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P Wall


Inching up a SEVEN-STORY SHEET OF ICE would give most anyone a cold rush of anxiety. But if these Scouts and Scouters make it TO THE TOP, they’ll know they’ve found their


by ken mc a l pine photogr aphs by celin serbo


A


SEVENTY-FOOT WALL of ice is beautiful. It spills from the heights, forming


blunt arrowheads, ragged beards, and smooth tongues; time, miraculously frozen. It hangs blue in moonlight, glittering bright in the light of day. Its beauty makes your heart ache, and if you lean close you might hear a whisper. What are you doing alive if you don’t


go and try?


It’s one thing to wax poetic about ice; it’s quite another matter to climb up the stuff. But here at the Pioneer


Rock climbing not challenging enough for you? Just add water (and below-freezing tempera- tures), and you’ll get an ice-climbing wall like Camp Alexander’s mammoth man-made mas- terpiece (left). Scout climbers, including Troop 530’s Logan Draper (opposite page), feel the rush—even if they can’t feel their fingers.


24 S COUTING ¿ January•February 2012 ower


Trails District Winter Klonderee at Camp Alexander—tucked into the folds of the Pike National Forest some 45 miles west of Colorado Springs— that’s what 72 Scouts are itching to do. Plenty more would like to have a go, but with just a single day to work with, slots filled up several weeks before the February event. Tomorrow will see sled racing, ice


fishing, hockey, tomahawk throw- ing, curling, a hike to the 9,230-foot summit of Blue Mountain, and camping under the stars. But there’s no questioning the marquee event. “The ice climbing is the headliner


for my boys,” says Ryan Hume, Varsity Coach for Troop 93 in Parker, Colo. “Boys like to be outside doing things they’ve never tried, and this is certainly something they’ve never tried.” David Lowe, assistant Scoutmaster


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