Breathtaking ice canyons lure climbers

Posted: March 12, 2014 by kirisyko in Ice Climbing

WQAD.com

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The echoes of footsteps resonate through Starved Rock State Park in Oglesby, Illinois. As four friends hike more than a mile through snow covered trails only to defy the human body’s boundaries and climb “The Wildcat”.

The ice canyon towers more than 120 feet tall. It’s a stairway to the sky.

“It’s probably the most physically and mentally challenging thing I have ever done,” said Dave Everson, who has been ice climbing for more than 20 years.

One of Everson’s partners, Joel Taylor, straps himself to a large tree for support as he glances down the 120 foot drop.

“Just being able to get in the ice and get my tool and feet in and accomplishing a climb is what makes me feel good,” said Taylor.

And with one swing of an ice pick, it begins.

“The ice is perfect up here today,” one of Taylor’s partners…

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