Climbers love spring: The sun arches high across the sky, temperatures warm, and the rock reappears from beneath the snow and ice. But with balmier weather also comes one of my least favorite things: ticks. Not “tick” as in, “I ticked my proj, bru,” or, “Why didn’t those dreadlocked Euros brush their two- foot tick marks off this giant jug?” Ticks as in tiny, parasitic arachnids, the kind that carry blood- borne ailments like Lyme disease. Unfortunately for us climbers, ticks evolved to hunt mammals by certain traits: body heat ( got your puffy on?), body odor ( no comment), and vibrations ( the approach to the crag). Unable to fly or jump, they chill on reeds, bushes, or blades of grass as they quest for victims with outstretched front legs. Hopefully this season, your tick check at day’s end yields more project “ticks” than eight- legged bloodsuckers.