15th Annual Bozeman Ice Festival event recap
Black Diamond's Grassroots Marketing Coordinator, T.J. Kolanko sent in the following report after attending the 15th Annual Bozeman Ice Festival in Bozeman, Montana—an event this year that was stunned on the first day by the loss of the renowned ice climber Guy Lacelle. Nevertheless, the event went on in his memory and hundreds of people came together as a community to make the best of a difficult weekend in his honor. Below is T.J.'s report and some photos he snapped during the event.
The 15th annual Bozeman Ice Festival started off with a moment of silence due to the loss of Guy Lacelle, one of the worlds most prestigious and renowned ice climbers. Traveling the world and climbing ice for more than two decades, Guy made a name for himself with his bold free solos of difficult, mulit-pitch ice climbs. Sadly, Guy was swept to his death in an avalanche in Hyalite Canyon on the first day of the festival. Our deepest condolences go out to Guy’s family and friends.
Most of the hosting participants knew Guy very well, and they made the decision to continue on with the festival in his memory, as they felt that was what Guy would have wished.
The Bozeman Ice Festival is a great place for professional and beginner ice climbers to come together each year to learn new skills and turn people onto the sport. This year’s festival offered several clinics each day with guides and professional athletes teaching the necessary skills to improve ice climbing technique. Black Diamond Equipment along with several other outdoor companies provide a smorgasbord of product to be tested by climbers that are just getting started in the sport or people looking to purchase new gear.
The first day of clinics are women specific and are taught by female guides, thereby providing a great environment for women to learn the ropes among their peers. Friday and Saturday had upwards of 60 participants each day taking clinics and testing new product. This year’s evenings where filled with entertainment—Black Diamond athlete Josh Wharton’s great slideshow and the premier of the new climbing flick The Continuum Project provided inspiration for a weekend of swinging tools.
Although the festival started off with a devastating loss to the ice climbing community, Guy’s memory and his eternal stoke for ice climbing were kept alive throughout the 15th annual Bozeman Ice Festival. Great thanks go out to Mike Cooperstein, Joe Josephson and the rest of Bozeman crew who organize the event each year.
— T.J. Kolanko