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This hits the nail right on the head…

March 22, 2011

In my few short years of ice climbing I have certainly seen some really stupid things done by people that should know better, some that likely never will, and an unfortunate few who had no idea what was happening until it was too late.  The last two years have been particularly bad, and I’ve unfortunately witnessed, heard about, or had the dubious good luck to be there to help in, some very unfortunate situations that I know could have easily been prevented.  This has been a major subject of discussion among my regular partners and close friends as of late.

Will Gadd has an excellent, excellent post on this subject that I wish as many new ice climbers as possible would read and take to heart.

If it feels like things are moving too fast or your really scared, and have only just started ice climbing, I’d say much of this could apply to you.

Thanks to Will for such an excellent post.  And really I’m glad the fellow in the video that was the catalyst for his post is (relatively) okay.

For leaders, the first rule of ice climbing is:  Don’t Fall.  Ever.

What scares me most is some newer climbers who have fallen and gotten off lucky.  I personally know of about a dozen that haven’t.

To my mind, the second rule should be to have some sort of advanced level of wilderness medical training.  Sacrifice a weekend or two, and some $ (think how much you spend on that gear, it pales in comparison!) and learn how to respond to a situation like this.  Since taking WFR training a couple years ago I’ve been really thankful for that knowledge five times now, four of them while out climbing and encountering other parties in trouble.  And I shudder to think about how unprepared I was before (and actually how much more I’d like to know and be able to do now).

Take your time and let your ability mature – it seems these days that it’s a process slower than the growth of one’s ego for many ice climbers.

Be safe.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Bruce permalink
    July 9, 2012 22:50

    lol is the “weekend warrior” on holidays?

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