What makes the ice climbing community itself special?
I believe ice climbing evokes a visceral response, more so than any other style of climbing. As the ice begins coming in at the start of the season, people are checking it out seeing what's in and where. In the old days we did that by driving around the Canadian Rockies and then hoping you'd get to a climb before someone else found it. But today, it's all online making it easier than ever to stoke the fires. Anywhere I go, whether it's Hyalite, Cody or the Rockies you'll find someone that just drove 500-plus miles for the weekend, just because a rare route like Narcolepsy, The Replicant or Broken Hearts is in. It's an infectious energy.
Last year there was an accident at the festival...
Losing our dear friend and mentor Guy Lacelle to a freak avalanche last year will never be forgotten but, on the flip side, it has forged and deepened some incredible relationships and a sense of community around Hyalite that is extraordinary and will always be a lasting tribute to what an amazing man Guy was.
While most festival participants come for the ice some enjoy the rock as well. [Photo] Ari Novak