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biwerw


Dec 7, 2008, 3:50 AM
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New to Ice
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This will be my first winter attempting ice climbing. I have experience with rock so I know rope management, belaying and TR setup.

Are their any free resources online on techniques for climbing ice? Things like axe use, crampon technique, anything basic.


suilenroc


Dec 7, 2008, 4:44 AM
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Re: [biwerw] New to Ice [In reply to]
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WOW, mega n00b in the open... Ready, Aim, FIRE!

I'd read the list of books first, then gain some instruction, then go get dangerous...


add: the enternut is very unreliable! go find a buddy that knows what they are doing!


(This post was edited by suilenroc on Dec 7, 2008, 4:46 AM)


biwerw


Dec 7, 2008, 4:55 AM
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Re: [suilenroc] New to Ice [In reply to]
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Uber N00b. I'd rather ice climb than spend my winter on the couch like most crakas.


altelis


Dec 7, 2008, 5:06 AM
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Re: [biwerw] New to Ice [In reply to]
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you know all you need to know. don't let anyone fool ya- there's no technique to ice climbing Angelic

ok, so there definitely is. but don't let that stop you from going out and just experimenting. its pretty self explanatory. sure, there are subtle tricks and tips that will get you more efficient, etc. but its not rocket science, just the subtle interaction of hardened steel and solid (hopefully) dihydrogen monoxide .

basic tips:

1) for the love of your calves, trust your front pts and KEEP YOU'RE HEELS DOWN! you'll be tempted to raise them up- DON"T. you'll simply pump out faster w/o really adding any stability to your stance

2) don't over extend your swings. the higher you swing the less efficient they are, AND your keeping your hands that much higher than your heart --> COLD FINGERS. would you rather hammer a nail in front of your face or 2 feet above your head? same idea here

3) like everything worth while in life its mainly in the wrists! most of the "stick" will come from a wrist flick at the end and not so much due to a wicked hard swing

4) get the leashes adjusted so that they aren't putting stress on your wrists while swinging yet it only takes the slightest relaxation/extension of your grip to have the leashes take your weight

5) wear glasses and (especially in the beginning) don't really look at your axes. you'll be asking for trouble.


JustinMT


Dec 7, 2008, 5:26 AM
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Re: [biwerw] New to Ice [In reply to]
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If you get a chance to try it, climb leashless. It has many benefits, such as being able to shake your hands out, placing screws is simplified, and you can switch tools. I have found I don't overgrip leashless tools. Have fun! Ice is awesome.


error


Dec 7, 2008, 6:29 AM
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Re: [biwerw] New to Ice [In reply to]
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I'd recommend this: Ice & Mixed Climbing: Modern Technique by Will Gadd

http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Mixed-Climbing-Technique-Mountaineers/dp/089886769X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1228631237&sr=1-1


altelis


Dec 7, 2008, 6:42 AM
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i would definitely second the recommendation to buy the book; its an amazing resource to have around.

if you want to give it a quick preview though, google books has most of it available (at least most of the 1st couple of chapters, all you'll need in the beginning)

Will Gadd's Ice Technique


qwert


Dec 7, 2008, 10:59 AM
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Re: [altelis] New to Ice [In reply to]
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I myself am also not a very experienced ice climber, so i cant say much, but at least something:

At least medium level ice climbing is not too dificult, if you are coming from rock climbing. What you should learn/ practice is how to place safe screws, how to set up a belay, and how to do V-threads

Unlike sport climbing, falling (or even jumping) is a big no in ice. Chances are quite good that your axes or crampons will catch on something on your way down, making for a very dangerous, or at least painfull fall.

Thats all i can think of.

qwert


Partner brent_e


Dec 7, 2008, 3:52 PM
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Re: [qwert] New to Ice [In reply to]
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qwert wrote:
I myself am also not a very experienced ice climber, so i cant say much, but at least something:

At least medium level ice climbing is not too dificult, if you are coming from rock climbing. What you should learn/ practice is how to place safe screws, how to set up a belay, and how to do V-threads

Unlike sport climbing, falling (or even jumping) is a big no in ice. Chances are quite good that your axes or crampons will catch on something on your way down, making for a very dangerous, or at least painfull fall.

Thats all i can think of.

qwert

to help with V-threads make a coat hanger V-thread tool (or buy one) and learn how to use it.

they're UBER strong when made properly.


skiclimb


Dec 7, 2008, 4:42 PM
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Re: [biwerw] New to Ice [In reply to]
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A few more small tips here.

Bring extra pairs of gloves. On a wet day I've never found any gloves that don't eventually get soaked so I just bought extra pairs of cheapo Wal-mart Gore-Tex ski gloves(actually pretty decent gloves for $15).. three pair usually does the trick and I have warm dry hand all day.

Boulder around a lot getting a feel for the gear and as mentioned above learn to have a good relaxed stance (heel not above front points) play with your stance see how low you can keep your heels before your point pop and eventually find the sweet spot. Keep your hands relaxed.

Most important find a GOOD mentor to get out there with.


(This post was edited by skiclimb on Dec 7, 2008, 4:46 PM)


error


Dec 7, 2008, 5:00 PM
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Re: [skiclimb] New to Ice [In reply to]
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1. Those cheapo gloves are ok when it's cold, but their dexterity sucks. On warmer days I prefer mechanics gloves. My friends use neoprene diving gloves. Both make fiddling with the gear a lot easier.

2. Be careful ice bouldering (don't fall, don't jump). Its too effing easy to seriously hurt your ankles wearing ice boots and crampons: a) ice is hard; b) your feet are fixed inside the boot = cannot flex to absorb the shock properly. IMHO, TRing is a lot safer if set up properly.


qwert


Dec 7, 2008, 5:08 PM
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brent_e wrote:
qwert wrote:
I myself am also not a very experienced ice climber, so i cant say much, but at least something:

At least medium level ice climbing is not too dificult, if you are coming from rock climbing. What you should learn/ practice is how to place safe screws, how to set up a belay, and how to do V-threads

Unlike sport climbing, falling (or even jumping) is a big no in ice. Chances are quite good that your axes or crampons will catch on something on your way down, making for a very dangerous, or at least painfull fall.

Thats all i can think of.

qwert

to help with V-threads make a coat hanger V-thread tool (or buy one) and learn how to use it.

they're UBER strong when made properly.
HAving a V-thread tool with you belongs to the learning it thing, imho.
But now that we are at it, one bent out of an old bicylce spoke works perfect. Hard but flexible, and easy to sharpen. Just put some tape on the tip to protect yourself from it.

And second the many gloves thing. At least two pairs: a thin and grippy one for climbing, and a thick one for belaying. Maybe even mittens. I always keep the pair that is not in use under my top jacket. They cant fall out of it, as long as my harness is sitting well.

qwert


reno


Dec 7, 2008, 7:02 PM
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Re: [altelis] New to Ice [In reply to]
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altelis wrote:
basic tips:

1) for the love of your calves, trust your front pts and KEEP YOU'RE HEELS DOWN! you'll be tempted to raise them up- DON"T. you'll simply pump out faster w/o really adding any stability to your stance

2) don't over extend your swings. the higher you swing the less efficient they are, AND your keeping your hands that much higher than your heart --> COLD FINGERS. would you rather hammer a nail in front of your face or 2 feet above your head? same idea here

3) like everything worth while in life its mainly in the wrists! most of the "stick" will come from a wrist flick at the end and not so much due to a wicked hard swing

4) get the leashes adjusted so that they aren't putting stress on your wrists while swinging yet it only takes the slightest relaxation/extension of your grip to have the leashes take your weight

5) wear glasses and (especially in the beginning) don't really look at your axes. you'll be asking for trouble.

This is good advice.

qwert wrote:
At least medium level ice climbing is not too dificult, if you are coming from rock climbing. What you should learn/ practice is how to place safe screws, how to set up a belay, and how to do V-threads

Unlike sport climbing, falling (or even jumping) is a big no in ice. Chances are quite good that your axes or crampons will catch on something on your way down, making for a very dangerous, or at least painfull fall.

Thats all i can think of.

qwert

So is this.


Partner brent_e


Dec 8, 2008, 2:08 AM
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qwert wrote:
HAving a V-thread tool with you belongs to the learning it thing, imho.
But now that we are at it, one bent out of an old bicylce spoke works perfect. Hard but flexible, and easy to sharpen. Just put some tape on the tip to protect yourself from it.

And second the many gloves thing. At least two pairs: a thin and grippy one for climbing, and a thick one for belaying. Maybe even mittens. I always keep the pair that is not in use under my top jacket. They cant fall out of it, as long as my harness is sitting well.

qwert

bike spoke! that's brilliant. never thought of that.


biwerw


Dec 8, 2008, 4:49 AM
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Thanks for all resources and tips.


brownie710


Dec 8, 2008, 4:23 PM
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Re: [altelis] New to Ice [In reply to]
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altelis wrote:
i would definitely second the recommendation to buy the book; its an amazing resource to have around.

if you want to give it a quick preview though, google books has most of it available (at least most of the 1st couple of chapters, all you'll need in the beginning)

Will Gadd's Ice Technique

I third that, its a great book that covers all of it to get you enough balance of confidence and prudence to get you out there but be "back in the bar by 6"


gunkiemike


Dec 10, 2008, 11:05 PM
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Re: [biwerw] New to Ice [In reply to]
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My Number One bit of advice: swing from a stable, balanced position. See the "triangle" position in Gadd's book (feet pretty wide, tool above your center of gravity). IME people fall when they don't get stable and therefore rush their swing(s) and hang on something inadequate.


reno


Dec 11, 2008, 3:52 AM
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gunkiemike wrote:
My Number One bit of advice: swing from a stable, balanced position. See the "triangle" position in Gadd's book (feet pretty wide, tool above your center of gravity). IME people fall when they don't get stable and therefore rush their swing(s) and hang on something inadequate.

If'n one were brand spanking new to ice, I'd expand that a bit to "Make every placement from a stable position."

That is, if you're going to swing a tool for a new placement, make sure your other tool and both feet are solid. If you're going to move a foot/crampon placement, make sure the other crampon and both tools are solid.

When I started climbing ice, I found that I moved much more slowly than I did on rock. To this day, my first couple days on ice, I still do.

Moving on ice is different than moving on rock. Take your time, be sure of things, and do it right.


granite_grrl


Dec 11, 2008, 12:05 PM
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reno wrote:
gunkiemike wrote:
My Number One bit of advice: swing from a stable, balanced position. See the "triangle" position in Gadd's book (feet pretty wide, tool above your center of gravity). IME people fall when they don't get stable and therefore rush their swing(s) and hang on something inadequate.

If'n one were brand spanking new to ice, I'd expand that a bit to "Make every placement from a stable position."

That is, if you're going to swing a tool for a new placement, make sure your other tool and both feet are solid. If you're going to move a foot/crampon placement, make sure the other crampon and both tools are solid.

When I started climbing ice, I found that I moved much more slowly than I did on rock. To this day, my first couple days on ice, I still do.

Moving on ice is different than moving on rock. Take your time, be sure of things, and do it right.
Huh, and I was going going to sugest not to get all caught up in the triangle stance. Ice climbing is not rock climbing but you can take a lot of movement principals from rock and apply it to ice.

My sugestion: it takes a while to learn to move on ice. You're likely starting on toprope, so experiment and challange yourself. There are a lot of situations where you will never get three solid points of contact.


Skabbi


Dec 11, 2008, 1:58 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] New to Ice [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Huh, and I was going going to sugest not to get all caught up in the triangle stance. Ice climbing is not rock climbing but you can take a lot of movement principals from rock and apply it to ice.

My sugestion: it takes a while to learn to move on ice. You're likely starting on toprope, so experiment and challange yourself. There are a lot of situations where you will never get three solid points of contact.

Agreed. The swing, swing, step, step triangular technique doesn't really work that well except on really smooth straight-forward ice. Plus it's really slow and forces you to make your tool placements close to each other.

I try to get very stable for placing screws but the movement between them can get quite funky.

Jep...

Ska


reno


Dec 11, 2008, 4:57 PM
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Skabbi wrote:
In reply to:
Huh, and I was going going to sugest not to get all caught up in the triangle stance. Ice climbing is not rock climbing but you can take a lot of movement principals from rock and apply it to ice.

My sugestion: it takes a while to learn to move on ice. You're likely starting on toprope, so experiment and challange yourself. There are a lot of situations where you will never get three solid points of contact.

Agreed. The swing, swing, step, step triangular technique doesn't really work that well except on really smooth straight-forward ice. Plus it's really slow and forces you to make your tool placements close to each other.

I try to get very stable for placing screws but the movement between them can get quite funky.

Agreed, for those with experience moving on ice. My understanding was that the OP was a first time/never has been on ice before ice climber. For that, my feeling is that it'd be more fun to actually MOVE up the ice, albeit slowly, than to flail/struggle by trying "faster" techniques.


gunkiemike


Dec 11, 2008, 9:17 PM
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Skabbi wrote:
Agreed. The swing, swing, step, step triangular technique doesn't really work that well except on really smooth straight-forward ice.

Which is exactly what the OP asked about. And the triangle, done well, is more like "stepstepstep-swing, stepstepstep-swing".

Skabbi wrote:
Plus it's really slow and forces you to make your tool placements close to each other.
Ska

Nonsense. It's the key to vertically staggered placements. Newbs move slow when they place axes close together AKA the X position. Going from triangle to triangle eliminates that and voila, they're moving more efficiently.


Skabbi


Dec 11, 2008, 9:53 PM
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gunkiemike wrote:
Skabbi wrote:
Agreed. The swing, swing, step, step triangular technique doesn't really work that well except on really smooth straight-forward ice.

Which is exactly what the OP asked about. And the triangle, done well, is more like "stepstepstep-swing, stepstepstep-swing".

Skabbi wrote:
Plus it's really slow and forces you to make your tool placements close to each other.
Ska

Nonsense. It's the key to vertically staggered placements. Newbs move slow when they place axes close together AKA the X position. Going from triangle to triangle eliminates that and voila, they're moving more efficiently.

Um... yeah. I was trying to point out that the basic technique that is often taught, swinging both tools followed by moving both feet, is slow and inefficient. Maybe that's not called "triangular technique", my mistake.

So I'll try again: Biwerw, move both your feet between each swing of a tool. It's faster, safer and more fun.

ok, bye.

Ska


Partner brent_e


Dec 12, 2008, 5:26 AM
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reno wrote:
Skabbi wrote:
In reply to:
Huh, and I was going going to sugest not to get all caught up in the triangle stance. Ice climbing is not rock climbing but you can take a lot of movement principals from rock and apply it to ice.

My sugestion: it takes a while to learn to move on ice. You're likely starting on toprope, so experiment and challange yourself. There are a lot of situations where you will never get three solid points of contact.

Agreed. The swing, swing, step, step triangular technique doesn't really work that well except on really smooth straight-forward ice. Plus it's really slow and forces you to make your tool placements close to each other.

I try to get very stable for placing screws but the movement between them can get quite funky.

Agreed, for those with experience moving on ice. My understanding was that the OP was a first time/never has been on ice before ice climber. For that, my feeling is that it'd be more fun to actually MOVE up the ice, albeit slowly, than to flail/struggle by trying "faster" techniques.

I agree with what Reno says about moving slowly at first. I feel that when leading you should be as stable as possible but, when seconding you should be as fast as possible after you are confident to do so.


chossmonkey


Dec 12, 2008, 12:03 PM
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JustinMT wrote:
If you get a chance to try it, climb leashless. It has many benefits, such as being able to shake your hands out, placing screws is simplified, and you can switch tools. I have found I don't overgrip leashless tools. Have fun! Ice is awesome.
Correct

Leashes are for dogs. Don't even start with them.

As intimidating as it might seem at first it will likely be more intimidating to ditch them if you become accustomed to leashes before trying leashes.

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