VAIL, Colo. (CBS4) – There are few things in nature more breathtaking than a spectacular ice formation. Especially one spanning across the mountainside in Vail, Colorado.
“It’s just euphoric,” Colorado Mountain School guide Sarah Janin said.
Ice climbing isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s not for most. But for the brave souls willing to take on the challenge, there’s nothing like it.
“We have a pretty small demographic of people that ice climb. Even rock climbers don’t always ice climb. You have to have a love for getting cold,” Janin said.
Sarah Janin will climb just about anything … rocks … ice … you name it, this climbing guide will conquer it. But she knows what she’s up against and never takes safety for granted.
“This is a very dangerous sport, but we have it set up to be very safe. We mitigate a lot of that danger by setting up top ropes. Also, we have helmets on and we are positioned away from the hangfire where ice is falling,” Janin said.
Dr. Jon Kedrowski knows about adventure — and he knows about danger. Kedrowski has a doctorate in environmental geography, weather and climate. He’s climbed six of the seven continental summits, including two successful summits up Mount Everest.
“I use a lot of the skills when I’m on bigger mountains. So it’s a lot of fun to come out to a place like this where you’re in tune with the ice and the surroundings. It’s all about balance and finesse,” Kedrowski said.
It’s not for the faint of heart, but with the right guide — a lot of trust, and a little guts — you can ice climb, too.
“It’s so fun. It makes you feel alive. And once you do it, you’re so addicted that you want to come back and do this again,” Janin said.