This year I decided I made a commitment to being more adventurous, getting outside more, as well as a plethora of other things. These promises have made my first few months of 2016 exciting, and my latest adventure is definitely a highlight! An awesome blogger friend of mine CamperChristina shot me a message on Facebook a few weeks back inviting me to go ice climbing with her. YES, you can go ice climbing here in Ontario! I jumped at this opportunity, and here are my reasons why YOU should too!
1 :: Try Something Out of The Ordinary
Variety is the spice of life so why not try something new! Ice climbing is becoming more popular in the winter months, but it’s still not nearly as common as hiking or skiing. Take a chance and give ice climbing a shot, you just might like it! If you don’t, that’s okay too since knowing what you don’t like is just as important as what you do. In my opinion though, I think you’ll be a fan!
2 :: Unplug from Technology
Today’s society is attached at the hip to technology as we hide inside to sit on our butts and peruse what the newest celebrity disaster is. Ice climbing gives you an exciting reason to get off that couch, but the phone away, and get some quality time with Mother Nature. Heading to the great outdoors has also been proven to reduce stress, so take the weight of the every day off your shoulders, leave it at home, and enjoy what our lovely Earth has to offer!
3 :: Explore a New Area
My ice climbing adventure took me to the Medeba Adventure Learning Centre, located in Ontario’s Highlands. Before this I had never been to the area and decided to make a weekend of it! There’s lots to see and do in the area, including many hiking trails and waterfalls (like the one below). If you’re really adventurous, you can camp at many of the locations nearby, like Algonquin Provincial Park!
4 :: Help You Embrace Winter
Many people think winter is the season that comes back with a vengeance every year to put a thorn in our side for 4 or more months of the year. However, an exhilarating activity like ice climbing just might make you change your tune. Especially for the rock climbers out there, ice climbing will keep you in shape all winter long and ready for climbing season come spring. Since ice climbing can only be done in the winter… you just might start looking forward to it!
5 :: You Get To Use An Axe
Not just one but two, yes TWO axes! You’ll feel like a boss while wielding an ax in each hand as you swing these bad boys into the ice. If that wasn’t enough, your boots will have a set of crampons which you’ll use to kick into the ice. The focus is meant to be on your feet as you swing your feet in to create a sturdy base while using your axes to help guide yourself upwards. Although if you’re anything like me, you’ll be much more focused on hurling the axes into the ice wall because it’s so awesome.
6 :: It’s A Great Workout
Your enthusiasm in throwing around the axes will take its toll as muscles you didn’t even know existed will start to get sore. It’s a whole body workout as you kick into the ice with all your might and hold your body weight up while placing your next step. Don’t worry, feeling the burn means you’re doing it right!
7 :: Make New Friends
As these excursions are often done in groups, you just might make a new friend or two! For me, I was able to actually meet CamperChristina in person after talking for weeks online which was a real treat! If you don’t leave with an ever lasting friendship, you’ll at least have great conversation for the day with similarly-minded people.
8 :: An Opportunity to Push Your Comfort Zone
Take it from a gal that has pretty terrible vertigo, it’s extremely rewarding to push yourself and slowly overcome fears. For the adrenaline junkies out there, I’ve seen people scale entire icy facades in the wilderness of Alberta or even waterfalls close to home! No matter how far you take it, you’ll be broadening your horizons and having a blast while doing it. Besides, who doesn’t want to say “I climbed an icy wall with axes, what did YOU do this weekend?”
Giving ice climbing a shot at the Medeba Adventure Learning Centre is a great way for a beginner to get introduced in a highly controlled environment. I felt extremely safe the entire time and had a blast chatting with Brianna (thank you for dealing with my continuously butchered belay commands) and Jamie as well as the organizer, Barrie from Yours Outdoors. Everyone involved is absolutely spectacular, and I highly suggest trying ice climbing with them if you’re a newbie like me! You can read all about our adventure in-depth on CamperChristina.com. Also, for your entertainment, see what happens when an extremely vocal gal has a little trouble while climbing. Enjoy!