Beginners guide to Ice Climbing
Ice Climbing is unlike all other types of climbing we know, and I guess the reason is quite apparent. You are climbing frozen waterfalls with ice axes and crampons on your feet instead of rock with your bare hands. But there are some differences which are not evident.
The foremost thing for the one wishing to start with Ice Climbing is that the technique is vastly distinct from other types of climbing. You would always try to keep your balance below the sense of gravity and then take a position that will form the letter ‘A’ having your feet placed quite wide and the axes above your head; this is to keep your stability and balance throughout the climb, and it takes a lot of practice.
Another chief technique is the swing itself. You like to snap your risk at just the very end of each swing; this will help the ice axe to penetrate the ice more efficiently. Lastly, Ice climbing is about the big muscles, and you should keep your heels down and use your thighs to push yourself up.
Essential Tools for Ice Climbing
How can I forget about the essentials required before starting with Climbing a frozen mountain? The most requisite gears are the ice axis, the crampons, the ice screws, and of course, the helmet.
You should also pay attention to your clothing. Stiff boots, strike hooded robes, and then maybe some rock gear too would be included with your attire during Ice Climbing. In the European Alps, it’s quite common that you can rent climbing gear and the crampons.
After that, one must build experience, you can start by joining an ice climbing club and can learn via their skills. But if you don’t have that option, you can go to hiring a MIC or a guide.
In most of the significant Ice Climbing areas, there are local mountain guys that you can take on, they are not cheap but proves to be an excellent introduction to you as a beginner. Apart from this, you can also consider joining some of the significant ice climbing festivals, and they usually run various workshops introducing Ice climbing.
You can even go online as well by searching for ice climbing partners from some of the more prominent community websites such as ukclimbing.com and many others.
The overall grading system is called the Water Ice or the WIce. It ranges from WI1 to WI7. WI7 is very rare. Mostly one usually climbs between WI3 and WI6.
Besides all this, you need to know that Ice climbing roots will differ and change from season to season. Even in the specific season, there will be different conditions.
So you must learn how to read and how to see whether an ice climbing root is actually in condition. And if the ice climbing root isn’t in shape, then it can be perilous.
A few Ice Climbing destinations for beginners might be Casata di Patri (WI4) in Cogne, Italy, or maybe Ozzimosis, Rjukan, in Norway.
It is also an incredible way to meet new people, through courses and clubs, you’ll form lifelong friends and memories. You’ll soon find yourself so hooked that weekends away climbing in Scotland and weeks away in Europe become something you passionately protect.