Dozens of climbers spent the weekend outdoors for the third annual Alaska Ice Climbing Festival.
The event is put together solely by volunteers, and organizers say they started the festival to bring awareness to the sport and to bring the climbing community together.
“Our ultimate goal is to use the money to build a permanent ice park in central Alaska,” said organizer Jayme Mack. “In addition to that goal our secondary goal is to bring a world cup competition to Anchorage, Alaska.”
Near the Portage Lake area about 80 people came to participate in the festival's activities. There are clinics held throughout the day and demo equipment to test out.
The spotlight was a mixed ice and rock climbing competition where competitors climb a 180-foot route and reach the top within ten minutes.
One climber says he has gone to the festival all three years. He describes the route as a one that challenges his skills.
“You're totally focused,” said Climber Andy Mamrol. “It's one of those things, it’s not a distraction. You have to think about the next placement with your tool, the next foot hold. Your work kind of goes away and other issues go away.”
The festival runs until Sunday.