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10 Years Ago Today, Guy Lacelle Died in an Avalanche

He was one of the world's leading ice climbers and a cutting-edge Canadian all-rounder

Ten years ago today, Dec. 10, 2009, Guy Lacelle died at the Bozeman Ice Fest in Montana. “A small pocket of snow pulled out and caught him. It hit him and took him off the cliff, down the ice,” said Doug Chabot, director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.

Lacelle was one of the world’s top ice climbers, with numerous groundbreaking first ascents and repeats in the Canadian Rockies, Quebec, the US and Europe. Lacelle was also a talented competition climber, having won the Ice Competition in Ouray, Colorado, in 2000 and 2001, as well as the Festiglace Competition in Quebec in 2004.

His accomplishments earned him international recognition, including the Bill March Summit of Excellence Award in 1999. A frequent contributor to Gripped Magazine, Lacelle’s articles and reports embodied his passion for climbing.

Born in Hawkesbury, Ontario, Lacelle started climbing while studying at the University of Ottawa in the 1970s. He later became a winter courses instructor for Outward Bound in Ontario and a guide for the Yamnuska Mountain School in Canmore, Alberta.


Lacelle was one of the finest ice climbers ever. “You don’t loose people like Guy, other than physically. I’m bummed, I’m sad, he is like a little brother to me, I wanna go play. But, I did’t loose him, he is there constantly,” said David Burger in the Guy Lacelle tribute below.

“Even though he was a climber, that’s not the stories people are telling. They are telling the human stories about the lovely human being he was, and that just says it all to me,” said Marge Lachecki, Lacelle’s wife.

Guy Lacelle Tribute