Munising welcomes in the Michigan Ice Fest

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MUNISING-- It's known as a favorite Upper Peninsula getaway in the summer and in the winter, many waterfalls throughout Munising freeze, making it a prime destination for ice climbers.

Austin Alexander, Ice climber from Grand Rapids says, "Climbing a lot of ice. Lots of ice and a lot of beautiful lines that not everyone gets to see."

And that's just what the Michigan Ice Fest is. For about 30 years people have been coming to Munising to participate in the sport. 

Todd King, Down Wind Sports says, "We have classes that are available for people to learn. We have had people who have been coming for many years or several years and they're off and climbing on their own. And then we've had people who have been in the industry for a long time now are guiding for us too."

Between spectators and climbers, organizers plan on thousands of people being in the Munising area for the Michigan Ice Fest from both inside and outside of the country.

Karn Kowshik, Mountain Guide from India says, "I'm really looking forward to meeting the locals and get to know the local climbing culture as well as the culture of the area itself. You know we hear about the big cities, but this culture of the Upper Peninsula is something I'm really looking forward to experiencing."

While ice climbing might look intimidating, organizers are telling people 'you'll never know unless you try.'

King says, "Starts with a conversation , 'Hey want to try this out?' We can do that for you. We can help you out. You can do the demos and that's a really important step for people who have never tried it before because you can come out, you can climb on our ropes, you can use out equipment and you get some really basic instruction. I would say nine out of ten people will actually progress."

The Ice Fest runs until Sunday. People can meet at the shuttle stop at the Community Center in Munising to be bussed out to whichever station they'd like throughout the festival.
 


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