Ice climbing: the first Abisko Ice Climbing Festival an overwhelming success!

The first edition of the Abisko Ice Climbing Festival took place from February 28 to March 3, 2013, in Sweden. Merja and Anders (founder of Arctic Guides), who created the event, opened the door to an exceptional winter wonderland for the many who attended, and provided a great opportunity to learn or to sharpen one’s ice climbing skills. During the four-day festival Robert Jasper, Team Petzl member, led clinics and demonstrations on how to properly scale ice. As a supporting partner, Petzl provided participants with all the right gear to enjoy ice climbing.

Ice climbs and the Aurora Borealis

This ice climbing festival’s first edition was held in the heart of a very special region. Abisko National Park sits north of the Arctic Circle and is located in the Scandinavian Alps (also referred to as the Abisko-Kebnekaise Mountains). Known for being one of the most active areas for the Aurora Borealis (or “northern lights”), Abisko also serves as an ideal base camp for Nordic activities such as ski-mountaineering, dog sledding, ice fishing… and of course ice climbing!
Multiple frozen water falls are visible from the road between Kiruna and the Norwegian border. The area offers short 2 to 3 pitch climbs of moderate difficulty in addition to a great deal of untapped potential for new mixed routes.


Program highlights: learning technique and having fun
Merja and Anders (guide and mountain rescue) came up with the idea for the event: 4 days devoted equally to ice climbing and discovering this incredible region. Festival participants had the opportunity to discover ice climbing, to perfect their technique, and to learn the essentials for climbing on their own. Robert Jasper, ice climbing specialist and Team Petzl member, led many of the event’s clinics. This first 2013 edition presented a more-than-complete program: terrain evaluation, building anchors, lead climbing, and of course maintaining and inspecting one’s equipment. Nighttime dry tooling and ice climbing demos made for a very festive and social event, as did the multiple film showings..


See you next year!
A magical place, moderate routes, warm and friendly organizers… What more could you ask for from an ice climbing festival? To do it all over again next year, of course!
Petzl would like to thank both participants and organizers for making this such a fantastic ice climbing festival.

Robert Jasper's bio in the Team Petzl section >>




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