A training course to learn about this amazing and ephemeral element, and the belaying techniques you need to know to climb moderately difficult icefalls safely. You will also become familiar with specific ice axes and crampons.
Ice-climbing stems from mountaineering and rock-climbing: it is about climbing ice formations such as ice couloirs and gulleys or frozen waterfalls (icefalls), with the help of ice tools, such as axes and crampons as well as other instruments (ice screws and mobile protections). Climbing ice means entering a new, fascinating dimension, where you hang, safely, with the crampons’ front points and ice axes engaged in the ice, balanced on ephemeral and shining walls.
This course will teach you the basic ice-climbing techniques, everything you need to know to tackle a frozen waterfall, in a 3-day full immersion course in the world’s most famous valleys for this discipline (Cogne Valley, Valsavarenche, Orco Valley).
Meeting point: meeting in a suitable location for a briefing. Equipment check and distribution of technical material
A day dedicated to learning about technical materials and how to use them properly. An introduction that covers the forces at play and some theoretical safety notions. Then, we head to the waterfalls, where we can practice what we have learned through some short one-pitch climbs, designed to learn to trust the tools and to try out the basic techniques as well as the proper use of the equipment.
The day is dedicated to learning preparatory exercises to climb the waterfall.
You can learn the techniques for using ice screws and specific exercises for building anchors.
Specific exercises that help you to quickly understand the secrets of balance and learn to trust the crampons, to tackle a real climb on a multi-pitch icefall, with abseiling.
During the last day, you work on strengthening your basic climbing and safety techniques through a short ice climb, on one of the easiest icefall, chosen according to the group’s technical and physical skills. Each participant can try to lead the rope party.
Season: from December to February