An old quarry is the main setting for the Duluth Ice and Mixed Fest festival. If that doesn’t stoke your fire for checking it out, it should. There are about 20 ice and mixed routes in the manmade amphitheater of the quarry walls. Climbs top out at 20 to 30 feet. In other words, it’s intimate, easy access, and you can climb your butt off in repetitions.
The routes themselves are technical and steep. Even so, most of the clinics offered throughout the festival are for beginner and intermediate climbers.
Spectators and general fun-seekers are welcome, too. The quarry is also a city park, with fat bike trails and demos, snowshoe rentals, and a disc golf course. Fire pits will be raging all weekend long for a break from the cold and to roast the bacon s’mores. That’s not a typo.
Evening events move inside. Organizers are working out the specifics for 2019, but expect climbing films, speakers, and beer.
Photo by Hansi Johnson