FENTON, Mich. – Athletes from all over the country have flocked to Metro Detroit this weekend in hopes they can represent the United States on a national stage.
Tryouts for the U.S. World Cup Ice Climbing team have taken place in Fenton at Peabody Ice Climbing.
Lauren Shartell is originally from downriver, but now lives in Colorado.
“It’s difficult,” Shartell said. “Harder than it looks. Like a 1 millimeter divot that you have to hold on to.”
Judges have been looking at speed, style, effort and more.
“Hopefully today goes well,” Shartell said. “I think it’s going to happen.”
There’s no ice since it’s not cold enough, but Garrett Peabody said the plywood mimics ice very well.
“If you’re swinging tools it needs that penetration,” Peabody said. “Hard enough to hold some of the weight but not all of it.”
Despite being located along several miles of dirt road, Peabody Ice Climbing is the premiere spot in the country for ice climbing.
While making the U.S. World Cup team is the goal at the moment, there could be bigger aspirations in the future.
With rock climbing debuting as an Olympic sport in the Summer Olympics, these athletes are hoping that ice climbing could be next.
If that happens, you’re likely looking at the future Team USA.
“To be able to do a sport that I love and represent my country, it would be amazing,” Shartell said.