Ice Climbing : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

I have been rock climb for many years now and would like to get into ice climbing, with my climbing partner. We really don't have any friends that are into it, so we where wondering if there is any body that could give us some help. Like what kind of Equipment do we need to get started and how much will it cost. Thanks again Erik

-- Eirk Andraceke (, November 03, 1998


Buy a basic introductionary book, the book by Duane Raleigh is good (part of the Climbing mag. series I think), but basically you need (in addition to your standard gear): 2 short axes, crampoons, 6-8 icescrews. As you know the basics, just locate some solid, less than vertical ice with easy access, try to toprope for some hours, then try to lead, but make sure to put in a lot of screws, you do not want to take a long fall on ice. Learning by doing. Good luck.

-- Paal Longva (, November 12, 1998.

I would suggest you get some professional-level instruction on placing screws before you set off on lead, and that you get a fair amount of experience climbing, as well. Placing screws is very condition-dependent and requires a lot of experience. In my experience, most ice climbers don't ever want to fall on their screws, and they climb well within their abilities to avoid doing so--which is an entirely different attitude than trad rock climbers. If you think you're going to fall, don't fall!

-- Court Ogilvie (, November 16, 1998.

Paal is correct regarding the books and the gear. Other good books are "climbing Ice" by Yvon Chouinard, 1978 (old, but good review of French technique); "Ice World" by Jeff Lowe, 1996 (the photos will make you drool); "Ice: Tools and Techniques" is the Duane Raleigh book that Paal refers to, 1995, which is published by Climbing (a good primer with entertaining writing style); and The North Face put out a video a few years back called "On Ice", about an hour long (nice pictures). These are just a few good references, and you do learn by doing.

And Court is also correct regarding leading. Since you said that you have no friends that climb ice, proper (i.e. professional) instruction from a pro is your best bet to avoid hitting the deck. I used to climb WI-5, but I only climb WI-4 now after I watched a buddy fall on a WI-2 climb in the Canadian Rockies while we were warming up. The whole fall was perhaps 2 or 3 meters, not long by trad rock standards. But the look on his face when he lifted his boot to find his axe firmly embedded into the ankle is not one that I will soon forget. We all had a nice laugh after we lowered him and found that the pick had slid in under his heel and only grazed the underside of his foot. He was very lucky. As Court said, "If you're going to fall, don't!" Good luck, be safe, and have fun.

-- Paul Soboleski (, November 18, 1998.

I don't know about the books that the first guy namned.... One thing I do know is- Don't try to lead(!!!!), at least not before U have toproped for at least 10-15 hours. After that, i'f you feel good about it ( as you will in toproping the first day, iceclimbing is very easy to learn but not to do right...) use a lot of protection!!!

Toprope much.


-- Jon Wagenius (, February 15, 1999.

You obviously know the danger of climbing and falling especially if you climb trad. I my self haven't done much ice climbing but i do know it alot more tempremental, I would advise good gear, sharp winding ice screws with handel and i ece DMM preditor ice axes which are exerlent but if you live in the US you probably can't get them, the cobras look good. Lastly top rope for as long as you feel really good and confident because i have fallen off a few times with out warning so be carfull have fun


-- john nightingale (, October 20, 2000.

Hey eric when are you going to bring me ice climbing you said it would be a ton of fun! Hope everything is well with you!

-- David Vander Velden (, April 20, 2002.

i from iran im climber & ice climber im 17years alo &im first climber in my city

-- sina_ahmary (, March 22, 2003.

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