Required time to lead a 30m ice pitch?


Original Post
B L · · Montréal, Québec · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 280

How long should it take a climber who possesses good technique to lead a 30m ice pitch at a grade that is within his/her level of comfort?

What is the normally considered time for a party of 2 to complete a 30m ice pitch in a multi-pitch setting (including anchor building and transition)?

I know that weather, ice conditions, physical fitness, etc. will affect the balance.

Thanks

Nils Wiggen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

This is almost impossible to answer. It could take everything from 5 minutes to hours. It's too many factors. Is a person comfy with one or 15 screws..does the ice feel secure and without tensions..is it cold..screaming hands..

Very generally speaking, from 5-20 minutes plus time required to build belay station.

jon jugenheimer · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 2,049

~20 minutes if it's a straightforward 4 or 5 and the climbers are competent.

lukeweiss · · St. Johnsbury, VT · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 30

are you guys giving times for the lead? Or for the whole pitch for a party of two?

I agree with the ~20 from start to "climb" shouted down to the second.

JBernard · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 25

I wish Einstein was around to help out with this question because I am certain that the actual elapsed time is quite different for:
1. The leader
2. The belayer
3. The next party waiting to get on the route

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

I've seen people waltz up 30m WI4 and WI5 routes in less than ten minutes and I've seen others take 45 minutes. Way too many variables to answer this.

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
Nick Sweeney wrote:I've seen people waltz up 30m WI4 and WI5 routes in less than ten minutes
I thought that was you down there :)

Seriously +1 for Nick

A picked out 4+ is so different from a 4+ that's has a ton of daggers that need to be cleaned. I can snap a quad on two bolts in 30 seconds but that awkward screw anchor I should've built 20 feet below might tack on another five minutes and three gosh darn it's to the lead.
CCChanceR Ronemus · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 125

Took two hours on come and get it today. Time on ice/mixed leads is relative.

In the Alpine, usually too long.

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,135

19 Minutes C2C for this Icicle: mountainproject.com/v/the-g...

B L · · Montréal, Québec · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 280

Thanks everyone for your input. I knew the answer is variable and did not expect a precise time to the exact minute. I'm new to leading. Although I feel my technique and placements are ok, it still takes me 1 hour plus to lead a pitch so I guess I have to try to speed it up and focus on gaining experience leading routes well within my comfort level. Thanks again,

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

Don't try and speed it up. The more time spent on the sharp end the faster you will climb. Don't rush it. People get fu;ked up that way.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483
Bill Kirby wrote:Don't try and speed it up. The more time spent on the sharp end the faster you will climb. Don't rush it. People get fu;ked up that way.
^^^^agreed
Nils Wiggen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

One tip could be to focus on hitting high to reduce the number of axe placements. Also try to hit in a straight line above you, not so much to the sides(less balance). Small and more numerous steps with the legs. Then hit high with the next axe placement and so on. This should speed up the pace.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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