We travelled to the Keene Valley in the Adirondacks region of New York to participate in 2 great days of Ice Climbing in partnership with the American Alpine Club of DC (AAC) and Arc’teryx this past weekend. Graduates of the Outdoor Climbing Club, Cheri and Christian, along with Volunteer Edoardo, Programs Coordinator Junko and Board Member Angel learnt how to use ice tools and crampons to ice climb.
Arc’teryx supported our transportation and lodging costs and the American Alpine Club came through with volunteer guides. Each climber had one AAC volunteer guide who helped mentor them on the ice belaying and giving pointers to each mentee.
Saturday’s climbing session started at 9 am with a 3 hour beginner clinic. The AAC mentors taught us how to use our crampons and ice tools: sticking crampons into the ice to get a solid stance on our feet, and swinging the ice axe to get a good placement to pull on. After a great introductory clinic, the group was ready to climb!
Everyone climbed really well on the first day so that they advanced to a much more challenging climb on the second day. The Sunday climbs were longer and more technical with participants needing to be very thoughtful of foot placement so as not to destroy the ice. The team completed some great climbs before heading back to DC.
Looking forward to the next one!
Here are a few testimonials from our participants.
“The AAC New Climbers weekend was amazing! I am so happy to have participated. It was cool to learn new techniques and build on my skills that I learned in the Fall Climbing Cohort. The individual mentorship we received gave me confidence to push myself and has me excited to do it again next season! ” (Christian)
“I definitely improved my sense of adventure! I never even thought about ice climbing before this opportunity and I would never have tried to do it if I weren’t for Soul Trak.
What an incredible weekend of badass fun! Soul Trak provided us with gear so we would be warm outside in the snow all day and then arranged for us to work with the most incredible guides. I never thought I would ever ice climb and yet there I was in the Adirondacks, a place I have never been, getting to climb up cliffs covered in ice! I never thought that I would say I want to be an ice climber but after this event…I want to be an ice climber!!!” (Cheri)