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Good Ice Hunting

Who says global warming is putting the kibosh on ice climbing? Certainly not a small but active crew of climbers in Virginia.

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Who says global warming is putting the kibosh on ice climbing? Certainly not a small but active crew of climbers in Virginia. In the past couple of years Chad Heddleston and Jesse Von Fange have been plying that Southern state’s back roads, searching for undiscovered ice. And found it. In this photo, Heddleston makes the first ascent of Sweet Jesus (WI 5), at the Unicorn crag. Located just one and a half hours from D.C., the Unicorn is 500-feet wide, 100-feet high and overhangs 20 to 40 feet. The fact that there is a place like this in the South is sick, says Fange, who’d prefer to keep the crag’s exact location a bit of a mystery. This area is an easy drive for a HUGE population group, he says, so anything too specific could really become a headache fast. He will say that it won’t be too hard to find, and that there are crazy spots everywhere, you just have to look. We’ve found several great ones in the past five years, all near home — and that really goes for anyone’s back yard, especially in a recession like this. Cut back on the road trips and flights, get out a topo and start hunting!

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