My name is Chase, and I am currently a student-athlete at RIDGE Mountain Academy. Yesterday, we had the chance to travel north to the Stonehill climbing area in the Kootenai National Forest. On Wednesdays, we typically either go into the backcountry or go uphill. Yet this Wednesday we had planned to ice climb. The weather has been the perfect recipe to build the strength of the ice at the local climbing spots around the Whitefish area. Not only is ice climbing fun and exhilarating, but it also gives us a chance to deviate from our usual schedule.


On this trip to Stonehill, there were four routes set up of different ice faces of varying difficulty and length. Thanks to the help of our coaches, we safely climbed up some challenging climbing routes with the longest route being 150 feet in length. Personally, I had a lot of fun climbing up the ice. Although, it was only my second ice climbing trip, I still have a lot of learning to do. Since there were only four climbing routes and it is exhausting climbing all day, we spent time working on our photography skills as well as belaying our friends. Earlier in the day, Tyler, our photo and video coach, taught us a few more tips and tricks to improve our photography, so some of us practiced our new skills and took some great shots of ice climbing as well as the surrounding scenery. I am looking forward to an ice climbing trip coming up in a few weeks to Golden, British Columbia, for a long weekend with RIDGE.