BETHEL — Two ice climbing talks and demonstrations will be held during February school vacation week on the 100-foot-tall Ice Tower.

Grown at Bethel Station off Parkway road by slowly dripping water down a series of pipes, the tower was engineered by engineer Jim Sysko of Bethel. It was to be the centerpiece for the town’s traditional WinterFest celebration late last month.

Warmer than usual temperatures, however, and equipment problems have delayed the monolith’s arrival at or near the 140-foot-tall mark. But organizers continued to grow it for the climbing demos, organizers said Tuesday.

“Although the Bethel WinterFest is ‘officially’ over, the beautiful Ice Tower, surrounded with strings of red and white lights, continues to grow in height and girth,” Robin Zinchuk, executive director of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce said in a Monday evening report.

“People ask, ‘What is it?’ Others have queried, ‘What’s it going to be used for?’”

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22 and again on Friday, Feb. 25, legendary Bethel ice climber Bob Baribeau will demonstrate how to climb ice safely, explain what equipment is needed, and share some history and evolution of the sport.

“It is a little known fact that the Bethel area is a world-class ice climbing destination,” Zinchuk said.

Baribeau “recently shared that people travel great distances to experience the ice climbing in Grafton Notch State Park, the Evans Notch area of the White Mountain National Forest, (and) a location south of Bethel in Albany Township.”

The climbing events at the tower are weather permitting, so check www.bethelwinterfest.com or call the chamber at 824-2282.

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