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A.A.C., Great Lakes Section

Great Lakes Section. In January the first Ice Pit Festival was held in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where 110-foot vertical walls provided an almost instant pump for 100 new climbers. The Section staffed a booth and participated in a membership drive and raffle.

In February one of the country’s oldest ice festivals took place in Munising, Michigan, on the southern shores of Lake Superior. Mild temperatures greeted a record 481 participants at this year's Michigan Ice Fest. Climbers visited from 11 states and Canada, with one from California traveling the farthest. Days were spent at clinics, demos, and exploring climbs at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. After hard days of climbing, participants were treated to slideshows featuring Barry Blanchard, Ben Clark, and Raphael Slawinski.

In the fall the Section hosted CLIMB UP! in Marquette, Michigan. This four-day event was organized for our members to gather, climb, socialize, and celebrate another year of adventure. On September 30 the film 180 Degrees South played to a packed house of Midwest climbers at Northern Michigan University. On October 1 Mark Wilford presented Climbing: A Forty-year Perspective, which offered the audience a whirlwind tour of many classic climbing areas around the world featuring some of Mark's biggest adventures. On October 2 the crew headed to the local crag, the AAA Wall, for climbing and camping. The climbers were greeted with steel-gray skies and freezing cold rain. Nevertheless, the climbers participated in slack lining, a crate stacking competition, aid climbing, and lively campfire discussions. Fortunately, the skies cleared later and everyone hopped on routes to finish the day. At the AAC BBQ party, brats (a Midwest staple) were grilled and a great opportunity provided for climbers to socialize and network. The first edition of the Marquette County Rock Climbing Guide was released at the party. Half of the group stayed to work projects and demo shoes on the AAA Wall while the others ventured off to the Secret Crag to develop a new route.

Bill Thompson, Chair