Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ice Climbing - Narrative

This past Saturday Derek and I drove out to Western North Carolina. We spent the day driving, went to bed fairly early, and got up on Sunday ready to go.

On Sunday, Derek and I went climbing with a friend of his, Ron, who is a Fox Mountain Guide. If you are in the Southeast and ever want to try rock or ice climbing, and don't know who to go with, I highly recommend hiring a guide from this company. Derek and I know many of them, Derek has worked with many of them, and they are pretty much all rock stars. They will keep you safe, teach you tons of awesome things, take you on some kick-ass trips, and the guides I know all have pretty entertaining stories to tell.

Anyway, Ron and Derek both went to great effort to make sure I had a good time. We started off hiking around this frozen creek so I could get used to walking/moving in crampons (if you don't know what a crampon is, no worries - here is a Wikipedia link for more info). Ron went over many of the basics of ice climbing, especially the differences in movement between ice and rock climbing. It was all good stuff.

I'm making sure to comment on the awesomeness of Ron and Derek, because the rest of this post is going to let you know how freaking miserable I found ice climbing to be. Rest assured, it was no fault of my companions - they really were awesome. My misery was entirely due to the fact that I JUST HATE ICE CLIMBING.

Ice climbing is COOOOOLD!!!!

And uncomfortable, and annoying, and you have to carry so much extra crap, and walking in crampons SUCKS, and ice boots SUCK, and did I mention it was FREAKING COLD?!

I really wanted to enjoy it. I really tried to stay open to the possibility of enjoying it. In fact, every time I took an ice chunk to the face or fell face first into the snow after tripping on my own crampons, I made sure to take a moment, breathe, and say my Hail Mary's until I had found my way back to my 'happy place' again before continuing on.

But it really didn't work.

The fun to suck ratio weighed in heavily on the side of SUCK.

On Sunday morning when we got out of the car, it was exactly ONE degree outside. My feet froze before we even made it to the frozen creek we were going to hike on. Walking over a frozen creek while wearing pointy metal strapped to my feet just seemed asking for trouble. It was okay, but it was also terrifying - can you imagine how awful it would be to fall through ice into a creek in the dead of winter??? And you could totally SEE the water running beneath the ice!

I repeatedly tripped and fell face first into the snow.

I got "screaming-barfies" for the first time ever - and despite the fact that once you get them, you are not supposed to get them again, I kept getting them. Or maybe they just never went away. Either way, I actually gagged at one point because my feet and hands hurt so much from the cold. I also cried a lot. Which is a bad thing to do when its that cold out, because your tears get all freeezey. BAD.

Then to top off the awfulness, we drove home after one of the worst winter storms in the Southeast. It was a ten hour drive of adrenaline, caffeine, and armpit-sweat-inducing-fear. And I didn't even drive any.


I don't like ice climbing....

Derek and I are going again this weekend....

Shoot me.... Just please somebody shoot me.

1 comment:

  1. Bless your heart, Susan! I hope no one actually shoots you because that would be sad, but I can definitely see the advantages of being shot instead of ice climbing!