Contact Us

Please use the form to contact us. We will get back to you as soon as possible.


123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789


You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.



New Organization

Joe Josephson

Friends of Hyalite Announces New Organization for the Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival

BOZEMAN, Montana – Friends of Hyalite is proud to announce a new organizational structure for the annual Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival (Ice Fest). Every December, Ice Fest organizes instructional clinics for all abilities in Hyalite Canyon along with evening events and films at the Emerson Cultural Center. Friends of Hyalite inherited the Ice Fest in 2013 when the local businesses that had co-founded the Ice Fest were no longer able to manage the event. Due to rapid expansion facilitated by road plowing and the World Cup climbing competitions Ice Fest hosted between 2012 and 2015, the growing demands of the five-day event needed the added structure provided by Friends of Hyalite. The 2017 Ice Fest drew participants from 25 states plus Canada, taught ice climbing to more than 270 people ages 10 to 72 with over 2,500 attendees over the course of event. Ice Fest has grown beyond the mission of Friends of Hyalite, which is dedicated to stewardship of, access to, and support for year-round recreation in Hyalite Canyon.

Friends of Hyalite has transferred ownership and operation of the Ice Fest to a new non-profit organization called the “Ice Climbing Alliance.” Long-time Ice Fest Director Joe Josephson, serves on the board of directors of the Ice Climbing Alliance (ICA) and will continue to lead the Ice Fest until a new Festival Director is named. “This transition is mutually welcomed and has been in the works for some time,” said Hilary Eisen, Board President for Friends of Hyalite. Josephson stepped down as Friends Executive Director in 2017 and recently left the Friends board to form the ICA along with Bozeman residents and climbers Dirk Tyler and Scott Lawson.

“This represents an important evolution for the future of both Ice Fest and Friends of Hyalite,” says Josephson who co-founded Friends in 2010 and has been involved in Ice Fest since its inception in 1996 and Director since 2006. “Road plowing in Hyalite is what allowed the Festival to grow to its current place as one of the largest events of its kind in the world. Keeping Hyalite open is in our DNA and raising awareness for public land access and funds for road plowing will always be the top priority for Ice Fest,” continues Josephson.

Since 2012, Ice Fest has raised more than $31,500 for the road-plowing fund, which costs on average more than $20,000 per winter. The overall plowing costs are shared through a unique collaboration between the US Forest Service, Gallatin County, and Friends of Hyalite - which contributes between $8,000-$13,000 per year in public support, in addition to applying for grants when available.

Friends of Hyalite was originally set up to support the US Forest Service on a wide variety of growing needs in managing Hyalite Canyon. In addition to winter road plowing, these needs include clean up days, volunteer support, visitor use research, and other stewardship projects. Friends of Hyalite’s recent annual spring clean-up on May 12 drew over 100 volunteers who on average removed four to six tons of garbage from Hyalite every six months. ”The Hyalite watershed continues to be one of the most popular and heaviest recreated areas in the state of Montana”   says Bozeman District Ranger Corey Lewellen, “Having a dedicated Friends group helps us address and manage the ever-growing demand of recreation use in the watershed, and we look forward to our continued partnership with Friends of Hyalite.” The Bozeman Ranger District administers the special use permit to operate the Ice Fest in Hyalite Canyon on the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

The transition into separate non-profit organizations is supported unanimously by the Forest Service, boards for both Friends and ICA, as well as Ice Fest sponsors. This maturation allows both groups to more effectively pursue their own unique public benefit purposes. “This transition will allow Friends of Hyalite to expand our stewardship programs year-around, provide greater support to the Forest Service, and focus on new outreach into the community.” says Josh Fairchilds, Executive Director of Friends of Hyalite.

The long-term vision for Ice Fest is to grow support for Hyalite winter access and for ICA to eventually be in position to help promote and preserve access and quality climbing experiences elsewhere in Montana and across America. “The Ice Climbing Alliance is a welcomed addition to the landscape of climbing advocacy,” says Brady Robinson Executive Director for the Access Fund, a national organization that works to protect climbing access. “Winter climbing venues like Hyalite Canyon present unique and sometimes complicated access issues. ICA will be a powerful and experienced voice for promoting winter climbing for years to come.”



Joe Josephson, Ice Climbing Alliance                                
(406) 581-1716,                   

Hilary Eisen, Friends of Hyalite

About Friends of Hyalite

Friends of Hyalite is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to stewardship of, access to, and support for year-round recreation in Hyalite Canyon. Friends publish summer and winter recreation trail maps specific to Hyalite Canyon, available at local outdoor retailers. For more information visit or contact Friends at

About Ice Climbing Alliance & Bozeman Ice Festival

Ice Climbing Alliance is a non-profit organization (501c3 status pending) that operates the 22nd Annual Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival, December 5-9, 2018. For more information:

Grivel tools I have known. Episode 1

Joe Josephson

This year, 2018, Grivel celebrates its 200th year as a family run company out of Courmayeur in the Italian Alps. 200 years!! Happy Bicentennial Birthday Grivel.

I've was lucky to pick a pair of Grivel tools as the first new ice tools I ever bought back in 1988, (I always had second-hand used tools prior to that). Little did I know I was venturing into a journey that has largely defined my life and brought many a wonderful people, places and experiences.

Just this week, I received my latest set of Grivel masterpieces, the North Machine carbon ice tool. This is nearly 30 years after my first pair of Grivel tools arrived at my door.

Over the course of the next 10 months, I'll be posting a series looking back at some of the Grivel ice tools I've used, loved and lost over the years. These will be stories, and a few photos from the archives, about the ascents I've done with them, climbs I've failed on, lessons learned and a few observations of ice tools, climbing and life thrown in for good measure.

Hopefully these stories will entertain and inspire you as we barrel toward a big ole fashioned birthday party we are planning for Grivel at the 22nd Annual Bozeman Ice Festival, Dec 5-9., 2018. Enjoy!

Joe Josephson aka JoJo

Reviews of three new RAB Jackets

Bozeman Ice Festival

Like any great photo, it takes a team approach from both a climber and the photographer. Below are both impressions of their RAB jackets while on the highest and hardest route in Hyalite.

From the Climber

Tate Dunkel aka “The Champ”

When I climbed the Conrad Anker and Kris Erickson’s Hyalite test piece “The Nutcracker”, I wore the RAB Latok Alpine Jacket. When it got windy or wet or cold, I’d cinch down on the draw cords on either side of the hood. Another clever feature I really liked was the fleece lining on the inside of the collar. Anytime the Hyalite wind did it’s best to dampen our spirits, I could comfortably tuck my chin to brave off the spindrift. There’s a cord on the back of the hood so I could keep it snug to my helmet while holding the wired visor in place. This  kept the water spraying off nearby “Winter Dance” from spraying into the hood. The cool thing was, even with the hood cinched up, I had free range of movement with my head. I could crane my neck up at the over hanging choss without a fight. There’s also a fleece liner at the back of the neck but I didn’t really notice it. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe it was helping keep my neck warm. On the descent, while guessing our way around small cliffs in waist deep snow, I was able to open the enormous pit zips to cool down without having to stop and shed layers.

The RAB Latok Alpine Jacket

The jacket I wore was a full size too big for me. Usually that means the jacket is baggy and puffs out blocking my view of the harness gear loops. But I was able to prevent that by cinching down on the waist pull cords making it nice and snug around my torso. By being able to customize the fit, I was able to climb without thinking about the jacket. It was a real treat to not be distracted by water dripping down my arms and not having to fight the hood and I could see my gear loops. Finally, I could focus on insanely pumped forearms and being terrified.

“Winter Dance” (M8, WI7) and “Nutcracker” are wet routes. Water constantly free falls off the headwall in a steady stream that you can watch blow around. Updrafts blowing water back up creates wild features of upward forming ice that defy logic and gravity. But this time, for once, I stayed dry. The stupid pack was soaked but the water beaded up on the jacket and rolled off. The cuffs cinched down around my gloves keeping water from rolling down arms while they flailed wildly overhead on the crux ice pitch that was essentially getting rained on.

Overall I found the Latok Alpine Jacket to pretty friggin’ rad. It’s a super lightweight, completely waterproof, windproof, shell with awesome temperature regulation and a sweet hood that keeps things from annoying your face. Bonus, it looks good and it’s got some cool features I didn’t know existed. Plus, it will help keep you warm and dry while you climb The Nutcracker.

Side Note - The Nutcracker is an awesome route that I was privileged to climb in good conditions. I’m grateful to Conrad and Kris for doing the best job possible equipping and cleaning the route. Let’s Go Champ!

From the Photographer

David Wells

I’m not a guy who owns a lot of outerwear but the gear I own needs to perform and be durable. So, when I got my hands on three new RAB jackets I was pretty excited to check them out.

The RAB Alpha Direct Jacket

The RAB Alpha Direct jacket ended being one I wore the most with a super soft interior and stretchy exterior. Light enough and breathable for the approach but still warm enough to climb in. This jacket seemed to fit so many purposes.

The RAB Neutrino Edurance Jacket

The RAB Neutrino Edurance jacket or aka the big warm puffy is an absolute necessity for me as a photographer. I spend a lot of time standing or hanging from ropes trying to get a certain shot. Having a big warm belay jacket makes it easier to get the once-in-a-lifetime shot. I appreciated the extra length this jacket has in the back. It pulls down over the back of your harness to keep the wind out of the inevitable weak spot. Not only are the chin areas covered in soft materials but the pockets are also lined. The extra-large hood zipped over my helmet and kept the wind at bay and really kept the heat in. Being very light and packable makes the jacket an easy choice for all climbing and photography trips.

The RAB Latok Alpine jacket was an excellent at shedding water and blocking the wind. The armpit zips could be unzipped almost the complete length of your arm and worked amazing to regulate temperature. As with all the RAB jackets, the Latok had soft fabric patches around the chin/zipper area which is a great detail often overlooked.

The RAB Latok Alpine Jacket

Introducing our Blog

Bozeman Ice Festival

Providing athletes, demo gear of the best stuff a climber can find, knowledgeable reps and overall constant stoke our Supporting Sponsors are the heart and soul of the Bozeman Ice Festival. To launch our new Blog feature here on our web site, we are featuring our long-time sponsor RAB with a gear review and photo essay from two Hyalite denizens Tate Dunkel and David Wells on their recent journey up the Hyalite testpiece, The Nutcracker (4 pitches M9, WI 5). During their ascent, they wore the jackets you will be able to demo at the upcoming 21st Annual Bozeman Ice Fest, December 6-10. Stop by the Emerson Ballroom any night to visit the fine folks at RAB and check out these killer products. If the stoke is just too high and you can’t wait, join BIF and RAB on Tuesday, Dec 5th at the Lockhorn Cider House in downtown Bozeman for a free special screening of “The Place of Gaels” featuring the birthplace of modern water ice climbing, Scotland.