At this time of year in parts of Montana, it's all about ice. Climbing it, that is, as evidenced at right. "We've had phenomenal formations in early November," said Chris Naumann of Barrel Mountaineering in Bozeman. "The ice is cooperating." Which means some waterfalls are frozen solid or rock faces are coated with ice from spring-fed seepage -- good news for those who want to learn some cool moves with ice axes and crampons. At the Bozeman Ice Festival this weekend, about 90 people will head to nearby Hyalite Canyon in the Gallatin National Forest to, well, learn the ropes. Novices, outfitted by organizers with ice tools, crampons, harnesses and helmets, can tackle a 75-foot vertical wall on Saturday with pro ice climbers such as Mark Twight or Jared Ogden by their side. On Sunday, advance instruction covers whatever techniques individuals want to work on, such as climbing on thin or thick ice, or mixed climbing on part ice, part rock. Naumann likens ice climbing to rock climbing, except "with your ice ax, you take your 'hold' with you." Climbing instruction is $50 per day, but the festival, in its seventh year, sold out last month. Wannabe ice freaks can still watch the climbers hit the ice and attend slide shows by climber Will Gadd on Friday night and Ogden on Saturday night. For information, call (406) 582-1335.