FRIENDS OF HYALITE

The local outdoor community, ice enthusiasts from near and far, and world-renowned professional climbers will come together to celebrate one of Hyalite Canyon’s most popular and historic pursuits during the 20th anniversary of the Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival.

The five-day festival kicked off Dec. 7 at the Emerson Cultural Center in downtown Bozeman and runs until Dec. 11. Festival attendees can participate in ice climbing skills clinics on Hyalite’s world-class ice, check out the community gear demo, watch slide shows and films from some of the top athletes in the world, enjoy a performance by the Bear Canyon Singers and Performers, and partake in après-climb parties.

“Bozeman is a world-class outdoor adventure town, and this year we really want to invite everyone in the community who loves Hyalite and the wilderness that surrounds us to come out and celebrate,” said festival director Joe Josephson.

Josephson is especially excited to introduce the Adventure Film Festival,​ which will bring inspiring, funny and poignant action sports and conservation films from some of the best independent outdoor filmmakers in the country to Bozeman.

After a ceremonial blessing of events by the Bear Canyon Singers and Performers, viewers will be treated to action sport films about backpacking across the Utah desert with man’s best friend, learning to paraglide, surfing in Iceland, ice climbing in Quebec and more.

The Saturday matinees will feature ski and snow sports and build on a wilderness conservation theme with films about elk migrations across Yellowstone; earthquake recovery in Nepal; and the late Doug Tompkins, who founded The North Face and developed a reputation as a prolific conservationist. View the entire screening line up at bozemanicefest.com.

“BIF continues to embrace all aspects of our winter experience from Olympic-caliber sporting events like the World Cup we’ve done the past few years to the more introspective storytelling and conservation films we are featuring on our 20th anniversary,” Josephson said.

Mountaineering legends Barry Blanchard, Kitty Calhoun and Jack Tackle, who were among the original Ice Fest and Women’s Clinic instructors, will be coming back for the 20th anniversary of the festival.

All proceeds from the Ice Fest and Adventure Film Festival will go to Friends of Hyalite to support plowing and stewardship efforts in Hyalite Canyon.

“Just a few short years ago Hyalite wasn’t plowed and once the first snows fell, no one could get back there without an epic adventure,” said Josephson, who co-founded Friends of Hyalite as a 501(c)3 nonprofit operating under a unique cost-share agreement with Gallatin County and the Forest Service that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the country.

Since 2010 Friends of Hyalite has secured more than $87,000 in road plowing funding which costs an average of $20,000 per year to keep open.

“Anyone who loves playing in Hyalite in the winter or independent outdoor films is invited to come out, watch the films, have a beer and a bratwurst and celebrate this amazing outdoor community we have in Bozeman,” Josephson said.

Visit bozemanicefest.com for more information and a calendar of events.

For more information about Friends of Hyalite, visit hyalite.org.