Origin of the PRCA


One afternoon in Munising, Michigan, during the filming of the MacGillivary Freeman’s National Parks Adventure for IMAX Films, American Rock Climber, Mountaineer and Author Conrad Anker stated he couldn’t believe that there we no local kids tearing it up climbing at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. 

That comment led to the collaboration between The North Face and Michigan Ice Fest to develop a youth climbing program for the central Upper Peninsula. During the 2016 Michigan Ice Fest, The North Face sold logoed beanies and Michigan Ice Fest-logoed Yeti Rambler colsters to raise more than $1,000 to kick off the Pictured Rocks Climbing Academy. 

Pictured Rocks Climbing Academy is a low-cost program available to central Upper Peninsula youth, starting at age 7, where mentors guide climbers to learn skills climbing, safety on rock and ice, and provide various opportunities to learn and grow.

The PRCA is registered 501(c)(3). Our goal is to develop, advise, and foster a youth climbing community in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan - a rural  area that comprises a concentration of at-risk youth.

What We Do


The Pictured Rocks Climbing Academy’s top priority is to provide climbing opportunities for youth climbers in the central Upper Peninsula of MI. We do this by providing various experiences rock and ice climbing both indoors and outside, building friendships in the climbing community, volunteerism, and more. Through this we have built a supportive climbing family. We’d love for you to join us and follow our journey!