Bozeman Kicks Off Their 17th Annual Ice Festival - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Bozeman Kicks Off Their 17th Annual Ice Festival

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While our state seems to be warming up today, it was not too much heat for the kick off of 17th annual Bozeman Ice Festival.

Ice climbs up Hyalite Canyon were packed today, as beginner and experienced ice climbers participated in the Bozeman Ice Festival's first day of clinics.

Chris Walther, from North Dakota, has been coming to the ice climbing festival for three years. He says climbing has changed his life, and that he, " came here because it was a safer way to learn how to ice climb, and its very good instruction." But that's not what he first thought about it, he explains that the, "first time I heard about it, I thought they were talking about carving ice sculptures, and then they tell me we climb ice. I said that's crazy."

First time participants told ABC Montana that the most challenging part about climbing is keeping your balance and making sure you hit the right spot with your ice tool.

One major change at this years festival is that search and rescue volunteers will be present at each ice climbing area. Steve Halvorson, with Gallatin Co. Search and Rescue, says there will be close to 17 search and rescue volunteers in the canyon through out the festival weekend.

If you would like to check out the action yourself, the ice climbing festival runs through this Sunday.

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