Losing a leg, and ice climbing

A while back while our blog was just starting I wrote this post labour-day-weekend-and-a-little-about-legs/ .

It has been an eventful week here, with the removal of a leg. That being my day job, where i worked in Wall St. Apparently 200,000 or so fell into this fate last year FT-Life After Wall Street, for a read about how some are coping (or not) with this change.

As per my original post, this is where those other legs come in handy. Time to lean a little while figuring out the next move. The world has just been opened up, it’s an unprecedented time for us with the ability to make a huge change in lifestyle without a great opportunity cost. No longer are we tied to NY by the security of a job

First things first though, after a 10 year stint in banking, will spend a few weeks with the family and really focus on making sure those other legs are properly cared for and well varnished.

And onto that, spent yesterday taking my first ice climbing lesson with EMS climbing school. Like most I had not thought much about trying ice climbing, it seemed like one of those extreme spots. After our decision to climb Picso this July however, an ice climbing lesson went from being something a bit crazy to seeming like the prudent thing to do! 

In a nutshell here is what was involved. Turned up at 8:30am to get fitted with Ice Axes, Helmut, Crampons, Harness.

And a concerned looking Corgi watching events unfold 

We then walked out to find some ice. Found some! It was pretty much 90” and looked fairly high. We get our crampons and helmets on and watch as our instructor solos up the wall to lay in the top rope. The top-rope is a rope coming from the top (duh) off there you are climbing, to which you are secured to break any fall you might have. How does the rope get there? Soloing is how, the climber is climbing without a top-rope and secures themselves every few meters into the ice face. So we watched our instructor proceeding up (with a little trepidation).

He comes down and explains how he did it, we practice for a while technique on the lower part of the wall and then its our turn to give it a go.  I start climbing and a certain Corgi starts looking concerned again

It’s tricky work, as your arms are above your head for a long time, and what is initially a simple whipping action to get the ice axes in properly becomes very difficult, particularly for me in my left arm (i’m right handed).  Still I persevere and eventually make it to the top.

We stop for a break and some lunch, and get some tips from our instructor before having another climb after lunch. Our 2 small cliff summits really left me feeling tired, and gives a greater appreciation for those climbers that conquer the great mountains, climbing for days on end with little oxygen, For the everyday person though, this basic ice climbing introduction course is perfectly in reach while being an insight into a more extreme world of adventuring, and a lot of fun!

And I learnt, while your legs are undoubtably great to learn on, don’t forget you have arms too, and enjoy some hang-time!

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2 comments on “Losing a leg, and ice climbing

  1. Nice post. Good luck finding the legs again. Where did you do the ice climbing? There is a great spot on the way up to Stratton VT – this looks pretty similar.

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