When Ice is Nice: The Gear You Need to Climb Those Slippery Slopes
Ice climbing is one of the most exciting sports around, and it is becoming increasingly popular. If you have tried it out and you want to get more serious about your hobby, you’ll need to invest in some proper gear. This sport requires more gear than many other outdoor activities, so here are some the essentials that you will want to get.
First of all, you’ll need a good pair of climbing boots when you start choosing your ice-climbing gear. These are likely to be the most expensive items you need. They are big and tough, and although ski boots are usually fine for beginners, you’ll want a proper pair of climbing boots if you intend to go ice climbing more regularly.
You will need to be able to attach crampons to them, and you could always find some used boots first to spend less until you are ready to get a new pair.
The right clothing is essential. You may find that you already have everything you need if you go skiing regularly, but one thing to invest in is a good pair of ice climbing pants, which have a protective layer inside the lower leg.
You will also want to use different layers because it can be hot when climbing and cooler when belaying. Also get a good pair of gloves to keep you warm but allow you enough movement to use your fingers. Ski gloves will usually be fine for this.
Keeping safe is a serious concern, and a good helmet is essential. Ice can fall on your head, and you could also fall from the ice. The helmets are the same used for rock climbing, so invest in a good one.
Crampons are absolutely essential for ice climbing. These are spiked cleats that attach to your boots and help you to stick to the ice. Dual point is the most common type, but you may prefer monopoint if you are getting more serious about your climbing. Have a look at some reviews to help you decide when you choose your crampons.
You’ll also need some ice axes, and these are not too cheap. Buy yourself a set that will allow you to climb on any surface. You may build up a collection of these over time, but get a basic set for now.
A harness is also essential for safety, and you will want to invest in a carabiner and a belay device as well. You may already have these items if you have been climbing before.
Prepare for Your Trip
Once you’ve got all your gear ready, you’ll need to do some careful preparation. You will be climbing in potentially dangerous areas, and you should make sure you plan your trip and tell someone where you are going.
You may also want to use a weather app to check the forecast. There’s a great little weather app you can use, and you can get it on Google Play here. It’s free to use, and it provides accurate forecasts so you can plan ahead and avoid getting caught out by bad weather.
Gear Up and Hit the Ice
You need quite a bit of gear to get started with ice climbing, but it’s well worth it, so start looking for the right gear today. It will not come cheap, but it will be an excellent investment when you take your ice climbing more seriously. It’s one of the most exciting outdoor sports you can do, so gear up and enjoy yourself on the ice.
Rick Morris is an adrenaline junkie! He loves rock and ice climbing, off-road driving, hiking, camping and travel. He shares his outdoor passions in his articles.