Ice Climbing in Southern New England
Ice climbing guide Matt Conroy jokes as Paige Cox, 35, prepares to rappel down ice flows. (Joe Amon / NENC)

Paige Cox and I can relate. When it comes to climbing ice, we’re both freaked out.

“It’s water and it melts. I’m terrified. But it’s going to be great,” Cox said.

Cox started rock climbing about a decade ago. And me? Well, this was my first time ascending anything that’s not stairs or a ladder or a hill.

But the defiant spirit of climbers always appealed to me. And ice climbing seemed especially magical. The ropes, the picks, the intrepid hikers who bravely scale rocks transformed by the cold into otherworldly obstacles.

Each winter, area climbers are drawn to spots like the Catskills in New York or the White Mountains in New Hampshire. But there are pockets of good ice in southern New England, too.

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