West Chester Ice Climber’s Winter Hobby Affected by Climate Change  

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West Chester’s Bob Perna has an eccentric hobby that spans groups throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond. However, climate change has melted his chances to climb frozen waterfalls in the Mid-Atlantic region, writes Ad Crable for the Bay Journal.  

Ice climbing involves a certain set of skills and willpower for people who are willing to endure slippery heights and freezing temperatures. Climbing these fleeting obstacles involves ice axes as arm extensions and spiked crampons for toeholds.

The only things that keep the climbers in place are rope fixes at the top or driving screws into the ice while being spotted by a partner at the bottom.  

Perna, now a retired builder, has been leading group excursions for years. His favorite spot is Ricketts Glen State Park, which has 22 waterfalls. However, he was only able to have two excursions this whole winter, during December’s polar vortex.  

“There’s no question that we’re destroying our planet and for those that play outside in it,” he said. 

Since the winter has been rather warm, ice climbing enthusiasts must trek out eight hours on multi-day trips to the Adirondacks or Catskills if they want any luck. Some people resort to “dry tooling” which uses ice-climbing tools to climb dry rocks.  

Read more about ice climbing in the Bay Journal.  

Champion ice climber reviews ice climbing movie scenes for Insider.

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