Ice Climbing: Explained
What is Ice Climbing?
Ice climbing is similar to rock climbing, but instead of rock formations, you are climbing on ice formations. Ice climbers use equipment such as crampons, picks, ropes and other equipment to climb on the ice.
The sport got its start from rock climbing and mountaineering. It was originally a part of those two activities wherein climbers had to go through portions of the climb where there were ice formations. Soon, ice climbing became a sport of its own as people started to realize the excitement of ice climbing. Today, ice climbing is more than just an obstacle on the way to the summit, but a sport on its own.
Soon ice climbing groups started forming and people began to realize the thrilling and accomplished feeling of ice climbing. Ice climbers started to practice independently or as part of mountaineering groups.
Who are Ice Climbers?
Ice climbers are people who opt to climb ice formations such as glaciers or frozen waterfalls. They are not limited to these two formations as some opt to practice mixed climbing. Mixed climbing involves climbing on rock, ice and snow. Similar to sports climbing, ice climbers usually work together in pairs. This means that one person serves as an anchor and the other as the ice climber.
Because of the conditions in which ice climbers perform, ice climbing is considered an extreme sport. Aside from being outdoors, you are also exposed to sub-zero temperatures for long periods of time. Ice climbers are also exposed to challenging and changing weather conditions that affect their safety. They are also exposed to natural formations such as crevasses and natural occurrences such as avalanches. Though the sport in itself may seem dangerous, ice climbers seek the thrill and accomplished a feeling of reaching the top, having overcome all the obstacles.
Is Ice Climbing for You?
Now that you know a little bit about what ice climbing is and what ice climbers face, it’s your turn to decide whether it is a sport worth trying. If you are a thrill seeker who loves to try new things then maybe becoming an ice climber is a good option for you. However, you must make sure that you are well prepared for the task at hand.
Seek advise from mentors who are experienced in ice climbing. Ask them the dos and don’ts of the sport. Prepare your body and mind for the climb by doing exercises that improve cardio and muscle strength. Additionally, beginners should know their limits when it comes to strength and endurance. It is practical to start on easier treks and slowly build up to more complicated climbs. Such as in rock climbers prepare for a climb so to must ice climbers.
So, if you are willing to subject yourself to harsh whether conditions and the wonders of nature then maybe its time you picked up your ice pick and became an ice climber yourself. Regardless of all the hazards and challenges you will face, ice climbing is a fulfilling sport that gives a sense of accomplishment like no other.