Around this time of year, people don’t usually like to see snow and ice.
But even if we do get winter weather in April, there are ways to enjoy it. In this week’s Flashback Friday, we take a look at one daredevil who was appreciating the ice in 1982.
Glenn Outhouse likes to take a break from his job as a roughneck on an oil drilling through in North Dakota by recreating in the Black Hills.
And when the weather is cold, one of his favorite spots is Bridal Veil Falls in Spearfish Canyon.
The 9 year rock climbing veteran says there are several reasons for taking a risky adventure out on a big icicle.
“Just the scenery. Plus it keeps you in shape. Plus it’s good for an adrenaline rush.”
Although he’s done some solo rock climbing, when it comes to cliff hanging on a frozen waterfall, he prefers having a partner.
And there’s good reason for that.
Technical rock climbing is a tricky act.
And when the surface changes to ice, there’s no such thing as sure footing.
“The trick to keep from sliding down make sure all your cramp on points got a good bite, and make sure you got good placements with your ice tools. See, rock climbing it’s OK to fall because you’ve got bomb proof anchors. Ice climbing you don’t want to fall. You know the rule in ice climbing is to never fall because you’ve got your protection spaced out a lot more. Plus it’s not a strong as like, you know, if you were doing rock climbing.”
Before stepping out on a slippery slab, ice climbers strap metal plates called cramp ons on their boots.
Their ice hammers serve several functions.
First to chip away loose ice.
Next, to bite into the ice as an anchor.
And thirdly to put in protection in the form of ice screws.
And an 80 foot ice wall may not look terribly steep from the ground, but a side view gives a better perspective of the pitch climbers go up against.
But for an experienced climber, it only takes a few minutes to hit the icy summit.
Kevin Jensen, KELOLAND News, Spearfish Canyon.