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Any interest in an Alaskan Ice Festival in Valdez
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By clint helander
From anchorage, alaska
Sep 14, 2013
Sleeping on top of Washington column after climbing the Prow. Yosemite.

hey there gang.
I live in AK and there are legends of an awesome ice festival that used to happen every year in Valdez (the ice mecca) of AK. tons of HUGE ice climbs 1 minute from the car.

If people were to organize something non official, free to the public, with a few bands, perhaps some cheap beer, and maybe a slideshow or two, would anyone here be interested? Would you consider coming up to Alaska for a weekend?

I'm gauging interest to see if I should start planning an awesome ice climbing party and resurrect an old tradition.


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By phil wortmann
From Colorado Springs, Co.
Sep 14, 2013
Shredded by the Center Route.

Hell yeah, what month do you think would be best?


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By Taylor-B.
From CO & AK
Sep 14, 2013
Mt. Churchill, University Range

Yes, yes, yes! Blue ice, booze and bon-fires! I'll talk to some of my connections at the Bush Co. for some apre entertainment.


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By clint helander
From anchorage, alaska
Sep 14, 2013
Sleeping on top of Washington column after climbing the Prow. Yosemite.

I was thinking second or third week in February. Days are getting longer, Presidents Day weekend gives us a definite three day weekend.


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By clint helander
From anchorage, alaska
Sep 16, 2013
Sleeping on top of Washington column after climbing the Prow. Yosemite.

Cool, there is a lot of interest locally and nationally so I think i will go ahead and start planning.

Think big ice by day, awesome bands, slideshows and movies at night.

This will be fun.

February 15-17


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By climbing coastie
From Sacramento
Oct 16, 2013
Switzerland

Making plans to attend! Can't wait to get back and climb in Alaska.


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By clint helander
From anchorage, alaska
Oct 16, 2013
Sleeping on top of Washington column after climbing the Prow. Yosemite.

Right on! We are in the early planning stages. We will keep updating here and on other forums as the event draws nearer.


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By travis mcalpine
Oct 18, 2013

Been wanting to do the same. Spent alot of time there last year. Let's talk.


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By Roots
From Tustin, CA
Oct 18, 2013

Always wanted to climb Valdez ice!

Can't make it this year as I'll be in NH climbing their ice about the same time, but hopefully you will make this an anual event.

Please let us know how it goes...


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By climbing coastie
From Sacramento
Nov 22, 2013
Switzerland

Bought airline tickets last night. Can't wait.


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By Meme Guy
From Land of Runout Slab
Nov 22, 2013
Meme guy

Any chicks going? I'm trying to Alaskan thunder fuck some ice bunnies.


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By clint helander
From anchorage, alaska
Nov 22, 2013
Sleeping on top of Washington column after climbing the Prow. Yosemite.

We are working on a website, but for the moment search facebook for the "Valdez Ice Climbing Festival." Updates and info there.

Our in town base operations will be at a great bar/restaurant called the Fat Mermaid. We are currently organizing clinics and slideshows.


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By Dan McCabe
Nov 22, 2013

I haven't been to one since 1982, but might show up for the memories....and ice!!!!


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By NateSkains
From Anchorage, Ak
Dec 4, 2013
Mix climbing in Nome (King Mountain)

Clint i will be there, also count me in if u need any help organizing it. Shoot me a message on FB if you need help!


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By clint helander
From anchorage, alaska
Dec 5, 2013
Sleeping on top of Washington column after climbing the Prow. Yosemite.

awesome, thanks! we plan to have a website launched soon. Lots of stuff being done behind the scenes, but its happening and is going to be a great time!

clint


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By climberbum2
From Park City, Utah
Dec 15, 2013
climbing

Sounds cold! How do you get the rope to the top? But in all reality miss that festival.


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By Scott O
From California
Dec 16, 2013
Batman Pinnacle

Wish I could go. I remember reading about this as a kid in Eiger Dreams


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By dsmit
From Flagstaff, Az
Jan 27, 2014
Climbing the edge.

Any update on this? Valdez is in the shit right now! Seriously. Haven't heard about anything this bad since the 2006 floods. Keystone mega avalanche I'm assuming most, if not all ice, has shit the bed. There is a video on Facebook as well. Any talk of rescheduling?


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By RobC2
Jan 27, 2014
This..

Most definitely particularly if you organize an OPEN competition speed & lead...


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By nickclimbak
From Valdez, AK
Jan 29, 2014
Sending 5.12 in Red Rocks,  Sunny and Steep Wall.

The Lowe River started draining its self. DOT is blasting today and tomorrow on the hill then will probably start plowing after that if the lake keeps draining. Road may very well be open in one week but a lot of that depends on mother nature. The river is wide open in Keystone Canyon and nearly all the Ice has melted out. Iím going to check out the Valdez Glacier today and there is still the mixed wall along with a few other crags that will have survived this fucked up year. I am still going to put on a little festival here over presidents day weekend regardless of the (Damalanch) and see what happens.


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By Josh Hutch
Jan 29, 2014
2nd pitch of Chockstone Gulley, Skylight Area, Ouray CO

nickclimbak wrote:
The Lowe River started draining its self. DOT is blasting today and tomorrow on the hill then will probably start plowing after that if the lake keeps draining. Road may very well be open in one week but a lot of that depends on mother nature. The river is wide open in Keystone Canyon and nearly all the Ice has melted out. Iím going to check out the Valdez Glacier today and there is still the mixed wall along with a few other crags that will have survived this fucked up year. I am still going to put on a little festival here over presidents day weekend regardless of the (Damalanch) and see what happens.


Thank you very much for the update! Hopefully I will be making the trip up from California as long as the predicted weather holds. If you hear anything else could you keep us updated? Thanks and I really appreciate it!


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By nickclimbak
From Valdez, AK
Jan 31, 2014
Sending 5.12 in Red Rocks,  Sunny and Steep Wall.

It sounds like the road will be open in a week and there is still a weekends worth of stuff to do around here between the glacier and the mixed. I'm still going ahead with the festival in Valdez, it will just have a different twist due to this seasons conditions. Once again, if anyone is already commited and wants to have a good time the offer is still out there. Come rock out in Valdez and we'll have a great time this presidents day weekend. It will be full of fun and adventure, but lacking in waterfall ice.


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By nickclimbak
From Valdez, AK
Feb 1, 2014
Sending 5.12 in Red Rocks,  Sunny and Steep Wall.

Current conditions are cold, calm and the road is getting cleared as we read. I have been hiking in the back country and see there is still a lot of ice to be climbed but that all involves at least a 2 hour approach. Still its out there for anyone determined to have a good time. The forecast is for cold weather for the next week so lets keep our fingers crossed. I'll send pics of the canyon the moment they open the road. We are still having a scaled back version of The Valdez Ice Festival and that is the latest and greatest here in Valdez.


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By nickclimbak
From Valdez, AK
Feb 4, 2014
Sending 5.12 in Red Rocks,  Sunny and Steep Wall.

The ice is back and forming fast here in Keystone Canyon thanks to this wonderful cold weather we are having. If things stay this way we will still be in for a great Ice Climbing Festival. There is a plan to string a fixed line across the Lowe River and use a raft to approach the falls if the river remains open. There are also many waterfalls reforming around the valley. Lots to keep locals and guests happy on the feathers that have made Valdez a ice mecca :) Looking forward to seeing some people out there this presidents day weekend.
Current Conditions Pics at. Thay were last weekend. Road opens this later this week!!!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/372263776205052/


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By climbing coastie
From Sacramento
Feb 5, 2014
Switzerland

Excited to see ice reforming! Can't wait to meet you Nick. Any update on the road opening?


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By nickclimbak
From Valdez, AK
Feb 7, 2014
Sending 5.12 in Red Rocks,  Sunny and Steep Wall.

Valdez climbers are inviting visitors to join in the fun and festivities this presidents day weekend. The ice is fat, the river is frozen and we are psyched to get out and have an amazing time. Nick Weicht will still be hosting a bonfire, potluck, games, giving away prizes and helping set some ropes if need be so that everyone may get the opportunity to play. I have a couple extra sets of tools, crampons, and harnesses that will be available to keep the fun going.

It is true that many of the official organizers and sponsors of the Valdez Ice Climbing Festival pulled out due to the strange weather last month. We all know the weather in Alaska can be unpredictable. Two weeks ago I would not have been writing this same letter. The highway was closed, all the ice had fallen down and our Keystone Canyon was on the verge of devastation due to a two mile lake healed back by a damalanche!! Yet nature has a way of healing itself. The conditions have all changed back to normal Alaskan winter here in Valdez due to two straight weeks of unusually cold weather. The river found its bed and has ice forming shore to shore. Waterfalls have frozen form top to bottom, many thicker than I ever recall seeing. The snowplows worked around the clock to open the road and it looks like this roller coaster is back on coarse.

It may be too late in the game to bring back a full blown organized festival but me and other locals will do our best to make this the best weekend of the year. I'll keep post of current ice, river, weather and festive conditions. That way climbers from around the state can make an informed decision on how to spend there holiday weekend. We hope some of you will join us on the ice here in Valdez this Presidents day.

Climb On

Nick Weicht

contact info and current conditions

907-351-6878

https://www.facebook.com/groups/372263776205052/


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