There is always the question: Do you like rock climbing or ice climbing more? I’ve always tended to reach a bit more towards rock. Probably because I’m a little better at it and also because that’s what I started on.
I made the trek up to the Munising Ice Fest this past weekend. I’d never been before and it was fun going up there representing Petzl. Everyone was psyched to be climbing and energy was high the whole weekend. I have a big soft spot for climbing festivals as it’s rarely not fun to get that many people in one area who are all excited about the same thing.
After the chaos of demo gear checkout, which was really fun to watch by the way, we made our way out to the curtains. We all climbed a couple of routes and had a pretty good time. With the sun out and the day heating up a few of the climbs were soaked. It was fun to see my friends go up dry and come down looking like it had been raining up there.
Ice has never been a preferred medium for me. I do it occasionally but always seem to have fun when I’m there. My climbing career has revolved around rock and the movement involved with rock. What strikes me about ice climbing is, in part, the simplicity of it all. I love it and I hate it. I love how you can keep plugging along when you are climbing. It’s funny though, that’s also what I dislike about it most, the simplicity of it all.
My last climb I left the Nomics on the ground and climbed with crampons and my mittens. It really reminded me what I love about rock. Moving without tools required me to stop a little more and think about where my body was. I was forced to drop knee and move my hips around. It almost reminded me how complex climbing rock can be sometimes. How many different moves there can be in one 70 foot section of rock.
I love rock climbing. Everybody has something that makes them tick, something that makes them smile and keeps them up at night. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been kept awake by a project of mine. Just lying in bed wondering if the move would go if I just moved my foot an inch to the left. It seems so crazy sometimes. So pointless and inane. That feeling of completing a big project is so amazing though. There are definitely climbs out there that I did years ago but still remember all of the moves. I remember the crux footholds and just how bad that right hand crimp hurt. I can honestly say that, for me, it’s really one of the my favorite feelings. I love it.
It makes me laugh that an ice climbing trip got me all amped up for the upcoming rock season but sometimes you just need a little reminder of what you love. I’ll try to keep you, our loyal fan base, up to date on how my rock season goes and just how many projects I’m flailing on. If I’m doing it right, there should be plenty of them.