Friday, December 7, 2007

Dreaming of ice

I ran down to the Turnagain Arm today to check out the climbs. There is a climb on the highway called "Scales" (by the weigh station) that was my friend Lucia and my after work practice climb last year. It's a super easy climb... Grade II ice. But when you are learning how to lead and you work in Anchorage during the week, it's a fantastic little haven.

It's on the highway, which I am generally not a fan of, but it became our own little private ice climbing gym. The bonus is that it's under a street light so you can climb at night without a headlamp. All week the temperatures have been in the teens and 20s so the climb has begun to form up nicely. Unfortunately, today it was 40 degrees.

Standing under the newly formed, untouched ice, I listened to the sound of it dripping and melting away and felt a sadness similar to what I feel during breakup in the Spring. And there was nothing I could do. I must have looked lost out there standing on the side of the highway looking up at the ice with a pathetic look on my face. I could even see the green webbing I put up at the anchor on my first climb there last year. But all I could do was admire it from afar.

Will I get to climb at all this year? The forecast for the next week is showing highs in the mid 30s. Enough to kill the already formed ice. So sad, so sad. These fluctuating temperatures are enough to kill the entire ice season. I'm bummed...

So I guess now I can only dream about ice. The picture above is one I took in Alberta last year at the Canmore Ice Climbing Festival. I haven't climbed anything of this magnitude yet, but I can think about a day when I will.

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