Ice climbing Cody is Written by: Marilina Kim, Chicks Alumni
One of the great things about ice climbing in Cody, Wyoming is its combination of Wild West and wilderness. You can easily feel like you are in a different time and a million miles away from development. From the Shoshone Valley where we were at, the possibilities for climbs seemed to go on forever, and they made the seven chicks – four participants and three guides – super excited to climb.
Though each day, was different they shared the following sequence in common. Start the approach on a flat path (we were so thankful they were already broken!), continue gaining some altitude, and, suddenly around a corner: WHOA! Hello ice! The ice climbing in Cody in drainages, so getting to each pitch can be a mini adventure in and of itself. You meander up them, do some ice scrambling, find yourself in little amphitheaters with a chunk of ice to climb, repeat to the next pitch. It was like nothing I’d ever seen. The surroundings were so beautiful; it was hard to not stop periodically to gaze while hiking around.
The seven of us set off in separate groups, and we climbed the same climbs on different days. Broken Hearts offered a full day of sunshine (i.e. nice, sticky ice), and each pitch was super fun. We were lucky to get last licks on good ice for the season, or for a while at least, at the top of pitch three. We got to the bottom of pitch five – a fat, tall pillar – twenty minutes before our turnaround time. A bummer, but it made me all the more excited the next day.
A totally different but equally fun climb was Cabin Creek. Though we climbed fewer pitches, each was long and distinct from each other, so I felt like we had climbed more. I was really sad when the day ended, and I couldn’t believe we only had one more day to climb. I felt like I could climb for days and days!
Well, I woke up with a change of heart the next morning. I was definitely feeling the cumulative effects on my calves and arms. It was a good day to work on V-threads and mock leads and blow out all that we had left climbing top-roping different sections of Too Cold to Fire. By the end of the day my hands struggled to unscrew my water bottle. I was very happy!
Of course, it can’t be a Chicks trip without good food. Matt at the Double Diamond X Ranch whipped up delicious meals using local and environmentally conscious meats. And the desserts. Let’s just say that the dessert tray was never left empty, and the leftovers served us well as delectable snacks the next day.
Karen Bockel, my Chicks guide, was a constant source of wisdom and tips. She patiently answered my many questions thoroughly and pointed out a whole slew of things I wouldn’t have thought to ask about. Equally important, it was so much fun to climb with someone as stoked on the place and moment as I was. This is what keeps me coming back to Chicks.