This years Ice Fest was a huge success- but it was so because SO many helped MAKE it happen.  Where do we even begin?

First, we want to thank all of YOU!  All of you who have a passion for ice climbing, IME/IMCS, the MWV Ice Fest and having a gosh darn good time!  So thank you to ALL of the participants who took clinics, for ALL of you who checked out the demo’s, for ALL who bid on the Mountain Rescue Service Autcion which help them raise $2,000+, and ALL of you who came to the evening festivities at the Cranmore Climbing Wall on Friday & Saturday nights!  We do it for the climbing community whether you come from near or far- we hope you had a blast…..that is our ultimate goal!

Next, we want to thank all of our sponsors!  This would not, and could not happen without our AMAZING sponsors.  First, our headlining sponsor Outdoor Research for their level of support.  Their positive energy and supportive personnel just blew us away and helped make the visions for the 2011 Ice Fest a reality.  In addition Sterling Rope, La Sportiva, and LOWA committed at an incredible level that help make the Friday evening festivities and comp the best to date!  But ALL our sponsors made this event special and possible, including:  Petzl, Grivel, Beal, Edelweiss, Mountain Hardwear, Julbo, Patagonia, Mammut, Scarpa, Black Diamond, Wild Things, Earth Tec, Princeton Tec, The American Alpine Club,,, Randy Rackliff from Cold Cold World, Rock & Ice, Tuckerman Brewing Co, The Good Loaf, Frontside Grind, Flatbread, Cranmore, and The Nereledge Inn!

We ask you to think about the companies listed above which you saw this weekend- and if you liked what you saw or tried during the weekend we encourage you to buy local.  Buying local in the Northeast supports the Reps that came, and we believe it’s important to support the small climbing outdoor shops that have a lot of heart and soul- and of course one that hits close to home  to us is IME.

Additionally, thank you Patagonia- for sending out Kelly Cordes who gave a killer show on Saturday night that had 200+ people rolling on the floor!

The filmmakers that made the Friday nights O.R. Homegrown Film Fest a huge success we want to send a huge thank you to!  This was a series of short films that were New England inspired or made by New England film makers.  Film makers included Matt McCormick, Rufus Lusk, Jim Surette, and Rob Frost with Sender Films.  Thank you all!

Next, we want to thank all those who volunteered their time, energy, and hard work out of the kindness of their hearts.  We gave special recognition to Doug Madara this year as he probably put in 35+ hours throughout the ice fest.  In addition we want to thank Josh Hurst and Jim Ewing who set the comp routes for the Ice Fest Face Off Competition.  Josh drove all the way down from Bar Harbor Maine to help set our best comp routes to date and Jim from Falmouth, Maine.  Other people who we want to thank personally for their time are the AAC volunteers, Friends of Tuckerman Ravine volunteers, Nickie Sekera, Sara Thibault, Rufus Lusk, Freddie Wilkinson, Tim Keenan, and Bayard Russell who all donated time to help make this event so incredible.   Also, those who helped move the ladder during the comp, Jim Shimberg for belaying during the comp, and anyone else that helped in some way or form.  We heart you.

Of course we want to thank all the IMCS guides and our guest guides as well.  We were just blown away by the top caliber guides we had for the 2011 Ice Fest.  Our guest guides this year included Janet Bergman, Emilie Drinkwater, Matt McCormick, Kevin Mahoney, Silas Rossi, Bayard Russell, Matt Shove, Mark Synnott, and Nick Yardley.

Next we want to thank our two IMCS interns Megan Flynn and Chris Foehly.  These two BUSTED their butts throughout the weekend.

And of course, our assistant event planner Ashley Link was undeniably incredible.  Plain and simple- whatever it was she got it DONE.  To us, she was an angel from the heavens!

Freddie Wilkinson was our amazing MC that has the place intrigued and laughing!  Thank you Freddie!  In addition Freddie chopped down the log off his own property that was the killer crux of the Friday evening Face Off Comp!

Big thanks to all Ice Fest Face Off Competitors that came from near and far!  We even had some Italians and the Vermont kids sent BIG including Josh Worely who was the only one to send the comp route (dressed as a hippie mind you)!  Our own Janet Bergman gracefully danced up the women’s route almost to the top!  It was a gripping crowd pleaser.

Mon Voyage Neon rocked the house Friday night for the Face Off Competition and then on Saturday night for the AAC All American Dance Party!  Woot-woot!

Dave Kelly (& Sasha Eisele) who really helped keep the IMCS office and clinics in order during registration- a  daunting and challenging task as we had 120 clients go out on Saturday!

Finally, we want to thank Rick Wilcox and Brad White who trusted us with the amount of time we put in, our visions, and our requests of them.  Rick has seen this Ice Fest happen for 18 years and Brad for 10+, and to put it into our hands with all the faith, trust, and support they give- is absolutely amazing.  Thank you Brad & Rick!

-Sasha Eisele & Anne Skidmore Russell, 2011 Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest Event Coordinators