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Ice Fest climbers welcome winter-like weather

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Dec 08 2012 06:54:37 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Climbers welcomed snow at the 16th Annual Bozeman Ice Fest.  

They competed in speed events at the Emerson on a new addition to the festival this year- a mixed climbing wall.

Even though there's no ice on the wall, climbers must use ice climbing tools to make it to the top.

The festival is meant to promote the sport of ice climbing and this year, participants say they're raising awareness about a world cup event for an Olympic exhibition in 2014.

We talked to competitors about the festival to hear their thoughts.

Bozeman climber Justin Griffin says the festival is important for Bozeman.

"I think it's great we have a great sense of community here, tons of friends, and it’s a great way for people to get out and enjoy the mountains," says Griffin.

Climber Stephanie Mauleau traveled from France to compete in the festival.  She says she feels lucky to be able to see Montana transform with fresh snow.

"I love it.  I don't know the range but there's lots of little ranges of mountains and it's just amazing and snow and ice.  It's a perfect state," says Mauleau.
 
Coordinators say the festival is also a way to raise funds and awareness for winter access to Hyalite Canyon.  It's home to around 250 different ice climbs.