Smugglers’ Notch Ice Bash 2023

The 16th Annual Smuggs Ice Bash

January 27-29, 2023!

Please visit the Smuggs Ice Bash website or the Facebook page for the most recent updates on the event.

Friday Photography Clinic with Nikki Smith

10am-2pm / $40

For 20 years now, Nikki Smith has been a part of the vibrant Outdoor Industry. From award-winning photography to soul-bearing writing to graphic design, illustration, product design and more. Nikki's work has been used by companies large and small to help bring their thoughts and ideas to life.

Join Nikki for a 30 minute indoor classroom session at Petra Cliffs, then take a short walk to the shores of Lake Champlain for outdoor landscape photography. 

Check out more about Nikki and her stunning photos!

Photography Clinic

Friday Night Drytooling Competition

On Friday, January 27, the 12th annual Drytooling Competition will take place at Petra Cliffs Climbing Center in Burlington, VT. 

The friendly but fierce indoor competition gets its energy from a live DJ and spectators cheering them on.  Beverages and a wicked good time. 

$10 includes one raffle ticket. Pre-registration and walk-ins welcome. 

Friday Night Drytool Comp- Spectator

Register for a 2023 Smuggs Ice Bash Clinic

Clinic Registration is open and filling fast!

Smuggs Ice Bash Clinics

Saturday Evening Presentations

Saturday Evening Presentations

Clinic Participants: $15 (includes 1 raffle ticket)
General Public pre-purchase: $20 (includes 1 raffle ticket)
Day of Show: $25
Cambridge Community Center, 6:30pm

We are very excited to be bringing guests Nikki Smith and Michael Wejchert to this year's Ice Bash! 

Michael Wejchert will be discussing his new book, Hidden Mountains: a story of a climbing adventure gone wrong in a remote Alaskan mountain range, the impossible rescue attempt that followed, and the fraught cost of survival. Reviews are calling the book a "Hard-to-put-down tale of tenacity, bravery, and friendship in the face of staggering odds." - Kirkus Reviews

And our main presenter: Nikki Smith!

Join photographer, writer, climber and activist, Nikki Smith as she tells her story of Realization. Nikki will share some of her outdoor and climbing photography from over 20 years in climbing and share insights into her journey as a climber, first ascensionist, guidebook author, writer, and a woman who happens to be transgender.

(*Trigger Warning - This presentation will briefly mention depression, suicidal ideation, homophobia, transphobia, and sexual harassment.)

Nikki is an artist, writer, photographer, guidebook author, runner, and climber based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She started climbing in the early ’90s and has been working in the outdoor industry and climbing world since 1998. Nikki’s photography has been featured in many outdoor publications and is a National Geographic Adventure photo contributor. She’s authored five climbing guidebooks to date and has written many feature articles for climbing magazines. She’s done more than 150 first ascents throughout the west and has traveled the world to climb. Nikki is also an athlete representing Brooks Running, REI, Mountain Hardwear, Scarpa, Grivel, and more. Now, much of her work focuses on building a more inclusive, diverse, and safe community within climbing and the outdoors. She is an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. She serves as a Patient Advocacy Board Member for the University of Utah’s Transgender Health Program, and a committee member for the American Mountain Guide Association’s JEDI committee. 

Instagram: Nikki Smith @nikkik_smith and @pullphoto

Weekend Venue

The Cambridge Community Center (Cambridge, VT)
Gear demos, presentations, clinics, and more, Saturday & Sunday January 28-29.

Vendors & Sponsors

It is all of the vendors who bring their fleet of gear & expertise and the sponsors who make this event possible. Check out for the lineup of sponsors and supporters. 

Smuggs Ice Bash History

A brief history: The Smuggs Ice Bash was born in 2005 thanks to local climber Alden Pellett, who collaborated with Doug Millen of Northeast Ice to try and rally a festival in Smuggler's Notch, Vermont-- an area rich with rock and ice climbing history. As Pellett writes, "The Notch has been climbed heavily since the 70's with many unrecorded routes having been done... Bouchard…Zajchowski… It is also good to note that Fritz Weissner resided in Stowe during the later years of his life. Many unrecorded aid lines exist. Climbers exploring "new" ground should not find it surprising to come across an old soft ring piton or moss-filled pin scars. Despite the hardmen that have explored the area, however, Smuggler's Notch remains an untapped resource for futuristic climbing that will yield numerous first ascents over the next few years as tools and styles evolve further." 

Over the first few years of the Ice Bash, Bert Severin of Sunrise Adventure Sports became more involved, and eventually supervised the management of the Ice Bash. With the number of attendees, vendors, and clinic offerings multiplying, the Ice Bash outgrew its original venue. In the spirit of friendly and fun competition, the festival added an indoor drytooling competition at the local climbing gym, Petra Cliffs, drawing a crowd of 200+ people from the Burlington area that otherwise may not have been part of the ice climbing festival. A busy personal life led Bert to seek out new management of the Ice Bash, and he approached Steve and Andrea Charest, owners of Petra Cliffs, in October 2012. Petra Cliffs excitedly took over management of the Ice Bash, with help from many of the regulars who have made the Ice Bash successful over the past years.

The Ice Bash has a Facebook page to interact with participants, keeping them informed and inspired, a website, an Instagram account, more clinics, and other fresh ideas-- we hope to continue to grow the participation in the greatest winter festival in Vermont, and we could not do it without our vendors, local venues, participants, guides and volunteers!