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Ice climbing
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Feb 3, 2013
I want to start ice climbing I have a trad rack what else do I need such as gear besides axes, boots,and crampons? Spencer Daniels
From Sandy,utah
Joined May 21, 2012
84 points
Feb 3, 2013
Another trad rack (of ice screws). Garret Nuzzo-Jones
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Feb 9, 2012
1,576 points
Feb 3, 2013
Whiskey, a belay jacket, and a penchant for suffering. Oh, and about $1,000 Steve M
From MN
Joined Aug 2, 2011
92 points
Feb 3, 2013
For one, partners. There aren't as many ice climbers as there are rock climbers.

Two, at least $1,000 for basic gear ($400 tools, $200 crampons, $300 boots) and then throw in another $800 or more for a really good layering system and all the other extras ($200 puffy, $200 shell, $200 pants, $100 gloves (x2), $100 gaiters). Shop sales, but don't buy crap.

Three, a thermous or two. Hot tea/coco and soup are life savers out there.

And of course, a willingness to suffer. It's cold and you will get banged up. Not to mention the weather and conditions will dictate when and where you can climb.

I actually love ice climbing.

Michael C
Michael C
From New Jersey
Joined Jun 9, 2011
353 points
Feb 3, 2013
The most important thing you need to take away from this thread is that whiskey ( I prefer single malt scotch) is a must!!! Everything else you can fudge on but the scotch is what will make or break your day!!!

Ps- you don't need $1000. I started with a $150. Old set of charlet moser tools and some bd sabertooths. Don't invest a grand until you know you will like it. Ice climbing is 7 parts suffering, 2 parts alcohol, and 1 part awesomeness!!!
From Fort Collins
Joined Nov 20, 2007
383 points
Feb 3, 2013
Ugh, ice climbing. I second the don't buy everything up front idea. Find some partners, they will inevitably have loaner gear because part of ice climbing is always tricking new people into going so you'll have a belay for a day. They get hit by ice, get cold etc, return the loaner gear and the ice climber resumes his search for the next partner. It's a great time.

I quit drinking about a year and a half prior to my start in ice climbing. Never could quite get the hang of the sport.
Joined May 22, 2010
491 points
Feb 3, 2013
Loads of people didn't bring enough whiskey / forgot their stove and have girlfriends who want to see the ice climbing budget reallocated to them.

Look for deals as summer approaches. When I first started I got boots (2.5 sizes to big but good enough to learn on), old crampons & tools for less than the cost of a new screw.

This guy's selling it all:

Note how the boots have been used "only a handful of times"
Peteoria Holben
Joined Jun 6, 2010
67 points
Feb 3, 2013
That link does have it all. Those are damn close to the pons I use now And I also wear the alchemy jacket.

Check mp often along with eBay and the like.

And I'll go one better. I have a spare set of quarks and two spare sets of pons. Hit me up if you want to get out to silver plume and I'll get ya up on one of them thar TRs. All you need is warm clothes, WHISKEY, and boots that accept step in crampons. Oh yea, don't smash the picks on rock lol.
From Fort Collins
Joined Nov 20, 2007
383 points
Feb 5, 2013
I would also recommend that you don't just go out and buy whatever is expensive and shiny. There are a lot of great crampons, tools, and screws out there. Picking the right ones for you is something only you can do after plenty of experience. Otherwise, you'll be selling those tools in a year so you can finally get what you really want. An exception may be boots, assuming you get them fitted by someone who knows what they're doing.

On the other hand, get good gloves. Something you can actually climb in, not the warmest things in the store.

A willingness to suffer, including long approaches, cold, fear, more cold, and more long approaches ending without climbing anything is a definite prerequisite.
From Butte, MT
Joined Oct 20, 2011
217 points
Feb 12, 2013
Come on guys... Your advice is crap!! Tequila is the only way to get it done... REPOSADO preferably, none of that sissy silver shit. Makes ya brave! :-)

As others have said, be willing to spend money, then decide you actually bought stuff that sucks, then spend more money, then after some time, spend even more money becuase you realize that superlight, means uncomfortable as hell... And so it goes. Get started with decent simple gear, there are tons of deals here on the site to get started. Boots are the hardest, they must fit and fit well to be of any great use, you might get lucky and spend less, you might not.

A down puffy is a must, unless you are particularly prone to liking to suffer standing around in a frozen hell. Also, a helmet so that the ice that is coming down on top of you might miss your face and bounce off the helmet.

All kidding (sort of) aside, the ice world is bizarre, crazy, fun, cold, fun, stupid, fun. I absolutely love it... Without doubt my favorite climbing by far! Have fun with it... If you dare!

One more thing, prepare a special bin for your new found glove collection, you will wind up with more than you could imagine...
Just Solo
From Colorado Springs
Joined Nov 13, 2003
87 points
Feb 12, 2013
If you can wait until next season, you might want to look into going to an ice festival like Ouray or Bozeman where you can try out some of the gear prior to buying it if it turns out you actually like ice climbing.
I believe decent step in crampon compatible boots are one of the most important early purchases and I would recommend against them being too big if you buy used ones because as soon as you put your weight on your front points, your heels will pop up and you will lose a lot of dexterity. I also agree that good gloves you can climb in is key along with a down coat.
These guys are right, other than boots and a step in crampon, you can find people who already have tools and screws to try it out.
Good luck. Ice is rad if your willing to suffer but the rewards of said suffering is worth it ten fold.
Timmy Foulkes
Joined Jan 17, 2011
26 points
Feb 12, 2013
Timmy's advice is the best one. Go to Ouray during the festival and you can learn from experts and try gear. If you already climb rock, you'll find that a few cheap clinics will catapult you into ice climbing. In addition, you can try everything... crampons, boots, tools, gloves, etc. One piece of advice though, you have to get to the demo tents EARLY to check out gear. But it is indeed the best way to start.

See you there!

(oh, and I'm sure Bozeman rocks too.... no offense there).
Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Joined Nov 23, 2012
12 points
Feb 12, 2013
Try before you buy is right.
Some ice fests have a gear swap, which is a great place to pick up some good deals. Got my first boots (still using) at one for $50.
First tools and crampons were also $50 each. I've upgraded those since, but got started on the cheap, and appreciate my newer tools so much more.
Of course, you can spend a thousand if you want.
From Jackson, WY
Joined Aug 19, 2009
213 points

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