Agricultural alpinism? Grain silo in Iowa converted to Ice Climbing wall

Each winter, hundreds of climbers flock to Rusty Leymaster’s farm just outside Cedar Falls, Iowa, to try their hand at Silo Ice Climbing. It started in 2001 when Don Briggs, a University of Northern Iowa professor, hooked up hoses to convert an old farm silo normally used to hold bulk grains. Water dripped and froze in immense curtains, and soon Briggs had his very own ice climbing mecca in the middle of the Great Plains. It’s now open weekends all winter. A day pass is $35. Check out the bizarre scene below, where climbers wield axes to kick and swing on manmade ice eight stories high in the Iowan sky. —Amy Oberbroeckling

Iowa Ice Silo .jpg

Photo by Andy Rowland

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Photo by Andy Rowland

Ice Silo Kelsey .jpg

Photo by Mike Loots

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Photo by Mike Loots

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Don Briggs and his wife Dianna.jpg

Don Briggs and his wife Dianna pose after a climb; Photo by Andy Rowland

Child Ice Silo.jpg

Photo by Andy Rowland

Richard Honzatko climbing the flat land.jpg

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Photo by Andy Rowland

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Photo by Mike Loots

A Ice Silo Night Sky.jpg

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In the night! Photo by Andy Rowland