Ice Climbing in Catskills

Most of our scout’s ice climbing high-adventure activity has occurred far north of here in beautiful Keane Valley, near Lake Placid, NY.  Recently however, our troop opted for a similar bit of excitement but a trip that would be much shorter:  the Catskills!  Many probably are a little shocked to learn that ice climbing exists only 120 miles away near Hunter Mountain, but it does and the ice flows were every bit as spectacular as those in Keane Valley.  Although the winter has been unusually mild there were a few very large ice flows that have been largely protected by the sun.  The only negative was the fact that there was no devoted trail to the climb site and the rocky and steep ground only had light snow cover, making it very difficult to traverse.  Once our small group of thrill seekers found the targeted ice flow, it was an afternoon full of climbing up to heights of as high as an estimated 75′!  One must utilize different climbing techniques than those used for rock climbing.  Ice climbing is a very strenuous task and requires one to overcome any fear of heights.  The end result is a very exhiliarating experience that one will never forget, as these pictures, which do not fully reflect the scale of heights and sheer beauty of the ice flows, clearly attest!

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