So much fun ice climbing! We ended up having sixteen total, one girl bailed. It was such a great and memorable day – from the very beginning, meeting people in the parking lot at church on a freezing cold Saturday morning at 7:15am – you know you’re going to be hanging out with cool people all day if it starts like that. One girl brought hot Chai she served up right there from a thermos – she had made it with spices she brought back from India – yum! Rides got organized easily and we met up in the parking lot a couple hours later by the beautiful Starved Rock lodge. We all hiked into the forest, one group actually was late but no big deal as they had directions to the climbs. Got people climbing on the easier French Canyon
and simultaneously got folks going on the 65 foot Wildcat icefall. Everybody was so great, so helpful, so excited, and so into it, it was amazing. Girls and guys alike. I found it interesting to note that the earlier climbers, the ones who went first were more timid, but as a group, the more people that went, the more comfortable everybody got with the idea of it and gradually people went higher and higher until a few of the girls made it to the top. So exciting!! One girl told me “That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever done!” That’s a solid endorsement if I’ve ever heard one.
Everybody who wanted to got to climb twice, and lots of chilling out, watching others, helping out, eating, hiking, chatting, laughing, having fun. Met two terrific guys who stayed with us and helped us climb all day, getting everybody geared up and belaying lots of us. We helped them out as well. By the end of the day the waterfall was flowing pretty good so climbers would get soaked during the climbs.
Afterwards we went to Duffy’s bar and grill in town. A couple of us got turtle, pretty yummy. So fun, lots of laughing, good stories, and good ideas for future adventures.