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      Michigan Ice Fest celebrates 25 years

      The U.P. has some of the best winter activities around, but if you're interested in living on the edge, then Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was the place to be this weekend. The park hosted the annual Michigan Ice Fest.

      It may take a couple whacks and kicks, but soon enough you could easily be hooked on the sport of ice climbing.

      "It's fun," says Camila Fassbender. "You get to go outside and there's a lot of adrenaline that makes you forget about everything else. It's very enjoyable."

      This weekend, nearly 500 climbers came to Michigan Ice Fest to face their fears, attempt a tricky and treacherous form of climbing and develop another facet of their mountaineering skills.

      "It started out with a few people from Kalamazoo who decided to start this festival," says organizer Bill Thompson. "And we took over the festival several years ago, and it's been going on ever since."

      The Ice Fest is celebrating its 25th year.

      "It seems to be growing every year," says Don Fassbender. "Munising has some of the nicest climbing in Michigan, if not the only climbing for ice. And every year we seem to pick up more and more climbers."

      From the experienced to the novice, climbers' ages ranged from as young as 7 years old to a 68-year-old woman trying the sport for the first time.

      However, if you missed this year's event, Thompson says the climbing season generally goes from November until about late April.