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Video footage of UIAA showcases athletes performing insect-like manoeuvres on specially designed courses as well as sprinting up vertical ice at super human speeds. Russia is a dominant force with full financial backing from the federal government, something the Canadian crew can only dream about at this point.
"There's a lot more funding and support available in Europe," says MacArthur.
"The Alpine Club of Canada do what they can, but obviously they are limited by resources. In particular Canadian competitors are limited to what they can raise on their own. It's challenging for sure, its very expensive."
A season of training travel and competition fees can cost as much as $12,000. MacArthur manages his busy lifestyle by working as a graphic designer in between his trips and even on the road. When he is home he balances his training schedule with his family life. He is married with two daughters.
"With my family and business then professionally climbing full time year-round, it's a lot to take on. My design business allows me a lot of flexibility on where to work from, all I need is a laptop with Internet. Without that I would never be able to compete full time.
"It's a balance, but if you want it bad enough you make it happen. That's sort of where I'm at, I want it bad enough so I make it work the best way I can. My wife is really supportive."
A day after his interview with Pique, MacArthur travelled to Romania to compete at the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup stop in Bustini. He placed 21st in the Lead category and 28th in the Speed category.
The allure of ice climbing lies not just with the exhilaration of scaling frozen waterfalls and alpine summits. The fluid nature of ice means it never forms exactly the same way twice and it will often change day to day. Like surfers watching the weather for the next big swell, ice climbers wait patiently for the cold with their gear packed and ready.
"You have to be there in the right conditions," says McSorley.
"That's part of the appeal and part of the excitement of ice climbing, if you get lucky you have to take advantage. Some routes come in one time and never again. If you can be there for that little magic moment in time, it's a pretty special thing."
But like in any weather-dependant recreational pursuit, luck can also go in the other direction.
"I love the exploring, it's part of the adventure. The physicality of it is super fun too — you get to blow off some steam and have a good mental and physical challenge. But sometimes you walk all day long and you get skunked, that's just how it goes some days."
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