Ice climbing >> film photography

ice climbing mountains multiple exposure

When it’s too cold and your camera stops advancing the film. I ended up with this accidental multi-exposure — consider it an entire ice climbing trip in one image! Cold choked the battery, I think, because photos I shot on the same film & camera in sunny Phoenix, later on the same trip, turned out fine.

(The top of) Whorehouse Hoses, WI4-5. The orange speck atop the falls is a person.
Lake City Ice Park, Lake City.

Perhaps it’s time to switch to digital?

Almost Winter

I talked to an old friend from university the other night on the videophone. “You haven’t really been blogging much,” he said. “In fact, you haven’t done anything creative of late. It seems like all that energy has just gone into climbing.”

It was an insightful comment and made me think a lot.

Anyways, here’s some photos from the first day out ice climbing this season.

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2020 in Climbs

Normally I write a “year in places” post, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, I spent much of this year at home, in Colorado and other states of the American West (WY, UT, CA). A look back on the year thus involves a bit less horizontal distance, and a lot more vertical!

Most of these climbs involve 5-10 miles of hiking in addition to the technical climbing. This isn’t Europe, and you can’t ride the telepherique to your objective. Here, you gotta walk.

These are the major climbs of the year.

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The Ouray Ice Park is the Most Unique Place You’ll Hear About Today

(Tambien disponible en español, aqui)

Two years ago, in January 2017, I returned from a trip abroad. I had spent a month in Budapest, Hungary, visiting my friend Shawn, and a month backpacking the Balkan countries.

Colorado weather being what it is, we had 70 degrees (21C) and sun that January, despite the fact that it was the middle of winter. Suffering from the usual post-travel depression, I met up with my friends for a day of sport climbing in Boulder Canyon as quickly as I could. My friend Ben, a Buddhist scholar at Naropa University, told me “I’m inviting a few classmates along. You’ll like them.”

Ironically, neither climbed at all. One was a monk; his order didn’t permit him. The other was Meg, who let us all know, loudly: “I’m going ice climbing tomorrow and I need to save my strength.”

That was the beginning of the end.

Over the next two years, Meg and I climbed some mountains and built a friendship. I found my way into her friend group of serious climbers, and I was slowly sucked more and more towards alpinism, mountains, and ice.

For the past six years, that friend group has taken an annual Super Bowl trip to the Ouray Ice Park, in Ouray, Colorado. I was invited last year, but I was in Italy at the time.

This year, I finally joined the fun. And let me tell you:

Ouray is cool.

There can’t be many places like this in the world. Learn why, below the jump.

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