There's a winter activity out there that even most Yoopers find
It's a sport that is generally considered the territory of Mountaineers, the really hardcore folks who want to "peak bag" Denali or Mount Hood.
Something that people do Out West, not Up North.
But the truth is that the Upper Peninsula has the largest concentration of climbable (and easily accessible) ice in North America, and that world-class ice climbers come here to train, compete, and socialize.
is a collaborative production company headed by Aaron Peterson and helped along by a versatile crew of folks who all share the same deep connection to the Lake Superior region and its people. They are determined to "shine light" on the stories of this beautiful area that is often overlooked despite the global significance of the world's largest source of freshwater, the delicate ecoregion surrounding it, and the hardy folks who are blessed to call this place "Home".
Clear+Cold recently received national attention for the 20-minute action documentary, "Cold Rolled,"
about the beginning of Fat Biking (or snow biking) in the UP and its spread into the mainstream winter sports dialogue. Queen City Dwellers, does this poster look familiar?
Back to Ice Climbing, though--
Clear+Cold is now working on a film called "Michigan Ice"
that highlights the more than 100 "epic" ice routes in the Munising area and the three-decades-old story of ice climbing in Michigan, with interviews and action from many famous climbers and mountaineers who got started in the UP.
The film will also feature the Michigan Ice Festival
, one of the oldest climbing festivals in North America, where climbers and fans from all over the country come to learn, climb, and celebrate the climbing community.
So... Filming ice climbing. Sounds cold, eh? And fairly dangerous. The crew is hauling thousands of dollars worth of plastic camera gear miles into the woods on skis or snowshoes in freezing temperatures and unpredictable weather, only to drill holes into water that froze while seeping through sandstone, and climb it with freshly sharpened ice axes and crampons. They've gotten some sponsorships from ice climbing gear companies, but they've gotten turned down for more due the the lack of interest in climbing "flatland".
Real Flat, Eh?
In order to finish this film and make it truly honoring to the climbing community and the history of this sport, they've launched a Kickstarter campaign
to complete the budget of $30,000--you can find more details about the project HERE
as well as learn the different kickbacks for donating at levels--named after popular ice routes in the Munising area.
Donating at the Dryer Hose Level honors this (
) 90' climb and gets you stickers, an original movie poster, and your name in the credits!
We like that Clear+Cold is a world-class production company shining a bright light on our little community, with the intent of building up our economy in a sustainable manner. Follow them on Facebook, check out their Vimeo
, and give 'em some love for being Michigan Made
Major Shout Out to Downwind Sports
, since I pilfered the majority of the photos for this post from their website. But not the last one. That one's mine.