Michigan Ice Fest 2021 cancelled but ice climbing season lives on

Guided ice climbing trips still available
Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 12:11 AM EST
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Munising, Mich. (WLUC) - The pandemic has led organizers to cancel this year’s Michigan Ice Fest -- the annual celebration of the sport of ice climbing that draws many a climber to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

But they urge would-be attendees to keep the spirit of the festival alive by taking advantage of the guided ice climbing trips they continue to offer this year.

“Like a lot of events, we just have to adapt. And we wanted to make sure Ice Fest had the same zip and charisma that it always has. And the best way for us to do that is to hit the pause button and reboot and come back to the winter of 2022,” said Marquette Down Wind Sports Co-Owner Todd King.

Sign-ups are available through Down Wind Sports, which has been involved in organizing the Michigan Ice Fest for years.

“For a private guide it’s about $130 a day. I think it’s pretty reasonable when you have a group of people who can do that. We provide all the equipment -- the boots, the crampons, the helmets and the harnesses. We’ll have the guides set up the climbs and stuff for you,” said King.

The outdoor equipment store co-owner further noted that the warmer-than-usual winter season may have limited ice climbing conditions had the festival gone on as scheduled.

“If you look at it this year, it’s probably not a bad year to take off. The ice is forming, but not at a rate we really needed to accommodate all the participants that were (planned to be) coming up,” he said.

King announced that they’re running a photo contest for those ice climbing in the U.P. this season.

Winners will earn free registrations to next year’s Michigan Ice Fest -- scheduled to kick off on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

To sign up for guided ice climbing trips, click HERE.

Find photo contest information HERE.

Follow Michigan Ice Fest updates via social media: Michigan Ice Fest Facebook Page

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