By Joe Josephson, explorebigsky.com contributor
The 15th annual Arc’teryx Bozeman Ice Climbing
Festival is planning for four days of ice climbing
instruction in Hyalite Canyon and nightly events
at Bozeman’s Emerson Theater, Dec. 7–11, 2011.
One of the highlights of the weekend is the
Women’s Only Clinic on Friday, Dec. 9. Started
in 2007 by Bozeman’s Amy Bullard, an Everest
climber, the clinic is so popular it’s sold out every
“The Bozeman women’s clinic is the best of
its kind anywhere in the country,” said Kitty
Calhoun, who is one of the most accomplished
American women alpinists.
Featuring full-day instruction and mentorship
in Hyalite Canyon, 60 women spend the day in
creative clinics titled, “Ice Goddess 101,” “The
Ultimate Isis” and “Leaving the Nest,” led by the
best female climbers and mountain guides in the
The women’s clinic lineup will include Jeannie
Wall from Bozeman; Margo Talbot, Sarah
Hueniken and Lilla Molnar from Canada; Mattie
Sheafor from Jackson; Kim Reynolds, founder of
the popular Chicks with Picks ice program; and
Dawn Glanc, winner of the 2010 Ouray International
Ice Climbing Competition.
The 2010 women’s clinic was “the most positive experience
I have ever had sharing a rope with someone,”
said Robin Brower-McBride from Big Sky.
Clinics include use of all the necessary gear, including
top-of-the-line boots, crampons, axes, harnesses,
helmets and clothing.
Following the six-hour climbing day, the Thursday
night Ladies Night at the Emerson features “All That
Glitters,” a show by Canadian climber and author
Margo Talbot, sponsored by Outdoor Research. Margo
will also be available to sign copies of her new memoir.
Clinics are already filling up
with women from as far away
as New York, Maine, Colorado
and California. Additional
clinics open to anyone are presented
on Thursday, Saturday
Evening events on the weekend include a two-part
retrospective on the past 40 year history of ice climbing
in North America, featuring ice climbing pioneers
like Jeff Lowe, Yvon Chouinard, Henry Barber, Barry
Blanchard, Kitty Calhoun and Will Gadd. The festival
wraps on Sunday, Dec. 11 with a spaghetti feast and
gear raffle in the Emerson Ballroom.
Home to over 225 routes, Hyalite Canyon offers the
most reliable, concentrated and accessible ice climbing
in America. The ice climbing season in Hyalite
runs from mid November through the end of March.
Tickets for all clinics and nightly events are available at