Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Valdez Ice Festival 2018

Marcus Garcia shares pictures and stories from the 2018 Valdez Ice Festival.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

The head wind blew our light rental car around as our studded tires struggled to grip the patches of ice on the snowy road. It took everything in me to get my butt off the heated seat and step out into the howling wind.

I was here for the 2018 Valdez Ice Fest. We decided to do a quick tour of Highway 4 to the top of Thompson Pass.  I was not sure what to expect, but my mind was blown away by the amount of ice that loomed above me in all directions. Getting out of that car was definitely the right decision.

The local people of Valdez are welcoming, and all share a common passion for the outdoors that surround this isolated community. Through the small community of committed sponsors in the sport of ice climbing, this year’s Ice Fest brought in a few ice professionals including Conrad Anker, Andres Marin, Katie Bono, Jeff Shapiro and myself.

It was a great weekend of getting people were excited to get out, gain more knowledge and do laps on the ice. The cold wind didn’t  drain the enthusiasm out of the excited attendees that traveled from far and wide to get there. The festival attendees were a pleasure to work with during the various workshops and clinics I taught throughout the weekend.

The town of Valdez proved a welcoming place to visit and the ice didn’t disappoint. If you plan a visit, just bring your warm layers and a thermos filled with your favorite warm beverage to give you that little extra help getting out of the warm car into the cold outside each morning.