Ice climbing has a rating system. Water Ice 1-6 (WI for short). 6 is some of the hardest and more dangerous in the world. Each number goes up exponentially in difficulty.
Zion National Park has some of the wildest ice climbing in the world. In fact, they created their own rating system–made famous by the late Scott Adamson–called Pretty Damn Western (PDW).
Recently, we finished a trip down in Costa Rica to go canyoning. It was an absolute blast. This is our second time going and the canyons down there are absolutely world-class. On this trip, there was a log jam of other canyoneers. One party was very upset because it wasn’t to the guiding standards here in the U.S. I couldn’t help but think about the entitlement this person felt because they paid. (Quite frankly, such a small amount to what is paid here stateside.) Their reality didn’t match their expectations. They went with a guide with significantly less experience because pride had set in.
We become so sheltered that we forget how we do things is not the right way. As they say, “there are lots of ways to skin a cat.” In addition, Pretty Damn Western comes to mind. The canyons in Costa Rica are wild. It is a glimpse of what it was like 40 years ago here in Utah. The nearest rescue team was in Mexico. Bolts are hardly replaced and you have to jump off stuff to move efficiently. You have to take care of yourself. And while we so desperately are willing to trade so much of our time and money for convenience it isn’t how the other half lives.
HT to our guide Johan.