9. Climbing Over Bulges (Mantling)


In this video we look at the technique to climb over bulges in the ice. Climbing over bulges, also known as mantling, can become unnecessarily challenging without proper technique, resulting in what some refer to as the “fish flop.”

1. Do not reach your ice tools too far over the bulge. You will need to be able to extend your hips outward, in order to see your feet.

2. Watch your feet with each crampon placement, to ensure good penetration into the ice.

3. Place your tools in a high point above the bulge, and mantle by climbing up the bulge using your crampons to carry most of your weight, while also climbing your hands up the handles of your placed tools.

Note: Do not swing directly into bulges, but instead swing before them, in the vertical ice, and after them, where the ice is more horizontal. Swinging at the sharpest angle of the bulging ice will fracture a lot of ice, and potentially destabilize a large block of the ice, because that is where the ice is under the most tension.

4. Complete the mantle by keeping your weight over your crampons after your clear the bulge. You can also experiment (on top rope to start) with alternative hand grips on your tools, thus allowing you to walk more upright on the lower angled ice.

The goal is to be efficient by minimizing the number of swings and steps required to complete the mantle.

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.