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Cody Ice Festival to Offer Biggest Ice in North America

CODY, Wyo., July 28, 2016 – The 19th-annual Cody Ice Festival scheduled for Feb. 10 – 12, 2017 in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country promises a line-up of affordable clinics for beginners and experts alike and the biggest ice of any festival in North America.

Under new management, the popular festival promotes safety, stewardship, education and camaraderie. The three-day event includes ice climbing clinics by day and nightly speakers and presentations developed to inspire and encourage festival participants. Enhancing the festival experience even more, there will be nightly raffles for ice climbing gear and bottomless beer pours with the purchase of a pint glass.

Ari Novak – a well-known alpinist and ice climber – is the new director of the Cody Ice Festival. Formerly creative director of the Bozeman Ice Festival, Novak is also a renowned photographer and speaker. Novak has put up first ascents in Montana’s Hyalite Canyon and is a professional climber for Trango, a manufacturer of ice- and rock-climbing equipment.

Ice climber on a snowy ledge

The Cody Ice Festival clinics — for beginners, advanced climbers and women only — are led by professional mountain guides and athletes.

“Our goal is to help participants become better ice climbers and alpinists, from the novice to the advanced,” said Novak. “At the Cody Ice Festival we offer participants access to the biggest ice in North America as well as instruction from the best ice climbing teachers. We want the Cody Ice Festival to be a welcoming, fun, educational, affordable and inspirational experience for every climber regardless of experience.”

The Cody Ice Festival is the only one in North America where climbers can find ice routes that are five and six pitches long, and clinics are the least expensive in the country, at $118. (An ice climbing pitch is the section that is climbed between two belay points.) Each clinic is led by a top professional mountain guide and a professional athlete. Active members of the military and veterans receive a 10 percent discount off the price of the clinics.

A group of tourists hike their way through a snowy valley

Because the region is comprised of porous volcanic soil that allows for easy water seepage, spring-fed waterfalls are common.

Registration for clinics opens Nov. 1. The festival will include clinics for advanced climbers and beginners as well as all-female clinics taught by female athletes.

World-Class Ice Climbing Region
Ice routes can be found in the North and South Forks of the Shoshone, the region to the west of the town of Cody, Wyo. The South Fork of the Shoshone is home to the highest concentration of frozen waterfalls in the United States, with more than 200 climbable pitches within a 10-mile radius. Creatively named routes include “Broken Hearts,” a classic route that can be as long as seven pitches of ice climbing. Another route, “Mean Green,” offers 300 meters (approximately 3/16 of a mile) of climbable ice. “Miami Ice,” is a route made famous by world-renowned alpinist Alex Lowe. The single-pitch route is one of the most popular climbs in the region. Cody is home to plenty of long moderate and advanced ice routes offering a memorable experience for climbers of all abilities.

Commercially guided ice climbing made its debut in 2011 in Shoshone National Forest outside of Cody, Wyo. as the National Forest Service issued the first permits to outfitters to lead ice-climbing trips.

The region is comprised of porous volcanic soil that allows for easy water seepage. The mountains receive large amounts of snow that melts into a high number of drainages. These factors result in spring-fed waterfalls that are constantly regenerating themselves and freezing into high-quality ice climbs. Climbers are still discovering new waterfalls in the region, and some have made dozens of “first ascents” over the past few years.

More About the Festival
The Cody Ice Festival will offer participants discounted rates at Cody-area hotels and transportation to the climbs. The festival will culminate on Saturday night with a traditional Western-style dance and live music that celebrates heritage and culture of the region.


Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

The area of Park County is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.

The Park County Travel Council website lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Travelers wishing to arrange vacation can also call the Park County Travel Council at 1-800-393-2639 or connect with Cody on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
(970) 286-2751
[email protected]
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Ice climber Vern Nelson Jr. climbing in a majestic WI5 formation in Cody Wyoming.