BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Folks with the 16th Annual Arc'Teryx Bozeman Ice Fest are gearing up for kickoff.
     
Crews are working on something new this year at the Emerson, a mixed climbing wall.  It's where climbers use ice climbing equipment on a dry wall.

While it's too mild for ice in town, coordinators say they've been climbing in Hyalite Canyon since October, where festival clinics are held.
      
They say warmer weather has made ice climbing a little tricky.  

Organizers say they must really evaluate ice quality -- softness, how much water's running on it, and most importantly, how much sun the ice gets.
     
They say they're extra careful when choosing ice for clinics, setting up at their most dependable spots and using guides with decades of experience.
    
Plus they say everyone wears helmets and harnesses and climbers are connected to an anchor system.

"We have all of the best gear, solid anchors, so there's literally, short of them tripping over their feet on the ground and falling over, any of the time they're actually climbing, it's completely safe," says Bozeman Ice Fest organizer Joe Jospehson.

Climbers involved in the Hyalite clinics will check out their demo gear Wednesday night at the Emerson.  The festivities begin in Hyalite at 7 a.m. Thursday.

In addition to celebrating ice climbing, the festival is also an event to raise money and awareness to keep Hyalite Road open during the winter.
     
It must be plowed for folks to access the area.

For more information about the festival and its activities, check out the event website.