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Ice Climbing In Washington State : Alpental At The Summit At Snoqualmie

How are you doing with your New Year resolutions ( dreams/goals ) ? In my previous post I wrote about some of the activities I want to try this year. And guess what ? Two weeks into the new year, and I already can cross one thing off my list.

I've always wanted to try ice climbing, and last week I had a great opportunity to go ice climbing at Alpental. The experience was ....unbelievable !

The trip was organized by Pro Guiding Service and led by the company's owner himself Martin Volken.

The weather conditions that day left a lot to be desired : lots of fog , concrete ice, dripping rain. But we went anyway. We took a chairlift to the top of Armstrong, and walked down ( since it was impossible to ski at all ) to Stellar Falls (Kiddie Cliff falls).

The ice formations were just absolutely beautiful. Ice was very thick in many spots and pretty solid. We bouldered around for some time to warm up, then Martin gave a quick introduction to lead climbing, and set up three top rope routes ( from easy to more difficult ). The small size of the group ( 4 people ) allowed plenty of time for everybody to climb.

If you think ice climbing is not for you, think again. There are no requirements to sign up for the course ( other than decent fitness shape). You don't have to own your own ice climbing equipment : ice axes, crampons, climbing harness, helmet, snowshoes - all that can be rented. Even though the course takes place at Alpental, you don't have to buy a ski ticket, you can just snowshoe to the climbing site.

For some people this might be a "once in a life time kind of opportunity" ( something you do just to say "been there, done that), while for others - a life long hobby. Anyway, it's totally worth trying !

Pro Guiding Service also offers ski, rock and alpine guiding trips. All their guides are highly qualified and AMGA ( American Mountain Guides Association ) and UIAGM (Union Internationale des Associations de Guides de Montagnes) certified. Small client -to -guide ratio dictates to a large extent what you can accomplish on a course.

1 comment:

Casey Knopik said...

This is great! I didn't know that there ice climbing just down the road. I had just posted about ice climbing in Banff. Thanks for the info!