Outdoor adventure in the Mt. Washington Valley has so much to offer. Visitors and residents alike are lucky to have access to acres of national forest in which to experience outdoor activities from hiking to climbing and beyond. The Mt. Washington Valley is known for being home to the highest peak in New England, Mount Washington. It also has garnered fame for being a premier destination for waterfall ice climbing.
Being known for waterfall ice climbing in the Mt. Washington Valley, also means that some amazing people come out to climb them. With this combination a group of dedicated climbers in the Mt. Washington Valley in partnership with the International Mountain Climbing School in North Conway, NH created the MWV Ice Fest!
Going on 27 years now, the MWV Ice Fest is a three-day event focused on climbing clinics, gear demos, entertainment and more. The theme that always runs through this event, year after year, is a celebration of climbing. You’ll see old friends at this event, make new ones and even connect with potential climbing partners! You’ll gain a deeper respect for the great outdoors, learn new skills, and try gear out before you invest in it.
Over forty clinics are being held Friday through Sunday. Clinic topics range to include:
“Steep Ice – Intermediate and Intro,” where you’ll learn how to move smoothly on steep ice, identify different types of vertical ice and its colors and how to make quick and efficient decisions based on those characteristics;
“Thin Ice,” where you’ll learn skills and confidence on how to gauge thin, scrappy terrain, how to move confidently when it gets a little spooky, and how to finesse your way up inches-thick ice safely.
One-Day Ascents Up Mount Washington, where participants and the clinic guide will discuss general mountaineering skills, winter navigation and we will be able to practice basic crampon, ice axe skills and self arrest techniques.
“Snow and Ice Anchors,” which is a full day course that offers important information about construction and equalization of anchor systems for both snow and ice climbing.
“AIARE Level I Avalanche Course,” which is a three-day clinic that provides a basic understanding of avalanches, describes a framework for decision making and risk management in avalanche terrain, focuses on identifying the right questions, rather than on providing “answers,” gives lessons and exercises that are practically oriented, useful, and applicable in the field, and breaks down how to use Mammut’s beacon system.
Friday and Saturday evening is headlined by a live presentations from decorated Alpinists that have made ascents around the world. A DJ’d dance party, beer tasting and silent auction are also staples of these “after parties.” Each presentation is held at Theater in the Wood, in Bartlett, NH.
The Mt. Washington Valley offers a depth of varied natural terrain. It’s a premier ice climbing destination, and is a main source of opportunities for winter climbing in New Hampshire. The MWV Ice Fest, highlights what a treasure this source is, and is an event not to be missed. Perfect for beginners and seasoned climbers, your winter is not complete without taking part in this comprehensive ice climbing celebration.