Thursday, July 27, 2006

Article segment: Ice-Climb


By Clemens Haltern

...I was belaying my friend Mike, also 17, at Bridal Veil Falls when Mike's hand slipped out of his glove and ice-tool leash while he was setting a screw. Both hands came free and he fell backwards, maybe 20 or 25 feet until the rope went tight. He wasn't injured, but Mike was "sketched" (climber-speak for freaked out), so I had to climb up to retrieve the two tools stuck in the ice. I then down-climbed the route, since the spot at which Mike fell was inconvenient for setting up a rappel. Down-climbing a route isn't the ideal scenario, since going up is always easier than the reverse. After the gear was retrieved, Mike and I were content to go home rather than tempt fate further that night. With such experiences in mind, most climbers make sure to never fall on ice.

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