3. Alternate vs. Horizontal Placements

In this video we review alternate vs. horizontal placement while ice climbing.

Alternate Placements – In a typical ice climbing scenario, the climber will be using two tools, and the placements of both your hands and feet will be staggered, which limits the number of swings or kicks to gain altitude. Each motion helps advance the climber.

Horizontal Placements – In scenarios where the ice fractures in a way that causes concern, or the climber feels less secure for some reason, they may choose to place each tool at roughly the same level, then move the feet. This is less efficient, but allows maximal points of contact with the ice when things feel less secure, and puts more equal weight on each tool if a foot were to blow out and the climber suddenly weighted the tools.

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.