Michigan Ice Fest climbers rise to the top

MUNISING, Mich. (WLUC) - Excitement echoed through the Munising’s most breath taking rock formations that created ice perfect for climbers.

"I heard a rumor that back in the day when they were first started climbing in the area they would actually take a dryer hose to try to direct the water to form a good ice climb hence the name dryer hose," said Peter Lenz, an ice climber from Minneapolis.

Dryer Hose is just one of many areas for climbers to experience. The ice curtains, cliffs along Pictured Rocks and the shore of Grand Island, have climbers close to 60 meters high.

"A lot of folks aren’t fortunate enough to experience Lake Superior all the time like we do living here so they are traveling from all over the country coming up here and are climbing about Lake Superior," said Bill Thompson, the Ice Fest Organizer. "It’s an exciting opportunity."

Lenz was one of many who returned to this year’s Ice Fest, traveling from Minnesota. He says the 40 degree weather made Wednesday's climb a unique experience.

"With the warm temperatures there’s a little bit of moving water behind the ice that we are climbing over so it’s this really cool visual affect," said Lenz.

And climbing is just one part of the festival. Throughout the weekend, clinics and classes are offered for first time climbers. Along with ice climbing vendors, presentations, speakers and after parties.

"You can even test out all the gear," said Thompson. "So if this is something you are passionate about and you might be looking to purchase some new equipment, this is where to do that."

This is just the start of start of the Michigan Ice Fest so for a full schedule of all the events happening this weekend, click here.

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