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16th annual Ice Festival is Dec. 5 – 9

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BOZEMAN – Ice climbers and mountain-lovers from around the world will converge on southwest Montana this December for the 16th Annual Arc’teryx Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival, Dec. 5 – 9.

The festival is centered on instructional clinics held in Hyalite Canyon, 15 miles south of Bozeman. The clinics serve a range of abilities, from first-time climbers to experienced enthusiasts looking to hone their skills. Instructors will include professional athletes and local guides.

On Saturday, Dec. 8, from noon to 8:30 p.m., the ice action will move downtown. The festival’s Urban Base Camp, held on the lawn at Bozeman’s Emerson Cultural Center, will center around demonstration climbing on a 35-foot artificial ice tower. There will also be gear demos, climbing gear for sale, fire pits with ‘smores, and other outdoor-related, family-friendly activities and information.

An Ice Breaker Competition will be held on the tower that afternoon, with an open class 1 – 4 p.m., and an invitational comp from 6 to 8 p.m., with professional climbers from around the world.

Immediately after the Ice Breaker Comp, a celebration of climbing will commence in the Ballroom at 9 p.m. featuring live music from Tom Catmull and the Clerics, and local microbrews from Big Sky Brewing. Proceeds from the Urban Base Camp and the after party will go toward keeping the Hyalite Canyon Road plowed in winter.

There will also be nightly slide shows at the Emerson Center, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. These include a presentation from Sarah Hueniken, and one from a father-son duo, Michael and Hayden Kennedy.

A professional climber and mountain guide from Canmore, Alberta, Hueniken will kick off the evening shows on Thursday, Dec. 6.

Michael Kennedy broke new ground for his generation of climbers. His son, Hayden, has also proven a capacity for making history. The two will share stories and memories of spectacular climbs from around the world on Friday, Dec. 7.

Founded in 1996, the Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival is dedicated to promoting and protecting the world-class ice climbing of Hyalite Canyon. The event draws top athletes and participants for clinics, demos, slide shows and evening entertainment.

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The Outlaw Partners is a creative marketing, media and events company based in Big Sky, Montana.

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