Dec 11, 2009 – Guy Lacelle (1955 – 2009)
World-famous Canadian ice climber Guy Lacelle died Thursday morning when an avalanche swept him off a route at the Bozeman Ice Festival at Grotto Falls in Hyalite Canyon. Reports suggest that Lacelle was climbing a gully when he was hit by a small avalanche triggered by a party climbing above him.
“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.
He is survived by his wife, Marge Lachecki.