Climbing ice silos in Iowa

Photo credit: khockett on Flickr

I am hardly an authority on the topic of climbing, especially when it comes to doing it on ice. All I know is that you’d need metal, spiky things and some rope, not to mention a lacking fear of heights. And actually, heights and me don’t get along all too well, but I’m working on getting better at that as I get older.

When Rebecca’s cousin came back from a recent trip to Las Vegas, he brought me back a copy of the L.A. Times with an interesting article on the front of it. Turns out, some dude in Iowa has a real knack for ice climbing. Snow and ice is very common this time of year, but mountains and cliffs are not as abundant, all year round. So what does he do? Staring at an abandoned grain silo one day, he has the idea to cover it in ice and climb it.

When I read the first few lines, I knew that this had to be the idea of some college professor looking for a quick fix for a lack of good places to climb in the prairies that make up most of the state, and my hunch was spot on. Don’t ask me why, but I spent enough time around like minded folks to just make an educated guess. Combine the expertise in DIY engineering that only comes from the minds of farmers from the midwest, and this is what happens. Granted that he is a physical education instructor at UNI, but this sense of “craziness” has the ability to rub off on you.

Weekend America did a piece on the story, and you can check out the rest of these pictures that I found on Flickr. Not sure that I’d try to do this, but the site would be neat to see. I’d also like to be there when all the ice melted and came crashing to the ground.

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