Ice climbing festival offers beginners an opportunity to learn

Posted at 6:13 PM, Jan 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-22 20:13:13-05

PROVO, Utah -- Dan Christopherson, a local ice climbing guide, has been climbing for more than 20 years, and he is channeling his love of the sport into a festival for ice climbers.

"I love ice climbing, it's something I enjoy more than any other activity,” Christopherson said.

He wants to share his love of the sport with a broader audience. To get more members of the community scaling the mountain, he has organized the first ever climbing festival at Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon.

"Getting people stoked and excited about trying something that maybe they've never tried before, or get more excited about something that they do on a regular basis,” Christopherson said.

Bridal Veil Falls makes the perfect spot for the ice climbing festival.

"It's kind of remarkable that in the Provo area there is Bridal Veil Falls offering world-class climbing,” Ice Climber Anna Keeling said. “And even if you're a beginner and wanting to try it for the first time, there's easy enough climbs that you can."

The best part about the ice climbing festival is that you don't have to be an expert to get on the ice. It could be your first time out, and you could still have a great time.

"Coming to an ice festival where all the equipment is available, where you know there's solid anchors and the ropes are good and everything is put up safely, it's very accessible to beginners,” Ice Climber Abe Tomco said. “Otherwise it's really hard to start ice climbing, I think."

But explaining the safety of the sport to beginners can be a tough sell.

"I think a lot of people have a perceived risk that ice climbing is very dangerous and scary, but when they get out and see it and they try it and they see the safety that is involved, they get really excited,” Christopherson said.

The festival will offer equipment and help for beginners. There will also be clinics for more advanced climbers and notable ice climbers will be speaking at Utah Valley University.

Christopherson said that when people try it once, they get hooked.

The two-day festival will run January 31 through February 1. Click here for more information.