Ice Climbing is a form of alpinism practiced on frozen waterfalls or rock slabs covered with ice. Aside from the classic rock climbing protection gear, ice axes and crampons are used to assist the ascent.
Ice varies greatly in consistency: It can be soft, hard, brittle or tough. The strength of the ice is often surprising; even if the axe goes in only a centimetre, it can be enough to continue the vertical climb. However, if a climber is leading, s/he will need to place ice screws on the way up as further protection.
During the activity the climber is surrounded by a complete winter environment: Ice, snow and cold temperatures… The effort can be highly demanding but so can the final satisfaction of climbing magnificent and diverse ice formations.
Serenity, concentration, tenacity, safety and tension are only a few of the adjectives that describe ice climbing… which can become truly addicting!
Dry-tooling, or climbing on a mixed terrain, combines rock with ice, and is an even more mentality demanding and technically challenging sport.