7. Protecting the Rope

In this video we discuss the importance of protecting the rope while ice climbing.

When ice climbing we use several sharp tools, and one soft one: our rope.

One simple technique is to swing the ice tool off to the side, or move the rope aside with your hand before you swing or kick.

Be mindful of where the rope is at all times. When top roping, your rope will be taut and can line up right where you want to swing your tool. Leaders will need to be more conscious of where they kick their feet, as the lead rope will be hanging below.

The belayer can also help (especially when top roping) by watching the climber climb, and making sure to pull in slack when the climber is kicking—not while they are swinging the tool. This helps prevent the rope from going taut at the moment they swing, and/or the rope moving in front of their tool as it hits the ice.

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.