Climbers of all skill levels gathered at Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 to attend the 1st Annual Bridal Veil Falls Ice Festival.
Dan Christopherson, owner of 12 Finger Outdoor Adventure, and the Friends of Bridal Veil Falls organized ice climbing clinics throughout the day. Even first timers got to revel in the pleasure of swinging an axe into waterfall ice and scurrying to the top.
“Many people have a perception that ice climbing is out of reach, too difficult or dangerous to try,” says Christopherson. “It has been my experience though that once people see how the systems work and what it is all about they want to engage often walking away saying this was the coolest thing they have ever done.”
Several volunteers and 12 Finger Outdoor Adventure guides were there as instructors and belayers (those who hold the opposite end of the rope to keep the climbers from falling). All necessary equipment was provided including boots, crampons, helmets, ice axes, harnesses, ropes and safety gear.
With several ropes stretched out on the ice, and plenty of belayers at the ready, there were quite a few lines to try without having to wait.
“Our goal with the ice festival is to bring the climbing community together as well as give those who haven’t tried the sport a very accessible way to get on the ice,” says Christopherson. “You don’t have to be super strong to do this; we had several grandmothers out climbing and doing awesome. It is just not as difficult as people believe it to be.”
The festival included evening presentations by Stacy Taniguchi, and Scott Adamson at Utah Valley University, and an after party with live music.
“We will definitely be doing this again next year,” says Christopherson. “Our vision is to continually grow the festival for years to come getting more and more climbers out to enjoy the sport at Bridal Veil Falls.”
12 Finger Outdoor Adventure offers several mountain adventure classes including ice climbing, mountaineering, canyoneering and more. Find out more on their website or call 801-360-5183 and ask about their student discount rate.
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Photos by Lindsay Daniels