Despite persistent snow and temps stuck in the single digits above zero (quite a contrast to our Fest 2 years ago when climbers were scaling in t-shirts!) the 2018 Duluth Ice & Mixed Fest was as sweet and savory as the bacon s’mores! Good ice build-up on Big Blue and the bulging headwalls above the mixed routes kept well over one hundred climbers hooking and sticking from dawn till dusk on Saturday. The new park was buzzing with activity: fat bikes on a COGGS-groomed loop (thanks CSS Outdoor Pursuits!), a lively campfire scene (thanks Duluth Experience and Loll!) and climbing clinics happening throughout the day (thanks Midwest Mountain Guides!). Even Duluth Mayor Emily Larson put in an appearance, and wowed the crowd by dancing her way to the top of Big Blue—her first ice climb ever! The inspiration just kept coming as our featured speakers, Colorado ice and mixed aces Beth Garolsky and Dave Roetzel, took the stage on Saturday night, and crushed it with images and films highlighting their skills and philosophical musings. Thank you to all who came out, especially everyone who journeyed north and south to attend; thanks to all who volunteered, and all our great sponsors: Loll, Adidas Terrex, Sterling Ropes, Black Diamond, Cedar Lounge, Earth Rider Brewery, Vertical Endeavors, Super One Foods, and Duluth Experience. And thanks to all the photographers who applied their time and skills to documenting the fact that the 2018 Duluth Ice & Mixed Fest lived up to its billing, as the DCC’s annual winter celebration of climbing and outdoor recreation! See you all next year!
February 6, 2018 Comments Off on 2018 Duluth Ice & Mixed Fest Wrap-up