How it started:
The Pictured Rocks Climbing Academy (PRCA) was founded in 2016 when world-renowned climber Conrad Anker noticed the lack of local Upper Peninsula youth ice climbing at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. At the annual Michigan Ice Fest that year, the company The North Face donated money from hat sales that were used to form the PRCA!
The rest, as they say, is history. The PRCA is registered 501(c)(3) that provides rock and ice climbing opportunities to youth in the Upper Peninsula of MI - and we're loving it! Our goals are to continue providing youth with free or low cost climbing opportunities regardless of experience or gear. We strongly believe climbing provides more than just a work out - it builds confidence, independence, community, collaboration, & much, much more.
CURRENT OPERATIONS MAY DIFFER FROM THE FOLLOWING DISCRIPTION DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC:
What we do:
The PRCA climbs indoors weekly in Marquette during the school year following the local Marquette Area Public Schools calendar. Our indoor climbs are at the PEIF climbing wall at Northern Michigan University.
We also have monthly outdoor climbing outings lead by professional guiding service Michigan Ice Fest Guides where our climbers get to test out their skills on rock and ice -- and all gear is provided!
Climbers and volunteers interested in joining the PRCA need to sign a Liability Waiver and a Code of Ethics. Send us an email if you would like a copy in advance!
Climbers ages 7+ who live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan can join us . Email us for more information on our next outing and plans.
The PRCA does not provide individual lessons, but rather group climbing outings with our members.
The PRCA strives to keep costs minimal to our participants. Our outdoor guided outings have fees associated with them to pay an accredited guiding service. Scholarships are available to those who need assistance. There is no fee to join the PRCA.
Most of our ice climbing outings take place in Munising, MI. Most of our rock climbing outings are in and around Marquette, MI.
All climbing gear is provided for our climbers. If you wish to get your own, Down Wind Sports in Marquette, Houghton, and Munising is our local gear shop with helpful and knowledgeable employees.
Climbers of all experience levels are welcome to join us - no experience is necessary!
Bryan climbed for the first time at Inside Moves in Grand Rapids, MI while in college at Grand Valley State University during the early 1990’s. He moved to the U.P. in 1995 and never looked back. He claims the Tetons of Wyoming as his home mountain range for climbing and skiing, and escapes to Mexico often for a change of perspective, surfing and spearfishing the mainland’s Pacific coast and the Baja Peninsula. On rest days, he rides single track close to home here in Marquette. Bryan has been guiding climbing since the early 2000’s. He’s an inaugural member of the Superior High Angle Rescue Professionals climbing rescue team.
Bryan has been married to his wife Heather for over 20 years and can routinely be found chasing their daughter and son twins, Bailey and Jackson, around their favorite climbing routes, ski descents and waves. Bryan holds a degree in history, English and teaching from GVSU and a Master’s in Administration from Northern Michigan University. He is currently the President of the PRCA.
Coe Anderton, of Marquette, MI, first tried climbing at the PEIF’s Kids Climbs in the early 2000’s. They started climbing again in 2019 when a friend offered to lead them up a multipitch in Vedauwoo, WY.
Since restarting climbing, Coe has learned to lead multipitch trad, and has found a passion for climbing really big rocks. They have climbed in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The only thing they are more stoked about is providing opportunities for youth to climb in the Upper Peninsula!
Coe will be the Executive Director of PRCA come December 2021. They graduated from Negaunee High School in 2016 and studied Biology at University of Wyoming. Coe plans to pursue a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management at NMU starting in January 2022 and hopes to eventually become a certified AMGA Rock Guide.
Kendra Stritch, based in Stillwater, Minnesota, began climbing in 2006. She made history in 2014 when she became the first North American to win a stage of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour. In 2016 Kendra finished sixth overall in speed after three top ten results.
Kendra takes motivation and inspiration from the support of local and international communities.
Kendra is passionate about sharing all aspects of climbing with everyone; you will find her at as many festivals and gatherings, and is passionate about introducing youth and women to rock climbing and ice climbing. She enjoys sharing her knowledge through mentorship and coaching of anyone who’s psyched to learn and have fun.
When Kendra’s not on the World Cup competition circuit you’ll find her climbing hidden gems around the Great Lakes or scaling multi-pitch ice and mountains in the Canadian Rockies, her second home.
There are two forms required to be filled out by anyone participating with the PRCA. Feel free to download them and fill them out prior to climbing with us for the first time!
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DISCLAIMER: ALL CLIMBING - WHETHER IT BE ON ROCK, ICE OR BOULDERING - IS AN INHERENTLY DANGEROUS ACTIVITY. THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. CLIMBING EDUCATION AND TRAINING FROM CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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