Ice Climbing

Magnificent ice towers to be conquered...

Ice Climbing

Ice Climbing

Magnificent ice towers to be conquered.

If you've never climbed ice you've never experienced the transitory and surreal world that comes into existance once a year. Unlike rock climbing, ice climbing accesses unique structures that are never exactly the same twice, each forming in a way that is dependent on the prevailing weather conditions and water running off the mountains. If you want to experience this amazing world of ice, Mountain Tracks offers ice climbing trips to suit all abilities, whether this is your first taste of winter climbing or an opportunity to push your grade to new heights.

Ice Climbing in Chamonix
Ice Climbing - Chamonix (Intermediate)

Enjoy the fantastic thrill of vertical ice climbing! During winter, waterfalls in the Alps freeze up and become spectacular ice climbing venues. The spectacular Chamonix Valley has more than 20 different sites of varying length and difficulty and all with stunning backdrops! Ice climbing is can be enjoyed by anyone with basic climbing skills... view

Skill Level Overview

Introductory

I have no previous mountaineering experience but I am keen to learn the basics of using crampons and an ice axe and rope work. I would enjoy ascending rocky scrambles and easy angled snow and ice. I am a regular hill walker summer and winter and used to long days out, I am happy to walk for 6-8hrs per day carrying all my gear in my rucksack. For Via Ferrata trips a head for heights and some upper body strength is useful.

Intermediate

I have undertaken some previous rocky scrambling and short rock climbs, ice or easy alpine climbing. I am comfortable moving on rocky and snowy ridges and slopes of up to 40 degrees. I enjoy the challenge of more remote technical terrain. I would like to learn more about alpine rope work. I can improve my crampon / ice axe technique and could scramble on rock with greater efficiency.

Advanced

I have previous experience climbing alpine PD+ or harder. I am undeterred by scrambling and have done some pitched climbing on rock or ice. I have a firm grasp of the rope techniques necessary for pitched climbing and crossing glaciers. I am confident when using crampons and ice axe. I relish the thought of climbing steep rock and ice or traversing an exposed ridge covered in snow and ice. I can abseil, know how to use a prussic knot and make myself safe on basic belay stances.

Stamina Level Overview

Level 1

I have good hill walking fitness and endurance and can hike for around 5-7hrs on undulating terrain at a steady pace. This would include ascents and descents of between 500 - 800m vertical. I am also happy carrying a rucksack with all my kit in it for a day. This stamina level can be achieved by regular hill walking in the UK and doing 2-3 sessions of exercise per week (long hike, cycle ride, swimming or playing sports). Working on your endurance is important as days in the Alps tend to be around 6-8hrs in length.

Level 2

I have good aerobic fitness and leg strength. I can trek up steep, rocky paths and ascend up to 800m - 1000m in a day. I enjoy being on the hill for up to 6-8 hours a day, and can cope with moderate altitudes above 3000m. To prepare for this trip the best activities are those that increase your heart rate and build your aerobic levels e.g. running, cycling and swimming. For via ferrata trips a moderate amount of upper body strength would be helpful, gained ideally through scrambling or lifting light weights.

Level 3

I have excellent cardiovascular fitness and plenty of endurance to cope with several demanding days in a row. I can climb 5-6 hours most days, and on summit days up to 10-12 hours. I have enough upper body strength to pull myself up short sections of fixed rope or ladders. Endurance fitness is gained through longer training periods of walking, running, cycling and swimming. These climbs can be strenuous with the need for upper body strength gained through, gym sessions, scrambling or in/outdoor rock climbing.

Level 4

I have a supreme level of fitness and stamina. I can move confidently on technical terrain for 10-15 hours at altitude. I have a strong upper body to tackle fixed ropes, vertical rock and ice. A prolonged period of cross training would help build endurance with 5-6 training sessions per week including walking, running, swimming and cycling. Upper body strength is essential for pitched ice and rock climbing and this can be gained from weight training or indoor climbing walls.

Contact

250 York Road, London
SW11 3SJ, United Kingdom
info@mountaintracks.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 8123 2978
Fax: +44 (0)20 7905 0921

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