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Great Lakes Mixed Comp March 11, 2017

With over $5000 worth of prizes, the Great Lakes Mixed Comp will take place on March 11, 2017, and is shaping up to be one of the top ice climbing events in the mid-east. The comp will be held at the renowned Peabody Ice Climbing Club and is organized by Ice Climbing World Cup competitors Rebecca Lewis and Nathan Kutcher. We caught up with Rebecca and Nate and discussed the comp formats, prizes and after parties.
The Great Lakes Mixed Comp will take place at the Peabody Ice Climbing Club.

The Great Lakes Mixed Comp will take place at the Peabody Ice Climbing Club.

Ok, why a Great Lakes competition?
Rebecca: Originally we were trying to organize a competition in Southern Ontario, but finding a space for it never worked out. A friend of ours then reminded us about Peabody Ice Climbing in Michigan. When we approached Garrett Peabody with the idea, he embraced it and we saw that it would be a great match. The location is still close to Southern Ontario, but also exposes a larger area to competition mixed climbing in the American Midwest.
Tell me a little about the comp.
Rebecca: Our primary objective is for people to try out competition style dry-tooling and, most importantly, to have fun. We want people to get lots of climbing in so we are setting three preliminary top rope routes. From this, the top five men and women will advance to a finals route held on the main ice tower at Peabody Ice Climbing.
The Great Lakes Mixed Comp

The Great Lakes Mixed Comp takes place March 11, 2017.

It sounds like you want this to be more accessible than typical World Cup events?
Rebecca: Most people think that you have to be a high-end ice climber to participate in competitions. We want to change that perception. Other activities like running races have age categories and we want to carry that concept over to our event. We plan to have at least three age categories, which will all have prizes. The people we pull out for the finals route won't miss out on the age category prizes though. Everyone who gets to finals will get a prize.

The Great Lakes Mixed Comp will take place at the Peabody Ice Climbing Club.

Holy smokes! Just how many prizes do you have?
Rebecca: Yeah, we're super happy how that's working out! At this moment we figure we have around $5000 worth of prizes and we're still waiting for a commitment from a few other companies.
Great Lakes Mixed Comp Sponsors

Some of the sponsors for The Great Lakes Mixed Comp.

What kind of prizes are we talking here?
Rebecca: Currently, our two big sponsors are Rab and Asolo. These are amazing companies that make amazing gear. Rab has promised us a men's and a women's jacket and Asolo is giving a certificate for two pairs of boots! Outland Adventure Gear Is sending ice screws and head lamps. Krukonogi.com is sending certificates for the first, second and third place finishers in both the men's and women's categories. Team Canada Ice Climbing is sending hats, clothes and dry-tooling holds. Black Diamond, Petzl, Peabody Ice Climbing are also sending prizes. I think even Red Bull Wings is supposed to be stopping by the event! We also need to thank you here at Ontario Climbing for a stack of the new Ontario rock climbing guidebooks, clothes and gear that you've given us for prizes!
The Great Lakes Mixed Comp will take place at the Peabody Ice Climbing Club.

The Great Lakes Mixed Comp will take place at the Peabody Ice Climbing Club.

When we were chatting on the phone you mentioned a special grand prize from Beverly Mountain Guides. Want to give us some details?
Rebecca: This is amazing! One lucky competitor will have the chance to win round trip airfare to a 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup event paid for by Beverly Mountain Guides/Strike Rescue. We still have to sort through the details, but we're big supporters of the Ice Climbing World Cup (ICWC). This prize will go to someone who is currently not a competitor in ICWC, but has potential to excel at these comps.
Rebecca Lewis

Rebecca Lewis is one of Canada's top female ice climbers. She's been part of establishing many of Eastern Canada's most difficult mixed climbs including her most recent route Team Girl Squad M8. She is on the Canadian national ice climbing team and competes internationally on the World Cup ice climbing circuit. This past December she made the podium, placing second in the UIAA North American Championship in Durango, CO. You can follow Rebecca at https://www.instagram.com/rebecca.lewis.climbing/

Well, enough of the prize talk. Tell me a little about the facilities.
Rebecca: Garrett Peabody started Peabody Ice Climbing Club in Fenton, Michigan on the family apple farm. He built a 70-foot ice tower and now people come from as far away as Kentucky to climb on it!
So is there just an ice tower on his property?
Rebecca: He has a pretty amazing setup. He also has a dry-tooling wall we'll be using for the prelims. He's also providing access to the bunk house and camping opportunities for people who don't want to get a hotel on Friday or Saturday night. He also has a sauna and a great bar area where we're having the after party!
Nathan Kutcher

Nathan Kutcher is one of Canada's top ice climbers. He's established numerous difficult mixed climbs including the traditionally protected ground-up ascent of Metamorphosis M10 R. He is on the Canadian national ice climbing team and competes internationally on the World Cup ice climbing circuit. In 2012 he defeated a strong field of international climbers and won the prestigious Ouray Ice Festival in Colorado. You can follow Nathan at https://www.instagram.com/nathankutcher/?hl=en

After party – sounds like my kind of competition!
Rebecca: It's really the best part, isn't it? After the comp we'll have beer and food for everyone. Marc Beverly will also be doing a slide show. He was one of the first individuals from North America to get into the international ice climbing competition scene, so he'll be talking about his experiences on the circuit.
Relax with a sauna after a long day of competition!

Relax with a sauna after a long day of competition!

Can anyone come to the party?
Rebecca: Of course! We have an option for those who just want to come to the party on our event website. It should be a ton of fun! You're coming – right Gus?
I think this might be entrapment, but of course!
Rebecca: Then this party will be off the hook!
The Great Lakes Mixed Comp takes place March 11, 2017.

The Great Lakes Mixed Comp takes place March 11, 2017.

What about Sunday morning?
Rebecca: We are planning a pancake breakfast for those who attended the comp or after party.The dry-tooling routes will still be up and people who competed the day before can climb on the ice tower or the comp routes. In fact, anyone who didn't compete and wants to pay the normal ice tower day fee can jump on the routes. We will also be sticking around and giving technique and training tips. We're both World Cup competitors, so I hope people jump on this opportunity. We're both World Cup competitors, so I hope people jump on this opportunity.

The Great Lakes Mixed Comp will take place at the Peabody Ice Climbing Club.

You can get more information and register for the Great Lakes Mixed Comp at http://events.eventzilla.net/e/great-lakes-mixed-climbing-competition-2138892590
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is a freelance writer who has been involved in the outdoor industry for over 25 years. During his career he has been the editor at Canada’s national climbing magazine, as well as the gear editor for a national cycling magazine, triathlon magazine and running magazine. His work has been published in Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, and he has been a guest on television and radio broadcasts. His passion for climbing began in Ontario in the mid 80s and he continues to travel extensively in search of crisp conditions and steep rock.