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(exciting music)
- Water is just such an amazing medium.
You can just see the crystals and how they
form in so many different ways and then take that
and extrapolate it to these huge cliffs.
What we do here is create spray ice
and probably make over 300 different climbs.
(exciting music)
My name is Alexander Bianchi, and I'm an ice farmer.
We're down here in the Uncompahgre Gorge.
We have a water system at the top of the Gorge.
We use galvanized steel shower heads.
And it basically just sprays water out over the cliffs
and overnight when it's cold, it forms ice along the cliffs.
What we really want is a nice, clean surface
for the new water to come down and just keep
building off of that so a lot of what we do here
actually is repel down a lot of these faces and just try
to clear that snow off, ready for the next layer.
There's about two miles of ice if you walk the
bottom of the canyon and yeah,
we farm ice all along the top of it.
Being an ice farmer is kinda hard work.
We're gonna open up the south valve.
Sometimes I think we're no
more than like glorified plumbers.
Ice farming is and our engineering.
I mean, the two I think are always inseparable.
Ya know, the engineering is the logistics.
How do we get water from point a to point b?
Sometimes if the valves aren't cracked quite enough,
you get a little bit of a freeze up.
The water just doesn't get through the valve.
The remedy is a blow torch. (flames engulfing)
I mean, on the artistic side is once we have
this water where we need it, how can we do something different?
How can we make something interesting, ya know,
that we've never climbed before?
It's definitely an artistic process for some of us.
(exciting music)
I grew up rock climbing, ya know, fair weather climber.
The first time I came out here was just kind of blown away.
It's so different than rock climbing.
I mean, you're climbing a transient medium.
The rock is always gonna be there, this ice
is not always there so it creates this diversity
and, um, this intense experience that I really
don't find in other facets of climbing.
And that's why I'm proud to do what I'm doing.
(exciting music)
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So Chill: The Ice Farmer of Colorado

129 Folder Collection
許大善 published on September 29, 2019
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