From February 7th to the 9th, residents will have the chance to try ice climbing in Maynooth.

The Southern Ontario Ice Festival is happening this weekend. One of the organizers Pete Hoang says on top of the many vendors and presentations that will be done to explain ice climbing to attendees, you will have the chance to try ice climbing for free. “We’ll have all the gear, you just need to bring warm clothing,” Hoang says. You will be able to try that on Sunday.

As for what’s happening the rest of the weekend, Hoang explains vendors will be on-site to teach people more about the equipment that is used by climbers. There will also be evening events detailing the ice climbing community in the area. “You’ll be in the company of a lot of cool people,” he says. Hoang adds that it will be a very open environment for people wanting to learn more about ice climbing or improve on what they already know.

Hoang says the event was started by him and a few friends to celebrate ice climbing in the area. “It’s grown to be a community event,” he adds.

“It’s all about upward movement,” Hoang explains about the sport. While some might think it’s like rock climbing, Hoang explains it’s more “mechanical” than that. “You’re climbing on a very organic medium, so it’s always changing,” he explains. “It’s essentially the same experience, but on something that’s frozen.”

“We have a variety of clinics available,” Hoang adds. They have ones for beginners or clinics for veterans looking to improve their skills. “We’re trying to cater to ones that have never tried it before,” Hoang adds.

A pass for the weekend festival cost $75. All the money raised from the weekend’s festivities will be going to North Hastings Children’s Services.

You can find a schedule of events on the ice festival’s website.

Written by Mathew Reisler