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Celebrating the Great Outdoors: A Recap of the 3rd Annual Laclu IceFest

As winter's grip slowly begins to ease, there's no better way to bid farewell to the winter season than celebrating with an exhilarating outdoor adventure. The third annual Laclu IceFest, hosted by ACC Manitoba and CESB on the weekend of March 9/10, offered just that—a thrilling blend of nature, sport, and community spirit.

A Frosty Wonderland Awaits

Over 30 participants gathered in Laclu, transforming the icy expanse into a bustling hub of enthusiasm and activity. With the sun high and the weather smiling down upon us, the stage was set for a weekend of icy escapades. The event saw adventurers from all walks of life come together to test their mettle against the frozen faces of our frosty playground.

Ice Climbing: The Main Attraction

The highlight of the IceFest was, without doubt, the ice climbing. Beginners and seasoned climbers alike strapped on their crampons and set their sights on the peaks. The clinking of ice tools and the cheerful calls of encouragement created a symphony of sounds that echoed across the frozen lake.

MEC Sparks Additional Excitement

This year, we were thrilled to have MEC join the festivities, injecting an extra dose of excitement. Generous prize gift cards awaited the winners of various challenges, ensuring that the competitive spirit was high. André's Thermal Wrap challenge and mini clinic were a hit, with many participants eager to learn new skills and techniques.

New Attractions on Ice

But it wasn't just about climbing; innovation was in the air with the introduction of a mini curling rink. The "closest to the button" challenge, sponsored by MEC, had everyone sliding Charles's hand-crafted curling rocks and aiming for precision, all for a chance to win a coveted MEC gift certificate.

The Bold and the Brave: Overnight on Ice

Among the climbers and curlers were a few intrepid souls who dared to do what many wouldn't—camp on the ice overnight. Their tents glowed in the moonlight, and their laughter mingled with the whispers of the night wind. Some even took to the walls for a spot of night climbing, their headlamps carving paths of light in the darkness.

Heartfelt Thanks

As the weekend drew to a close, hearts were warm despite the cold. A sense of accomplishment, camaraderie, and pure joy lingered in the air. The success of the IceFest could not have been possible without the collective effort of all those who volunteered and participated. As always, a big thanks to Paul Monney, whose vision for farming ice cliffs has made this festival a reality.

Looking Forward

We sign off this year's IceFest with eyes already gazing towards the horizon, to the next year's gathering. We envision a future where the Laclu IceFest continues to grow, bringing together lovers of winter, adrenaline, and community from all corners.

Until then, keep climbing, keep exploring, and keep the spirit of adventure alive.

Ray & Jackie Hope, Trisha Burch, Charles Roy

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