Ice climbing is a great way to escape the rat race and live on the edge. Alas, your ice climbing experiences can fade with time. The best way to prevent this is to keep a ice climbing journal for your adventures.
Ice Climbing Journals
Take a minute to give some consideration to your most recent ice climbing experience. What sticks out in your mind besides the fact it was cold? Did you climb a waterfall? Now think about the first time you ever went ice climbing. Undoubtedly, you remember few things about the geography, people you went with, particular ice climbing routes and spectacular views. The experiences you’ve forgotten are lost to time. If you keep an ice climbing journal, this won’t be the case.
There are famous instances of people keeping journals throughout time. Of course, Anne Frank’s Diary is the best example. In her diary, Anne kept a running commentary of the two years her family spent hiding from the Nazis. While your ice climbing experiences better be more lighthearted, keeping a journal will let you remember them as the years pass.
A good ice climbing journal combines a number of characteristics. First, it should be compact so you don’t have to take up unnecessary space for other things. Second, it should have a case to protect it from the elements and so on. Third, the journal should contain blank areas to write your notes. Fourth, the journal should contain cue spaces to remind you to keep notes on specific things. Cues should include:
1. Who you went ice climbing with,
2. The nature and quality of the ice,
3. Who you met and contact information for them,
4. The geographic and weather conditions, and
5. Any unique things that occurred while ice climbing.
6. The routes you took up the ice and alternatives.
7. Any inside information provided by experienced locals.
At the end of the ice climbing trip, you should be able to get the following from your journal:
1. Contact information for other climbers you met,
2. Enough detail to provide you or a friend with a guide if you climb the location a second time.
3. Memories to reflect upon years later, and
4. Something to pass on to your friends, children and grandchildren.
To get the most out of your ice climbing journal, you should write in it just before you climb, as you summit and when you return. Doing so will give you an accurate picture of your thoughts throughout the climb.