BD employee Holly Merriman reports on the 16th annual Bozeman Ice Festival
In early December, BD employee Holly Merriman, along with several other BD employees, attended the 16th annual Bozeman Ice Festival in Bozeman, Montana, a community celebration of ice climbing that has grown to draw climbers from all over the U.S. Below is Holly’s report from the event, as well as a collection of photos that capture the spirit of this great community event.
Wednesday, December 5th kicked off the 16th annual Bozeman Ice Festival, a four-day fest of instruction, climbing, presentations, competition and all-around community awesomeness that make this event one of the best in the nation. A crew of BD athletes was in attendance, including Kyle Dempster, Hayden Kennedy, Dawn Glanc, Sam Elias, Will Gadd and BZN super-locals, Doug Chabot, Whit Magro and Conrad Anker.
The clinics were held just outside of Bozeman in Hyalite Canyon, a world-class ice climbing area. There were a total of seven clinics held, which included all levels from beginner and women’s-only clinics to mixed climbing clinics. Total attendance is still TBA but all clinics were sold out! Attendees to the clinics would are able to demo all of the latest and greatest BD gear—every day we were completely demo’d out of all of our ice tools, harnesses, crampons and helmets.
When the daytime activities came to a close, there was evening entertainment, including slideshows, raffles and group dinners. On Saturday, all the gear companies set up outside, farmer’s-market-style, in downtown Bozeman below the impressive man-made climbing tower, which hosted a speed-climbing competition during the day and a dry-tooling competition at night (which comp-savvy Will Gadd won and Whit Magro finished second).
The Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival is used as a fundraiser for the plowing of the Hyalite Canyon road, so recreational pursuits are not limited in the winter. Thanks to Jo Jo (Joe Josephson), Coop (Mike Cooperstein) and all the volunteers for making this event such a success.