Ice Climbing in Patagonia

There are only a couple things that I honestly could never see myself doing. For example…race car driving, hucking myself off a huge ledge and flying down a mountain in a squirrel suit, parkour, etc. Things like that. It’s not that I wouldn’t try these things, there’s just a disconnect. it’s just the idea of finding the resources to make these far fetched ideas come to reality. Or maybe I’m just not very interested. Sometimes you see these things on TV and say to yourself, “I could that” but at the same that little voice in your head will tell you it’s probably never going to happen.

This is my view towards ice climbing. It looks cool, it is great to watch people get themselves into tricky situations, and they’re usually climbing high above rocks and ice which I don’t do well with. I’d like to imagine climbing being similar to surfing. Both sports are very independent and I’ve always felt climbers have grown up with the outdoor lifestyle, like surfers do. I grew up in the ocean. Climbers grow up on mountains. Either way I have a huge respect for them. I just thought I’d never get a chance to ice climb, nor have I ever met any ice climbers.

As long as I’ve known Carolin, when she sees a tree or something to climb she’s all over it like white on rice. In chalten we found a ice climbing ad and naturally she was hooked. It didn’t take long for her to make her mind up about whether or not we should do it. I think she saw a picture of someone in an ice cave and said “I wanna do that”. To make a long story longer, we had the opportunity to ice climb on a glacier yesterday. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. An hour bus ride to a boat, then another hour to a remote glacier called ( the viedma glacier ).

I don’t doubt that if I told an avid climber what we did they’d probably think it was minor, but my response would be that there’s nothing minor about climbing a 50 foot wall of ice next to an ice hole thats pretty much an infinite freezing abyss, and certain death.

Carolin seems to have a different approach then me on this. I’ve never seen her so fearless before. No hesitation at all. Even the guides were asking if she had climbed before. One guide said ” she’s better than me”. The other guys that were climbing next to her were getting mad because it would take Carolin 2.5 minutes to go up and down a 50 foot vertical wall, when it would take them 5 just to make it half way up. I have video proof. I thought it was funny. Ive never been more proud of her. I’d catch myself hooting at her and cheering as she passed one person, then the next, and another. It was awesome! So, after Carolin had crushed everyone’s dream about becoming an ice climber, we hiked through some ice caves and across this massive glacier. We had lunch with a surprise glass of baileys and glacier ice from the guides, and hiked back to the boat.

I’ve never done anything like this before and absolutely had a blast. As far as the trip goes so far, it has been a huge highlight. Such a unique experience that I will remember forever. Even though we made it out safely I might have a legitimate fear of endless ice holes in the middle of a glacier. Or just glaciers in general. Massive, beautiful, freezing, always changing, jagged, rawness!!! Amazing!!! I can’t wait to do it again. I woke up with a buzz this morning and a desire to get back out there. Who would have thought…..


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