10. Hooking With Your Ice Tools

In this video we look at how to “hook” with your ice tools.

Hooking is useful when the ice is thin, or too brittle to swing into, but you can still slot the pick behind the ice and pull on it.

Hooking is also used by the follower, who can draft the leader’s pick holes and save a lot of energy by not having to swing. This is a common technique in popular ice climbing areas such as Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, which might become “picked out” after numerous ascents.

Some of the major ice climbing destinations of the world, such as Canada, even have a “picked out rating” which describes how climbs get “picked out” by climbers throughout the season, making the climb easier than it was in the beginning of the season.

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.