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Articles About Ice Climbing


How Ice Climbing Works

For most people, getting up close and personal with ice means drinking a frosty beverage. The worst that could happen is brain freeze. But adventure junkies will spend hours, days even, with their faces flat against the side of a glacier or frozen waterfall, using picks and ropes to scale its slick, textured and treacherous surface. The thrill of danger -- Will I fall into an icy crevasse? Will I get frostbite? Will an avalanche come out of nowhere? -- is what makes ice climbers so passionate about their sport.

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Grade Comparison Chart

NCCS grades, often called “commitment grades,” indicate the time investment in a route for an “average” climbing team. The overall seriousness of the complete route based on all factors of the final approach, ascent, and descent—including length, altitude, danger, commitment, and technical difficulty. This system originated with UIAA Roman numerals; it is now generally seen with French letters and is increasingly being used worldwide.

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Cold Call

Ice-climbing enthusiasts risk frozen extremities, falling rock and avalanches for the thrill of ascending waterfalls that snap, crackle and pop. Along with the weekend rush to the ski slopes, there’s now a mad dash to frozen waterfalls, many of them scarred with the distinctive marks of crampons, the metal spikes that protrude from climbing boots For an ever-increasing number of outdoor enthusiasts, ice climbing tops their list of must-do activities, making once rarely heard terms such as belaying and mantling part of the winter-sport lexicon.

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Steep Ice Climbing Technique

When climbers first climb steep ice they tend to ignore many of the principles of movement they have acquired in their rock climbing. Principles such as balance, precise footwork and weight transfer. Instead they tend to thump and whack at the ice with their crampons and axes, using brute strength to pull themselves up. To a certain extent this crude approach will work – on short and not too steep ice climbs.

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Resources


Ice Climbing on Wikipedia

There are basically three types of ice-tool picks: beefy mixed climbing picks, mountain picks, and high-performance.

Ice Climbing News on New York Times

News about Ice Climbing, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.

Ice Climbing: Waterfalls and Alpine Walls

Snow and ice are ever-changing environments that make climbing challenging and exciting

Ice Climbing 101

Never in my life have I been so cold or so hot in the same 10 minutes as I have been ice climbing