What are the dates of this year’s Ice Fest?
BIF takes place the same weekend every year - the 2nd weekend of December - and for 2016 that is December 7-11th. Online sign up for clinics go live October 1st at 6:00pm MDT.
I don’t know my schedule. Can I sign up now and get a refund later if I can’t make it?
Unfortunately not and we adhere to a strict no refund policy due to high demand and limited on-ice numbers. Participants come from all over the continent and will need to make travel arrangements early.
I am not signed up for a clinic. Can I still demo gear?
The non-clinic “public” is more than welcome to take advantage of the festival and check out gear demos for a nominal fee of $20 (rental agreement paperwork and credit card required). It is one of our goals to give the larger community access to “try before you buy.” Just arrive at the Emerson Ballroom (111 South Grand in Bozeman) in the evenings from 6:30pm to 7:30pm to check out gear. You will be required to return the gear in the Hyalite Parking Lot by 3:30 pm. Any late returns WILL be charged a fee. There is a strict return procedure that will be explained when you arrive and fill out the paperwork.
Do I need a 4WD vehicle to access Hyalite?
No. However, the road is plowed but not sanded. So AWD and winter tires are highly encouraged. If you have any doubts about your vehicle it is likely not smart to drive it 11+ miles into Hyalite where there is no cell coverage if something goes wrong. Car pool sign ups and limited shuttle service will be available.
Is there any public transportation available?
The local international airport (BZN) is about 10 miles from downtown, major hotels and vacation rentals. There are no cabs in Bozeman but Uber is available. We recommend Explore Rentals for winter-ready rental vehicles. There is a public bus system while in town. Our lodging partners are within walking distance to the evening events.
New in 2016, BIF may provide a limited passenger van from the Hyalite East Fork Parking Lot to the clinic area a few miles away (conditions dependent). Visit the American Alpine Club booth at the Emerson Ballroom for details and updates. The East Fork Parking Lot is a 45+ minute drive from downtown to the parking lot, so it is recommended you leave with plenty of time.
Will top ropes be available for use by people who are not in the clinics but are using demo gear?
Top ropes will NOT be available for non-clinic climbers. As the major fundraiser for Friends of Hyalite 501c3 non profit and to keep the road plowed and open in winter, we appreciate your understanding that these areas are reserved for the Fest. We hope you’ll find the additional four months of access we currently enjoy via the efforts of Friends of Hyalite is worth the inconvenience over one weekend of the Fest.
How can I buy tickets for the wrap party Sunday night? Are these included with a clinic purchase?
aThe Sunday Wrap Party and legendary gear raffle is catered by the amazing Bountiful Table. Nightly festivities are included with a clinic purchase, including the Sunday night dinner and film. A lá carte admission is $15 for the general public, and tickets are available for purchase any time during the festival or at the door Sunday night. All proceeds from the evening and raffle directly support Friends of Hyalite and keeping the Hyalite Road open for winter recreation. Now that’s a good cause!
Is the canyon open to independent climbing during the festival (excluding the places where clinics are being held)?
Absolutely. There are over 250 routes in the three canyons that make up Hyalite and climbers are welcome with the exception of the clinic areas, which include: Lower Greensleeves, Genesis I Wall, Mummy II & Scepter, Amphitheater Climbs, and parts of the Unnamed Wall. There will NOT be room available for non-clinic climbers at these venues. Our closely managed permit with the Forest Service, strict insurance requirements, and lack of teachable space all preclude us involving anyone other than registered clinic participants at these locations.
I was planning to climb and not participate in the clinics. What is the parking situation in the Canyon during the Festival?
We strongly encourage everyone to use the shuttle or carpool as much as possible to minimize impact. The American Alpine Club booth in the Emerson will host a car pool sign up board. During the festival, we will have parking attendants to help direct traffic and ask that people park in an orderly fashion and as close together as possible (think ski resort parking!). If you have a large vehicle, there are limited overflow spots just before the main lot that you should use.
How quickly do the clinics fill up?
Some clinics fill up in a matter of minutes depending on the featured athlete instructors. All Hyalite clinics are first come first served, so we highly recommend you sign up as soon as possible to ensure your first dibs in clinics.