As you may have guessed by the cold temperatures outside (unless you're from down south... I'd bet its still pretty warm in Florida right now) it is winter! Being a glacier guide winter is my favorite season. One reason for some is that the sunsets are always better in the winter. Another is that the air is always crisp and clear. Some might enjoy making snow angels. Others might love cups of tea by the fire. Most folks look forward to the holiday season. Me, I love climbing ice. Here's a quick recap of the season so far.
The ice season begun back in early November up in the Beartooth Mountains. Early season ice is all about getting up into the higher elevations to find the frozen stuff. My first several days of climbing all involved long approachs to reach the colder temperatures. There is something great about being in 20 degree temperatures up in the mountains and then coming home to temps in the 50s though!
By December the local classics were forming up well. I must say that driving 20 minutes and then walking 30 minutes beats the 3 hour drive and 3 hour hike that the early season ice required! We even had some Exit Glacier Guides days on the ice. I was lucky enough to climb with guides Mother Moulin, Sprinkles, Beanie Baby and our office girl, the one and only Meticulous Marmot. Not bad considering how far from Seward we are here in Montana.
Being in Montana for a second winter has been great for ice climbing. While the ice conditions aren't quite as awesome as last year, there's still plenty of it out there. Furthermore all those gems I didn't have time to climb last year... well now is my chance. Its Feburary now and ice season is sadly more than half over, but its been an amazing one so far!