1. Technique Considerations

In this video we take a look at basic ice climbing techniques.

1. When starting out, practice on top rope.

2. Tackle lower angle ice routes first to hone good footwork and swinging technique.

3. Take short steps. A high step can potentially throw you off balance and is more fatiguing.

4. Place your ice tool so that when it is sunk in the ice your arm is fully extended. This puts less strain on your muscles.

5. Look for foot holds. Similar to rock, ice is not all the same. Small bumps may provide good footholds, and divots in the ice will fracture less than bulges.

6. Swinging the ice tool is a two part motion. It starts with (1) a swing from your elbow, and is finished with (2) a flick of the wrist. See video for demonstration.

7. In virgin ice you may need to swing a few times to get any bad ice out of the way and be sure you get a solid placement.

8. Consider turning a foot sideways (if possible), instead of forward, to help reduce strain on your calves. This works well when stopping to put in a screw or taking a rest.

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.