradoTyler King

The Bridal Veil Falls “Igniting the Fire” IceFest presented by 12 Finger Outdoor Adventure and Friends of Bridal Veil Falls will be on February 1, 2014. This ice climbing festival is located in Provo Canyon, Utah and Utah Valley University. It was originally scheduled to begin on Friday, January 31, 2014, with guest speaker Jeff Lowe, but due to Mr. Lowe having some health complications, this night has been canceled. Any Icefest attendees will be refunded for this night. On Friday ice clinics will be in full swing at the Bridal Veil Falls area along with snowshoe clinics, demos, and contests. During the evening, presentations by Stacy Taniguchi and Scott Adamson will be given at UVU. The night will end with an after party back at Bridal Veil Falls. For more information and registration, please visit www.bridalveilfallswinterfest.com.

The Michigan Ice Fest in Munising, Michigan, presented by La Sportiva started today, January 30, 2014, and will continue until February 2, 2014. Right now with how extremely cold temps have been in Michigan, the ice conditions are the best they’ve had in decades. Clinics and demos are all four days. Slide shows will be given by Ben Erdmann, Sam Elias, Will Mayo and Kelly Cordes. For more information on the Michigan Ice Fest, please visit http://downwindsports.com/icefest/.

The Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest in North Conway, New Hampshire, set in the White Mountains, runs from January 31 – February 2, 2014. This ice festival is considered one of the premier climbing events in the country. Mount Washington Valley is one of the finest waterfall ice climbing destinations in North America. This year brings the biggest roster of guest guides to date. Clinics are Friday – Sunday and featured presenters include Barry Blanchard and Tim Emmett. Visit http://www.mwv-icefest.com/ for more information.

The MEC Ice Climbing Festival, formerly known as the Knucklebasher, is back and is located in the heart of Banff, Canada this year on January 31 – February 2, 2014. A 40-foot free standing ice wall will be in the middle of downtown Banff. Clinics and public ice climbing will all be offered at this ice festival, and the Alpine Club of Canada will be presenting an amateur ice climbing competition for those who want to test their skills. Nancy Hansen and Brent Peters will be guest speakers along with a silent auction on Friday night at the Elk and Oarsman, a licensed pub. Visit http://events.mec.ca/event/10979/mec-ice-climbing-festival-2014 for more information.

This is the weekend to be one with the ice, so make sure you layer up to keep warm in the crazy weather conditions. Be careful with the ice axes and crampons, and head out to get some ice climbing in while meeting great people and mingling with some phenomenal athletes.

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