More than three dozen anxious and committed souls made the journey to Cascade Canyon over the weekend to sink their axes into ice, amidst some of the heaviest snow the region has seen in years, to take part in the second annual Durango Ice Festival. Organized by the good folks at Southwest Adventure Guides and Backcountry Experience, this years gathering offered newbies a chance to get their feet wet as well as a chance for experienced climbers to dust off their gear, with clinics ranging from climbing basics to lead, and even a mixed wall, for those who just can't stay off the rock. Kudos to the sponsors who put the event together, and double kudos to all of the participants who took place in the weekends festivities, ensuring this growing sport a place in the region for years to come.

Andy Albosta makes his way up a steep pitch, during the lead
clinic on Saturday morning. Kevin Sainio, with Backcountry Experience, jots down some notes
while fitting people with crampons, axes and helmets Saturday
morning before the descent into Cascade Canyon. Carolyn Parker leads a group of women down into Cascade Canyon
Saturday morning for their time on the ice. Climbing tools hang from the harness of Nate Dissler as he
belays local climber Andy Gibbs. Nate Disser, owner of Southwest Adventure Guides, offers some
sage advice to Andy Gibbs before Gibbs begins his climb. Jordan Griffler front points along a mixed route as another
climber is lowered to the snowy floor of the canyon