Every year, ice climbing feels hard to me, especially in the beginning of the season. It always starts with me groaning about the cold, and then usually ends with more excitement than ever before. Somewhere in between, I forget all of the technique I learned in previous years and have to relearn it in just a few short months. The familiar feeling comes back to hit you in the face (and sometimes via chunks of icicles) to remind your body how to move.

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Connie Magee, human ice magnet

For as long as I can remember, the thought of first winter frost starts to depress me as early as October. Maybe you are solar powered, like me. I remember hating and quitting ice climbing one year for the entire season.

But I love it. I swear, I really do.

Ice climbing is something I constantly want to improve at but I never do any proper training for. This year, I finally admitted to myself that it will take more than a few days out to get any better.

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Lucie Hrozova at the 2016 Ouray Ice Festival. Photograph by Alma Baste

I don’t have the discipline.

I just don’t have the motivation.

Those are just a few of the excuses I’ve told myself over the years. This year, it’s a matter of unlearning the words “I can’t”.


Cover photograph courtesy of Savannah Cummis.

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