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Meeting Ari Novak, Trango Ambassador

Transformation comes from unexpected places and it was the moment I first swung into ice that that my life changed. It was like the world stop spinning and started going the other way, I was in love. I’ve been fortunate enough to climb all around the world but the one thing that’s common amongst all my assents is that it’s the people you are climbing with that are as important as the things you climb. Ice Climbing is a pursuit passed on by mentorship and climbing partners. I’m very lucky, I’ve had exceptional mentors and partners over the years. My climbing style and technique is steeped in lessons that were passed on to me from the masters, Gadd, Anker, Josephson, Roberts etc. Passing on these lessons and continuing the chain or as I like to call it “the unbreakable bond” always gets me stoked. I began skiing at age seven and climbing mountains in the Cascades in my early 20’s. Today, I’m a full time ice climber out of Bozeman, Montana. In addition to ice climbing I enjoy ski mountaineering and all things winter. I’ve put up first ascents in Hyalite Canyon that are now enjoyed as “classics” and explored ice in places that will probably never be touched again. My drive is to constantly elevate my game and share my knowledge and experiences with others. Just beyond the edge of our tools is a reality we can change and shape. I hope we do so for the better.

My passion for climbing ice is as essential as the blood in my veins or the air I breath, it’s elemental and apart of who I am. I don’t see climbing as a sport but as an art form. It creates the bonds that can’t be broken. Ice Climbing changed my life, the values of this sport / art form are much more then then events of it. Sharing that with others is truly a rewarding experience that always gets me stoked to boot up and tie in.

If it’s possible to have a single favorite ice climb on planet earth then Aims Ice Hose in Telluride Colorado is it for me. Aims, is a three pitch climb that can be mixed on pitch one and as hard as WI6 or as friendly as WI4 on the ice pitches. I recall the first time I did this route vividly. It was January 7th 2012 the night before I had dinner with Jack Roberts and Joe Josephson in Ouray. Joe told me I’d never even find the climb, Jack grabbed a bar napkin and drew me a map. Oddly he signed and dated it, little did I know a week later Jack would be gone. I love Aims because it so aesthetic, three pitches, each offering a different challenge and each one more enjoyable then the next. I also love Aims because it represents Jack’s belief in me. Pitch three is other worldly it’s 66 meters of the best ice I’ve ever climbed. If you’re even near Telluride grab your tools and go get it.

Without a doubt my favorite climbing spot is my spiritual home, Hyalite Canyon outside of Bozeman, MT. There’s nothing like it. You can feel the energy back there. 250 of the most exciting ice and mixed routs right out of the parking lot.

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