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

Gilles Girard on the first ascent of Massachusetts WI6+ Pont-Rouge Quebec - Photo: Doug Millen

Gilles Girard 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 down to the river. 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 Gilles Girard and Xavier Barbarant put up a new cutting edge climb. Upon finishing the climb Gilles asked me where I was from, I said Massachusetts. That shall be the name Gilles 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

Mount Washingtion Valley Ice Fest 2019

The 26th Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest. The biggest Ice Climbing Festival in the Northeast! Is this Weekend!!!


The 2019 Smuggs Ice Bash Drytool Comp. at Petra Cliffs. Photos & Results


Smuggs Ice Bash 2019

This weekend is the Smuggs Ice Bash! 

January 25-27, 2019


13th Annual Smuggs Ice Bash Poster






Make sure to come on over to Petra Cliffs Climbing Center and Mountaineering School for the Drytool Comp and Kickoff Party on Friday the 25th. Celebrate with some Switchback, some crazy strong competitors, a raffle and DJ Kanga.

Then join us at the Green Mountain Club Visitor Center in Waterbury, VT for gear demo’s all weekend long and Guest Presentations by Majka Burhardt and Alden Pellett Saturday evening starting at 6:30 pm. 

Grab a bite to eat and something to drink at one of the many places in Stowe or Waterbury post climbing and before the shows! Seating is limited at the GMC visitor center so please pre-purchase evening presentation tickets here: Saturday Evening Presentations $15 per person.

Look for NEice on your way out from climbing, Doug Millen will be there with hot soup for everyone.

Tag your event photos #smuggsicebash2019 on Instagram

More information can be found @ http://www.smuggsicebash.com/

The weather forecast is looking great! https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=44.5553&lon=-72.7957#.XEkJZFVKhaR

We hope you can join us this weekend for some climbing and celebrating in Smugglers Notch VT


Instagram photos of The 23rs Adirondack Mountaineer Festival. Tag your photos #adkmountainfest2019

ADK Mountainfest 2019

The Mountaineer’s 23rd annual Adirondack Mountainfest kicks off January 18th.

This premiere Adirondack outdoor adventure event runs through the weekend, featuring the latest and greatest demo gear to test for free, evening climbing presentations by elite athletes, fun instructive clinics on ice climbing ranging from easy to very hard. Also the event offers exciting workshops in mountaineering, avalanche awareness and adventure snowshoeing. NEIce.com’s Doug Millen will be heading around to the clinics with his traditional free hot soup as well!

Go here for the entire Mountainfest 2019 Schedule

Patagonia Ambassador Anne Gilbert Chase

Friday evening’s slideshow features Patagonia Ambassador Anne Gilbert Chase out of Bozeman, Montana. Gilbert Chase has climbed around the world, including India, Patagonia, France, Spain, Alaska and Canada, including the Northwest Face of Half Dome (2200’ VI 5.12a/b or 5.9 C1) in a day, Yosemite National Park, California.

Patagonia Ambassador Colin Haley

Saturday night Patagonia Ambassador Colin Haley from Seattle, Washington, will talk about his adventures and first ascents in Alaska and Patagonia such as the first solo ascent of Cerro Standhardt via the Exocet route, Nov 2010. Cerro Standhardt, Patagonia.

Sunday night Canadian neighbor Bernard Mailhot will present his years of climbing hard ice and numerous impressive first ascents in Quebec. Mailhot put up first ascents like Moby Dick (WI5+ M7) and Double 7 (WI7 M7) out on the Gaspe Peninsula.