There are few places that I visit that I just need to keep going back to. I'm generally a once and done kind of person, and if I spend any more than three times at one spot I get bored. There are few places where I could take 1000 pictures and then turn around and see something totally amazing that I just have to capture it on film. There are few places that I feel as at home as I do in my own bed.
One of those places for me is the Matanuska Glacier. In the fall I spend a lot of time on what my climbing friends and I call "the glacier" (even though there are over 100,000 glaciers in Alaska, this one gets the official title). It's basically the ice equivalent of a rock gym, but so much better.
Right now we are getting comfortable on the ice again and getting in shape for the waterfall season. Today I went out to "the glacier" with a group of seven to get in some laps. We set up a variety of climbs from low angle, to vertical, to painfully overhanging. I am realizing that I have kept my technique, but have lost some of my strength. My calves were burning very early on and my forearms burnt out quicker than usual. I've also brought back an extra 5 pounds of myself from Pennsylvania. So I've got some work to do, but luckily we have a month or so before the ice freezes around Anchorage.
The glacier and me have had our ups and downs. Days like today where I never wanted to leave. Days where I never wanted to come back. Days where I didn't feel like climbing and just walked around and took photos. Days where I scared the crap out of myself so bad that I swore I would quit ice climbing. But I keep going back for more.