This is a great opportunity to try out ice climbing at the Sandstone Ice Festival! Only a hour and a half north of the Twin Cities, you can stay for the whole weekend, or just come up for the day. Events include climbing and winter camping clinics, a family nature walk (new this year), a gear swap, guest speaker Joe Tebbe (a sometime Rover), raffle, and lots of socializing. Free camping right at Robinson Park, or get a hotel room nearby. I can’t make it until Saturday evening, but I would be happy to help with making connections or answering questions for people who want to go up earlier. Some demo gear is available, so all you really need to climb is a harness and a helmet. However, you can get more climbing in if you bring your own gear, especially mountaineering boots, which can be rented from the Center for Outdoor Adventure at the University. Clinics fill up fast, so register on the festival website as soon as possible.
Estimated cost: Food & gas on your own.