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 terrifying dilemma. With his weight 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 certainly 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 after falling 50 to 60 feet on Cannon Cliff in New Hampshire. In upstate New York, a woman survived a 70-foot spill at Kaaterskill Falls, and another climber tumbled nearly 40 feet at Platte Clove. Both of those falls happened on the same day in January.
 
Monjak, a rock climber turned ice climber, 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 being belayed by his partner. That was Yuki Fujita, who 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 (142)
  • ivoner-goa
    2/22/2017 - 10:37 a.m.

    Climbing a frozen waterfall is just like a puzzle because you have to try to find different kinds of situations. It is kind of a lot of work because you don't have to use the same situation you can find other kinds of solving problems to try to find different kinds of different solutions to go on top and if you want to try and go back down, you have to find another kind of situation to get back down. According to the text, in the article " Would you climb a frozen waterfall?" in paragraph 3, in the first sentence and the last three words of that sentence in that paragraph, it says "it's a puzzle-solving test", which it is because you have to find any kind of situations to go up the waterfall. This is what Monjak said " It's both a adrenaline rush and it's a puzzle-solving test". What everything means is that it is very hard to find different methods to go through that frozen waterfall. Climbing a frozen waterfall is just like a puzzle because you have to try to find different kinds of situations.

    • ashtonm1-pet
      2/27/2017 - 10:38 a.m.

      I completely agree!!! You need to find different solutions to different ways of getting up which is how it relates to a puzzle.

  • samanthas-1-ste
    2/22/2017 - 10:41 a.m.

    It is like solving a puzzle because you have to get a feel for what it is like and try to maneuver in the best way possible to get up it. I would never climb one of these things. I saw a video of someone trying it and it gave way partway up the climb.

  • TuanH
    2/22/2017 - 11:28 a.m.

    I cant belive that he can climb that frozen waterfall.He must be a cool guy to climb that frozen waterfall.I think the frozen waterfall is like a puzzle because I think it is a very hard job because he must find his ropes to climb the waterfall.I think Chuck Monjak must climb the biggest frozen water fall.His partner has been climbing mount Frankenstein for 50 years.What is the mountain he is going to climb next?

  • KonnerS
    2/22/2017 - 11:40 a.m.

    Chuck Monjak was partway up his first ever attempt at a nearly vertical ice. in the articular it says Its both an adrenaline rush and it's 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 its vary hard to climbing a "ice fall". I think puzzles and ice climbing are the same because if you mess up you you rune everything or you will just get set back a little but with a puzzle you just get stuck and you can get stuck ice climbing like the articular says

  • KonnerS
    2/22/2017 - 11:41 a.m.

    Chuck Monk was partway up his first ever attempt at a nearly vertical ice. in the articular it says Its both an adrenaline rush and it's 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 its vary hard to climbing a "ice fall". I think puzzles and ice climbing are the same because if you mess up you you rune everything or you will just get set back a little but with a puzzle you just get stuck and you can get stuck ice climbing like the articular says

  • sydneys-buh
    2/22/2017 - 12:51 p.m.

    there was a guy who climbed the arethusa falls . which is 60 feet tall.

    i think it would be very scary. and i would probably fall and die.

  • WillC2571
    2/22/2017 - 02:57 p.m.

    This article is about some of the dangers of ice waterfall climbing. Climbing a frozen waterfall is like solving a puzzle
    because you have to know where to put your hands and feet in the cracks so you don't fall of the cliff. In the article it says Dracula is 100 ft tall and two fell of the same cliff on the same day that is very very dangerous.

  • FernandoM70
    2/22/2017 - 03:04 p.m.

    This article is mainly about ice climbing.
    Ice climbing is like solving a puzzle because it is hard to figure out what to do next. In the passage it said "it is a adrenaline rush. I said this because when you climb some thing you have to go fast because it is usually unstable.

  • robbiet-har
    2/22/2017 - 03:33 p.m.

    Climbing a frozen waterfall is like solving a puzzle because you have to figure out a way around the large ice columns which is much like solving a puzzle. Chuck Monjack, the climber in the story, says that climbing the waterfall is, "Both an adrenaline rush and a puzzle-solving test.". This quote means that when you are climbing the waterfall, you are scared but you also want to solve the problem. The frozen waterfall attracts many engineers such as Chuck who is an optical systems engineer. The route that Chuck Monjack was climbing is nothing compared to the Dracula ice fall, which is 100 feet tall. In the end, climbing a frozen waterfall is like solving a puzzle because you have to find a way to get around the many columns that are on the waterfall.

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