As ice climbing grows in popularity problems are starting to arise.  Twenty years ago you had to be goofey to climb ice.  The tools were mediocre, picks often broke and the designs led to bashed knuckles and blown forearms.  Even the best screws were heavy and almost impossible to place.  Now days the clothing is much better and the boots have improved tremendously.  With modern monopoint crampons, bent shaft tools and super sharp lightweight screws almost any moron can go ice climbing in relative comfort. 

    The worse part is the high number of groups of gumbies setting up topropes on climbs and camping out.  This is highly uncool.  If there are folks wanting to climb behind you let each person in your group take a quick run up the climb then move on to something else and get out of the way.  It is unfair to tie up a climb for hours if someone else is wanting to climb it.  

    Here in the south the leader has the right of way.  We have such a limited time span to get in routes before they melt that when the climbs are leadable we have to make some hay.  So if you have someone with a rack of screws and a rope with a sharp end walk up then flip your toprope to the side long enough for the leader to play through.  I have also been finding a large amount of climber trash at ice climbing areas of late.  Take the tags off of your gear before you leave the house and if you can't then don't throw them on the ground under MY climbs.

    Another warning for topropers.  The freeze melt cycle in the south is vicious.  During the formation of our ice the climbs can be extremely fragile in the warm afternoon sun.  If you are so selfish as to show up to toprope late after it has gotten warm and then start hacking away at thin ice then you will knock it down.  These climbers need to reevaluate their priorities.  If you bash it to the ground then it must start reforming from scratch.  That is unfair to other climbers.  When the ice is in it's fragile, just forming stage, only climb on it in the early morning cold and don't keep climbing it over and over until you have hacked it to nothing.  We have had a rash of folks showing up to climb after it has gotten too warm then knocking climbs down making them completely impossible to climb the next morning by subsequent parties.



ice climbing by state