Woodpecker

photo3What I learned ice climbing.

  1. Relax.
  2. Use legs.
  3. Rest arms.
  4. Use legs.
  5. Relax.
  6. Light grip.
  7. Scope out ice prior to ascent.
  8. Observe where there are natural footholds.
  9. Best to find a hook.
  10. Either woodpecker the ice or toss the tool like a dart.
  11. Three points really have to be locked and secured.
  12. Hit concave ice. Avoid convex.
  13. Bring multiple pairs of gloves.
  14. Wear pants with knee reinforcement and padding.
  15. Wear two base layers, mid layer, and insulated jacket.
  16. Bring Gortex pants and jacket.
  17. Relax.
  18. Design a hold/bag (fanny pack?) for tools during rappel.
  19. Observe ice condition and behaviour during climbing period.
  20. Note if water begins to run behind the ice.
  21. Wear goggles/glasses to protect eyes from ice.
  22. Yell “Ice” when chunks fracture and fall.
  23. Relax.
  24. Deep breathing.
  25. Enjoy.

Things to improve on:

Balance
Strength
Efficiency
Endurance
Tolerance
Patience
Observation

Why I climb. I climb because of my underlying challenges and knowing that this is probably one of the better ways to address them. Climbing forces me to slow down in some aspects, to stay relaxed during very intense conditions, to be efficient in all movements, and to think critically about my next moves–in the ascent and descent. My brain is always engaged. And with ice there is this auditory element in addition to the physical. I learn from listening to how the ice is under a constant flux and having an understanding that these distinct sounds indicate its stability or weakness. How attuned I am to this context contributes to my ability and success as well as my survival. It’s how I learn best.

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