There are a multitude of reasons we climb—more often than not they are expressed in pithy, sound-bite phrases like Mallory's "Because it's there." Within, Mike Robertson offers a reason more satisfying.
When contemplating a climbing trip from a US mountain town, several important factors come to mind: blue—even turquoise—water, cultural experiences and a European location where the dollar isn't drowned by the Euro.
Joe Josephson, Montana's most vocal ice proponent and author of Winter Dance, speaks about the precarious access to Hyalite Canyon: "Often in life, you don't realize how good you have it until it's gone—or at least under the threat of being taken away."
The fixtures of Silver Gulch—a bar and microbrewery in Fox, Alaska—had something to talk about: an 152-foot ice blob rising out of the flattest part of Alaska. What they didn't know: The Ghost Raven Ice Tower was a proving ground for the precocious.