Registration Opens for 2017 Cody Ice Festival
CODY, Wyo., Nov. 4, 2016 – Registration has begun for the 19th annual Cody Ice Festival scheduled for Feb. 10 – 12, 2017 in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. The festival 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 this year, the popular event promotes safety, stewardship, education and camaraderie. The festival has partnered with Montana Alpine Guides with professional mountain guides setting ropes and offering instruction at every clinic. Clinics are priced at $118, except for the two-day Camp Light and Fast Alpinism clinic, which is priced at $175. Active military and veterans receive a 10 percent discount.
Clinic purchases include gear demos, optional shuttles to the South Fork of the Shoshone, gift bags and nightly speakers, including Carlos Buhler, one of America’s leading high altitude mountaineers. There will also be a nightly barbecue and beer garden in downtown Cody. On Saturday night, events will include presentation of the first annual “Jack Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award” for excellence in the mountains and contributions to alpinism; a raffle for a complete ice-climbing setup provided by equipment manufacturer Grivel and live Western-style music.
The festival is directed by Ari Novak, a well-known Bozeman-based alpinist and ice climber who is excited to offer the biggest ice in North America as well as the best ice climbing teachers of any ice event. The Cody Ice Festival is the only place in North America where climbers can find ice routes that are five and six pitches long.
“We want the Cody Ice Festival to be a welcoming, fun, educational, affordable and inspirational experience for every climber, regardless of experience,” said Novak.
World-Class Ice Climbing Region
Ice routes can be found in the North and South Forks of the Shoshone River, 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, who lost his life climbing in Tibet. 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.