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Ice Climbing 101

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Ice climbing is a sport for extreme - and partially insane - athletes. We take a closer look at this exhilirating sport!

Ice Climbing - What Is It?

Ice climbing is exactly what its name suggests - climbing on ice. There are two types of ice climbing. The first type involves climbing on frozen water, like waterfalls. The other kind is climbing on snow that is frozen on a mountain. Ice climbing is very difficult and dangerous because of the extreme conditions a climber is faced with. Besides the weather conditions, they have to climb up sheer, slippery ice walls.

Ice Climbing - Gear

There are a lot of different techniques and equipment you can use when ice climbing. For shorter, less-steep courses, climbers use an ice axe to move themselves up. For steeper, higher slopes, climbers also wear crampons, which are shoes with metal spikes. In order to create rope anchors, sharp-tipped ice screws are used. Climbers also use harnesses and ropes for safety.

Ice Climbing - Getting Started

Ice climbing is a sport that takes a lot of strength and endurance. Unfortunately, this is not a sport kids should be trying, but it is a sport that you can start training for! Learn how to rock climb on easy indoor climbing walls. Once you learn the proper techniques, and are old enough and in shape, then you are ready to test your skills as an ice climber!

Ice Climbing - Did U Know?

  • Some of the most popular destinations to ice climb are in Colorado, Wisconsin, Switzerland, Alaska and the Canadian Rockies.
  • The ice that people climb is so strong that if the ice axe goes in just a centimeter, that is generally strong enough for the climber to pull up on.
  • Many of the techniques used in rock climbing are used in ice climbing.
  • In 2006, more that 1.1 million people tried the sport of ice climbing.
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