Ice Climbing

Date: 31 May 2022
Ice Climbing

Ice Climbing

Why do women not compete in sports that men are predominant in? Well, here is why! This Blog is a 7- to 10-minute read.

Climbing Sports

Climbing is the activity of using one’s hands, feet, or any other part of the body to ascend a steep topographical object. It is done for locomotion, recreation and competition, and within trades that rely on ascension; such as emergency rescue and military operations. It is done indoors and out, on natural and man-made structures.

Professional mountain guides or rock climbing guides, such as members of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations, have been known to be a historically significant element in developing the popularity of the sport in the natural environment, and remain so today.

Climbing will be an official sport for the first time in the Olympic Games in 2020. It takes place in Tokyo.


Climbing activities include:

  • Bouldering: Ascending boulders or small outcrops, often with climbing shoes and a chalk bag or bucket. Usually, instead of using a safety rope from above, injury is avoided using a crash pad and a human spotter (to direct a falling climber onto the pad. They can also give beta or advice)
  • Buildering: Ascending the exterior skeletons of buildings, typically without protective equipment.
  • Canyoneering: Climbing along canyons for sport or recreation.
  • Chalk climbing: Ascending chalk cliffs uses some of the same techniques as ice climbing.
  • Competition climbing: A formal, competitive sport of recent origins, normally practised on artificial walls that resemble natural formations. The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) is the official organization governing competition rock climbing worldwide and is recognized by the IOC and GAISF and is a member of the International World Games Association (IWGA). The UIAA is the official organization governing competition ice climbing worldwide. Competition climbing has three major disciplines: Lead, Bouldering and Speed.
  • Free climbing: a form of rock climbing in which the climber uses climbing equipment such as ropes and other means of climbing protection, but only to protect against injury during falls and not to assist progress.
  • Ice climbing: Ascending ice or hard snow formations using special equipment, usually ice axes and crampons. Techniques of protecting the climber are similar to those of rock climbing, with protective devices (such as ice screws and snow wedges) adapted to frozen conditions.
  • Indoor climbing: Top roping, lead climbing and bouldering artificial walls with bolted holds in a climbing gym.
  • Ladder climbing: Climbing ladders for exercise. This may involve climbing up and down the underside of a ladder, or along a horizontally aligned ladder or ‘monkey bars’. The ladder may be climbed going forwards, backwards, or sideways.
  • Lumberjack tree-trimming and competitive tree-trunk or pole climbing for speed using spikes and belts.
  • Mallakhamba: A traditional Indian sport which combines climbing a pole or rope with the performance of aerial yoga and gymnastics.
  • Mountaineering: Ascending mountains for sport or recreation. It often involves rock and/or ice climbing (Alpine climbing).
  • Pole climbing: Climbing poles and masts without equipment.
  • Rock climbing: Ascending rock formations, often using climbing shoes and a chalk bag. Equipment such as ropes, bolts, nuts, hexes and camming devices are normally employed, either as a safeguard or for artificial aid.
  • Rope access: Industrial climbing, usually abseiling, as an alternative to scaffolding for short works on exposed structures.
  • Rope climbing: Climbing a short, thick rope for speed. Not to be confused with roped climbing, as in rock or ice climbing.
  • Scrambling: this includes easy rock climbing, and is considered part of hillwalking.
  • Stair climbing: ascending elevation via stairs.
  • Sport climbing: is a form of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors fixed to the rock, and possibly bolts, for protection, (in contrast with traditional climbing, where the rock is typically devoid of fixed anchors and bolts, and where climbers must place removable protection as they climb).
  • Top roping: Ascending a rock climbing route protected by a rope anchored at the top and protected by a belayer below.
  • Traditional climbing (more casually known as Trad climbing) is a form of climbing without fixed anchors and bolts. Climbers place removable protection such as camming devices, nuts, and other passive and active protection that holds the rope to the rock (via the use of carabiners and webbing/slings) in the event of a fall and/or when weighted by a climber.
  • Tower climbing: Climbing up the inside of a narrow tower by applying pressure to the walls with the hands and feet.
  • Solo climbing: Solo climbing or soloing is a style of climbing in which the climber climbs alone, without somebody belaying them. When free soloing, an error usually is fatal as no belay systems are being used. Soloing can also be self-belayed, hence minimizing the risks.
  • Tree climbing: Recreationally ascending trees using ropes and other protective equipment.
  • A tower climber: is a professional who climbs broadcasting or telecommunication towers or masts for maintenance or repair.
  • Caving: is when you descend into open mouth caves from the surface.


Ice Climbing

Ice climbing is the activity of ascending inclined ice formations. Usually, ice climbing refers to roped and protected climbing of features such as icefalls, frozen waterfalls, and cliffs and rock slabs covered with ice refrozen from flows of water. For the purposes of climbing, ice can be broadly divided into two spheres, alpine ice and water ice. Alpine ice is found in a mountain environment, usually requires an approach to reach, and is often climbed in an attempt to summit a mountain. Water ice is usually found on a cliff or other outcropping beneath water flows. Alpine ice is frozen precipitation whereas water ice is a frozen liquid flow of water. Most alpine ice is generally one component of a longer route and often less technical, having more in common with standard glacier travel, while water ice is selected largely for its technical challenge. Technical grade is, however, independent of ice type and both types of ice vary greatly in consistency according to weather conditions. Ice can be soft, hard, brittle or tough. Mixed climbing is an ascent involving both ice climbing and rock climbing.




A climber chooses equipment according to the slope and texture of the ice. For example, on flat ice, almost any good hiking or mountaineering boot will usually suffice, but for serious ice climbing, double plastic mountaineering boots or their stiff leather equivalent are usually used, which must be a crampon (A crampon is a traction device that is attached to footwear to improve mobility on snow and ice during ice climbing and usually are made up of spikes), compatible and stiff enough to support the climber and maintain ankle support.

On short, low angled slopes, one can use an ice axe to chop steps. For longer and steeper slopes or glacier travel, crampons are mandatory for a safe climb. Vertical ice climbing is done with crampons and ice axes (those specific to vertical ice generally being called technical ice axes or ice tools); climbers kick their legs to engage the front points of the crampons in the ice and then swing the axe into the ice above their heads.

This technique is known as front pointing. The strength of the ice is often surprising; even if the axe goes in only a centimetre or so it is enough to pull upon. If a climber is leading, they will need to place ice screws as protection on the way up (see climbing system). Most mountaineers would only consider the last scenario true ice climbing; the less steep variations are routine aspects of winter mountaineering.

Some important techniques and practices common in rock climbing that are employed in ice climbing include knowledge of rope systems, tying in, belaying, leading, abseiling, and lowering. Beginners should learn these techniques before attempting to ice climb. It is highly recommended that one acquire knowledge from experts and experienced ice climbers.


Rope systems

There are three primary rope systems used in ice climbing: single rope, double rope and twin rope. The single rope system, which is suited for straight climbing routes, is the most commonly used rock climbing system in the world. Also often used in climbing is the double rope system which is a more flexible system than the single rope system. Lastly, the twin rope system, which uses two twin ropes in a single rope system, is used for longer multi-pitch routes. The double and twin rope technique is used more frequently in ice climbing because these systems are more redundant, an important consideration given the number of sharp edges the ice climber carries with him. Impact force on ice is an issue, with double ropes gaining popularity over twins.


Tying in

Tying in entails attaching the rope to the climbing harness. This technique is a must, particularly when leading a climb or belaying. A commonly used tie-in knot is the Figure of eight follow-throughs, but the Bowline and Thumb (stopper) knot is often preferred since it is easier to untie when frozen. This technique should be done properly to ensure your safety when ice climbing.



Belaying refers to a variety of techniques climbers use to exert tension on a climbing rope so that a falling climber does not fall very far.

In this climbing technique, either running belays or fixed belays are used. A running belay on ice is similar to a running belay on rock as well as snow. The leader of the climb puts protection and clips the rope through it. The next climber puts away the protection. There should be at least two points of protection between the leader and the next climber. Fixed belays, on the other hand, require a belayer, belay anchor, and points of protection. A belay anchor is attached to a cliff in supporting a belay or top rope. In using either a running- or fixed belay, it is necessary that you have enough knowledge on boot/ice-screw belay techniques.



Leading refers to the act of leading a climb and thus, requires a leader and a follower. This ice climbing technique entails putting protection while ascending. In doing so, leading is done in sections. The leader places the protection as he/she climbs until he/she reaches the top of a pitch (Multi-pitch climbing is the ascent of climbing routes with one or more stops at a belay station. Each section of a climb between stops at belay stations is called a pitch.) The leader ascends the pitch, placing gear and stopping to anchor themselves to the belay station. At the top, the leader builds a belay anchor with which to belay the second climber. While the second climb, he/she removes the protection placed by the leader. When the second climber finishes, they both proceed to the second pitch.



Also called rappelling, abseiling uses a fixed rope to descend. In distinction to being lowered, abseiling allows the climber to control his or her own speed and rate of descent. This technique may be used not only after a climb but also when trying new climbing routes and when the climb can only be accessed from the top. Careful execution is important when abseiling; ropes may become jammed or be severed by sharp edges. Climbers can perform a fireman’s belay or use an autoblock for extra protection while abseiling.



Lowering is one of the most common methods of getting down. A belayer at the base of the vertical wall ensures that the climber is lowered safely. This climbing technique is used when going down routes where there are short, steep walls. This is also used when you want to go down faster.

These are the different techniques used in climbing activities. Keep in mind, though, that it is very crucial to learn these skills from expert climbers before attempting them yourself.



The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) organizes an annual Ice climbing World Cup and bi-annual Ice Climbing World championships.

Climbers can compete in the categories of lead and speed.


Climbing protection

Today the most common protection for ice climbing is an ice screw. Ice screws are hollow tubes with sharp teeth on the front end, a hanger eye at the back to clip into, and threading around the tube. They are screwed into the ice and can provide very strong protection in solid ice. However, because of the variable nature of ice, the strength of ice screw placements can vary greatly.

Ice climbers also use the ice itself as protection. The two most common techniques are the V-thread and the ice bollard. In a V-thread two intersecting tunnels are bored into the ice to form a “V” shaped tunnel.

A sling or cordelette is then threaded through the V and tied in a loop. The rope is passed through the sling, which remains left behind after use.


In an ice bollard, ice is chipped away to create a teardrop-shaped “bollard”. A sling is placed around it, and the rope through the sling, which again is left behind. When ice conditions permit the sling may be dispensed with.

Natural formations, ice hooks, and ice pitons are also used as protection anchors by ice climbers.



Waterfall ice grading

This discussion focuses on the waterfall ice rating system as used in the Canadian Rockies.

Note that ice grading, even more so than other climbing media, tends to be subjective and often does not reflect the difficulty of a route at any given time. Routes become much easier after the first ascent of the season. This is due to the cleaning of chandeliered ice and the creation of “hooks”, which are pockets formed by the tools’ picks, reducing the effort expended in cleaning and tool placement.

Routes with high-flow seeps also tend to become easier as the season progresses due to the increase in the volume of ice. Low-flow seeps, however, often from early in the season when the flow is good from the latent summer heat, and then slow down or even stop with the deepening winter frost; subsequent ablation of the ice often makes for thinner and brittle ice with time.

Mixed climbing is a combination of ice climbing and rock climbing generally using ice climbing equipment such as crampons and ice tools. Mixed climbing has inspired its own specialized gear such as boots which are similar to climbing shoes, but feature built-in crampons.

Dry-tooling is a form of rock climbing in which ice axes are used to climb rock that is not covered in snow or ice. It has its origins in mixed climbing,  ice climbing and more recently sport climbing. Dry tooling is controversial among many climbers. Some favour it as a new and exciting kind of climbing, while others dislike it for its nontraditional methods and the permanent damage it can cause to certain, generally softer, rock formations.



The terrain that is climbed is diverse and consists of rock, turf, snow, and ice in varying amounts. Such terrain is typically encountered in the winter season or on high icy mountains.



Grading of mixed terrain climbs roughly follows the WI rating system with respect to its physical and technical demands. The scale typically starts at M4 and subgrades of “-” and “+” are commonly used, although the distinctions are often subjective. The following table makes a comparison between the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) and the WI system. Comparing these is rough and only gives an idea of the relative difficulty; the reason different systems exist in the first place is that it’s difficult to compare grades between climbing media.

  • Techniques

Climbers participating in mixed climbing use techniques from ice climbing and rock climbing. The nature of the mixed terrain and the demands that it places on climbers however have also led to the development of specialist skills, most notably dry tooling.

  • Equipment

A climber chooses their equipment based on the exact conditions and terrain that will be encountered as well as their climbing style and personal preferences. Mixed terrain climbing equipment typically includes both rock and ice climbing equipment. Specialist equipment has also been developed.


What Makes Ice Climbing Difficult?

Ice climbing is an inherently difficult sport. Typically taken on by only the most experienced mountaineers. Because of the dynamic situations, you will be facing and the high level of risk, ice climbing is also considered one of the most dangerous sports in the world. You will require a high level of fitness to complete a moderate to long ice climbing session. With Ice Climbing, the terrain is ever-changing, which is what makes ice climbing such a challenging activity.

That is also what makes ice climbing so thrilling. The anxiety you experience when climbing an ice-covered mountain can be exhausting, but it’s all worth it when you get to the top. If you are a beginner, you should start slow and build up stamina with time.

Underestimating the dangers that are inherent in this activity can mean the difference between life and death. Just because it gives you an adrenaline rush doesn’t mean you should grab that ice axe and head to the nearest ice-covered cliff. Here are just a few issues that you need to consider before taking up that ice axe:

  • It can be hard on the body – There is a reason seasoned ice climbers look fit, healthy, and, in some cases, absolutely ripped. Remember, you are hauling yourself as well as your gear, so your body should be strong enough to take that burden all the way to the top. Getting regular exercise that includes squats, pull-ups, step-ups, overhead presses, and deadlifts should help you get in the best shape for ice climbing.
  • The surface is not uniform or sturdy – Ice may look smooth, but it is far from being flat or smooth for that matter. Some areas may be easier to stand on, but others can simply collapse from beneath you without warning. Plus, it is always changing under your weight and gets weaker as the temperature rises. Having fellow climbers with you can be a lifesaver.
  • Serious injuries are not uncommon – Unlike sport climbing where falls are quite common, falls on ice can result in serious and life-threatening injuries. With crampons on your feet and sharp pieces of ice and rock falling around you, climbers have been known to break limbs and get deep lacerations.
  • Frostbite is an imminent threat – If you are not bundled up against the cold with appropriate thermal climbing gear, frostbite can build up within minutes. Imagine getting numb fingers and toes when you are climbing up a slippery and icy waterfall.



The Dangers and risk

Ice climbing is inherently dangerous in more ways than one, and it does not always have to do with the slippery surface you are climbing. However, with the right training, team, gear, and precautions, you can keep injuries at bay and make this activity more enjoyable and less anxiety-inducing.

Falls are not uncommon – Like rock climbing, falling is an imminent risk in ice climbing as well. The only difference is that you have more chances of falling off in the latter than in the former. The irony is that it is the only climbing style where falling is not an option. That’s because if you fall, crampons can catch on your legs which can lead to serious and debilitating injuries.

The good news is that you can avoid falling if you employ belays as a fixed safety measure. If you use fixed belaying, you need to have a harness complete with a rope attached which will prevent you from falling too far in case you slip off. Most climbers do with a partner who remains on the ground and keeps the rope steady.

If you are climbing with more than one person, you should use running belays. As the climber in the lead goes up the slope, he or she will put in screws and then climb up using them as a safety check from falling. The one who follows will remove them as they progress and so on. In other words, all of you will be moving together up the slope while looking out for each other.

  • Falling debris is common

Ice is constantly changing especially when the weather warms up. As the temperature changes, it starts to behave differently. When you are climbing, you can knock off pieces of new ice and send it falling down on the climbers that are following you up. While you cannot prevent pieces of ice from falling off as you hack at an icy slope during a climb, you can make sure you are well out of the way as it falls. If you are not the leader, stand around the corner or under an overhang. If the impact is unavoidable, your helmet should protect you sufficiently.

Along with that falling ice, there could also be some rocks and other earthly bodies sliding off threatening your safety. But the debris is not just a danger to the person ascending, it’s more likely that those on the ground belaying or just spectating would be hit by something that the ascender has knocked loose. If you are on the ground it’s best to steer clear of a pretty large zone underneath the person climbing and also keep that helmet on. Another thing to watch out for if the person is going up is a beginner is falling axes. It takes practice to get used to wielding them with thick gloves on.

  • Avalanches can happen without warning

As mentioned before, ice is ever-changing and if you are climbing up an icy cliff, chances are you may find yourself at the nasty end of an avalanche. Shifting snow can trigger a snowball effect and you may not even know it is coming unless you know which signs to look out for. If you are swinging your tools for the first time, chances are you will not find yourself in the middle of an avalanche because you may not be high enough to encounter one. Avalanches typically occur above tree lines or on spots that have multi-pitch routes so you can avoid them if you are careful. However, always carry an avalanche beacon and a small shovel with you should you end up being buried underneath one. With experience, you will realize which weather conditions can trigger one and how to tell the ice won’t give out on you as you climb.

  • Weather

So it needs to be cold when you go out ice climbing, but that cold can also cause problems if you are not prepared. Such as hyperthermia, especially if the sun has gone down on your descent. The most optimal temperature to go ice climbing in is between 20-30 degrees. Much colder and you’re are going to have a bad time, much colder and you’re going to be battling slick melty ice. You need cold temperatures for the ice to form, but you should always be watching the weather patterns because when there are sudden shifts in temperature where the ice is melting and freezing again in a short amount of time you can be left with a really fragile layer that can be dangerous to climb.

  • Gravity

In rock climbing, whether it be indoors or at a climbing gym, falling is just a part of it. It’s not the end of the world or the end of your life. On the ice, climbing and falling can be very dangerous. An ice climber will be wearing crampons and carrying two very sharp ice axes, these tools are essential to scrambling your way up, but on the way down, at speed, this equipment becomes weapons of mass destruction, and this is all before you have landed on some ragged pointy ice shard. This is not to say that falling does not happen, but it’s not as easy as it is in regular rock climbing.

  • Margin of error

There is a low margin of error when it comes to ice climbing. It’s physically challenging but also taxing on your brain. You need to be able to do a lot of decision making and risk management pretty quickly. It can be hard to do that when you are tired, hungry, or too cold. You really have to be in tune with yourself and your body’s needs so you are in the best place to clear your mind and focus on the moment-to-moment tasks. This is probably the most dangerous part of the sport, and also makes it thrilling for many.


Ice Climbing vs. Rock Climbing

  • Just because you are a great rock climber doesn’t mean that you can take on an icy rock face. Here are some ways both differ:
  • The climb is different – Climbing rocks is not as slippery as climbing a slick and icy slope. Rocks give you a strong sense of physicality which is different from ice climbing where you have to contend with ropes slick from melting ice and a surface that can change (melt/break off) without warning. You should stake out areas that do not get as much sun exposure to reduce those chances.
  • The difference in pace – When you climb a rocky cliff, you have to traverse awkward terrains such as large boulders and tangled vegetation which can take considerable effort. In ice climbing, you have to ensure that you maintain a steady or regular pace as you climb or risk slipping off as the ice shifts beneath you.
  • One can cost more than the other – Besides climbing gear, you don’t need to bundle up in layers for rock climbing. All you really need is to wear shorts, a t-shirt, a light pack and a helmet. Ice climbing requires way more equipment especially if the weather is not on your side. You will find yourself investing in additional equipment such as crampons, a base layer and down jacket, a head torch, and at least 2 axes.
  • Stamina differences – Rock climbers have to be quick and lithe to climb a rocky slope so agility matters more than strength. The activity exercises the forearms as well as the fingers, calves and the upper back. Ice climbing can push every part of your body giving you a complete workout. That’s because the surface you are climbing is harder so your muscles have to work overtime as you climb. This can lead to a defined musculature, improved contours and of course, less fat.
  • Holds and protection differences – Unlike rock climbing where you can place holds and protective measures almost anywhere on a rocky surface, you need to apply screws during ice climbing which can take more time and effort. However, the time you take to make sure those are secure can mean the difference between a successful climb and a plummet to the bottom.
  • Route changes – The more a route is used during rock climbing, the more slippery and polished it gets which can be treacherous. This is the opposite in ice climbing where the more a route is climbed, the easier it is to pick out and traverse. In other words, the former gives you less traction while the latter gives you more handholds and traction to prevent slips and falls.
  • Ice climbing can be an extremely rewarding experience but it can also prove deadly if you do not have the proper training. Even if you are proud of your rock climbing skills, that does not mean you can take on a frozen cliffside or waterfall the same way and live to tell the tale. Make sure that you take a seasoned veteran with you during your training and a partner each time.


Ten reasons why not to Ice Climb, Comments from an ice climber – Spoiler Alert!

If you are thinking about trying out ice climbing this winter, you want to make sure you can take an informed decision. Here is a list of 10 reasons NOT to try ice climbing.

  1. It’s cold

Many ice climbers will tell you that ice climbing can be quite comfortable while you bundled up in layers of high-tech fabric designed to keep you warm in the most inhospitable condition, but don’t be fooled!! Even with the toasty double layer insulation of a jacket like the Black Diamond Stance belay parka, you will be borderline hypothermic for the duration of your climb. Not to mention your poor feet. Did you really think that huge double boots designed for expeditions would keep your feet warm? Well think again, those massive boots can’t hold a candle to the brutal cold of ice climbing.

  1. It’s not pretty

Ice climbing books will tell you about the unspeakable beauty of ascending a crystal-like tower in the middle of jagged snow-capped peaks, but how can ice be beautiful? Have you ever slipped and fallen on an iced-up sidewalk and said: “Wow look how pretty this ice is!”? no, so why would a 100m high sheet of smooth blue ice be any different. The scenery is also not a good reason to do this masochistic activity. Sure, you sometimes get to see breath-taking vistas and cool canyons with ice pouring down the walls, but you can also see that on the internet!

  1. It’s hard to learn

Some things are easy to learn, like riding a bike or rocket science. Ice climbing is not one of those things. It is almost impossible to figure out how to climb even the easiest ice. No amount of modern gear and Youtube videos will give you an idea of how to ascend a curtain of ice. Well, what about taking a course? I’m glad you asked. Besides the dozen companies running regular intro to ice climbing courses, there is almost no way to learn how to swing an ice tool.

  1. It’s not a social sport

With ice climbing, you only get to hang out with your closest friend that you trust with your life and if you’re really lucky you are around other parties that just want to have fun and share a common goal. But what happens if you go ice and mixed cragging at one of the many easy-access crags, chances are there will be other folks there that will help you push your limits and enrich the whole experience, that doesn’t sound very fun!

  1. It’s not fun

I know what you’re thinking; what could possibly be fun about swinging ergonomic high-tech ice axes and kicking sharp crampons to climb a pillar of blue ice? Nothing, not a thing is fun about this. Who, in their right mind, would find navigating an ocean of steep ice fun? Nobody, that’s who. Even bolted mixed climbing isn’t that fun; how could someone have fun pushing their physical and mental limits in a relatively safe and low-pressure environment? They can’t, that’s how. Anyone who says they enjoy ice climbing is just trying to fool you into joining them.

  1. It’s not rewarding

A lot of folks will tell you that pulling over the top of a climb that you’ve wanted to do for a long time is one of the most rewarding things you can do. I’ll tell you what’s rewarding, looking back on the well-shovelled driveway that you just slaved over for the last 3 hours. Pushing your limits and accomplishing things you never thought possible, like climbing a grade of ice for the first time, is just not worth it. No end can justify the means of ice climbing.

  1. It can only be done in the winter

So this sport can only be done in winter? Winter in Canada is only 7 months long, not a very long window to climb in if you ask me. For example, you can rock climb all year round with ease and reasonable comfort, trust me on this. But ice climbing in cosy layers is a lot less enjoyable than grabbing onto little frozen rock edges with your exposed fingers. Besides, why waste a good season of snowball fighting to climb some silly icicles?

  1. You won’t get to see many cool places

Ice climbing typically takes place in some pretty boring places, unlike snowshoeing which allows you to roam the mountains and visit some very cool areas. Here are some places that you won’t be able to ice climb: large caves, breathtaking mountain faces, and backcountry waterfalls. Ice climbers just spend their time in dark boring canyons. Any stories you’ve heard about underground ice or backcountry flows the size of buildings is just greatly exaggerated!

  1. No cool gear

When you go bouldering in the gym, you get to use cutting edge gadgets to help you succeed like brushes, chalk bags, and tape. When you go ice climbing, you don’t get any cool gadgets, just state-of-the-art carbon fibre ice tools and super light technical crampons with forged components. Lame right?!?

  1. Because a list you found on the Internet said so

At Vertical Addiction, we realize that the decision to ice climb or not is a hard one, so that’s why we did the thinking for you! Ice climbing is cold and hard, and nobody should do it. Just trust us on this one, OK? We promise this isn’t a tactic to protect our secret WI2, three hours from the road. Nope, not at all. Just forget I mentioned it, and keep doing fun things this winter like drinking hot chocolate!


Whilst I cannot find any literature on why so few women ice climb specifically? I have intercepted literature for women in rock climbing, bouldering and mountain climbing, which will feature in my upcoming blogs!

Suggested manufacturers, accessories and products for Ice Climbing – just to name a few:

Mountain Gear

Back Country Gear –

Rei Co-Op –

Gear Express –


South African suppliers:

Ram Mountaineering Gear

Camp and Climb –

Mountain Mail Order –

Climb ZA –


If you have the itch, go for it, it’s a great way to stay fit and trim, exhilarating and the natural or not natural make this sport spectacular and challenging to say the least! But my suggestion is that you should learn the basics first from an instructor or experienced Ice Climber!

When you are ready to take on a face or obstacle or just to feel one with nature, please take a moment and bow to people that are disabled, that cannot take part in such sports.


Play Station Games:

To all you avid gamers, here are a couple of games that include Ice Climbing for you to enjoy.

  • Human – Fall Flat – Ice level
  • Mountain Peak, Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Tomb Raider PS4
  • Everest VR
  • Call of Duty – Modern Warefare


Keep an eye out for my next blog: Caving Climbing

My views, comments and content are strictly my own opinion and research and are not governed or influenced by any marketing of companies or brands. It is of my own free will to mention companies and brands that supply sporting equipment pertaining to the sport in the discussion.