WiLD Icefest 2023

This February, WiLD organized our inaugural annual ice climbing trip to Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire, Icefest!

On Friday evening, we gathered and drove up to Franconia Notch State Park, where we were staying in a cozy motel adjacent to the park. On Saturday, we went cross-country skiing at Bretton Woods, where we were able to enjoy the beautiful, crisp, sunny day, despite the icy conditions. The night before it had rained and then dropped to ten degrees, great for ice climbing, less great for the skiing. After skiing, we swung past the Bretton Woods hotel to check out the room in the hotel where the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was created and get ourselves some hot chocolate.

The real highlight of our trip, however, was on Sunday morning when we woke up early and headed to the Flume in Franconia Notch State Park for the ice climbing. Despite the weirdly warm winter we had in the Northeast, the ice quality was excellent. Everyone, including those who had never been climbing before, let alone on ice, absolutely crushed it.

The guides from our local Rock Spot climbing gym were generous with their knowledge, providing instruction and guidance to those new to the sport. We took turns climbing, cheering each other on, and taking many photos.

The trip was such a blast we are already planning to go again next year and into the future. It really was a great example of how getting outdoors can bring a diverse group of people together and provide an great opportunity to learn new skills and push personal boundaries.