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Hyalite Ice Clinics
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Oct 20, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Marcy
Any thoughts on how helpful the clinics are in Hyalite during the Bozeman ice festival? Started climbing ice last year a little bit, but haven't done anything too crazy so far. There is a spot open in the "Intermediate Ice at G1 Wall" course that seems to be aimed at people just starting out... Wanted to see if anyone had any experience to say if it was worth the $$ at all or not. Let me know if you have any useful info!

Thanks,
-Alex
Alex M. Smith
From Bozeman, MT
Joined Feb 26, 2012
95 points
Oct 20, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Best climbing pants EVER
They are always hit or miss and depends entirely on the instructor and what kid of day they're having. I took a clinic my 2nd season ice climbing with a very well regarded ArcTeryx athlete. He showed up late, left early, and was more interested in telling stories of his "gnarly" ascents to the female clinic members than actually coaching.

He belayed me on a WI5 route (the hardest I'd ever climbed at that point) and when I got down, I asked for some feedback and his response - "Nah dude, you looked solid. I've got nothing." Then another one of the students pulled me aside to mention that he hadn't even actually watched me climb. He was just chatting away while absentmindedly pulling rope.

Then again, friends have taken clinics and had major breakthroughs in their climbing. So long story short, to answer your question - maybe.

Go in with clear cut goals and make sure you communicate them to the coach.

Ice climbing is weird. The most critical thing is technique. Once you have that nailed (and I do mean nailed), the rest is just judgement calls and courage. With modern gear, pretty much anything is climbable. If you feel your technique could use refinement, take the clinic and hope for the best. Or just find some really good climbers and ask to tag along with them for a day of cragging.
Jon H
From Boulder
Joined Nov 24, 2009
138 points
Oct 25, 2015
Pm'd you Chiatt
From Bozeman, Mt
Joined Oct 25, 2015
85 points
Oct 26, 2015
Alex M. Smith wrote:
Any thoughts on how helpful the clinics are in Hyalite during the Bozeman ice festival? Started climbing ice last year a little bit, but haven't done anything too crazy so far. There is a spot open in the "Intermediate Ice at G1 Wall" course that seems to be aimed at people just starting out... Wanted to see if anyone had any experience to say if it was worth the $$ at all or not. Let me know if you have any useful info! Thanks, -Alex


John H nailed it pretty well.

I have had three Hyalite clinics.
First when I was just starting out. Instructor was great. Got me three grades harder by just dialing my technique in.

The second clinic was a G1 shit show. There was like four clinics going from beginner to intermediate to dry tooling on in one location. There must have been ten ropes up and people standing in line to climb. I learned jack squat. The few instructors seem overwhelmed trying to teach and keep the idiots for dyeing and were trying to help but in that environment is was tough.

My third clinic was up at the mummyII and had another stellar clinic with Barry Blanchard. I went to seconding WI 4/5 to leading it with much more confidence. Not just with climbing technique but with tricks to help be more efficient and how to rest better mid pitch.

IMHO if you are starting out. Find a clinic that is NOT at G1 and go from there. I Find that most of the clinics are worth the $$, if not just the clinc but the hord of new gear you can try out every day of the ice fest.
Jeff J
From Bozeman
Joined Sep 15, 2010
113 points


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