MUNISING, Mich. (WJMN) – There are a lot of ways to enjoy winter in the Upper Peninsula, this includes climbing ice formations near the shorelines of Lake Superior.
The 30th annual Michigan Ice Fest is currently underground in Munising. It’s the largest ice climbing festival in the Midwest.
“Ice Fest is a huge event in Munising and it has been growing every single year,” said Kathy Reynolds, CEO of Alger County Chamber of Commerce. “Not only by climbers but also by participants that come over and want to try ice climbing for the weekend or for the three-day weekend, whatever it may be. Or just people checking it out, viewing, just coming to town to see people do this. It’s a very neat event, it’s one of the oldest ice festivals in the United States.”
There are many different ice formations to climb in the Munising area. One of those ice formations is called Dryer Hose. Some people refer to it as one of the most iconic climbs around. That’s because it’s a 35-foot frozen waterfall surrounded by a half-bowl of sandstone.
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Stephanie Suntken traveled from Milwaukee, Wisc. with a group of her friends to attend Michigan Ice Fest. She would encourage everyone to give ice climbing a try.
“I absolutely would because the movements are dangerous, it is difficult, it is intimate. But I really think it’s accessible for most people to do. I don’t think people should be scared to go ahead and try because the movements are pretty rudimentary and once you kick into that ice and feel that first stick you go crazy and you just got to keep going,” said Suntken.
For a full list of scheduled events for Michigan Ice Fest, click here.