Climb with the Pros

Superior Ice Climbing Adventures is very excited to announce a new opportunity for our clients. “Climb with a Pro” several Professional climbers have indicated they would love to come out and crush a couple days with SIC Adventure clients. These opportunities will occur the weeks before and after Michigan Ice Fest.

Our first shining star will be Angela Van Wiemeersch! Angela “Van Stein” is an Ice/Mixed Climber Pro sponsored by Grivel. She will be available to climb for 3 days after Ice Fest Feb 18 -20, 2017. Angela has numerous solo records and 1st ascents on her resume. Please check out the links I will attach at the bottom of this page.

The climbs will be limited to 6 climbers each day and climbs shall last 4 to 6 hrs daily. Price of the climbs will be 200.00 US daily. All equipment is provided just like all SIC Adventure climbs and all other SIC Adventure guidelines will also be followed. A 50.00 deposit is required to reserve your spot in advance. Professional Ice Climbing is a risky and wildly unpredictable profession. There is always chance of an unforeseen event that may force Angela to cancel these dates. If this was to occur I would immediately return your deposit and offer you the same opportunities with our local talent at a deeply discounted $100.00 daily rate. But please note Angela and I are completely committed to this opportunity and will do everything it takes to make this happen.

Is This Awesome or what!

See You On The Ice!



Staying Strong

Holy Cow are we having the nice weather and most all the climbs are in , some are questionable and unclimbable, but the majority are already seeing plenty of action. We are less than 2 weeks away from Ice fest and man that is a big deal for most of us Northwood climbers. All the pros will be in Munising Feb 10-14 at the Michigan Ice Fest, they will be rubbing elbows, throwing tools, and sharing tips. Some sponsors and pros are also offering classes. 4 days straight of climbing, hiking, and good old fashion BSing …lol… There will be adventures, tales of adventures, and plans for adventures made that weekend... So make sure you come say HI, Superior Ice Climbing Adventuress would love to help you complete those plans.

Occasionally, OK once, someone asked what I did to stay strong. As I become older I definitely see that I lost strength when sedentary( Sitting around) , so like Will Gadd suggests “Move.” Do something, anything daily at least a minimum every other day. Year round  I practice stretching and sitting daily. Off season I keep a demanding physical job and during season I swim, run, and dumbbell weight train watching Netflix in the evening, and backyard train on days that I cannot get out on the Ice .Also how I climb in the beginning of the season is different than my routine at the end of the season.

I guess it doesn’t matter what cardio crap you do but it has to be something you like or you won’t stick with it. I usually can do every other day, I love going to the Y and doing the hot tub, sauna, lap swim, hot tub, sauna combo, man that’s livin. My back does not like summer running but running in 2 ft. of snow is slow and cushy and you feel like such an idiot its way fun.

I guess the other junk I do still falls under that idiot fun title, in my backyard I have a trapeze bar between two cedars besides being a great place to stretch an inch or two it also is a great place to practice figure 4s while harnessed. I ALWAYS leave that station smiling. Will Gadd sent me a pic of a backyard practice wall he had, that led me to a date with a 30 ft. extension ladder. One section is strapped leaning on my deck so I start with back on ground under ladder and climb 12 feet of ceiling to the deck, traverse 4 foot of deck ledge to 16 feet of inverted vertical. I have never completed a second lap, so pumpy.  Also on occasion I have been known to throw a garden hose up 30 ft. in my oak tree and make an ice tower, now that is just plain art. I guess my point is be creative have fun.

Since Ice climbing for myself is seasonal and I get rusty off season, I climb accordingly. The first couple days out I like to go to 15-20 meter climbs set up a top rope and do some laps including some down climbing. Then throw a couple screws in for fun before leading a pitch or two under a gentle Top rope belay. Before long I am back in safe, strong form, leading with confidence. Also I try to end the day with laps on top rope belay until exhaustion.

Saving the best for last Stretching and Sitting, if I knew what I what doing you could probably call it Yoga and Meditation ,but I don’t so call it what it is. Every animal you see sleepingthe first thing it does when it wakes is stretch and I am an Animal so...  I have a stretching routine that works for my deficitsand limitationsand it gets my juices circulating .I like it so I do it, catching the theme here? One of my favorite parts about climbing is being in the moment.  Sitting , practicing shutting off your thoughts, also a part of becoming the moment…Good Stuff .



Cold Weather Clothing

One of the important questions I am asked is “How do you recommend dressing when you go Ice climbing?” A crucial question that can never be satisfied with a single answer or some magic solution. There are hundreds of blogs on the latest and the greatest systems, leaving me to filter thru who’s selling what and why. And the old rules still hold true, the more you spend the better the Quality and Guarantees….usually. Remember to go to Down Wind Sports in Marquette and Houghton, Michigan for Quality service and outdoor products.

Before I touch on the basics of what to wear I want to talk about how to wear. I want to discuss my observations and interpretations of cold weather comfort. I have the great fortune of being able to climb with some real stud, college student, climbers. On our last trip I planned ahead, arrived at parking lot before my partners and snowshoed in ahead with our gear. Lake Superior shoreline, 10 degrees, whiteout flurries, I only wore a compression under layer and a shell jacket, walking in slow and steady, stopping after uphill sections to breathe and smile. I closely estimate just under 2 miles in 1hr 20min. Once at the climb I pulled off shell, unpacked my pack, allowing my compression top to air off for 5-10 min then put on a polypro base layer, a polyester hoodie and put the moist shell back on. Minutes later in came the athletes, they were running late so they came in hot. One climber I think was actually frothing at the mouth like a stallion, but both where notably moist. I am sure they covered the hike in less than 1 hr. beating me by 20 min easy. After a quick Top set we all rappelled to the base of the fall and got nice and cozy for a long afternoon of crushing. Good Times! The point of this over worded slam on these animals who kicked my @#$ all day is... OK besides that I’m jealous. Thru out the day I watched the stallion change in and out of every piece of clothes he brought, and believe me he had the very good stuff. While our 3rd pointed out that all I was wearing was my hoodie, I did occasionally put my shell back on we were 20 yds. from the shoreline, but never pulled out my puffy. Interpretation, because I was dryer I stayed warmer all day .

In conclusion, coming out I left my top layers on with shell and boogied out, taking 55min on the same hike. I got to my car frothing, more like a lactose intolerant geriatric froth than your stallion froth but soaking wet none the less. Before my 2hr drive home (the dangerous part of the weekend!), I dropped trou and replaced my moist cover layers. One hour later I stopped to get gas, while pumping I became so chilled my kidneys started shaking, I THOUGHT I WAS GONNA DIE !, Ok maybe not that bad. But almost. So because I pushed myself to super sweat I soaked my base and now would remain chilled until dry.

So what do I wear, layers, just like everyone else. I focus more on materials than brand names, I constantly cruise the thrift and resale shops...Shout out to the crews at Goodwill... but when in doubt spend the cash, expense and quality go hand in hand. Random tips include don’t put on boots until the parking lot, Hydrate don’t over-hydrate, Don’t “celebrate” the night before, Power up with an easy digesting protein meals it will allow for more circulation to reach your extremities if not working on digestion, and finally drive to the climb with your windows cracked, acclimate.

See you on the Ice,