For those willing to brave the cold, the 2018 Michigan Ice Fest provided fun days of perfect sticks along Lake Superior’s natural parapets. Lake Superior boasts 60-meter-tall ice climbs, and accessing them often requires an airboat, snowmobiles and snowshoes. The humid yet cold weather harbors perfect conditions for climbable ice.
Mike Wilkinson captured some fantastic shots from the festival of Jesse Huey and others. Find more of Wilkinson’s work at wilkinsonvisual.com.
In addition to the many recreational climbers that took advantage of the conditions, Sasha DiGiulian and Angela VanWiemeersch teamed up to climb some of Michigan’s boldest lines.
DiGiulian described VanWiemeersch as “totally inspiring,” adding, “Seeing her conquer daunting ice faces with confidence and bravado made me believe that I could become capable, too. I have always believed empowered women empower other women. Working together, we can obliterate boundaries. I want to be the most well rounded, capable athlete that I can be. In doing so, I hope that women of all ages can see my trips and say, I can too.”
Of the duo’s voyage, VanWiemeersch, from Michigan, said: “I think there is a stigma associated with ice climbing that it’s dangerous, you can’t fall, all of which is true but I think it deters some ladies. Luckily, I see this stigma losing steam. Ice climbing is enchanting, beautiful and engaging. As more women try ice climbing, I see this shift in their perception.”
Photos of DiGiulian and VanWiemeersch’s adventures captured by Keith Ladzinski and Andy Mann for Red Bull.
Mike Wilkinson: wilkinsonvisual.com/
Kieth Ladzinski: ladzinski.com/
Andy Mann: andymann.com/
Check out the three-episode video series following DiGiulian and VanWiemeersch’s climbs in Michigan