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23rd annual Bozeman Ice Fest returns to Gallatin Valley

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A participant during a 2018 beginner Bozeman Ice Fest climbing clinic. PHOTO BY SARAH KLINTWORTH


BOZEMAN – The annual Bozeman Ice Festival kicks off Monday, Dec. 9 for a week of nightly events and on-ice clinics. According to organizers, the ice conditions have benefitted from cold weather and snow this fall, transforming Hyalite’s waterfalls south of Bozeman into a place of ice-climbing wonder.

The festival features a number of clinics taught by world renown athletes Conrand Anker, Graham Zimmerman, Ines Papert and Anna Pfaff. The courses teach skills and techniques relevant to climbing technical ice as well as general mountain skills. This includes beginner and intermediate skills, as well as more advanced options: learning lead climbing, mixed climbing and self-rescue.

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Ines Papert climbing a first ascent on Mount Fay in Canada. PHOTO BY LUKA LINDIČ

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Monday, Dec. 9

Jeff and Priti Wright

Lockhorn Cider House

Balancing climbing and full-time careers can be a challenge. Jeff and Priti Wright have been more successful than most in this pursuit, climbing big routes all over the world. After years of successful harmonizing they have decided to quit their jobs, put their stuff in storage and take a year-long climbing sabbatical.


Tuesday, Dec. 10

Live Your Dream Presentations

Lockhorn Cider House

The American Alpine Club offers the Live Your Dream Grant, a small grant meant to help bring adventure

to more people. This year, two past winners will present on their projects. Lisa Verwys used the grant to attempt a winter traverse of Yellowstone National Park on skis. Nate Bender used the grant to connect 27 high peaks in the Beartooth Mountains in a single trip.


Wednesday, Dec. 11

Kickoff Party

Bozeman Event Space

Dec. 11 marks the true start to the festival, with a kickoff party filled with music and revelry. Bozeman’s own Walcrick will be playing Americana music to get this party on its feet.

American climbers Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison complete the first ski descent of the Lhotse Couloir in Nepal. They will share stories from the experience as a part of the 23rd annual Bozeman Ice Fest on Dec. 13. PHOTO BY DUTCH SIMPSON


Thursday, Dec. 12

Ice Fest Film Fest

Emerson Crawford Theater

This film celebration will bring out the spirit of climbing through three inspirational films. Mystery Ranch’s “Parallel Passions” looks at Hyalite Canyon through the eyes of its brand ambassadors and how this amazing place has inspired their entire business. Sterling’s “Adaptive” is an inspirational film about Mo Beck and Jim Ewing’s attempt at an all adaptive ascent of the Lotus Flower Tower in Canada’s Cirque of the Unclimbables. Lastly, La Sportiva’s “Himalayan Ice” follows Ari Novak and Karsten Delap on a trip to India’s Spiti Valley where they find connection with an amazing place and a group of locals eager to build a climbing community.


Friday, Dec. 13

Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison

Emerson Crawford Theater

Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain in the world, and mountaineers and big mountain skiers have referred to the couloir off its peak as the dream couloir. In the fall of 2018, Jim Morrison and Hilaree Nelson went to Nepal with one objective: to get the first descent of this amazing line. But the story goes back much farther than that. Listen to Nelson and Morrison speak about the years of work that went into this expedition, the conditions they needed to be just right and the difficulty of skiing at 8,000 meters.


Saturday, Dec. 14

“Alpinism on the Edge of Dreams” by Ines Papert

Emerson Crawford Theater

Ines Papert dedicates her time to first ascents and expeditions around the world. She and her partner, Luka, are at the forefront of alpine climbing and are motivated to discover these unclimbed lines. Join Papert as she shares stories from climbs all around the world, from Piz Badile and Grande Jorasses in the Alps, to “Lost in China” on Kyzyl Asker, an attempt of a new route on the south face of Shishapangma in the Himalya and recent route development in the Canadian Rockies.


Sunday, Dec. 15

Local Legends Wrap Party with Lindsay Fixmer

Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture

The Sunday Night Local Legends Wrap Party is always a festival favorite, featuring dinner and climbing stories. This year hear from Lindsay Fixmer about climbing new routes in Newfoundland and Iceland. Lindsay is an AMGA guide who guides around the world and she is a long-time location guide for the Bozeman Ice Festival.

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