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Watch Vertical Ice: The Spirit of Guy Lacelle

He was one of the world's best ice climbers at the time of his death over 10 years ago

On 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 Lacelle’s friend, David Burger.

“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.

The Spirit of Guy Lacelle

Vertical Ice: The Spirit of Guy Lacelle is a journey of discovery and exploration, both of the man himself and the raw beauty of his most inspired winter climbs. Told from the perspective of some of the best ice climbers in the world today, paired with archival footage from the infancy of the sport, this documentary honours the spirit of Guy Lacelle.