Festiglace Friday #8

It’s always good to find a comfortable rest on steep ice.

Smuggs Ice Bash 2020

This weekend! The 14th Annual Smuggs Ice Bash. The Fastest growing Ice festival in the Northeast. January 24-26 2020

Mountainfest 2020

JANUARY 17-20, 2020

Festiglace Friday #6

Great ice climbing along the Jacques Cartier River. Pont-Rouge, Quebec

Festiglace Friday #5

Yan Mongrain on a variation of Le Tube, Pont-Rouge Quebec. Festiglace Pont-Rouge

Festiglace Friday #4

The best way to eat hot maple syrup as an ice climber in Quebec!

Festiglace Friday #3

Competitors compete for the greatest climber award – Festiglace, Pont-Rouge Quebec.

Festiglace Friday #2

Massachusetts WI 6+

Pont-Rouge, Quebec

Louis-Philippe Blanchette on the first ascent of Massachusetts WI6+ Pont-Rouge Quebec - Photo: Doug Millen

Louis-Philippe Blanchette on the first ascent of Massachusetts WI6+ Pont-Rouge Quebec – Photo: Doug Millen

This is where it all started for me. While my wife went shopping in Quebec city, I was out in search of this Pont-Rough with its spectacular ice columns. Driving around I finally found climbers getting ready at the side of the road. They invited me to climb with them. Through a snow-covered field and then down a steep tree-filled hill with ropes to hand over hand we went to the bottom. The gorge opened up and I was amazed! Never had I seen such ice. I spent the day climbing and learning from my new friends. That day Louis-Philippe Blanchette and Jean-Philippe Villemaire put up a new cutting edge climb. Upon finishing the climb Louis-Philippe asked me where I was from, I said Massachusetts. That shall be the name Louis-Philippe said. I felt so honored.

The next fall I was climbing in the Adirondacks and I ran into Ben from Quebec and he said that they were having an Ice festival in Pont-Rouge and I should come. I started to tell him about last winter in Pont-Rouge then he burst out, “you’re the guy!”. The climb was a big deal at the time. 

That winter I went to the first Festiglace and that started my 10-year addiction to this fantastic Ice Festival.

Doug Millen

Festiglace Pont-Rouge 2020

Web site – http://www.festiglace.org

Festiglace 2020

The Return of FESTIGLACE

Feb. 21-23, 2020

After an absence of over a decade, Festiglace is back and ready to stoak the ice climbing fever again in Pont-Rouge, Quebec. Thanks to the team of passionate volunteers that have brought this event back for everyone to enjoy.

Festiglace was my favorite ice climbing festival in the Northeast and I am so glad it is back. Held in the spectacular setting of the Jacques-Cartier River where grade 5 & 6 ice climbs are a dime a dozen, it is a dream location for an ice climbing event. 

Stay tuned to NEice throughout the season for more information on Festiglace 2020

Full Press Release here… Festiglace 2020

Web site – http://www.festiglace.org

Festiglace Friday

Every Friday till Festiglace 2020 I will be posting photos from my archives. I attended all 10 of the previous festivals and have many great photos to share.  I will start off with this spectacular photo of Abby Watkins competing during Festiglace 2001. The harder the climb, the more points you receive. It was a cold day and the ice was hard and dry. Not an easy climb, but worth big points. This climb was first climbed the day before by Rich Marshall. It goes up and left. He rated it WI7.  

Abby Watkins Festiglace 2006

Abby Watkins competing at Festiglace 2001. Note the leashes on the tools. – Photo Doug Millen

Abby sporting some vintage gaiters

Abby sporting some stylish gaiters during the event

Doug Millen