Would you climb a frozen waterfall? In this Sunday, Feb. 6, 2017 photo, Chuck Monjak, of Dedham, Mass., climbs "Chia," an ice formation on Frankenstein Cliff in Hart's Location, N.H. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
Would you climb a frozen waterfall?
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Chuck Monjak was partway up his first-ever attempt at a nearly vertical ice formation. That is when he found himself in a scary jam. His weight was supported only by the tips of his crampons. He had to figure out how to get around a bulging column of ice.
 
He thought about giving up. But he kept his cool.
 
"It's both an adrenaline rush and it's a puzzle-solving test. A lot of engineers, technical people, get into this because of the problem-solving abilities necessary to do vertical ice," said Monjak. He is an optical systems engineer. He works for a semiconductor firm.
 
If the location's name where Monjak was learning to ice climb didn't evoke a sense of horror - Frankenstein Cliff - then one look at the route he was attempting surely did.
 
Dracula is a 100-foot ice fall. It is one of the most challenging of the more than two dozen ice climbing routes that attract thrill-seekers. They come to New Hampshire's Crawford Notch State Park each winter.
 
Frankenstein Cliff was not named for the monster story. It was named for a 19th-century German landscape painter who was attracted to the beauty of the cliffs. Groundwater seeping out of the granite freezes each winter. That creates the extraordinary icefalls.
 
Climbing such ice structures is thrilling. It also is dangerous.
 
Earlier in February, an ice climber had to be rescued. The climber had fallen 50 to 60 feet on Cannon Cliff in New Hampshire. In upstate New York, a woman survived a 70-foot spill at Kaaterskill Falls. Another climber tumbled nearly 40 feet at Platte Clove. Both falls occurred on the same day in January.
 
Monjak is a rock climber turned ice climber. He said the key is to stay within one's abilities.
 
"We're not new to the terrors of the heights or the predicaments we put ourselves in. The new part is working your way through that terror. It's just you got a new set of tools and a new set of obstacles," he said.
 
On Dracula, Monjak trusted his life to a rope. It was being belayed by his partner. That was Yuki Fujita. He has been climbing Frankenstein's ice for nearly 50 years. Fujita is 69. The retired nuclear engineer climbed the route first.
 
Elsewhere in the park is Arethusa Falls. Its 60-foot pitch attracts climbers.
 
In January, Akiko Kawai, 51, of Medford, Massachusetts, was climbing with two partners. As she packed her gear following several successful climbs, she said she doesn't dwell on the sport's dangers.
 
"You can choose the level of risk," she said. "The more informed you are about it, the more you are aware of the level of what your comfort level is."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How is climbing a frozen waterfall like solving a puzzle?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (6)
  • KonnerS
    2/22/2017 - 11:31 a.m.

    Chuck Monjak was partway up his first-ever attempt at a nearly vertical ice fall. it says in the articular It's give people an adrenaline rush and its a puzzle solving test. A lot of engineers and technical people get into this because of the problem solving abilities necessary to do vertical ice so i would think that its VARY hard to do! climbing a ice fall is like a puzzle because if you miss step or put a piece in the wrong spot its not to good and you need to just where to put the puzzle piece or your feet or you will mess up!

  • KonnerS
    2/22/2017 - 11:31 a.m.

    Chuck Monjak was partway up his first-ever attempt at a nearly vertical ice fall. it says in the articular It's give people an adrenaline rush and its a puzzle solving test. A lot of engineers and technical people get into this because of the problem solving abilities necessary to do vertical ice so I would think that its VARY hard to do! climbing a ice fall is like a puzzle because if you miss step or put a piece in the wrong spot its not to good and you need to just where to put the puzzle piece or your feet or you will mess up!

  • AndrewFiii
    2/22/2017 - 03:04 p.m.

    The main idea is about ice climbing. Climbing a frozen waterfall is like solving a puzzle because it is hard to do and slippery. The reason that it is hard to climb a waterfall is because sometimes it can melt or you can get stuck. In the article it said people have fallen from ice climbing or even getting stuck in the ice from there picks.



  • kennedyf-bru
    2/24/2017 - 02:49 p.m.

    Climbing a frozen waterfall can be complicating just like solving a puzzle. The text states that Chuck Monjak thought about giving up with climbing the frozen waterfall. But she kept her cool."Its a puzzle-solving test" she said, meaning you need lots of focus to complete it. She had that and she climbed the frozen waterfall. "You can choose your level of risk" she said. "The more informed you are about it, the more you are aware of the level of what your comfort is." She set her goal high and took a risk.

  • josiew-ver
    3/17/2017 - 09:21 a.m.

    Climbing a frozen waterfall can be really frightening but it might be fun! It's only probably a one time thing. Chuck Manjak did great her was or ably scared but it was probably worth it. It's great exercise because of climbing. People should face their fears to be who they want to be and of you do climb it then you can actually say you did it and not lie very no pace things. You could fall but, it's fun. It's like a puzzle because if you miss one step then you mess up a whole bunch and it doesn't fit.

  • LSteptoe17
    5/03/2017 - 11:38 a.m.

    This looks like its fun to do and kind of dangerous because if you fall you will hit your head on a rock.

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