Proper Preparation Part 8

by Colin Aina

Check out what you missed....Part 7

Ben left his massage with a renewed sense of vigor! He remarked on how good he felt despite the massage being a little painful and could feel that he needed it. "She basically said that my body is a wreck," he remarked. I surprisingly felt a big sense of relief knowing that the massage would be an important part of accelerating his healing. Ben felt so good the next day that he went out and climbed at our usual spot just outside of Keene, NH.

Flashback time:
I first met Ben adn a few of my eventual climbing buddies at an Appalachian Mountain Club Intro to Ice Climbing clinic in the winter of 2013/2014. I had been curious about ice climbing and was eager to learn the ropes (heehee).

The place that we usually all met at on the weekends is called the Railroad Cut. Technically called the Cheshire Rail Trail, it is adjacent to Route 12 and is set down below the road. It is a non-functioning railroad corridor and is a route that is frequented by snowmobiles, bikes and sometimes nordic skiers. It's the perfect climate for forming ice; the cold air drops below the road and ice forms fast as it runs down the verticle walls. The "Cut" was developed by a handful of locals about 20 years ago and gets frequent use. There are many bolted anchors throughout the top of the cliffs as well as many sport and trad climbing routes as well as mixed climbing. Mixed climbing combines both ice and rock mediums. Due to the amount of variety, The Cut offers great conditions for beginners and advanced climbers alike. The people that I climb with still maintain the anchors and cordage to this day.

My first day of the ice climbing season in January 2016 I became famous! No, my notoriety didn't extend internationally. It extended however long the reach of the Keene Sentinal newspaper went.  Jason and I were the only ones climbing on a nice Saturday afternoon when a bored newspaper photographer stumbled upon us. The following Monday, we were stars...

Here is what "The Cut" looks like...

Back to present...
Ben didn't feel so hot the day after climbing at The Cut. He mentioned that he may have overdone it (which means he REALLY overdid it). Feeling a renewed sense of vigor from his massage, he may have climbed a bit more aggressively than he should have. He complained of soreness and burning around the break. He took it easy the next few days and spent a good amount of time icing. The next few weeks passed with us communicating about a possible ice climbing trip to Colorado in January or February, which was dependant upon his progress. Despite some toe pain, he was doing pretty well.

Ben's expected follow up Xray was on January 9th and he received the good news that we were all waiting for: full clearance for activity!

Ben new xray.jpeg

The break is somewhat visible, as well as some cloudiness around it. That cloudiness is the new growth of bone. Ben went out to visit some family in Colorado and was able to do some hiking and commented on feeling good overall. Upon returning, he did a few sessions at The Cut and noticed a difference for the better. We hadn't been able to hang out since his visit and I was anxious to see him back on the ropes.